Those of you that know me know that I’m on a journey to declutter and am trying to live a more simple, slow, and intentional life. I find it a bit trickier around the holidays though. My surroundings greatly impact how I feel. I really love to decorate for the seasons, especially for Fall and Christmas. Bringing out all the oranges, browns, yellows and everything harvest and pumpkin just puts me in such a cozy, happy, grateful mood.
The old, impulsive me used to browse Home Goods, JoAnne’s, TJ Maxx or Target for the cutest new Fall stuff this time of year and decide what will look cute to curate into my space. I’m not anti-decor… I LOVE Fall. And Fall decor used to be my weakness.
My most cherished holiday decor items are the homemade wooden crafts my mom made when I was a kid. These I display proudly every holiday. They bring a rustic, country charm into my space that reminds me of home.
Shifting to Simple and Sustainable
The new, more mindful me is more intentional with my purchases as well as what and how much I want to have in my home. I’ve realized how having a lot of stuff in my space clutters my mind, makes it hard to focus, heightens my anxiety, and makes me less productive. I’m also trying to watch my unnecessary spending, produce less waste, live a more low-toxin lifestyle, and reduce my carbon footprint where I can.
So this season I’m simplifying and getting a bit more creative with how to add more Fall vibes into my home. I’m considering what I already have, making more of an effort to support other local businesses, and incorporating more nature to bring more harvest into my home.
Here’s a few practices I’m incorporating as the weather turns cool and crisp and the leaves start to change.
Fall in Love With the Farmer’s Market
Every Sunday, I’m at the Farmer’s Market. It’s one of my favorite routines with my family. We grab brunch at Joi Cafe and stock up on our favorite goodies at the market. This year, instead of buying any new Fall decor and adding unnecessary clutter, I’ll be supporting local farmers and treating my space to beautiful bouquets of Fall flowers. Fresh flowers are not only a beautiful way to decorate for fall, but there are several health benefits to having fresh flowers in your home. They can improve your mood, reduce stress, increase productivity, and even help improve indoor air quality! Fresh flowers are an all around win!
Another way I plan to fill my home with fall from the Farmer’s Market is to buy all the in season veggies not only to display as decor in my kitchen, but also to cook with! Of course, you gotta get the pumpkins, but the options for all the squash this time of year are endless! So I’ll be stocking up on all the beautiful and delicious green, yellow, and orange squash varieties as both a simple and functional way to fill my space with natural Fall elements.
Ditch the Candles
Unfortunately, most scented candles are not great for us! They release volatile organic compounds (VOC) into the air which can cause respiratory issues over time as well as headaches, and other health issues. Most candles are made using synthetic fragrances containing phthalates. Long term exposure to these chemicals can negatively impact our hormones.
This fall, I’ll be filling my air with natural scents from essential oils in my diffuser and simmer pots on my stove using fall spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, cardamom, and allspice.
Swapping Starbucks for Homemade Pumpkin Spice Lattes
I actually haven’t been on the Starbucks bandwagon for a while now. I personally prefer to support local coffee shops with higher quality ingredients when I treat myself to a nice matcha or latte. But I’ve got plenty of really easy, yummy, healthier and festive fall recipes for homemade lattes to make at home! So this year, I’ll be spicing up my morning routine with more homemade pumpkin spice lattes. As a result, I’ll save more money, consume more whole food based beverages that are sweetened naturally and better for my body, and contribute less to disposable coffee cup waste.
Display Son’s Seasonal Art & Family Photos
Instead of stocking up on all the “harvest” and “pumpkin spice and everything nice” mass-manufactured wooden signs, I’ll be displaying something a bit more personal and meaningful. I’ve been keeping my son’s artwork and have framed a couple of my favorite seasonal pieces to display for the holidays. I also swap out my family photos with special memories from previous holidays together. One of my favorites is a canvas I made out of a photo we took of my son as a baby sitting naked inside a carved “BOO” pumpkin in our backyard with our old dog laying next to him and the big pumpkin. Every time I bring out this canvas to display for Halloween, I can’t help but laugh at the memories of squeezing his little chubby legs into each “O”!
I’ll be displaying fall foods in pretty glass jars on my kitchen counters. Popcorn, apple chips, pretzels, pistachios, granola, pecans, etc. all bring a tasty touch of the season without any waste.
I’ll also be bringing out my fall fedora hats to hang on hooks as well as hanging my favorite fall-colored sweater for a cozy, textured touch to my bedroom without having to splurge on another pumpkin pillow or knit throw.
You better believe I’ll be doing a TON of baking this Fall! The aroma and flavors of pumpkin muffins, maple pecan bread, and apple cinnamon baked oatmeal will surely welcome in all the Fall vibes! And of course, displaying them in a pretty platter with a glass cloche as an edible centerpiece. Check out my post “For All My Pumpkin Peeps” for some of my fav fall recipes for inspo.
Less Excess, More Experiences
Fall is the season of change, and such a great time to declutter! I’m going to get rid of items in my closet that I never ended up wearing this summer. I’ll also be purging last year’s winter clothes that I no longer love. I find that when my home is decluttered and organized, I have more energy and time to devote to fun activities with my family.
Some other activities I plan to do to nurture my quality time love language this Fall season are:
- Gardening with my son. We’re trying to grow our own pumpkins this year. They won’t be ready by Halloween, but maybe by Thanksgiving. We also planted a variety of orange, red, and yellow sunflowers. Let’s hope the squirrels don’t eat them all before they bloom!
- Go to a pumpkin patch. Good clean Fall fun!
- Harvest and Halloween-themed movie nights. Nothing brings on the Fall vibes quite like a pumpkin carving contest, Halloween baking championship or a classic such as Hocus Pocus.
3. Collect beautiful leaves on a family walk. And make a craft out of them.
4. Carve pumpkins and roast pumpkin seeds. A MUST-DO tradition every Fall.
5. Attend our elementary school’s Fall festival
6. Go apple picking and make candy apples and homemade applesauce.
7. Explore a corn maze.
8. Take a hayride.
9. Create a nature scavenger hunt with my son.
10. Go corn picking.
I hope you all take some time to slow down, simplify, and fully enjoy what matters most to you this Fall.