Declutter & Organize; Decluttering In The New Season!

I was curious if I was alone in loving Autumn and the feeling of being so very ready to get summer behind me and get some cool stuff done. Come to find I have plenty of company and we love the new season!  I actually love all the changing seasons New England has to offer. 

This got me thinking about all the neat possibilities of things to come; all the different things so many of us will start and achieve this season. I will now attempt to prove the case for decluttering in the fall season!

I began to think back to our early settlers and their ways of hunting and gathering before the harsh winters set in. National Geographic has an interesting article about this. 

Anthropologists have unearthed evidence for the practice of hunter-gatherer culture by modern humans (Homo sapiens) and their distant ancestors dating as far back as two million years. That is a long time!

The feeling of a fresh start and renewed motivation that often comes with the onset of fall is a common experience for many people. I have listed several reasons why this season tends to inspire a sense of action and productivity.

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Natural Rhythms

Fall is a season of change, marked by the transition from the warmth of summer to the cooler temperatures of autumn. This shift in the natural environment can symbolize a time of personal change and growth for individuals.

Changes in climate 

When referring to the “shift in the natural environment” in the context of fall, it often includes changes in climate as one of the key factors. Fall is characterized by a transition from the warmer, sunnier days and long hours of summer to cooler temperatures, shorter daylight hours, and often more variable weather conditions. 

This shift in climate is a significant part of what makes fall distinct from other seasons and contributes to the feeling of change and renewal that many people associate with the season.

Distinctive Season

The changing climate in the fall includes cooler temperatures, the onset of more frequent rainfall, the gradual decrease in daylight hours, and the transition of trees and plants from vibrant greens to the rich and colorful foliage often associated with the season. 

These climate-related changes can have a noticeable impact on the natural environment and are part of what makes fall a visually and emotionally distinctive time of year for many people.

Back-to-School Mentality

For students and parents, fall marks the beginning of a new school year. This return to structure and routine can inspire a sense of renewal and a desire to set new goals.

Harvest Season

Historically, fall has been associated with the harvest season when crops are gathered and stored for the winter. This connection to productivity and preparation for the future can influence our mindset.

Visual Changes

The changing colors of fall foliage and the crispness in the air can create a visually stimulating environment that encourages reflection and action. Let’s not forget to add creativity. I am experiencing a burst of creativity and a strong desire to get started!

Psychological Association

Over time, individuals may have developed a psychological association between fall and the need to prepare for the upcoming winter, which can include taking action and planning.

Cultural Influence

In various cultures, fall is often associated with festivals, holidays, and celebrations that bring people together and inspire a sense of community and productivity.

Personal Reflection

Fall can encourage personal reflection as the year enters its final quarter. People may feel motivated to assess their goals and make the most of the time left in the year.

It’s also possible that early settlers and ancient societies experienced similar feelings of increased productivity in the fall as they prepared for the challenges of winter, including gathering food and ensuring their survival.

Where to Start the Decluttering Process?

Your home is your living space and only you know the most effective place to start your decluttering journey.

If you have little ones this may be a perfect time of year to declutter their rooms while they are away at school for part of the day. Alternately maybe you want to use decluttering as a teaching moment with the little ones.


That said people tend to start decluttering in the kitchen, I suppose, because the kitchen is generally the hub of the home.

assorted random plastic food storage containers

Sort through your cookware. Are you still using it all? For an easy win look in the cabinets and get rid of the chipped mugs etc. This is always low hanging fruit and a great place to start. If you are matchy matchy in preference get rid of all the random things that have made their way into your cupboards over the summer. 

Another easy win is to go through the assorted food storage containers you have stashed. Get rid of the pieces that are missing lids or bottoms. They are of no value.

What a perfect time to take a look through your spices. Many cold weather favorite dishes require different seasonings than we’ve used during the hot summer months.

I have a cool pullout spice rack in a little otherwise not real user friendly space next to the range in my very small kitchen. This is the best part of my kitchen renovation I did during Covid pandemic!

An effective way to keep your kitchen maintained after you have decluttered is to have organizational systems in place.


Your clothes are probably where you will do your most decluttering. 


I am not a fashionista. What matters to me about clothes is that they are of decent quality and keep me warm in winter and cool in summer. Shopping is one of my least favorite things to do. This is why one day about 150 years or so ago I decided to dress in only jeans, jeans shorts and black tops.

My closet

I do not have an overabundance of clothing, on the contrary. As a result my closet organizer system is always in order with plenty of room to spare. For me winter clothes and summer clothes all fit in one closet. This adds another layer of simplicity to my day.

Full disclosure I do keep my winter coats and boots in a different closet. Above all, I realize this would not work for everyone. 


If you keep only the seasonal items of clothing in your closet and store the out-of-season clothes try this. Sort through the items either before you store for the season or before you change over your wardrobe.

Sort through each item of clothing first. Ask yourself if you will wear this piece again. If you decide to keep the piece of clothing assign it a space. Honesty helps here. Will you ever lose the few pounds you need to fit into the specific piece?

Will you ever really like or wear the outfit your dear family member bought you? If you have not worn this yet you likely will not? I know about fear of hurting feelings. I also know closet space for most folks is never enough.

