Things to declutter in a living room before fall – experts advise what should go to welcome in the new season

7 things you should remove from your living room to switch out for fall alternatives and create a harmonious and cohesive scheme

Living room
(Image credit: David Amos Lighting + Home / Anthropologie / Willow & Hall)

While it's not quite time for spring cleaning, decluttering before fall is essential for prepping our living spaces for new seasonal decor, and ensuring your living room doesn't start to feel outdated or incohesive. 

Before you begin to introduce your living room fall decor, it's essential to bid adieu to summer by clearing out your summer decor. By simplifying your living space you will create a harmonious backdrop to welcome the new season, allowing you to embrace the beauty of fall decor.

Our experts have recommended which items you should consider decluttering from your living room before fall.

Things to declutter from a living room before fall

'With the onset of fall, kids go back to school, homes start getting ready for the holidays and our living rooms get ready to welcome us back in from the great outdoors. This is a great chance to examine what is currently in our living room, give it a deep clean and decide what needs to stay and what needs to go in preparation for the upcoming fall season and holiday months,' recommends Reem Elkady, professional organizer at Zen Organize Me.

To decide what to declutter before fall, Stefania Rella, interior designer at Standexpo suggests, 'Take an inventory of every item in your living room and evaluate each piece. Consider whether it has a purpose or simply takes up space. If it doesn’t spark joy or serve a purpose, it’s likely time to let it go.

'Donate all unwanted items to a local charity or organization. Not only will you be freeing up space in your home, you’ll also be helping others in need.'

Reem Elkady
Reem Elkady

Reem Elkady is an interior designer turned professional organizer with a degree in Architectural Design over 17 years of residential interior design and 9 years of professional organizing experience. Through her years of experience, she's been able to support multiple individuals and families through a wide range of services from cross-country relocating, downsizing, organizing, and hoarding.

1. Seasonal decorations

Cozy living room with furniture from anthropologie

(Image credit: Anthropologie)

As fall begins, it's time to pack away your summer decorations to make room for your fall decor – swapping out seasonal items is an important quarter-yearly tradition all interior designers and organizing experts follow. This is important for keeping your home clutter-free in order to create a purposeful display, as well as staying on theme.

'Decorative items are what makes a house a home, but too many decorative pieces and your home becomes cramped, cluttered and difficult to clean,' advises Laura Price, owner of The Home Organisation. 'With a new season approaching, it’s time to check in with your decorative and sentimental items and decide which ones you still want out on show, which ones you can store in a cupboard or under the stairs, and which ones you can donate, recycle or throw away. 

'Having seasonal decorations that you swap out every 3 months is a great way to have your home looking fresh while keeping your surface clutter to a minimum.'

Decluttering decor that no longer serves your living space for the season is about more than clearing out summer decorations, it also involves sorting through decor for the upcoming season and getting rid of anything that is outdated or damaged.  

Christina Giaquinto, professional organizer at Modular Closets says, 'Over the last year, decorations might have gotten damaged or broken while in storage. The last thing you want is to look through your decorations in October and realize that many of them can no longer be used, as you would then have to rush to the store and buy decorations at hiked-up prices. 

'So take the time to sort through all your decorations now, donate ones that are still in good condition but you no longer want, and throw out ones that are broken. You can then buy replacements or new decorations without any holiday price hikes.'

Laura Price
Laura Price

Laura Price is the owner of The Home Organisation. Laura Price's goal is to help others experience the benefits of living an organized life after discovering that organized homes brought her peace when raising three children in a hectic home. Hence the birth of The Home Organization, a dedicated team of professional organizers.

2. Lightweight throws and pillows

turquoise blue living room with mustard velvet couch, hardwood floor, graphic print cushions, pink blanket, black floor lamp, side table with vases

(Image credit: Willow & Hall)

One of the most seamless ways to decorate a living room according to the season is by finding throws and pillows in seasonal colors and designs to decorate your couch for fall

To make space for fall alternatives, you should declutter lightweight, summery throws and pillows from your living room. 'Lightweight throws often become redundant in the fall season, especially if you’re investing in a woolen blanket for added warmth,' advises Jonathan Faccone, founder of Halo Homebuyers. 'I would recommend getting rid of these lightweight throws, and trading them in with a heavier, warmer option.

'The same concept applies to the pillows used as decorations for the living room,' continues Jonathan. 'During the heat of summer months, lighter pillows that can be tossed around easily are ideal; but in fall, they may not provide adequate comfort or insulation against cold. Consider heavier, more textured options for added warmth.'

We still recommend bulking up your sofa with quite a few cushions, more than you did for summer since comfort in excess is key for fall living room decor.

Jonathan Faccone
Jonathan Faccone

Jonathan Faccone is a full-time real estate investor and developer. He is the Managing Member of Halo Homebuyers, a real estate home-buying company based in Bridgewater, New Jersey, and doing business throughout New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. Halo Homebuyers has been named one of the best home-buying companies in NJ by Clever, Upnest, Houzeo & Real Estate Witch.

