WHY AUTUMN IS A GOOD TIME TO DECLUTTER
Decluttering has many benefits but it’s especially helpful when we reach a busy season. In this article I share some great reasons why Autumn is a good time to declutter and how this can positively impact our homes, schedule, self and life in general.
SLOW SUMMER TO STRESSED OUT AUTUMN
My kids love the long summer break and I do too. It’s a time for enjoying the warm weather, a more flexible routine and giving our bodies and brains respite from the busy term-time schedule. I still have work to do but my daughters are able to look after themselves for longer now that they’re older so the juggle between work and childcare is less fraught and precarious!
Summer is a time when I can practice the art of slow living, encourage my family to embrace a slower lifestyle and just enjoy not having to do the school run and commute to work with the rest of the world – just for a few weeks anyway!
School and work means it’s helpful for me to get organised and clutter-free so I’m not constantly feeling overwhelmed or like I’m chasing my tail.
Whilst I have many tips on organising your home and life on the blog, today I wanted to share with you some reasons why Autumn is a good time to declutter!
THE BENEFITS OF DECLUTTERING
Clutter causes stress, anxiety, lack of focus and increased distraction. This isn’t probably what you need when you hit a busy season of life. I know for myself that I’d prefer my home to be a calm and peaceful sanctuary, a restful space for my overstimulated HSP body and brain and somewhere that I can enjoy coming back to, cosy and relaxing at the end of the day.
Our homes often also have to be the hub of busy family life, the chaos and noise of kids and keeper of all the stuff that our busy lives bring with them – from school bags and handbags to trash bags!
A decluttered home is easier to maintain and often functions better for family life.
Decluttering isn’t necessarily easy though and there are many reasons why we find decluttering hard. It can make us anxious, worried about regretting getting rid of something, sad that we’re holding onto something that we can no longer use or get enjoyment from, or that reminds us of a place, event or person from our past.
However, with a decluttering mindset, a clear vision of why we want to declutter (our decluttering goals) and an action plan, it IS possible to declutter your home, as slowly or as fast as you choose.
If you’re not sure how to declutter then perhaps a good place to start is deciding why you want to declutter. Finding your ‘why’ is just as important, if not more so, than finding your ‘how.’
So, here are some ideas on why decluttering might be good for you this Autumn.
WHY AUTUMN IS A GOOD TIME TO DECLUTTER
Here are some reasons why I think Autumn is a good time to declutter.
1. A home that’s easier to manage
Autumn is a busy season in our house. I don’t have time to spend ages looking after my home and what’s in it. I want to be able to zip around doing whatever chores and maintenance I feel needs to be done in whatever pockets of time I have available. Decluttering my home in Autumn is a great way to make my home easier to manage. Here are 20 easy ways to declutter your home.
2. A home where things are more easily accessible
Less clutter in my home means that my cleaning supplies are easier to find and easier to store. I can easily see what I need and what I need to re-stock. There’s no more hunting around for toilet cleaner or antibacterial spray to waste my time and energy. If you struggle with lack of energy or ADHD for example, having things you need easily accessible for when you want to use them helps to remove the barriers and makes it more likely you’ll clean. Here are 5 ways to make housework easier and quicker.
3. A home that others can help to keep clean and tidy
As there’s less clutter and it’s easier to find my cleaning stuff, then my family can also pitch in and lend a hand. No more excuses that they can’t find the detergent or the washing up liquid! Try these tips on how to encourage your kids to help with chores.
4. More time for other things
When I have less to do around the house then I have more free time for what matters. When I spend less time cleaning I have more time for other things such as spending more quality time with my kids, dealing with the demands of work and enjoying our precious free time. Here are some tips on how to spend less time cleaning.
5. Easier to establish habits and routines
The term between September and Christmas is always long and busy and it feels like there’s very little time after we get back home each afternoon to fit in homework, dinner, baths and showers, and unwinding for bedtime. It’s all a bit of a rush so making the daily tasks of cooking and cleaning as easy as possible saves us time and energy. Here are some daily habits which can help make your everyday a little bit less overwhelming.