This happened to me recently. I could not imagine what this friend was thinking when she selected this thoughtful gift for me. It was such a nice and generous gesture! Another friend of mine advised me to wear this gift once and then discard. I will never disclose whether or not I did this.

Donate or sell

Your tastes in clothing may change over time and you may no longer even really like certain pieces that you loved when you bought. If you haven’t worn a thing in a year consider donating or selling the piece of clothing.

Unless it is a special occasion outfit if you have not worn recently you probably won’t wear it again. The local charity shops and donation centers will be very grateful. By decluttering you will get rid of unwanted, duplicate items and free up valuable closet space.

Some people resist discarding things they spent a lot of money on. Selling has never been easier with so many online platforms like Facebook Marketplace and Poshmark. In some instances you can even make back much if not more of your expenditure. This is definitely true when particular things are trending.

I’ve been looking for a particular jacket for a while. I found what I wanted in the color I wanted, the size was wrong. The point is the cost was higher than the brand names store catalog price showing a less popular color. 

DeclutterBuzz Free Resource Guide will show you how easy it is to donate most of your gently used items that still have a lot of life left in them. In many instances there are free pick up options, all you have to do is schedule pick up. This includes big heavy things I could never manage alone.

Organizational systems

I can’t stress enough the importance of a well organized closet space. Simplicity and ease are the rewards for a well organized closet. Separating items in a manner that works for you will prove to be a time saver. How frustrating when time is short and you can’t find what you are looking for. Frustrating and stressful too!

​Living Room

The living room or media room, the room where you all gather may need a quick declutter. Get rid of out of date reading material, if folks even have hard copy literature these days. Is there a pile of games and toys that have seen their better days? Are there things in this area that just are no longer used, important or beautiful to you?

Clutter blindness

It really is a good idea to pick up each item one thing at a time. The reason for this is many people suffer clutter blindness. Actually there is very little suffering involved due to the nature of blindness. Some things have been present in your space for so long you don’t even see them at this point. This is clutter blindness.

I am talking in particular about the dusty dried flower arrangements I notice in many homes I visit. Hey! If you love these flowers I am sure you admire them often and they are sparkling clean and free of dust; keep them. If you happen to experience clutter blindness though and forgot they are there you may want to discard.

I don’t have a huge house so it is manageable for me to do a thorough cleaning for the upcoming season and get rid of anything no longer serving me.


A lot of folks change their home decor accordingly when the seasons change. This may be a good time to do a thorough declutter in the bathroom while you may be swapping out curtains etc. 

Going through your makeup and personal items when the seasons change on a regular basis may be a good habit to get into because supplies like mascara really should be discarded every 3 months for safety sake. I have gotten eye infections before and this is not a fun thing


You are just ending a fun and active summer and all the summer toys are strewn about in the garage. Fall is a great time to gather up all the summer stuff and store until next summer. Winter is coming and gaining easier access to your vehicle will be welcome!  Here are some more decluttering garage tips.

My most practical tip for working in any room is to start with 3 heavy duty black contractors trash bags. Label each bag into categories – trash, donate and sell.

3 black trash bags marked in red in the 3 separate categores

As you pick up each item assign it a bag unless you decide to keep the object. Put the items you choose to keep in their proper places. If you have no systems in place you will have a tougher time maintaining you new clutter free environment, so get some organizational systems in place pronto.

Some folks are fans of using storage facilities. I am not one of these fans. I know from experience of helping others declutter and organize, unless a temporary move is involved, the goods in the remote storage location seldom make it back into your home. 

Often the same thing pertains to storage containers, especially the opaque tote boxes that you can’t glimpse a view of the contents. With the exception of well marked boxes of seasonal clothing and seasonal decorations like holiday stuff, once the items are put into storage boxes they are out of sight and out of mind. You will likely not think of these things again.

Office Space

If you work from home as many of us are fortunate to do fall might be a good time to finally get rid of those stacks of papers. How about organizing your computer and all your electronic devices so you can save time in the future.

Be sure and back up your computers before decluttering your electronics.

Indeed, fall is a season filled with unique and captivating changes in the natural environment. I have a list of practical and creative ideas to get started with now that the lazier days of summer are leaving for a while. Some of these things on the list are chores and some are pure fun! I know in the near future I will enjoy a grand sense of accomplishment.

You can too if you open yourself up to all the opportunities Autumn presents. One of the great pieces of advice I ever received is to be open to everything. Open mindedness is the gift that keeps on giving!

For more decluttering tips check out my website Declutter Buzz!

pic of author

Marj Bates is a life long ridiculously organized declutter-er and artist. Less is more are words Marj lives by in everything she does except collecting dogs. “Dogs are like potato chips! Can’t have just one.” says Marj. Marj wonders if growing up with a fanatically clean Jewish mom means her decluttering and organizational skills are in her blood.

For more Declutter Buzz & Freebies check out our safe and private Decluttering community on our Facebook page. We are a safe and private space of like minded folks tackling this all encompassing clutter thing once and for all. No shame allowed! We will have a few laughs too!

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