Autumn is coming — get set with our new season decluttering tips

The nights are drawing in. Our camera feeds are full of glistening gold, warm orange and rich red trees. Pumpkin spice is back on the menu.

You guessed it — all signs point to autumn. There’s more than a slight, crisp chill around us — change is in the air; the new season well and truly puts us in the mindset to make a few adjustments. There are lots of things you can do, but an area of focus that seems fitting is decluttering.

There’s no occasion like the present to stow away your summer clothes and pack up the outdoor furniture so that you can start the new season with a tidy home. Decluttering your surroundings may feel like an extra chore on top of all the seasonal prep. But trust us, it’s not as bad as it sounds.

By the end, you’ll feel infinitely more organised. It’s time to grab your favourite autumn hot drink, get cosy and read on for tips and tricks that will inspire you to downsize.

Is it time for a wardrobe clear-out?

Your autumn audit may involve sorting through your shorts, sarongs and sun hats, deciding what should be in storage until the following year. Is there anything you haven’t found yourself reaching for, which you’re confident you won’t wear thirty times? If this is the case, donate, sell or recycle it. You’ll have the capsule wardrobe of dreams in no time (and even space for a new knit or two).

​​​​​​​Recycle it

If it’s damaged, why not brush up on your sewing skills so that it can have a new lease of life next summer? If it can’t be fixed, look up your nearest clothes recycling bank. Donations to textile banks are sorted, processed and eventually made into new materials.

Donate it

Most charity shops are happy to accept a range of clothing items, providing they are clean and in wearable condition. Some shops will be reluctant to accept safety equipment, such as cycling helmets and life jackets.

Resell it

The fashion conscious, the thrift seekers and the organised ones are flocking online like never before to buy and sell pre-loved items. If you want to give selling second-hand a go, try listing your items via eBay, Vinted, Depop or Facebook Marketplace. When you list your item, remember to include measurements, a detailed description, clear images and strong selling points like if the item is unworn or comes from a pet and smoke-free home. These attributes will help attract potential buyers.

Have a declutter plan

There’s not one size fits all as far as the best way to declutter is concerned. The different methods all lead to the same result: a clean and tidy home that's easier and enjoyable to live in. Some swear by the KonMari Method — a decluttering technique coined by Marie Kondo.

KonMari Method

Most tidying methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. 

The KonMari Method encourages tidying by category — not by location — a simple but effective tidying method, ensuring you will never again relapse to clutter.

Kondo suggests beginning with clothes, followed by books, paperwork, miscellaneous items and, finally, sentimental objects. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service — then let them go.

While going through her method, Kondo recommends you ask questions to determine whether to keep an item. Questions include “Does it spark joy?” and “Does this make my life easier in some aspect”. This summary only scratches the surface but hopefully offers enough insight into the method to determine if you want to KonMari your four walls.

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Life truly begins only after you have put your house in order.

Marie Kondo

​​​​​​​Room-by-room approach

If room-by-room decluttering works for you, by all means, go ahead. A way to improve efficiency as you work your rooms is to keep containers with you. You can have one for items that are going to be donated, one for items which need to be moved to a different area in your home and one for rubbish/recycling. Anything you want to keep, that is in the correct place, can remain where it is.

Seek out ways to reduce waste

As you declutter your space, you’ll naturally encounter ways you can cut down on waste. Making unnecessary purchases is a prime example. You might have a new measuring tape on your shopping list, but after decluttering your cupboards, you may discover that, in fact, you already own three!

Another suggestion is to tackle your freezer. Not a thrilling pastime but a fitting one. Why? Because autumn calls to mind filling soups and stews. You may very well have ingredients lingering in the backs of your drawers which will bring a Je ne se quoi to these hearty dishes.

Other examples include chancing upon books and gift sets (providing they haven’t passed their expiry date), which could make fantastic second-hand Christmas presents; magazines that could be transformed into bunting and decorations; and long forgotten board games that will go down a treat at your next family get-together.

This marks the end of our venture into autumn decluttering, but that doesn’t mean the life organisation tips stop here. Expect lots more from our blog. If you want further food for thought, the smarter, wiser homes section will provide you with an extra helping.

About the author

Charlotte Letch

Charlotte is a resident copywriter at Domestic & General. As well as popping up on the blog, she writes for several different channels across the business. Over the past 7 years, Charlotte has put pen to paper for insurers, jewellers and a homeware brand. Out of the office, she enjoys running, yoga and adding to her ever-growing tattoo collection.

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