6. Easier for kids to contribute to cleaning and tidying
It’s easier for my kids to keep their bedrooms tidier when they have less clutter and stuff in them. Especially useful when we leave for school early and mornings are rushed. Even more useful when the kids come home from school tired and needing to relax (or get homework done). Tidying their rooms is not what they want to be doing! Here are some ideas on how to help your teenager declutter and tidy their room.
7. Makes preparing and cooking food easier and less stressful
A clutter-free home also helps me in the kitchen. It makes deciding what to cook for meals, preparing them and tidying up afterwards much quicker and easier. I try to make healthy but simple meals for our midweek dinners. Anything that takes more than about 30 minutes is too long and complicated for me during the week. I save these until the weekend. But, clutter-free kitchen counters, store cupboards, fridge and freezer make it much easier to see what I’ve got to cook with.
8. Reduces waste and encourages healthy eating
Keeping my food stuff clutter-free also helps too. We don’t really have food in the house that we don’t like or don’t use regularly going to waste as I only tend to buy what I know we’ll eat. It makes wasting food (and money) much less likely. Here are some tips on healthy eating made easy.
9. Makes leaving the house on time easier
Autumn is when we have more PE kits to remember, muddy boots and coats to pull on and other sports and school equipment coming into and out of our home. It’s a good season to really get a handle on the entrance way and keeping your porch, front door and entrance way decluttered. Give everything a home, neatly stored and organised and make sure your family knows where everything goes so they can easily grab it in the morning and put it back in the evening. Here are some other high impact decluttering strategies you might find helpful.
10. Makes organising more effective
Organising is so much easier after you’ve decluttered. Organising before you declutter really just means that you’re organising clutter. You might be tempted to buy more storage solutions which wastes money. You might worry about lack of space, or how to get your family to use the storage you’ve so thoughtfully created. Read more about how to declutter first then organise and how this could save you time, money and frustration!
11. Makes filing and storing paperwork easier
School is busy during Autumn. School trips, parent evenings, plays and concerts, awards ceremonies, Christmas and after-school activities usually involve permission forms and extra paperwork, not to mention homework for your kids and the usual household post! Here are some tips on how to declutter paperwork and create some easy sorting, filing and storage systems.
12. Helps with digital filing and storage
It’s not just paper clutter that builds up in Autumn, digital clutter in the form of emails, documents, photos etc can also mount up! Here are some tips on how to do a digital declutter.
13. Helps keep track of finances
Autumn can be an expensive time. Perhaps you’re saving up for Christmas, struggling with food or heating bills, planning to take advantage of all the deals and discounts in the lead up to Christmas and the New Year, or just having to purchase a whole load of school uniform for your kids. It’s helpful to declutter and simplify your finances and keep track of your income, outgoings and monthly budget. Try these tips on how to simplify your finances.
14. Makes finding time and space for exercise easier
I don’t know about you, but when I’m busy I tend not to exercise so much. I love Pilates and yoga but they seem to take second place to everything else I have to do in life. However, with a decluttered home it’s so much easier to have space to exercise and if I have space without needing to waste time moving things out of the way, then I’m much more likely to exercise. It’s about removing as many barriers to exercise as possible so I come up with less excuses to put it off!
15. Makes working and studying from home easier
A cluttered desk makes for a cluttered mind. A more minimalist workspace is better for our productivity and efficiency so a clutter-free home is better for working and studying in. You might also find you have more space (with less clutter to store) so you could create a special, designated room or area of a room for your work or study. Read more tips on how to organise your office if you work from home.
16. Helps assess shopping habits
Whilst on the topic of finances, you could also think about decluttering your shopping habits. Do you shop because you’re bored, because it makes you feel better, out of habit? Decluttering isn’t just about getting rid of physical stuff, it’s about getting rid of other things in your life that don’t support you in a positive way. Here are some tips to help you avoid impulse buys and shop more mindfully.
17. Helps us develop strong relationships
Autumn is a good time of year to think about your relationships. We all feel happier when we have strong healthy connections with family and friends. Take time to identify and work on your most important relationships and declutter those relationships that drain your energy and make you feel less than good about yourself. The extra time and energy you’ve created from a clutter-free home can be invested in enjoying and spending time with people you like and love.
