3 T’s of Fall Cleaning

There is a cycle in nature. This time of year leaves fall, days shorten, and animals migrate south or hibernate. We are  not immune from this cyclical change. For elders, November begins several months of cold and possibly being housebound. Instead of allowing this time of year to make you sleepy, make it productive.

Use this time to declutter and organize. Think of it as ‘fall cleaning’.  Follow our 3 T’s of fall friendly decluttering and organizing:

  1. Trade – Trade out summer for fall and winter
  2. Time – It’s decision time to use it or loose it
  3. Tripping – Avoid tripping and other household hazards

imagesTrade out summer for fall in closets and cabinets. Store summer clothing; replace it with fall and winter items.

  • Bring out winter gear and store raincoats.
  • Look through the linen closet and towel drawers – trade out the yellow and orange flowers with seasonal, warmer, and holiday items.
  • Kitchen cabinets don’t require grill and outdoor eating items. You will need the holiday items, baking, and other cookware. Always check expiration dates.

Decision time – after taking out the summer things, make a decision to keep and pack it away for next year, repurpose and donate it, or discard it.  


  • If something doesn’t fit, is in poor condition, hasn’t been worn in a year, or you just don’t like it — its time to repurpose and donate.
  • Plan your work. Prioritize the areas that need the most work, gauge if you need help lifting or carrying, and ensure you have the correct work supplies before getting started.
  • Piles! Make a pile for repurpose and donate, discard, and keep. This requires a decision, a pile, and a trip.

Avoid Tripping and Other Hazards in your home.  Household falls account for the #1 reason elders fall, are hospitalized, and require transitions to rehab or assisted living.

  • images-2Home safety is important. Clutter, cords, and piles of stacked mail, furniture – all of this leads to potential falls. Work the rooms that elder(s) spend the most time in and look for anything that could be a fall hazard.
  • Swap out any sharp-edged furniture for softer, safer items.
  • Remove throw rugs, area rugs, or floor mats.
  • Tape down or remove any exposed electrical cords; or move them higher off the floor.
  • Repurpose, donate, or discard furniture you don’t use, need, or like.
  • Declutter the space! Seriously, do you really need that?