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Why Make Time to Decorate?
On your busy mommy to-do list, I am pretty sure that decorating for the season may fall right at the very bottom. I mean you can easily get by without pumpkins on your mantel or a wreath on your door, but no clean underwear or food in the fridge? That’s a different story! There are always going to be things on your list that need to be done, but after you cross out the must-dos, I encourage you to carve out a time to bring the season into your home. Why?
1. It can boost your mood. Changing things up in your living space and adding warm fall colors through seasonal accents, can create a cozy, inviting atmosphere on those chilly, gray days.
2. It can be a lot of fun for your kids. While you decorate the main living space, allow them to decorate their rooms. My boys get so excited to bring up the fall boxes each year. I get excited for my pretty pumpkin decorations while they look forward to finding the “Spooky Halloween stuff” for their room.
3. It builds family traditions. Our whole family loves rediscovering special seasonal decor from past years. We like looking at things the boys have made in past years and sharing stories of where we got certain pieces. One of our favorite decorations is a Halloween item made by my boys’ great grandmother. They love finding it in the box each year and always ask me to retell how we received it.
Don’t know where to start? Here are some simple fall decorating ideas for busy moms that will hopefully inspire you to incorporate the season into your home. At the end of this post, I have also included how to decorate in 10 minute intervals if you are short on time.
Before you decorate
It is so tempting to put out your fall decor right away, but those mantels, tables and mirrors may not have been dusted since the beginning of the last season. Take 10 minutes to clean and dust all tables, mantels, and areas that will display fall decorations. Then take stock of what decorations you already have.
Less is more
It is so easy to go overboard with decorations, especially when every store you enter greets you with an abundance of fall temptations. It’s hard to resist adorable pumpkin décor, but make sure to take stock of what you have at home first. Holiday and seasonal decorations can go from elegant to cluttered very fast. Picking a few eye catching places to decorate with one or two seasonal touches will make a big impact. Less is more, which is a good thing for a busy mom! Just adding a few pumpkins, gourds or garland can make a big impact. Pick a color scheme and/or theme to make things more coherent.
I love to start with our table that is right inside our front door. It is the first thing guests see when they enter and it is a high traffic area for our family. I don’t really focus on decorating in the summer, so I look forward to making the house more inviting and cozy for the fall season.
Choose seasonal decor over holiday decorations
Focusing on a fall theme instead of Halloween will allow you to keep everything up through Thanksgiving. Closer to Halloween, I will put out a few Halloween items for the boys, but mostly I let their rooms be the area we focus on for Halloween.
Above, I simply took a fall garland and wrapped it along the table. Then, I put my pre-lit twig branches, which are probably one of my favorite decor items, in a rustic rattan vase . These branches look so beautiful lit up at night and I display them from the fall all the way through winter. Lastly, I added a pumpkin (which I will probably replace with a real pumpkin once we go pumpkin picking, and of course my favorite fall candle.
There is something about walking into a house that smells like fall, isn’t there? That is why I love candles, especially in the fall and winter. My absolute favorite fall smell is Spiced Pumpkin by Yankee. I make sure I have at least one of these jars in my house each fall. Then I burn it from September right through the end of November. I recently just discovered the Autumn in the Park candle by Yankee, which is definitely now a close second for my favorite fall candle. It has the scent of fresh peeled apples and crisp fall leaves. It is not too overpowering and really reminds me of the smells of the season
Focus on a few key spots to add fall accents
A mantel is a great place to add a few seasonal touches. You don’t have to have a fireplace to add seasonal touches in your main gathering area. This is the first year I have had a fireplace mantel in my own home, so before I would just use a living room shelf. I used some simple fall leaf garland and switched out my teal summer candles to burgundy. Then added a rattan pumpkin that lights up and a pumpkin banner that will work well through the Thanksgiving holiday.
Full disclosure: Below is actually what my mantel looked like prior to taking the “before” picture. Nerf gun, stuffed animal, trains, trucks and paw patrol. Life with boys 🙂 Oh and if you look closely you will see the mirror was in need of a major dusting!! So far the boys have been very good about not putting anything up on the fall mantel.
Lastly I focus on our dining room. We walk pass this credenza all day, every day, so I love to make it festive. It also keeps me from piling papers and other items here. When it is decorated, I am much more motivated to keep this area clean. Again, I will replace these pumpkins with real pumpkins and gourds when our family takes a pumpkin picking trip.
If you look closely at the bottom picture, you will see a mischievous chicken hiding and fingerprints all over the lantern. I did not realize that my son had made this a hiding spot for his toys until I opened this picture on my computer 🙂
Have a few key pieces
Probably my most favorite find this season has been this galvanized tin centerpiece bowl that I am using for a centerpiece on the dining room table. My boys LOVE collecting fall treasures. Right now our neighborhood has big acorns and colored leaves falling from the trees. I am passionate about encouraging a love of nature with my boys and this bowl gives us a place to display the beauty of fall. It is often a topic of discussion at dinnertime, as they love showing their dad what they found that day.
I hope that these simple decorating ideas for fall will inspire you to bring the season into your home. Below is a list of the items I used and tips on how you can decorate in 10 minute intervals if you are short on time.
What I use:
Holiday storage bins. Having color coded bins makes life so much easier! I can easily spot the ones I need among my many bins in the basement
Latern– Mine is black, but I love this rustic one even more!
The following I got from Kirklands, although there are many other variations of this
Galvanized centerpiece bowl
Short on time? Decorate in 10 minute intervals.
Break down decorating into 10 minute intervals that can be done over a day or two:
First 10 minute opportunity: Clean mantels, tables, mirrors and shelves where decor will be displayed.
Second 10 minute opportunity: Go through any fall storage bins you have. Take stock of what you have/want to buy.
Third 10 minute opportunity: Focus on one area- a mantel, table, shelf etc. to add seasonal decor
Fourth 10 minute opportunity and so on: Repeat the third step until you are finished.