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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Bennett

TIPS for a COZY + PEACEFUL Autumn



I love the Autumn season. I live for the transition from the busyness of summer, the heat and dust to the tranquil, slower pace that Autumn brings. I live in the Pacific Northwest so we start to see the signs of the changing season as early as mid August and my heart always does a little happy dance when those leaves start to change and there’s a slight chill in the breeze.


I’ve talked about this for years on my YouTube Channel but it’s not just because I’m a youtube content creator that I like to dust off the fall decor a bit early and settle into the Autumn season. I’ve loved and looked forward to the change from Summer to Fall since I was a very little girl. And the feelings of a fresh start during this time of the year are even more significant to me than those similar “clean slate-y” feelings we experience during the new year.


Beyond the feelings of coziness and nostalgia, this time of the year has the potential to give my life a fresh start. If I focus intentionally on a few key areas, I can make it a productive and pivotal part of my year as a whole.





HOME


One of the most searched for videos on youtube during the month of August are “Fall Clean and Decorate With Me” videos. People are looking for inspiration for dressing up their home whether it’s on a grand scale or more minimalistic like I prefer to do. A pumpkin here, a vase of fresh sprigs there and my fall music playlist on our speakers can brighten any rainy day.



I’m not just talking about pretty leaf garlands or pumpkins on your porch, though. For me, the opportunity to give my home a cleaning + inventory reset is a significant one (and something I do more regularly than even the ever-popular spring cleaning that everyone does!)





Let’s face it, the summertime can bring loads of dust, grime and muddy footprints throughout our homes (especially if you have a few little kids like I do!) So before the football game

viewing parties and indoor-centered activities take place, I always like to give my home a good scrub down and wash away the ever-present dust layer from the busy summer months we just had.


Here is a list of my favorite cleaning and housekeeping supplies!




A good declutter and reset of my home’s inventory is also something I like to focus on because the more control I have over the clutter in our space, the more peaceful it feels.


For me there is a direct correlation between a cluttered space and a cluttered mind. The time of the year that it’s most important for me to have peace in my ever-ticking brain is when we are starting up the new home school year with our kids. (Check out my latest homeschool supplies + curriculum haul.)







In 2020 I started quite the epic journey of decluttering my entire home. I went room by room and went through every single piece of anything we owned, taking stock of the things we actually used and needed and getting rid of the rest. I documented this entire journey in my Messy to Minimal Series over on my youtube channel. In a little over a year, my husband and I ended up eliminating about 90% of the stuff we owned and it set a much more peaceful, simplified lifestyle in motion.



Regular decluttering sessions help us continue to maintain a simple and peaceful home, and in addition to the smaller maintenance declutters I do weekly (or even daily with three young children around) I also add in seasonal decluttering sessions to help me stay on top of the ever-present flow of items, clothing, and consumables in our home.


Since we decluttered out so much, we have learned a lot about our spending habits and have become much more intentional about what we bring into our home. That doesn’t change the fact, though, that children outgrow clothing, items wear out or break, or our tastes or needs change within the season of life we find ourselves in.



The most satisfying time of the year for me to do these big resets is right before the weather really cools down as we head into Autumn.


With the holiday season right around the corner, getting our inventory under control really helps me feel more prepared for the rush and inevitable influx of “things” into our home.






HEALTH:


One of the things I love the most about summer is that it’s so intuitive and easy for me to move my body and get outside in the sunshine. Most days, we actually spend more time outdoors than inside during the spring and summer.





In the Autumn, as the days get darker and weather gets “worse,” (personally I LOVE the rain) the temptation to be a bit more sedentary sets in


We can often find ourselves staying on the couch a bit longer, lingering at our desk chair even after the emails have been sent, or finding any excuse to scroll through Instagram as the hours tick by.


Honestly, the hardest spot to get up from for me is the school table after the lessons are done and books have been put away for the day. The kids run off to their play time and I sit… and sit.






It can take a bit more effort to get up and get moving during this time of the year, but it’s SO worth it! There’s nothing like the fall time for a good walk in nature. This is actually our favorite time of year to bring our family on little hikes in the woods and at state parks. In our area, it’s not too hot, and not too cold, there are significantly fewer bugs and the scenery of the changing season is unmatched.




I will mourn the day my kids stop being totally excited about gathering fallen leaves to bring inside for fun crafts. (8 years going strong!) We love to do little fall-themed outdoor scavenger hunts or harvest things from our garden or do a little bird watching in our backyard. Any excuse to get up off the couch and enjoy the great outdoors is always welcome as we head into drizzly days here in the pacific northwest.



Another aspect of health that I’ve been learning more about in the last few years is adopting a “seasonal diet.” This style of cooking and eating implements foods that are actually in season locally and can help combat getting into a “recipe rut” because there is always something new and fun to try!


In bygone days, the idea of next-day (or even next-week) delivery of exotic or out-of-season produce would have seemed like a futuristic pipe dream. We’re so accustomed to getting virtually anything we want, any time we want.




Our not-so-distant ancestors used to eat in a way that coincided with the different seasons and I, personally, would love to get back into a more traditional way of cooking and meal planning.






My first-ever garden here on our new homestead has taught me a lot about doing just that, but we don’t need a garden of our own to eat seasonally. Check out your area’s farmer’s market or swap meets to see what local growers are offering!


One of my favorite autumn season recipes is my easy butternut squash soup. You can find that recipe here!




HYGGE (+ final thoughts)


There is a very special Danish & Norwegian word that I learned a few years ago when the hashtag was trending on social media. It’s the word Hygge (loosely pronounced “hoo-gah”) that conveys the feelings of comfort and conviviality. Sometimes people use the word synonymously with coziness.


I’ve decided to dive a little deeper into what Hygge means for my life; and started to do a bit of research and reading. Some of my favorite books on the subject are this one which was a sweet coffee table book my mama bought me, and this one which brings hygge into a more faith-based perspective.


For me, Hygge is in its full technicolor glory during the coziest season of the year– the autumn. I am all about snuggling under a blanket with a cozy cup of coffee surrounded by family and friends.







With the approach of the holiday season, I’m inspired to open my home to guests, be generous to people in my life and express gratitude for all that I’m blessed with.


On a more practical homemaking note, the autumn season is all about harvesting the fruit of my spring and summer labors, prepping my home, and looking forward to what the new school year has in store.


All of these feelings and thoughts fit into my personal journey with the idea of Hygge. I try to let these concepts bleed into my relationships, my choices, and my own personal time.


For me, Autumn is the time that I step into the truest, most authentic version of myself, and the peace and fulfillment that brings is irreplaceable.




I’m often reminded of the verse:


“Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.”

Proverbs 17:1


I long to live a slow, quiet life steeped in peace and humility and I pray often that the Lord would continue to teach me more about this-- whatever season I’m in. This is my prayer for you as well.



To hear more of my heart on this subject check out the video I made last year. I hope it's an encouragement and blesses your day.





Wishing you love and light!


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