Autumn is an excellent time to hit the reset button and get back into a routine before the hectic holiday season. That can, and should, include clearing clutter from your home so that you can coast into the new year without extra stuff weighing you down.
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Here are five areas that will benefit from a good decluttering session as you head into fall. If you decide to take this on over the next couple of weekends, you’ll be ready to truly enjoy the coziness to come.
Unworn summer clothes and shoes
This may seem like an obvious category, but it’s worth emphasizing. Any articles of clothing or pairs of shoes that did not see the light of day in the last season (or two), should be considered for donation. Unless it’s meant for a special occasion, or happens to be a classic piece that you’ll inevitably wear from time to time, an item you haven’t touched for a while means that it’s no longer your style. The same attention should be paid to broken flip-flops and sandals, worn-out bathing suits, and T-shirts that are beyond saving.
Pool towels and beach sheets
Take the opportunity to reorganize your linen closet, mudroom, or wherever you stow away the family towels and sheets — chances are you most likely have too many to begin with! Inspect each for rips, stains, and overall rattiness and make peace with parting with them. Sure, you can cut them up and use them for additional cleaning rags, but they’ll still take up space in your home. Instead, make a bag to drop off at your local animal shelter, as they are always in need of linens.
If you live in a particularly hot and humid climate, then you likely wear less, or at least lighter, products on your face. Go through your vanity drawers, medicine cabinet, and makeup bag and take stock of your warm weather items, such as lightweight moisturizers and waterproof mascaras. Focus on using what’s left or make sure it’ll extend into next year, if you really love it. Toss anything that has expired, including summer staples like sunscreen, insect repellent, and aloe.
Holiday decor and serveware
Pull out and sort through your fall to winter decorations, letting go of anything that broke in storage or you no longer love. Donation centers will gladly take anything in decent condition, particularly this time of year, so box up and drop off items or schedule a pickup. While you’re at it, take a look at your serveware, such as the turkey platter and snowman wine glass set, to assess if you’ll truly use them this year. Decluttering now will mean less work later!
Craft supplies and sports equipment
Whether you took up a hobby or the kids went to town on activities during those rainy summer vacation days, now is the time to weed out the half-used or no-longer-needed craft supplies. Drop off supplies in decent condition to a local school art program or a homeless shelter. Take photos of kids’ artwork (or use a service such as Artkive) to preserve the memory before letting go for good.
Don’t forget to sort through the summer sports gear and outdoor toys, too, as some surely went through the wringer over the past few months. Check balls and floats for tears, and toss what’s no longer usable. If anything holds mold or mildew from water sitting in it for an extended time — and cannot be safely cleaned — get rid of it. Anything your child has aged out of or is no longer playing with can be donated to a local charity. When you’re finished, your future fall self will thank you!