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Autumn in Houston is a season unlike any other. As the scorching heat of the Texas summer gradually fades away, Houstonians embrace the mild, breezy days and slightly cooler evenings. While fall in Houston may not be defined by the brisk temperatures that signify the season in other parts of the country, it brings its own unique sense of change. It’s a time for football, food festivals, and perhaps most importantly, fall home organization.

The shift from summer to fall is more than just a change in the weather. It’s an invitation to reset and reorganize your living spaces, creating an environment that’s harmonious, functional, and ready for the lively social gatherings and cozy nights that autumn offers. Fall is the prelude to the holiday season, a period that entails an array of activities, from family dinners to hosting out-of-town guests. Given Houston’s social landscape and cultural richness, homes here are not just places to eat and sleep but platforms for an entire range of activities.

Unlike the daunting spring cleaning, fall organization is about fine-tuning; it’s the act of decluttering, rearranging, and optimizing your home to make room for new experiences and memories. Here are some of my top tips to get you started on this essential home organization project. And don’t forget, if you find you need help, the expert home organizing tem at Just Organized by Taya are only ever a phone call or email away.

Start a Fall Home Organization Checklist

Before you begin the process of decluttering, take stock of your space

Over time, we develop clutter blindness, where our eyes overlook the clutter we accumulate, making it difficult to identify. Stand on a chair, sit on the floor, or better yet, take a photo of your space to see it in a new way. Identifying your clutter in this way will point you in the right direction as to where to begin.

Keep it minimal if you have a designated junk drawer

A junk drawer is not always just junk. You have kept these things for a reason, so why not make it easy to find these important items by displaying them in a way that looks tidy. First purge, and then sort the needed items into categories. Head to just about any store (even the dollar store) and find some drawer bins and stick them in there.

Group like items together

This is the perfect time to go through your home and group things together. Think of things in groups: gift wrap, school supplies, office supplies, cleaning supplies, gift cards/coupons, and memorabilia. Collect all items in one category and then: 1) Sort, 2) Purge, 3) Organize, and 4) Contain. Grouping like items together will save you time when you are looking for something and save you money because you will know how much of that category you currently have.

Replace regular decor with seasonal items and swap them once the season is over

As you pull out your decorations to deck the halls for fall and then the big winter holidays, remove some of your everyday decor and stash it into the holiday decorations boxes you are emptying. This will create space and keep your home from looking cluttered. When you take down your seasonal decor, you can quickly and easily replace it with your everyday decor.

When decluttering sentimental items, determine what’s worth keeping and what’s worth letting go

If you’re holding on to a sentimental item that you don’t like or don’t want to display, but feel the need to hold on to because the person it belonged to has passed, sell or donate it. The person who owned the item has passed, and no matter what you believe happens to us after we are gone, that person no longer cares about worldly possessions. They will not be angry at you for getting rid of it. Let it go and make room in your own life.

Declutter and design based on the feelings and intentions you want to cultivate in your gatherings

This holiday season that’s not too far away is for many of us the first time in the year we spend time with a larger group of loved ones, so take the time to bring all of your most joyful items from dust-filled closets and place them on sparkling, clean dining tables to celebrate together.

Go through your kitchen pantry, dining room storage units, and closets and pull together items—think serving ware, candlesticks, ornaments, etc. Then decide what to keep and use for your gatherings by asking yourself: Do any of these items come from guests who will be visiting, and do they represent special memories I want to share with my loved ones around the table?

Decluttering and designing based on the feelings and intentions you want to cultivate will make your gathering extra special and provide a good marker of what isn’t special enough to keep holding onto.

Fall Home Organization Checklist for the Kitchen

Ah, the kitchen! Often dubbed the heart of the home, it’s a space where culinary magic happens, where families gather, and where friends toast to new beginnings. As the social pulse of your Houston home, the kitchen undergoes a flurry of activities, especially as fall festivities roll around. From cooking up hearty meals to experimenting with fall-inspired recipes, it’s where both sustenance and memories are made. The key to enjoying all that your kitchen has to offer this season lies in strategic organization.

The Great Pantry Revamp

If there’s one area that quickly becomes a catch-all for assorted goods, it’s the pantry. Fall is the ideal time to take inventory and declutter this essential kitchen space. Houston’s culinary scene is as diverse as its population, and your pantry might reflect this variety, stocked with spices, condiments, and staples from around the globe. But let’s face it—some of those spice jars and canned goods might be inching towards expiration or may simply not fit into your autumnal menu.

Create separate categories—spices, canned goods, baking essentials, grains, etc.—and organize items accordingly. Consider donating non-perishable items you’re unlikely to use to local food banks. As you clear space, make room for fall favorites: perhaps canned pumpkin for pie-making, or ingredients for your famous Thanksgiving stuffing.

Zone-Based Organization

Kitchens in Houston homes often offer the luxury of space. Use this to your advantage by organizing your kitchen into functional zones. Establish areas dedicated to specific tasks like food preparation, baking, or coffee-making. Place all the utensils, appliances, and ingredients needed for each task within reach of its designated zone.

For instance, keep cutting boards, knives, and bowls close to the food preparation area, while baking sheets, measuring cups, and mixers can be grouped together in the baking zone. This approach will make your cooking endeavors more streamlined and enjoyable, just in time for the fall season’s culinary escapades.

Seasonal Decor That Serves a Purpose

The changing season brings the opportunity to give your kitchen a refreshing aesthetic lift. Fall in Houston is subtle yet unmistakably present in the quality of light, the occasional breeze, and the social atmosphere. Reflect these changes in your kitchen decor. Think seasonal fruits in a stylish bowl, or fall-themed dishtowels and placemats. Invest in some quality, reusable containers in warm autumnal hues for a seasonal touch that also aids organization. These accents can serve both decorative and practical purposes, brightening up the space while also keeping things organized.

