There is something about the fall that lends itself to starting fresh. Kids are headed back to school, parents are finding their way back into a routine, and the anticipation of the busy holiday season feels ever-present. As someone who is – I’ll admit – a bit obsessed with staying organized, the fall provides an important opportunity to tidy and prepare for the months ahead. One of the mantras I live by, is “outer order, inner calm”. By ensuring these five high-impact spots are tidy for fall, you’ll be ready to lean into all the season has to offer. And I can guarantee – once you have these five spots tidy you’ll want to keep going and get your full home in order for the season ahead.
If you’re anything like me, by the end of summer, your car is filled with sandals, towels, water bottles, and far too many rocks and seashells collected on trips with the kids. Most of us are in the car every single day, and having it organized can truly change your mindset.
- Clear everything out and put it in one spot (even items in your glove box – it’s a good time to actually learn what your registration looks like and ensure it’s accessible). I usually throw everything into a bag and bring it to my kitchen table. Sort by pile – items that need to go back in the car, things that have a different home, and things that need to be tossed/recycled.
- Next, take any car seats/boosters out of the car and give them a good scrub down.
- While the seats are out, grab a vacuum or go to a car wash, and vacuum everything. Take out all the rugs, move the seats forwards and backwards, and get all the nooks and crannies.
- Finally, grab some cleaning materials and give everything a good dusting. Now, re-install the car seats, put back the items that do belong in the car, and ENJOY.
- Bonus: Tidy your garage! At a minimum, giving it a good sweep can make you feel better. If it’s full of stuff, tackle one corner at a time until it’s cleared out and organized.
It’s a good idea to give your kitchen a good tidying every season – clearing out items that have expired or you will never actually eat. The fridge is a high-impact tidying project since it is so easy to avoid. Yet, once it’s done, you will feel oh-so-accomplished.
- Start with the refrigerator – you’ll need to move fast on this one. Clear everything out and wipe all surfaces clean. Remove the shelves and give them a good scrub. Next, sort items by category, so when you are putting them back in, everything can have a home next to like items. Check expiration dates and dispose of anything that is past its prime. Once you’ve edited everything, put what remains back into the fridge.
- Next, the freezer. First, grab a piece of paper. As you sort through items, write down what is in the freezer. This is a spot that is not used as often, so having a handy list to ensure you know what you have frozen is super helpful. Again, look for expiration dates and items you no longer want, and sort/toss accordingly. Put everything back in.
- Bonus: The pantry! Go through a similar process of taking everything out, sorting by type, tossing/gifting as desired, and re-setting the space.
The Medicine Cabinet
As we head into the fall, we enter the season of illnesses. It offers a great moment to organize your medicine cabinet, so you don’t need to dash to Target at 9PM for medicine.
- I highlighted a medicine cabinet organization project in my recent article on decluttering. Start there!
- Once you’ve taken out everything and put the like items together note what you’re missing, and place an order immediately. Be sure to have at least 2 of each type of item you use frequently. Later, when you open a new bottle, you can replace it – ensuring that you always have an extra on hand for when you need it.
- Bonus: Tidy under the bathroom sink(s). Whatever is under there, now is a great time to edit and organize it and make sure you have any supplies you need for the months to come.
The Clothing Closet
As summer winds down, it’s a great time to clear out your own clothes. As you put away seasonal attire and bring out your next season’s clothes, be sure to organize as you go.
- Go through every item of clothing, and without thinking too much – start a pile of items to donate. My general rule? If I haven’t worn it in the past year, I’m probably not going to wear it. After you’ve sorted, make sure to donate ASAP so you don’t change your mind.
- Bonus: Go through the kid’s clothing, too!
The Most Frustrating Spot
Above all, the most important spots to tidy are the places that bother you the most. It might be a junk drawer, your bedside table, a file cabinet, or something else. Getting through the most frustrating spots to tidy up can lead to countless benefits in terms of motivation to keep the organization going. Use the above tips and get started!