For the last few years, I’ve been on a mission to simplify my life and declutter my home. I wrote a little about this in a past post of mine called Creating Quiet…about clearing out the unimportant, whether it’s activities or clutter, and focusing on what’s really important. I’ve made good progress, although I still have a ways to go! Continue reading
How did summer come and go so fast? Since it’s my favorite season, I’m a little sad to see summer go! But I’m welcoming fall by thinking of all the things I like about this season of change. After the lazy days of summer and vacation time, it seems like the arrival of fall Continue reading
THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED-congrats to Marge K on winning the giveaway copy! I’m reviewing this new book on home organizing from the Editors of REAL SIMPLE, and I also am doing a giveaway for one copy of it! Continue reading below for details on how to enter the giveaway!
I think I was meant to have this book! From the beginning of this year (actually, even before that), organizing and simplifying have been on my mind a lot. It’s this year, though, that I’ve really become serious about it. So this new book, The Real Simple Method to Organizing Every Room and How to Keep it that Way is just what I needed! I Continue reading
As I mentioned in a recent post, I’m wanting to move toward a simpler, less-cluttered life. And for the fall season, I’m thinking about how I can decorate and still keep things simple. Decorating with natural things is appealing to me because after you’re done decorating, you can recycle your natural decorations in a compost pile. Or you may be able to work it into your decorating for the next season (pinecones, for example, work great for both fall and Christmas decorating).
I made the centerpiece shown above with some small pumpkins and dried hydrangeas–they make such a pretty fall combination! I just placed the pumpkins in a shallow wire basket and filled in the empty spaces with the dried hydrangea flowers. This arrangement can work as a centerpiece. Or display it on a coffee table or sideboard.
As you’re doing your fall decorating, you may be doing a little cleaning, too, like cleaning your windows before the cold weather sets in or cleaning your floors. So here are some tips if you’re needing some nature-themed decorating inspiration and simple DIY natural cleaning ideas:
- Create a welcoming home entrance by decorating your front door with a wreath made with colorful leaves and/or other fall foliage. Pinecones or gumballs from a sweet gum tree make a nice-looking wreath too.
- You can also use items from nature (pinecones, branches of colorful leaves, gourds, pumpkins, or pots of autumn flowers) to add a natural touch to your decor throughout your home.
- Display fresh fruit in a bowl or basket. Apples look great in wooden bowls and this makes a great fall table decoration or centerpiece.
- Candles make everything cozy and beeswax candles are a good choice because they are long-lasting and burn clean. Soy candles are clean-burning, too.
- Lanterns also add a cozy feel to your decor, whether you use real candles or the battery-powered ones.
- Using seasonal pillows and throws on chairs and sofas is an easy way to add an autumn feel to the furniture you already own. You can carry the “natural look” through by using pillows and other accessories made with natural fabrics like burlap, linen, and cotton.
- Use a burlap or linen table runner in your dining room and decorate with displays of small pumpkins or gourds, or a “bouquet” of colorful branches of leaves.
- Wicker baskets add a natural, rustic touch and are great for storing odds and ends or for displaying potted plants in.
- Use fresh seasonal flowers in a vase or potted flowers throughout your home and on your porch for a punch of color.
- Use dried herbs and fruits from your summer garden in an herbal potpourri mix to add natural fragrance to your home. In the potpourri shown above, I mixed dried orange slices with cinnamon sticks, fresh rosemary, and fresh oregano. I let the herbs dry right in the bowl, and they still have a great fragrance after they’re dried. You can also create a mix of dried citrus peel from oranges and grapefruit (cut in smaller pieces or strips), cinnamon sticks, and/or dried apple and orange slices. Or mix herbs like dried lavender and rosemary (and some eucalyptus if you have it) and display in a small bowl.
- Another use for dried herbs–if you have a wood-burning fireplace, you can toss dried rosemary and lavender twigs into the fire to create a nice aroma.
- Before you add any seasonal window decorations, clean the glass with a DIY vinegar and water mixture. Use 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water, or for dirtier windows, use equal parts vinegar and water. Put mixture in a spray bottle and shake to mix.
- For a natural, light, general cleaner around the house (on things like countertops and tile floors), mix 2 Tablespoons of baking soda in 2 cups of warm water. Add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a soft fragrance.
- Use a linen spray on your bed sheets to add a soft, relaxing fragrance to the bedroom. Just put 1 cup of water (you can use distilled water, too) in a spray bottle and add 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil; shake to mix and then lightly spray on linens. Shake this mixture each time you use it (as you’re getting your home ready for fall, you may also want to turn your mattresses and vacuum both sides, just to keep things fresh).
Hope you are having fun decorating for fall! Do you have any natural decorating tips of your own?
I am such a jar and bottle-saver! I save glass jars and bottles of all shapes, sizes, and colors. I was starting to get quite a collection and running out of space to put them, so I thought I’d make some autumn bouquets to give to my flower-loving friends.
I love the variety of sizes and colors of these bottles! Each one of them had some sort of food item in them–after the contents were used up, I removed the labels on each bottle so I could reuse them as vases and tied autumn-colored ribbons around them before filling with flowers.
These three glass bottles were all once containers for vanilla, almond, and orange extract.
These two jars originally had jam in them.
Another unique-looking bottle and jar: the small clear bottle in the foreground was from Cracker Barrel (it was a miniature maple syrup bottle–the kind they give you when you order pancakes). The larger brown glass jar in the background is actually a vitamin jar. Who would’ve thought it would make such a great vase?
This vintage-looking soda bottle was from Cracker Barrel, too–they sell a variety of vintage sodas in their country store, and some of them have such great designs, you hate to toss them out!
This bottle is one of my favorites–it has a long neck and a rounded base, so no worries about this tipping over! This originally had some white wine vinegar in it.
And this large bottle had some apple juice in it–I love the detail of the leaves at the top of the bottle–much too pretty to get rid of!
Most of my labels came off pretty easily just by soaking the bottle in hot soapy water–I left the bottles in the water overnight. But sometimes I come across really stubborn labels, and on those, I sometimes use nail polish remover. I’ve also heard that Goo Gone works too, although I haven’t tried that yet. If you use products like these, make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area.
Are you a glass jar and bottle-saver too? Using them as vases is one way to upcycle them. Do you have other ways of reusing pretty jars and bottles?