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11 decluttering tasks perfect for fall

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Fall is a great time to declutter your home, and these fall decluttering tasks will help you make space before winter and the holiday season. If you’re wondering ‘where do I start decluttering?’ these ideas are an easy first step towards a cleaner, calmer, and clutter-free home!

The beginning of fall is like a brand new year– while nature is heading towards hibernation, for many of us it’s a fresh start. For parents, kids are back in school and a year older so there’s lots of change in terms of school supplies, clothing, and routine. Weather-wise, there’s often a rapid transition from lazy days to chillier, more structured ones. This means a shift of clothes, toys/hobbies/sports equipment, and the way we use our home and yard as well. Plus, the holidays are coming so it’s time to get ready for guests and an influx of decor and whatever Santa leaves under your tree if you have kiddos.

All in all, it’s the perfect time to declutter these 11 specific areas that need attention as the seasons change to make room for what we love about fall and winter: making it clean and cozy indoors, shifting towards sweaters and boots in our closets, and making room in the garage for cars instead of pool floats and beach toys. Which to be honest is a huge bummer for this summer-loving girl, but nesting and preparing for the new season does give me joy so we’re here for it.

1. DECLUTTER YOUR SUMMER CLOTHING & SHOES

  • Go through all your summer clothing (including bathing suits and accessories) and get rid of the items that you didn’t wear, don’t fit well, or are outgrown if you’re tackling kids’ clothing.
  • If you’re in a region that has summer all year long, keep your summer clothes out. If you won’t be using it at all during the winter, now’s the time to make sure it’s cleaned and stored away until the spring.
  • Take inventory of summer shoes like flip-flops, water shoes, and sandals– if they’re trashed, toss them. Outgrown? Donate. For the ones, you’re keeping, wash/dry and store for next summer.

Bye, flip-flops.

Hello, sneakers. Okay, and maybe one pair of sandals still but they’ll be stored away in a few weeks. 😉

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2. DECLUTTER BEACH + POOL GEAR

  • If you have a beach or pool bag, empty it out and sort items for storage. Toss outdated sunscreen or broken toys/ goggles, and store the rest for next season or warmer vacations.
  • Have your beach towels seen better days? Donate them to pet shelters to give them new life and replace them with towels you’ll use and love.
  • Store beach and pool items in a covered bin to keep dust away during the off-season.

Time to tackle our pool bag & beach towel storage spot!

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3. DECLUTTER AND ORGANIZE THE GARAGE

  • This is a great time of year to go through your gardening and landscaping tools and equipment. Are any broken and need to be replaced?
  • Clean and organize tools you plan to keep.
  • If they’re still in good condition but not needed anymore, non-profits like Habitat for Humanity accept most tools for either using to build homes or resale in their thrift stores

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4. CLEAN OUT THE PANTRY, FRIDGE & FOOD STORAGE

The holiday season is around the corner, and chances are that means lots of baking and cooking. Empty your pantry and food storage areas one section at a time, checking expiration dates as you go.

  • Throw away expired food, and if you need to replace it put it on your grocery list.
  • Donate food that’s not yet expired but you probably won’t eat in the near future.
  • Arrange what’s remaining by zones- baking supplies, snacks, breakfast, quick meals, and more.

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5. DECLUTTER SHEETS, LINENS & TOWELS

  • Go through and evaluate your sheets, duvets, and pillowcases/ shams. Get rid of any that are ripped or have seen better days. Match up the sets you are keeping (do you have random pillowcases mixed in everywhere or is that just me?!)
  • Replace old sheets with these sheets that have gone viral for being so amazing and inexpensive! Word of advise, try to aim to have two sets of sheets for each bed and one set of sheets for each of our blow-up beds. This is especially helpful for when you may have a quick turnaround of guests or when someone has the stomach flu.
  • Do the same for towels- check for rips or stains, and donate old ones to an animal shelter and give yourself permission to get new ones that you will use and love.

6. EVALUATE BEAUTY PRODUCTS & MAKEUP

  • Gather all your makeup and products in one area to see how much you really have.
  • Toss any that are expired. Check dates if printed, but here’s a general rule of thumb:
    • lipstick/ lipgloss should be tossed after 1-year
    • liquid eye makeup (like mascara and liquid eye liner) should be disposed of after three months
    • foundation, blush, and powdered eye shadow will last about 2 years
  • EVALUATE IT. Do you really use each item? Do you have several of the same types of makeup, and one is clearly better than the rest? Be thorough and TOSS the extras that you aren’t using. This makes getting ready in the morning SO. MUCH. EASIER. 
  • Wipe off the makeup you’re keeping, and clean your brushes regularly!

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7. DECLUTTER TOYS & GAMES

Encourage your kids to help declutter their toys and games. They also enjoy decluttering if they know a younger friend will be getting the toy. Another strategy? They have learned if they weed out unused toys they can sell them (Sell them on Facebook Buy/Sell groups or take them to the consignment store) and then give them the cash to use towards something else.

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8. SCHOOL & OFFICE SUPPLIES

New grade levels mean new school supplies. This is perfect to filter out any school supplies that you don’t use anymore.

9. OUTDOOR FURNITURE & DECOR

Time to clean and possibly store outdoor furniture and decor (depending on your climate, of course.) If something has seen better days and no longer looks good or brings you joy, it’s time to donate it.

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10. BLANKETS

If you’re a blanket-loving family, the pile can get out of control. So it’s a great time to sort through your blankets and donate any that are no longer serving you, and then wash and fold the rest so they’re ready for colder weather.

11. COAT CLOSET & WINTER ACCESSORIES

  • Gather all your cold-weather accessories together and sort them into piles:
    • hats
    • scarves
    • gloves/mittens
    • coats & jackets
    • boots
    • snow gear
  • Get rid of any that are outgrown or no longer needed, and organize the rest. Try storing coats on wooden hangers, and then hats and gloves in baskets until winter fully arrives. Here’s how the coat closet looks in summer:

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The best part is you can tackle all 11 of these areas in one weekend, or even one a day. After they’re decluttered, it feels amazing to have a calmer, clearer, tidier space. Which is much needed with the hectic holiday season about to sneak upon us!

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