Organizing Your Home for Autumn

It’s finally my favorite time of year: Autumn!  I know not all my readers experience New England autumn (you know, where it goes from 90 to 65 then back up to 80 before settling into a slow decline to blizzard weather), but many of us share the same anticipation:  Autumn means more time inside, and “Holiday Season” is just around the corner. And, except for my readers in the Southern Hemisphere (yes, I actually have some! Isn’t that cool??) it means it’s getting cooler every day. It even gets a little cooler for my folks in Florida;  they have to start wearing a light jacket and socks with their shoes pretty soon, and look forward to eating outside in pleasant weather, and planting their annual flowers. (Yes, I resent them a little for this.)

Getting your home ready for Fall sometimes takes as much effort as Spring Cleaning does.  Here are some things you should have on your checklist this time of year:


  • Check out your jacket and coat supply for people in your home. Do they still fit? Do they need repairs? Do they need a good cleaning? (And, the most fun, is there any money in the pockets? )

  • For me, I’m transitioning from opened-toed sandals and flip-flops to closed shoes and then to boots.  Did your boots *just barely* get you to the end of last season and you forgot about them?  Time to revisit, and then scour for deals and coupons to get you back on the right track before that weather gets here.

  • The Closet Swap!

    • Out with the summer clothes – coming across clothing you never wore at all this summer? Why store them for another season where you won’t wear them next year either?  Create a donation pile of the clothes that either never made it to your favorites or don’t fit any more… time to part with them

    • In with the fall clothes – do a quick review as you unpack and shift clothes to the front of the closet or the top drawers:  Any moth damage from storage? Anything look stained or worn out? Anything not fitting you this year?  Don’t make space for them… just remove them before they get into the rotation!

  • Think about how you can help others prepare for the colder weather coming.  Not only can you pare down some of your wardrobe for donation, you can also go through your cooler weather linens (blankets, quilts and comforters) and determine what you *really* don’t make use of any more, and can spare to provide to shelters in your city


  • Pack up summer:  If you’re in an area where outdoor eating and deck/pool lounging has really come to an end, go through your supplies to determine what’s not in good shape and not worth storing for the winter, just to be disappointed when you pull them back out in the spring.  Give items a good cleaning before putting them away for the season.

  • Get your home ready for the cooelr weather:

    • Clean the gutters

    • Get the garage empty enough to store a car or two

    • Prepare outdoor faucets, disconnect the hoses, drain the pipes

    • If you don’t use the grill in the winter, give it a good cleaning and cover or store safely. Don’t put the propane tank indoors, though, if you can avoid it.

    • Rake (and maybe even compost) your autumn leaves

    • Make sure your furnace and chimney are in good shape for the coming winter

    • If you have alternate fuel like wood stove or pellet stoves, order your supply to be delivered

    • Get your snow blower tuned up and have gasoline on hand for it

    • Make sure you have your car prepared for winter weather

    • Prepare your garden and lawn for winter, treat lawn for end of season, plant bulbs, cut back bushes

    • If you have drafty windows, consider some plastic seals for the winter or look to replace caulk

    • Change your batteries in your thermostat and smoke/carbon monoxide alarms (if you normally wait for the clocks changing, it’s a little later this year her in the US — November 2nd)

  • Many people enjoy decorating the inside and outside of their homes for the season.  Uncover your stash from last year, and do a great clean up and dusting before putting all the knicknacks out again this season.  Test your battery-operated candles and all those things that contribute to your season-scape.


  • For families with kids, fall seems to get very busy in a hurry!  School, sports, dance, scouts, music lessons, all seem to multiply like bunnies! Think about the time management tools you need to help get a handle on this busy seasonIf you have kids, it’s a great time of year to start going through the toys and games that are around, figure out what doesn’t get used any more, and make some room for the inevitable new treasures that come in at holiday time.

    • Family calendar with everyone’s schedules on it (either paper or electronic)

    • Freezer and crockpot meals that take little work to get last-minute pressure off your back

  • Fall is also the time for some of our favorite types of events… it’s important we make time to enjoy everything that comes our way and then leaves in just a blink!  Make sure your home is ready for all the fun that comes with entertaining or special outings like:

    • Football Sundays (well, hasn’t it really become Football Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays?) — have snacks and drinks on hand, so no last minute trips to the store

    • Fall baking – gotta do something with all those amazing apples and winter squash coming our way! – do you have all the basic ingredients you know you use every year for your favorite recipes?

    • Halloween!  Decorations, costumes, and trick or treating… all suffer a bit if you wait until the last minute to get organized for that big day!

boston autumn wm




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