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You’ll never guess what I did last weekend.


Ever.  In the history of ever.

You’ll never find the answer to that question because currently it’s filed away under too much time on my hands.

The twins rolled their eyes at me.  My mother rolled her eyes at me.  You are probably going to hop aboard the eye-rolling bandwagon, too, once I tell you that I spent last Saturday evening making sure my lightbulbs in my lamps all matched from the outside.

Totally eye-roll worthy.

I get it.

But I couldn’t help it. The light bulbs were different colors.  Some were bright white and some were a soft glow and some were super yellow.  I couldn’t even with it.  So I ran up and down the stairs and walked in and out of the house looking at the lights and going back in again and switching out the bulbs until they all matched with the soft warm glow of light bulb coordination.

That’s the thing about houses.  Sometimes a little change can make a big difference.  Today is all about change and preparation and taking stock and making a list and checking it twice to get the house ready for the change of seasons.

Here are 10 simple tips to get your house ready for fall.

Pull down your boxes of fall decorations

I know it’s August.  You probably just came in from drinking lemonade and collecting floaties from the pool.

But here’s the thing.  If you wait until you think you should be decorating for fall, it will be too late.

Trust me. 

You’ll finally decide to pull the boxes down from the attic and then you’ll realize that you only have 6.7 days until you should be decorating for Christmas.

And you’ll shrug your shoulders and put a pumpkin on the dining table and call it done.

If you want to decorate for fall, pull down the boxes and sort through them.  Just because you have it, doesn’t mean you should decorate with it.  Acorns with faces and top hats are so 2014.  Sort through your last year’s fall decor and then toss, keep or donate.

Create a fall pin board

Now that you’ve sorted through your fall decorations, you might need some inspiration on how to use them.  Maybe spray paint?  Maybe moving an acorn from one wreath to another?  Maybe a wreath made out of book pages?  A new project?  This is the point in your journey where you need inspiration.

Oh good,

Me, too.

Every year right about this time I start pinning fall inspiration to get my house ready for fall.

That’s when I turn to Pinterest.

And right about now, Pinterest is full of the beautiful that is fall.

If you need some ideas, I’ve pinned tons of fun fall inspiration to this board.

Clean off your outdoor furniture

Your outdoor furniture has lived a good summer.

Take a moment to clean it off and get it ready for next year.  Take the cushions off and hose down any dirt, stains or barbeque sauce.  Wipe down the furniture and clean out cobwebs and the occasional insect condominium.

Then you’ll want to decide what you are doing with the furniture for the winter months.

You can purchase covers to shield it from the wind, rain, snow, sleet, and hail.

Or you can store it in the garage or outbuilding to protect it from the winter elements.

Clean out your planters


I really wrote this one for me.

I never do this.

Every year, I’m always in such a hurry to decorate that I just stuff my Christmas decorations into planters full of leaves and extra dirt and nonsense.  And then?  All that nonsense stays there all winter and hardens into a nonsense crust that I can’t get rid of.

Don’t be like me.

Clean out your planters before your Christmas trees show up.

Organize the garage

This is the not-exciting part of this post.


Let’s have a fun weekend organizing and cleaning out our garage—said no one EVER.

But if you take a moment to grit your teeth and garage cleaning bare it, you will be so much happier when the first leaf falls from the sky and you don’t trip over anything trying to find your rake.  Take a Saturday to sort through the piles in your garage and then toss, keep or donate.

(total fall getting ready aside:  this is also a good time to assess what tools for all those fall chores, too.)

Paint your front door

Or your back door.  Or your side door.  Or whatever door your guests really use.

Winter comes right after fall and it’s never a good idea to paint your door in the middle of winter.

So why not rethink your door now.

Freshen it up with a coat of gray or black or soft blue or you might go bold with red.

It’s an easy fix that takes an afternoon and gets your porch or entrance ready for fall.

Just make sure that when you paint–you avoid doing something like this.

Add a wreath

See this front door?  It’s wreathless.  Time to start thinking about my fall wreath now.

You could always buy one at the store or you could make your own.

Sometimes I do both.

I buy a wreath and then make it my own.

Just like these wood slice wreath options.

Or this fun fall DIY wreath.

Flip your rugs

This is something I file away with flipping my mattresses.

In the category of I never do it.

And then?

My rugs get all faded from the sunlight from the window and half the rug looks worn and traveled and the part under the table looks brand new.

Help your rugs live a long and healthy life by flipping them every fall.

Reverse your ceiling fans

In the summer, the air conditioning is going full steam ahead and the fans are there to help with air flow.

