As the weather is turning and the big ‘C’ word approaches, we will naturally find ourselves spending more time at home. Autumn is a great time to declutter and organise in preparation for Christmas to prevent unnecessary purchases and to create a wonderful festive home. When we think of spring we think of spring cleaning to recover from Christmas when actually, we should re-organise the home before so that spring cleaning isn’t such a mammoth task. The Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers (APDO- for which I am a member) have marked National Organising Week from 4th – 10th November. I think this is a great idea, so let’s get see where to start, but of course you can begin earlier.
I think a great place to start is with clothes. You may have already started this as summer is behind us, but go through all your clothing passing on anything that no longer fits or is broken, or that you don’t envisage yourself wearing next year. A separate blog post on your Autumn wardrobe is coming next week. We often find clothing the easiest thing to part with in the house because we don’t hold too much sentimental value to it.
As we’ve started going through the wardrobe we can continue the rest of the bedroom. It’s a great time to have a good clean behind and under furniture as its spider nesting season! Another good thing to do is to make sure you flip and vacuum your mattress. You could also wash throws, cushions and change to your winter duvet if this is something you do. As you may be entertaining for Christmas, this is ideal to do now so you’re not panic buying additional bedding.
The bathroom is not usually a difficult one. Just go through the medicine cabinet checking dates, returning prescriptions that are unused. Often people buy us shower and bath smellies so it is a good time to pass on the ones you haven’t used from last Christmas. You could think about chatting to people and saying you don’t need these items again this year (more on that in another post soon). Give the bathroom a really good scrub focusing on grout, re-sealing is necessary and looking at dampness prevention if this is something your home suffers during colder months.
This is one of the most important ones if your children are expecting Santa Claus. It is a great way to take note of what they have and might need replacing with gifts. It is a lovely way to teach children about giving too at Christmas. Empower them by allowing them to choose a charity shop for their unwanted toys. Start with their clothes to get them into the decision making process and then move to toys. A great thing to do is the shoebox appeal for items that may not have been used or are in a fantastic condition. Try to make it an exciting event rather than a chore and children will get on board.
This one goes without saying but clean the oven, fridge and freezer. Pull out any appliances and clean behind them. Then you can tackle the cupboards. Depending on the item and how you feel about it, discard anything you haven’t used in the last year and are not planning to use over Christmas. Then there’s food. Check all items for dates and if it something you have not used or not going to use, consider giving it to a food bank. Again you can involve children during this time. You may also want to seal or re-varnish solid surface and wood worktops.
You can vacuum behind furniture and under sofa cushions – you may find some money. Polish wood furniture and flooring. You may need to seal over any wood furniture or flooring with the temperature change in the home as heating starts. You may need to get the chimney swept also if you are lucky enough to have a real fire. You could also condition any leather furniture. Wash any cushions and throws. It is a good time to give any house plants a bit of attention too and wash artificial plants.
Give the windows, doors, skirting boards a good clean and consider getting a window cleaner. Give the switches and plug sockets a wipe over and spot clean any carpets or rugs. Consider cleaning the rain gutters outside. Last but not least, check your loft for Christmas decorations, greetings cards and crackers which you may have left over from last year.
Have a great week.
Reclaiming Interiors was founded by Lauren Paige Smith, a Professional Organiser and Interior Stylist. She is member of APDO and qualified with a Master’s degree in Interior design. Also a qualified yoga teacher, Lauren is passionate about wellbeing and slow, intentional living in a home that brings happiness and calm. She is on a mission to help people to restore the love for their home.