18. Decluttering as self-care
Aside from our relationships, what other forms of self-care are important to you this time of year? Clutter isn’t just the things we can see or trip over, clutter appears in all shapes and forms and when life is busy (which Autumn can certainly be) it’s a great time to work out what effective, realistic self-care looks like for you. A decluttered home can give us time, space and freedom to spend time on ourselves. After all, decluttering is a form of self-care. Here are some Autumn self-care ideas you might like to try.
19. Helps create a less cluttered and busy schedule
Your schedule can be cluttered just like your home so this season is a good time to review your calendar and find ways to slow down and create some free time. Autumn is a busy season but our bodies react to feeling overwhelmed so it’s helpful to plan your week and give yourself plenty of wiggle room. Don’t be afraid to say no, postpone an appointment, or prioritise rest (especially) when you need it. Read more tips on how to be less busy.
20. Helps us enjoy a simplified closet that suits our lifestyle
The start of a new season often marks a change in weather and temperatures so it might be a good time to do a seasonal clothes declutter. This can help make getting dressed quicker and easier in the mornings because the clothes you reach for in your wardrobe are pieces that you know will fit and help you feel great for the day ahead. Read more about how to do a seasonal clothes declutter or these ideas on how to get your wardrobe ready for Autumn.
21. Helps us reset our life
New Year is a popular time to look at goals and targets for the year ahead, but I also think Autumn is a great season to be doing this too. I tend to treat back to school as the start of a fresh new year, perhaps because it’s the beginning of the academic year too! Why not take some time to declutter your life? Press reset on a busy life, or a life that you feel isn’t going in the direction you want it to. Try these tips to reset your life.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
Autumn is a good time to declutter your home to free up your time, space and energy for other things in a traditionally busy time of the year.
As the saying goes, “Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.” (Unknown)
I hope you enjoyed this article and find it useful in your own home and life. I’ve tried to list a variety of ways in which I feel decluttering our stuff in Autumn, through September, October and November, can help in different ways. As you’ve read, decluttering has many benefits, aside from just having less stuff to manage.
Have you decluttered your own home? How did you find it? Was it easy and did your family help or was it a struggle that you’re taking on alone? I’d love to hear from you if you’d like to leave a comment below!
MORE DECLUTTERING RESOURCES
Decluttering isn’t always easy and we can get stuck for a variety of reasons. Here are some resources and articles to help you overcome some of the most common obstacles to a clutter-free home!
- The Psychology Behind Decluttering: Why Does It Make You Feel Good? – This article describes the impact that clutter has on our body and brain. We explore more about the psychology behind decluttering and why clearing clutter make us feel good!
- Decluttering and Self-Acceptance and How They Benefit Each Other – Decluttering is about getting rid of stuff but it’s also about understanding the emotions behind why we hold onto that stuff in the first place. In this article I’m sharing some thoughts on the relationship between decluttering and self-acceptance.
- Decluttering Questions: Questions to Help You Declutter More Effectively – In this article I’m sharing some decluttering questions to ask yourself to help you decide whether or not to declutter an item. Practice decluttering and gain confidence to declutter more effectively.
- How to Find the Motivation to Declutter Your Home – Decluttering can be tough for many of us. To help you declutter your home with less stress and more ease, here are some tips on how to find the motivation to declutter your home.
- Minimalism and Hygge: How to Make Your Home Cosy Without Adding Clutter – Here are some ideas on minimalism and Hygge and how to embrace both whilst enjoying a simpler lifestyle. I’m sharing some tips on how to make your home cosy without adding clutter so you can enjoy feeling warm and safe at home and still stay clutter-free!
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I’m Antonia and on this blog I share practical inspiration to simplify your home, time and life. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest! You can also subscribe to Balance Through Simplicity and receive regular simplicity tips straight to your inbox for free. Make sure you never miss an article plus you’ll get a copy of my free Declutter Starter Kit as a welcome gift!