But in the winter you can save money on your heating bills if you reverse the fan so it turns in a clockwise direction.

This moves warm air close to the ceiling down to the floor.

Brilliant, right?

It’s typically pretty easy to change the direction of your fan with a switch, but here’s a step-by-step I found on how to do it.

Wash windows and blinds

I typically wash my windows inside when I see dirt or smudges.

But outside?


Not so much.

I wait until it’s almost fall or almost spring and use a window cleaner that attaches to your hose and I wash the windows down.

Then inside, I give the sills and outside of the windows a wipe-down, too.


You never really notice how dirty your windows are until you clean them.

Here’s one last tip.

When you’re getting your house ready for fall enjoy the season ahead.

Don’t stress.

Don’t overthink it.

Don’t overfall your house if it all seems a little too much.

If cleaning your windows and flipping your rugs and making sure all your light bulbs match seems too overwhelming, just find a new pillow at Home Goods and call it a day.

That kind of getting your house ready for fall leaves plenty of time for the important things in life….

….like the Hallmark Channel or a really good book.


A giant shout out to my friends at for inspiring me to get my house ready for fall.

If you are looking to buy a new home they have literally the coolest tool on the planet. You can check it out here. can also help if you are selling your home or looking at homes in your neighborhood or find a realtor or financing or help with any other home inspiration or ideas that you need.

They are generally the rock star of the real estate world.

If you are looking for more fall-get-your-house-ready tips, be sure and check out all the ideas and inspiration at The Handmade Home, Lolly Jane and Home With Keki.

If you don’t have time to get ready for fall now.  No worries.  We got your back. Here’s a fun infographic to pin for later.




Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.

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  1. Image for Sharon Smith Sharon Smith

    Great ideas that I will never probably never accomplish but so many things I never thought of! Thank you. On the other hand, you do realize that there will now be women running in and out of their house for a night to check on the lighting inside the house. It will probably be a phenom! HA! I didn't roll my eyes at that one because I thought it was brilliant!

  2. Image for Shelley Shelley

    Loved this checklist! Im saving this! Here in Georgia it’s hard to believe fall is just around the corner. It’s been a hot and wet summer on the farm. I am really looking forward to cool crisp days and evenings where we can light the fire pit. Thank you so much for your checklist, I can’t wait to put the fall wreath on the door 😁

  3. Image for Michelle Michelle

    Great tips! I am so ready for Fall. In my head, that is. Not so much my surroundings yet. But I plan on being very creative this year. I love all the seasons and orange is not really my thing, or so I tell myself, but I think Fall is my favorite. I especially love your advice not to wait too long to decorate. There've been plenty of Falls I've inadvertently skipped decorating for because I waited too long.

  4. Image for jillian jillian

    LOL! I'm totally with you on the lightbulbs. It's the details that add up to a serene pretty environment. I have been out in the garage this week plugging away. Sigh. Hope this is the year I get a grip on it, more or less.

  5. Image for teresa teresa

    We are having several gorgeous days of Fall-like weather here in central VA with no humidity. That's hard to come by in August but I will gladly take it! The feel of Fall-air has definitely got me thinking about getting ready for the season around my home. Now, I am not a traditional orange pumpkin kind of girl. I love white, pale pinkish-orange and gray pumpkins with a few glass turquoise pumpkins I have collected for good measure. On my Fall wreath, I love adding a leopard print ribbon and I always bring out my vintage brass pheasants. I love clean, modern lines in my décor so I don't like over-doing things. You have some great suggestions on your list for getting your home ready for the cooler months. Also, I was in Kirkland's last week and they have some beautiful Fall décor items in their store.

  6. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    Okay, can I just say thank you for your lightbulb story? Sigh. I bought a couple of new light bulbs - you know, the expensive-lasts-forever kind? And they’re this glaring WHITE. Ugh. I’m living with it until I get back to the store for some cheap soft white ones. Thanks for the Fall advice! It’s just now cooling off enough to even THINK about it!!

  7. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    I love that I'm not the only one that is driven crazy by mis-matched light bulbs. My hubby thinks all willy-nilly is fine... I might check into some OCD therapy.

    1. Image for Nita Nita

      That last comment? "I might check into some OCD therapy". I was thinking the entire time we're all OCD if we do that but clearly I see the point. lol

  8. Image for laura laura

    the light bulbs!! so true! i guess i have accidentally chosen similar bulbs for my home and just never thought much about it, but i have seen some pictures of homes on real estate listing s that have mismatched bulbs or just really yellow glowing bulbs that i have a hard time looking at! thank you for the tips and reminder to get ready for fall. i have totally missed fall decorating ( and it's my favorite!!) because where i live the leaves often don't really change color or fall until it's Christmas!!

