5 At Home Tips For Fall
The Fall season means colorful landscapes, cooler weather, warmer clothing and more time indoors. With the extra time indoors, you begin to think of getting ready for the holidays and making your at home world comfy and cozy for a long winter’s stay.
#1) Are you noticing gnats coming in, looking for a nice place to eat, drink and be a merry annoyance? They tend to do that as the weather turns cooler or gets wetter. And they always seem to congregate in the kitchen and relax in the bathroom. Don’t we all?
TIP: Put out a shallow glass dishes of vinegar, such as a dessert dish or pie plate, in the kitchen and bathroom. Gnats are drawn to vinegar like it’s the divine nectar of choice. They will get in it, trying to drink it and will drown.
#2) Do you rush around the week or two before Thanksgiving, cleaning every nook and crannie so your home is ready for guests, holiday fun and decorating? And you just feel overwhelmed with it all, right? Been there, done that!
TIP: Start now with your deep clean to-do’s and turn them into ta-da’s. If you take one or two rooms a week from now until the week before Thanksgiving, you will have your home ship shape and will not been worn out, biting the family’s heads off and kicking the dog. Then you will only need to do normal weekly cleaning through the holidays, leaving you time to enjoy yourself instead of being cranky because the nooks are cluttered and the crannies are sprouting an alien life form.
#3) Do your non-washable drapes or comforters need freshening and lightly cleaned but you just can’t afford to take them to the dry cleaner? Or possibly, you’re like me and have had a very, VERY bad experience with taking your beautiful and expensive drapes or bedding in to be cleaned? As long as they are not stained or extremely dirty, you don’t have to.
TIP: If you haven’t been doing this monthly already, vacuum your drapes or comforter with an upholstery brush to remove loose dust from the surface. Remove them from the rods or bed, toss into your dryer on the air dry, fluff or the very lowest heat setting. Do not use a medium or high heat. Toss in a few dryer sheets or make your own freshener with a cloth very lightly dampened with white vinegar and a just few drops of essential oil of choice if desired. (I’m partial to lavender or orange). Let them toss around in the dryer for 15-30 minutes. Remove and rehang or remake the bed. Whallah! Fresh and dust free.
#4) Carpet and large rugs looking a bit icky and smelling more like summer gone bad than fall in paradise? Freshen them up quickly and on a budget.
TIP: Mix 2 cups each of baking soda and corn starch together. Add 20 – 30 drops of essential oil of choice to the mix, stirring it very well throughout the powdered mixture. Sift mixture to loosen up any clumps. Sprinkle fairly evenly on carpet/rug. Let it sit overnight if possible or for a few hours minimum. Vacuum well to remove soda mixture. Sniff! Smells good doesn’t it? And just look at your carpet!
#5) Do you struggle with inspiration for easy, inexpensive fall or holiday decorating? We all love the colors and warmness of it all but getting it to look nice on a budget can be hard. These not only look nice, they smell even nicer.
TIPS: This has several tip options in one.
(A) Pick up some fresh fruit (oranges, apples, cranberries, mini pumpkins, large in the shell nuts), cinnamon sticks and whole cloves. Arrange the fruit (ex. several oranges with cranberries, apples with nuts) and a few cinnamon sticks in a pretty glass bowl or wide glass vase for a centerpiece or to just sit on a side table. I like to cut the cinnamon stick into smaller pieces. You can do this with a saw or even break them into pieces with a hammer. Just put the sticks in a baggie and smash them a couple of time to break them up.
(B) Take a 3″ – 5# pillar candle or a small scarecrow (about 6″ tall), put in the center of a large plate, charger plate or small serving platter. Arrange fruit and cinnamon sticks around the base to add texture, visual appeal and scent to the room.
(C) Lay out a blend of these elements (fruit and cinnamon) in clusters down the center of you dining table, with tapered candles in holders here and there. Arrange clusters anywhere you want to add some fall to your home.
(D) Small finger bowls or wine glassed of whole cloves will be pretty and fragrant. Toss in some cranberries and you also have instant color.
(E) For a “didn’t cost me a dime” variation on these, use a few pine cones, acorns, hickory nuts, or other natural elements, that you can collect yourself, to your arrangement. Add to the fruits, nuts & spices or use alone for a more rustic decoration.
Don’t fret over making the arrangements perfect. Just the colors and aroma will ooze with Autumn delight.
Bonus Tip: RELAX! Don’t sweat the small stuff. Really, it is not worth the bother. Regardless of what you do or don’t do, every day should be enjoyed. That’s not going to happen if you are fretting over the details that no one will ever really notice but you. None of us can be Martha Stewart. Even Martha isn’t Martha. She doesn’t do it alone. She has an entire crew and assistants to help her make it look effortless and as if there’s no time involved. Remember that the next time you’re trying to be like Martha….or any other celebrity who gives you home functioning advice.
Happy Fall, Y’all!