To Preparing for Fall (a 7 Step Guide)
Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, meaning fall is nearly upon us. Like any basic white girl, I can't wait. 💁🏼 Sure, I'm excited for fall fashion, pumpkin spice and beautiful warm-hued trees — but I'm mostly looking forward to not being hot all day every day. I look at the beginning of every season as a great opportunity to get my life in check and I think you should too.
People are used to the concept of spring cleaning — but what if we took the same care in fall cleaning as we did while thawing out from winter? Though these seven tasks are on my to-do list at the beginning every season, there's something extra magical about fall, making it my favorite.
Bust out the gloves for some fall cleaning
There are only two scenarios in which I don't absolutely hate cleaning. The first is when I'm stressed — it somehow becomes an outlet. The second is at the turn of a season. It's honest to god therapeutic AF* to make a cozy playlist, light a fire (or candles) and clean out the old as the wind churns up the crunchy red leaves. It just sounds poetic, doesn't it?!
Typically, my punch list includes dusting, a deep clean of area rugs and hardwood, molding and baseboards, the inside (and outside) of kitchen cupboards, fridge, pantry and a complete dismantling, scouring and re-assembly of the bathroom. Oh, and my car — glovebox, console, door pockets, floormats, vents, etc. (Also a good time to check and re-stock any emergency supplies that you may need — and change smoke detector batteries!)
Take some time to get organized
While you're spending this time cleaning, why not take a few more minutes and actually organize your stuff too? (Side note, I have a difficult time saying the word "stuff" and not imagining being chewed out by Miranda Priestly.)
Clean out that junk drawer, the storage bins under your bed and your linen closet. Anything that you don't need or use — toss! I blame Toy Story for my hoarding tendencies — making me believe that inanimate objects have feelings and all that bullshit, but honestly, do I need to save this because I'm afraid it will be sad if I throw it out?
Give your closet some attention (and hit the mall!)
It doesn't matter if you're a fashionista or a frump, this is no easy task. There are an assortment of tricks out there to make closet organization easier, but I stick to the old school way — have I worn it? Will I? Would someone else benefit more from it? The answers are likely, no, no and yes. So ditch it. After I've widdled down my options, I neatly fold the "no" piles, place them in bags and haul them off to Goodwill. Alternatively, there may be local shelters in your area that would love the donations.
Now, that you've made all this room — it's time to fill it up again! Take inventory of items that you need (and some that you want) and set a budget that fits accordingly. Then head to the mall, your favorite thrift store or the outlets and get your shop on. Consider weekends that have additional sales (such as Labor Day) or if you know your size for a specific brand, sign up on their website for emails and you'll likely get 10-20% off your first online order.
Revamp your space with some fall decor
If I haven't mentioned it, let me just say that I LOVE FALL! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and to get me started for Halloween decor, I start swapping out the blues, greys and silvers in my house for golds, warm yellows and oranges. Pumpkins, painted acorns and pinecones make their way into the nooks and crannies of my house and porch and I can't get enough.
Throw pillows and blankets, wall art and even doormats are all on the table to be swapped out seasonally. There's nothing a few dozen trips to Target, West Elm or CB2 can't do to refresh your space for the season of spice.
Ditch your summer bedding for something a little cozier
I don't know about you, but my bed is my sanctuary. It's my slumber cave, my home office and my front row seat to my movie theater sized TV in my room — so it's obviously one of my most-prized possessions. While I don't make it every day (although it's written in a book somewhere that all successful people do) I do try to keep it somewhat presentable. It's one of those "It respects me, so I'll respect it" things.
Despite it not dropping below 58 degrees at night here in California, I still swapped out my thin quilt for my fluffy cloud of a down duvet. I happened to sleep like a babe last night — even if my fan had to be on so high it rivaled Hermine. While we'll never need flannel sheets here, consider warmer knit textures on your bed, like a throw or accent pillows. It'll help make your space look and feel a little extra cozy.
Set time aside for reflection and goal setting
Listen, I already mentioned cleaning being therapeutic — so I won't completely overload you with "I feel" statements, buuuuut... I feel that the changing of seasons is the perfect time to take a mental note of your mental and physical status. Since you last set goals, have you achieved or surpassed them? If not, what could you have done differently? Are you on the path in life that you want (or need) to be on? If so, what's the next few steps, and if not, how do you get there?
With every passing year, I believe more and more that New Year's Resolutions are a crock of shit. We place these monumental goals on our shoulders that are too big to even begin to climb — setting ourselves up for failure before the year's even begun. My advice: try to set goals four times a year. It's great to have an overall idea in mind but break down that huge goal into micro goals that are easier to work toward. For example, I wanted to lose weight this year; so rather than saying on January 1 that I'm going to lose x amount of weight by the end of the year, I broke it down — quit diet coke, then give up excess sugars, exercise three days per week, etc.
Lastly, plan a party!
Now that your life is in order it's time to celebrate! You don't have to throw a rager, but host a dinner party, game night or movie for some friends. I just started to plan out a pumpkin decorating and carving event for my friends and I'm overflowing with excitement. (We're not too old!)
Use Pinterest for inspiration on decor, food items and games. Think of it as a winter holiday party, but with fall decor. Hell, you could even do a white elephant if you wanted to! Spend some quality time with those that lift you up — ain't nobody got time for negative energy. Show off your organized life, new throw pillows and clean house, you deserve to after all that hard work!
Major throwback — I remember getting my groove on to this growing up. Happy Sunday!