  9. Image for Alice Genzlinger Alice Genzlinger

    Timely post. I just changed the decorations on the breakfast table to a Fall arrangement this morning. The green went away and out came the red. I look forward each season to changing pillows, table tops and coffee table tops. I don't like orange in my home so no pumpkins inside. They get arranged outside. We just finished painting the entire second floor and cleaning cleaning cleaning up the dust etc from the mess it made. In the process I gave away lots of things that held no sentimental value and now my rooms look huge. And I'm not going to fill them up again. Yeah for me!!!!!

  10. Image for Charley Charley

    There is a big mansion near my home that I pass all the time. They have cool bulbs and warm bulbs that shine from their outdoor lights and indoor chandeliers. It makes me crazy. I don't see how someone with such a huge beautiful home could miss this detail and not see how very unattractive it is. Small details can make a huge difference!

  11. Image for bj bj

    all great tips..... I have to tell you that I really got a kick of all light bulbs the same... I just redid my master bedroom and love it dearly...very casual, just like the rest of my on-a-budget decorating...I kept looking at the bed and thinking, "something going on here I don't like...but WHAT IS IT..." I finally realized one bedside lamp looked great...the other looked...yellow....changed out the bulb and WALLA....loved it all are really IS the little things.

  12. Image for Charley Charley

    I think you mean rotate your indoor rugs. I actually flip my big outdoor ones the 2nd year to get a fresh looking "new" rug. Outdoor rugs sometimes look like a whole different rug when flipped. I already have two great gray wool herringbone pumpkins with lace trim on my mantle b/c they were calling my name when in line at HomeGoods. My husband thinks they are stupid. BUT I and everyone else love them. I love the front of your house. But every time I see it I wonder why those large lanterns aren't on the brick walls flanking your steps. That way you will see the great decor by the front door more.

  13. Image for Gina Gina

    Shared your JC Lookbook with my mom today. We are so proud of you. She said nobody has a laundry room that nice. I said, yes, KariAnne's IS really that nice!

  14. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    I am with you on the light bulbs- drives me crazy now with LEDs as the light is bright white unless you specifically look for amber. We updated all of our light bulbs earlier this year and I was doing the same thing.-running outside and inside switching bulbs! Love your getting ready for autumn ideas! :)

  15. Image for Elise Elise

    After reading your post this morning I decided to paint my front door today. We have lived in our house about a year and I have hated our front door. Eventually we will replace it but until then a coat of glossy black paint made a world of difference! Thanks for the little reminder to tackle something, be it that one thing that drives you crazy, or just buying that new pillow!

  16. Image for Lauren Lauren

    I think the GE Daylight bulbs are perfect for the bathroom. I don’t know what to get for our family room- don’t want it to look to yellow or too white. Any suggestions?

  17. Image for Toni Toni

    Hi Kari Anne, I know this is "off topic" but have you ever thought of adding rustic natural beams to your family room? Seems like it would make the room very cozy and minimize the lower ceiling, plus tie in well with all your natural elements. Certainly very "fallish" :o)

  18. Image for Emily Emily

    Love this post!! Great tips and tricks!! Thank you for sharing this fun with us!! I am repurposing some planters, a cheese box and a vintage apple crate, we shall see!!!

  19. Image for Peg Peg

    I know y'all down south are tired of the heat and ready for fall, but I'm just not there yet. For now, I will hold on tight and treasure the last bit of summer up here in Boston!! xoxo

  20. Image for Kathy Kathy

    Thanks for giving me something else to stress over....LOL! I hadn't thought of matching light bulbs but now I will! I am a summer girl so I say....Summer isn't over until I say it is over! But, I don't mind if you fall girls get your fall on!

  21. Image for LINDA LINDA

    Hi, love your post. I have a new blog party and would like to invite you to come share this on the CLASSY FLAMINGOS BLOG PARTY held each Tuesday evening thru Friday. You'll get large picture exposure and shout outs on all of my social media sites. You may get PINKED and you'll get even more exposure! I hope you'll come by.

  22. Image for Renee Renee

    Too early here. We are still 85-90 in temps and not a pumpkin in sight. I typically do a bit of fall decorating (I don't go overboard mind you LOL), mostly my porch, etc. in October. That's up till the Christmas decs go up Thanksgiving weekend.

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