Fall might just be my favorite season. It’s hard to live in Texas and choose anything else. When autumn finally gets here — which is pretty late for us — we are so beaten down by the five or more months of extreme heat we’ve just endured that we are practically giddy when it dips below 80.
As well, I happen to love it when the days start getting shorter. I like snuggling up inside my house when it’s dark outside. It’s not uncommon for me to be in pajamas by 6:00 p.m. during the fall and winter months.
Because cozy is totally my thing.
I’ve worked hard to make our home comfortable, a place that feels restorative and peaceful and . . . well, cozy. And I’ve discovered some tips and tricks along the way.
So today I’m sharing them with you!
7 Ways to Make your Home Cozy for Fall
1. Lamps, baby.
Overhead lighting is one of my biggest pet peeves. Sure, overhead lighting serves a purpose. But making things cozy isn’t it. Especially if you’re using the CFL bulbs that AREN’T labeled “soft white.” Please don’t. Those things are the antithesis of cozy.
If you want to up the cozy factor in your home, turn off the overhead lighting in your living areas, especially at night.
Use lamps instead. Lamps are cozy. I’m afraid to count how many lamps I have in my home, because my husband might freak out. I actually keep several lamps on a timer so they come on automatically when it starts to get dark. This way even if I’m out late, I come home to warm, cozy lighting. (Bonus cozy points if there’s a roast cooking in the crock pot!)
2. If it stinks, it ain’t cozy.
Okay, confession time.
There are six people, two cats and one dog living in our home. Someone clogs up a toilet at least once a week. There are armpit smells, bathroom smells, dirty sock smells, stinky pet smells, sweaty football helmet smells, sour milk smells, and I could go on. For days.
All that to say that we in the Dacon home are well acquainted with bad smells.
But I fight odors with every fiber of my being! If my home smells bad, that’s not cozy. It’s just gross.
What can you do?
Well, for starters, keep things clean. Especially kitchens, bathrooms and laundry areas.
My favorite cleaning product is concentrated orange oil. Dilute it in a spray bottle and it’ll clean anything. And it smells divine. For pet odors, I love Nature’s Miracle products. And for neutralizing odors, Young Living’s Purification Oil works wonders.
Once everything’s clean, you can add fragrance to your home.
I love wax melts and scented candles, and Bath and Body Works sells plug-in and clip-on air fresheners in all kinds of yummy fragrances. I also use fabric softener diluted half and half with vinegar in the rinse cycle for my laundry, so our clothes and linens smell fresh.
Circulating air always helps with odors, so open some windows if you’re dealing with stuffy odors. Or if you’re in Texas like me, run your air conditioner (like I had to tell you to!). Heavy, stagnant air is also stinky air.
3. Soft is cozy.
Filling your home with soft and comfortable textures will make everything cozier.
Fluffy pillows, smooth cotton sheets, warm throws, and cushiony rugs all make for a cozy home experience.
I’m slowly replacing the inserts in all my throw pillows with feather inserts because they are more cushy. I also prefer natural fabrics like cotton that are soft but also washable.
A rule in my house is, if it’s a place where you might sit down to read or relax, there needs to be a throw or blanket nearby. Because snuggling underneath a blanket is the epitome of cozy.
4. Make your bed.
I know I harp on this a lot. I understand there are two camps on this one. But for me, nothing says cozy like a beautifully made bed. Especially when it’s time to sleep and I get to turn down the covers. Now that’s cozy.
5. Clear the clutter.
Clutter is never cozy.
Get rid of junk you don’t need and figure out how to put away or artfully display the rest. I am just crazy enough that I can’t watch TV if someone leaves a kitchen cabinet open. So if I’m surrounded by clutter, I don’t feel comfortable. You probably don’t either, even if you don’t realize it’s clutter that’s making you crazy. Clutter is over-stimulating, which is the opposite of cozy.
How to get rid of the clutter? I’m not an organization expert, but I can point you to some people who are. Here are some of my favorite resources:
Clutterfree with Kids by Joshua Becker
Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley
Clutter Free by Kathi Lipp
6. Let people in.
Even if your home isn’t perfect (because nobody’s is), learn to let people in anyway. Show hospitality. Believe me, your neighbors and friends will actually like you more when they discover your unfolded laundry and dusty furniture. Refuse to buy into the lie that you need to clean everything before anyone comes over.
More than anything, cozy is a mindset. If others feel comfortable in your home, chances are you will, too.
6. Live there.
Don’t keep anything in your home that you’re not comfortable living with or on.
I already mentioned the four kids, two cats and one dog who live in my house. While I do try my best to keep those seven creatures from destroying everything in their path, there is nothing in my home that we don’t use regularly. My table has scratches and crusted food on it, because we eat there. All the time.
Our couch cushions are smushed, and if you dig down in between them, you’ll find food wrappers, somebody’s old homework papers, and probably the TV remote. Because that’s where we live.
I want my house to feel homey, not like a museum.
(Just don’t ever set a drink on my piano. I might have to hurt you.)
And finally. . .
7. Loud is not cozy.
We are a loud family. My husband says the kids get it from me, so I can’t really complain.
But, as with the odors, I fight noise with every cell in my body.
One of the biggest ways to do this is also the most obvious: turn off the TV!
I don’t know how many times I’ve gone into other people’s houses and been unable to even have a conversation because the TV is blaring.
I love TV as much as the next person, but let’s face it. A loud, in-your-face, big-screen TV going at full volume all day long is NOT COZY. (Unless it’s the SuperBowl and there is queso being served. That’s a different kind of cozy.)
So turn the TV off and play some soft music instead. Or enjoy some silence (something I’m convinced most Americans don’t get enough of). Life will be so much cozier!
And there you go.
My 7 best tips to make your home cozy this fall. You should totally start today!
Got any ideas to add to this list? I’d love to hear ‘em in the comments below!
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