I love the fall for the same reason I like spring: the change. Where things come alive in the spring, everything ends in the autumn (or at least where I live, anyway) as we move towards winter. Once October hits I find we’re calmed down from back to school and that means more time to get the house in order. Here’s my list of what to declutter in October.
October decluttering is great because it gives you a jump start on the holiday season. If you get ahead now, there’ll be a lot less to tackle in the coming months where you may not have enough time. It’s also the last month where you’ll have good weather; take advantage of it to get some stuff cleared out of your home.
October Decluttering Checklist
To make things easy, I make this handy October decluttering checklist. Use it as a guide to get your started or inspire whatever decluttering you can fit into your schedule this October or fall season. Or read on for a better breakdown of each item (or category) to declutter in October.
If you haven’t put yours up yet (like me, oops) October is a great time to declutter this unique seasonal decor. As you put spooky items out go through and remove anything you don’t plan on using again. Likewise, toss anything that’s gotten broken over the years and donate items that no longer fit with your theme.
You can also declutter as you put items away, but I find this to be a lot more effective. If you’re not yet organized, a great tip is to use colour coded bins (like these orange and black ones) so you can easily identify your Halloween stuff inside your storage area.
I also like to reflect on holiday decorations when I set them up and decide what’s really worth it. There’s a few items I love, for example, but others I put out just because I happened to pick them up from the dollar store. But those things don’t really add to my happiness, and they take time to put out, so they’re not really worth keeping.
This is a great time to pare down your summer shoes. I personally don’t own a lot of pairs, but my kids do – October is the month where I pack away the sandals and get rid of anything that’s worn out or outgrown. We’re almost to winter boot season here too, so if there’s any sneakers on their way out I usually weed those down to only one or two pairs if I know they won’t fit next season.
At the same time, October is usually the month we pull out the fall and winter footwear. As you do, consider what items no longer fit in your life (or in the case of kids, no longer fit at all) and can be decluttered.
Sweaters and Hoodies
You’re probably picking up on a theme here. As the season cools off you’ll be bringing out a lot of your fall and winter items, which means October is a great time to declutter almost everything in your cool season wardrobe. One clothing category that’s especially worth looking at is sweaters and hoodies, though.
So many of us own way too many items in this category that we never wear. If you’re like me, you probably reach for the same comfy hoodie or sweater again and again, rarely, if ever, wearing other options. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should get rid of everything you don’t wear regularly if they serve a purpose; just pare down what you’ll definitely never wear.
These items also take up a lot of space in closets so they’re great for reclaiming your storage space.
As you pack everything up for winter go through your sports equipment and other outdoor toys. In our house with 5 kids this usually means throwing away broken items. You should consider selling or giving away stuff that your family has outgrown or no longer interest your kids.
I also suggest getting rid of items that won’t be useful next spring. For example, why keep a bike that will be replaced next season (and not handed down) in your garage all winter?
If your kids do winter sports these probably start in October too, so you’ll likely be going through that equipment too.
This is more about organizing, really. I love getting my photos from the year organized in October before we go into the holiday season. It makes it a lot easier to pick out great options for photo gifts and be ready to show off our memories to guests.
If you plan on ordering photo gifts, October is a great time to get them together ahead of the Christmas rush.
Remember what I said about the weather? I find cleaning out the car so much easier in nice weather. Yes, we could easily do it in the garage or a heated car wash, but there’s something nice about the fresh air. Give your vehicle a deep clean this October.
Don’t forget to clean out the glove compartment, seat pockets, and other storage areas. Oh, and if you need to, this is your reminder to make arrangements to have your winter tires put on. If you live in a cold climate you should also put in winter windshield wiper fluid too.
I don’t know about you but I don’t burn candles often in the summer. When I do, it’s often a few tropical scents. Fall and winter, on the other hand… Anyway, I have a lot of fall candles. If you’re like me, now is a great time to declutter them. Or at least put them all in one place so you can prioritize burning the almost done ones first.
Who can resist fall scents? If you have too many candles this is a great reminder not to impulse buy one at the store.
No one likes doing this during the busy holiday season so get a jump start now. This is great for a few reasons: 1. You can get rid of anything you’ll never use and 2. You can find all your serving dishes before the holidays.
Check dishes for chips and breaks at this time too.
I actually just did this myself and I couldn’t believe how much space these took up! Get rid of any linens you’ll never use or are too stained to use. We got rid of our cloth napkins because they didn’t fit with my style and we never use them. As for table linens, we got a new table and none of them fit!
If you have seasonal tablecloths consider putting them with your decorations rather than in the everyday storage to save space.
If you’re a Halloween fan you might have more than a few costumes in your closet. In true spirit of the season, declutter costumes you’ll never wear again. Don’t forget to toss any accessories that can’t be reused or that have gotten damaged in storage.
For families with kids, go through dress up clothes too. Sometimes kids outgrow these items (ours are mainly old Halloween costumes) and this is a great time to see what does and doesn’t fit. Who knows, maybe you’ll save yourself buying another costume this year too!
What to Declutter in October: Final Thoughts
October is a great month to declutter anything you’ll pulling out or putting away with the changing season. I like to use the last bit of nice weather to take on larger projects, like removing anything I’ve been meaning to toss in the garage. What you do is going to depend a lot on where you live: for some folks the weather is still warm this time of year!
Besides decluttering, October is also the month you should winterize everything outside. That means draining the hose, cleaning leaves out of the gutters, and packing up anything that needs to be stored for the winter.