3. Coffee tables


(Image credit: Anthropologie)

Your coffee table can act as a centerpiece in your living room and should be tastefully decorated for fall to elevate your living room, which involves rearranging your coffee table display with choice items for the season and removing items that are no longer fitting. 

Professional organizer, Christina Giaquinto recommends, 'Before fall, take time to declutter any decorations and trinkets you have on your coffee table and side tables next to your couch. This will free up space for you to add festive autumn decorations in your living room.'

To style a coffee table for fall you need a few, impactful items that can all be fall-specific, meaning you need to declutter summer decor such as summer plants and fruity candles from your coffee table in exchange for fall ones, such as a vase with fall motifs and fall foliage, and a pumpkin candle. We've listed some of our favorite fall coffee table decor buys, below.

Not overcrowding your coffee table is key to creating an impactful display, which is why decluttering is so vital.

4. Indoor plants

A fall color scheme in a living room with olive green walls and natural patterned white fabric on sofa and blinds

(Image credit: Linwood)

Refresh your natural living room decor by clearing out wilted plants or those that simply don't suit the fall aesthetic.

Jonathan Faccone says, 'Indoor plants can bring life and vibrancy to the living room, but they may become a chore in the cooler months. Many of these plants require special care or too much attention when temperatures begin to drop; it’s best to take them outside or move them to another part of your home until winter has passed.'

You can move non-seasonal indoor plants to another room, replacing them with low-maintenance indoor plants that are appropriate for fall, such as mums or succulents.

5. Old reading material and paperwork

A small brass leaver lamp on a dark wood console unit in front of a deep, berry red wall. Stood beside a small blue ceramic jug and a dark abstract painting.

(Image credit: David Amos Lighting + Home)

Make room for new fall reading material by clearing out obsolete newspapers and magazines, and take this as an opportunity to start afresh by getting rid of paper clutter to ensure your living room remains exclusively as a relaxing zone.

Laura Price, owner of The Home Organisation says, 'The living room furniture tends to be a great hiding place for old paperwork. You come in from work with a bunch of post and stuff it in the corner table for safekeeping or you wanted to have a few magazines under the coffee table but now you’ve got every edition for the last 3 years stored there.

'Take some time this fall to scan through your living room, deciding what paperwork you want and what can be shredded or recycled. For paperwork you do still want, file it away in a clearly labeled box so the living room stays uncluttered and relaxing.'

6. Finished summer diffusers and candles

Cozy living room in brown and deep purple color palette

(Image credit: OKA)

'It’s really easy to forget about diffusers and then suddenly realise they’ve run out and haven’t actually been smelling for the last 3 months,' warns Laura Price. 'The same goes for candles, they sit on a shelf collecting dust and you never actually get round to using them. Fall is a great time to run an inventory check on all the scented things around the living room.

'Decide which ones need replacing and if you feel like you’ve got too many, donate, recycle, or throw away ones you don’t want or won't use.'

Candles and diffusers are the best way to make your house smell like fall, so it's important to assess which candles emulate a summery scent, and should be decluttered from your living room and saved for next year, so they can be replaced with those with fall fragrances.

7. Kids' toys

Toy storage ideas

(Image credit: Kate Guinness)

'Living rooms tend to get a lot more use during the fall when the weather turns colder and we want to hunker down in front of the TV. Fall is also a time when your kids will be going back to school, meaning that it's an ideal time to clean, organize, cut down, and declutter any toys your kids have in the living room,' suggests Nick Valentino at Bellhop Movers

'Not only will they be spending less time in the living room and more time at school, but they'll also be ready for the novelty of some new items to play with. It's a good habit to rotate your kids' toy collections on a regular basis in order to keep things clean as well as keeping things entertaining for your children.'

Reem Elkady from Zen Organize Me adds, 'Parents rely on an abundance of resources like arts and crafts, puzzles, games, etc. to keep their kids occupied during summer holidays. But, while you can still use these craft supplies over fall, with everyone going back to school and set routines, you’ll find you won’t need access to the same large amount. So pick and choose a few for kids to use during upcoming weekends and rainy days and pack away the rest as a surprise for next summer.'

To keep toys in a living room organized, you can consider creating a rotation system to keep the living room tidy.


When is the best time to start decorating your living room for fall?

Since your living room is the cozy hub of your home, you should prioritize decorating it for fall as soon as you start craving comfy nights on the sofa with ambient decor in order to enhance the warm and inviting atmosphere.

Many retailers have dropped their fall decor, so it's time to start getting inspired with all the best decor to elevate your living space and start storing away summery items that no longer seem coherent. 

Decluttering is not just an essential part of creating new opportunities to decorate your living room for fall, but it also encourages you to consider parting ways with decorative items that don't enhance your space, since less is often more. It's important to find the right balance of tastefully adorning your living room with decorative items without letting it feel cluttered and overwhelming. To do this, decluttering before fall is a key step, then you may like to move onto some pre-fall bedroom decluttering for a relaxing sleep space.

Lola Houlton
News writer

Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past six years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including practical household advice, recipe articles, and product reviews, working closely with experts in their fields to cover everything from heating to home organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.