Don’t be fooled by all the attention paid to “spring cleaning,” says interior decorator and professional organizer Kathryn Bechen.
The transition from summer to fall can be an even better time to get your home organized and in shape, since many of us shift our focus indoors.
The approach of fall is an opportunity, Bechen says, to infuse your space with enough colour and warmth to carry you through the winter ahead.
CLEAN AND CLEAR
Late summer and early fall are the ideal times to go through your wardrobe and kitchen cabinets selecting things for donation, says Donna Smallin, an organizing and cleaning guru whose most recent book is A to Z Storage Solutions (Storey, 2008). If you wait any longer, she says, the holidays will arrive and you won’t get the donation done.
Be tough, she says: Warm-weather items that you didn’t use this past spring and summer really should go.
Interior designer Mallory Mathison advises putting away the plastic and acrylic kitchen items you relied on all summer. Bringing out heavier pottery pieces and baskets will change the look of your kitchen, especially if you use them to display fall vegetables and fruits.
Sort through the remaining clutter that’s accumulated all summer and get things put away. Then, Smallin says, clean everything that normally gets ignored: from light switches and light fixtures to doorframes and kitchen cabinets.
Rugs and floors should be cleaned if you’ve had a lot of indoor/outdoor traffic during the summer. Also be sure to clean summer bedding and linens before packing them away, Bechen says. She advises storing summer items in large plastic storage bins. If you choose opaque ones, rather than clear, label them to identify the contents.
There are many creative ways to bring in the warm, deep colours and cosy textures of fall, Mathison says. Some are obvious: bed and bath linens, accent pillows, place mats, cloth napkins. But there are plenty of other opportunities for injecting fall colours.
“People think of slipcovers for summer, but you can slipcover a chair with chocolate-brown velvet,” Mathison says, and bring a cosy fall look into the room.