The Appliance Audit

Fall is also the time to take stock of your appliances. Before the busy holiday cooking season kicks in, ensure that all your gadgets are in tip-top shape. Clean your oven, declutter the fridge, and check the condition of your smaller appliances like the blender, mixer, and coffee machine. The last thing you want in the middle of cooking a grand Thanksgiving meal is for an essential appliance to give out.

By approaching your kitchen with a focus on utility, aesthetics, and seasonal preparedness, you set the stage for a fall season that is not just enjoyable but truly fulfilling. A well-organized kitchen can dramatically enhance your cooking experience, making each meal a celebration and every gathering a cherished memory.

Fall Home Organization Organization Checklist for the Bedroom

As we transition into the fall season in Houston, our bedrooms become not just places to rest, but sanctuaries for relaxation and rejuvenation. With the hustle and bustle of autumn activities—from school events to football games and social gatherings—a well-organized bedroom can serve as your personal retreat, your escape from the outside world. In Houston, where fall is a welcome respite from the summer heat rather than a prelude to freezing winters, a bedroom makeover can set the tone for a season of serenity, comfort, and renewed energy.

Declutter to Reclaim Space and Sanity

Begin your fall bedroom organization journey by decluttering. As Houstonians, we all know that space is one of our most luxurious commodities. The changing season offers an excellent opportunity to evaluate what truly belongs in your bedroom. Is that stack of summer reads still occupying your nightstand? Are the drawers crammed with summer clothing that won’t see the light of day until next year? Start by removing these seasonal items and anything else that does not serve an immediate purpose. Consider donating, recycling, or storing items that aren’t pertinent to your fall activities. Decluttering creates a sense of spaciousness that echoes the openness and freedom of a Houston fall.

Bringing Fall Aesthetics Indoors

After reclaiming and organizing the physical space, it’s time to concentrate on aesthetics. Houston’s fall isn’t about golden leaves or apple orchards, but it has its own distinct beauty—the kind that doesn’t necessarily require you to bundle up. Why not reflect this uniqueness in your bedroom? Introduce earth tones through cushions, bed linens, or even a new rug. Wall art featuring Texan landscapes can be an excellent focal point for the room. If you love to bring the outside in, a vase of fall-blooming Texas native plants, like asters or goldenrods, could add a fresh touch.

Optimizing for Functionality

Last but not least, think about the functionality of your bedroom space as you prepare for the upcoming months. The room should not only be inviting but also practical. Whether it’s adding a cozy reading corner with adequate lighting or setting up a small desk space for planning holiday activities or remote work, your bedroom can be more than just a place to sleep. Think of this as ‘functional coziness’—an organized room that’s well-equipped to handle your diverse needs, be it rest, work, or personal projects.

By addressing each of these elements—decluttering, wardrobe management, aesthetics, and functionality—you can transform your bedroom into a space that’s perfectly aligned with the Houston fall season. Your room becomes a testament to the changing times, an organized sanctuary where you can both seize the day and relax into the night.

Home Organization Checklist for Closets

Avoid cramming closet shelves with out-of-season accessories by adding fabric baskets neatly arranged in easily accessible areas

Label each bin with the name of the family member, and the name of the current season (such as “Fall Items”). Only store accessories such as light scarves and thin gloves that each person is currently using in the baskets during a given season. By switching out accessory baskets each season, you can prevent a cluttered closet stuffed with items that are not being used.

Consider creating a capsule wardrobe when decluttering your closet

When decluttering your closet, take everything out and only put back the things you love and know you will wear. You can create over 100 outfits with only a few key pieces, and it will free up a ton of space in your closet.

Set a timer for 30 minutes and work on a small area. You’ll be surprised at how much you can get done in 30 minutes. Also, have a donation box available, so you can take the box straight to the donation center when you finish decluttering for the day.

Curate your closet by season

Early fall is a great time to switch over our wardrobes in preparation for winter, so schedule a few hours to a half a day for a full switchover. Start by pulling all your spring/summer clothes out and editing all the ones you didn’t wear this past summer.

Next, edit all the clothes that don’t spark joy for you anymore. If you know you aren’t going to wear them again, pass them along so someone else can love them as much as you did, and toss out or fabric recycle anything that is torn or stained.

Next, pull all your fall/winter clothes to the front and go through them to ensure you still love them, and they spark joy for you currently. Anything that no longer sparks joy or is worn out can be placed in your edit pile. If you have specific clothes for work, group them together to keep them distinctly visible and separate from your other clothes.

Create an easy-to-follow system and routine

Replace your wire hangers with permanent, sturdy plastic or wood hangers. These will keep your clothes less wrinkled and make them easier to find. If you sometimes purchase clothes that you end up not wearing, consider keeping the tags on and pinning the receipt to the clothes. If you end up not wearing it for a few months, it will be easy to return it.

Divide and Conquer One Task at a Time

How do you get organized for fall ? One small task at a time! For example, you wouldn’t want to task yourself with “organize my bedroom.” in a single afternoon if you have a lot to do. Avoid getting overwhelmed by breaking this task down into smaller, more “bite-sized” projects.

Some examples can include going through a pajama drawer and donating or tossing all the pajamas you don’t wear anymore, sorting through your makeup drawer and throwing out any old mascaras or lipsticks, or going through your sock drawer and throwing away any that are threadbare.

Additionally, getting some help can be a great thing. At Just Organized by Taya, we can help you with any and all of the fall home organization tasks discussed here and many more. If you live in the Greater Houston area, we can do so in person, working alongside you or even working our organizational magic when you are busy with work or school.

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