This year I when I went to fall decorate and put my messy bun up and got my hot chocolate on and pulled down 14 tubs of fall decorations from the attic…

…and sighed.

I opened tub after tub of garlands of leaves covered with glitter and pinecones and pumpkins with states on them and chalkboard pumpkins and mirrors with pumpkin sayings.

And acorns that looked like they just got back from Las Vegas.

I wanted to be inspired.

I wanted to fall it up and toss that garland over my shoulder and hang it up over the door.

But instead?

In random, weird, completely unexpected and surprising news.

My heart longed for simple.

Can you believe it?

Me?

Simple?

What is this world coming to?

I never met a glittered pinecone I didn’t want to take home and drink apple cider with.

I think it was the totes.

All I could see when I looked at them was stuff.  Stuff that overwhelmed me.  Stuff that hadn’t seen the inside of the farmhouse in 10 years.  Stuff that made me want to run for the decorating hills.

Stuff upon stuff upon stuff.

Stuff I was holding on to because I told myself I might need it one day.

I told myself that it might make a reappearance.

Seriously?

I know straw hats you hang on the front door are so 2001.

But just like stirrup pants and bright blue eyeshadow and Dukes of Hazzard, they might make a decorating come back.

But why?

Why hold onto all of that?  Why keep all that fall?  Why keep all that stuff?

Truth? 

Every year I bring them downstairs, open them up, look inside, pull out a few pumpkins and then?

I CLOSE THEM BACK UP.

Ridiculous.  Right?

So this year?

I told all that stuff to take a hike.

I told it to prepare for a change of scenery.

I told it to pack its bags and get ready for a garage sale.

And then? I went all simple with the fall this year.

I updated wood pumpkins with simple book page leaves.

I stacked simple groups of three pumpkins on a wood tray.

I filled vases with simple fall leaves.

I added pumpkins to a simple toolbox in front of a chalkboard.

Happy simple.

Happy fall.

Happy less stuff and more heart.

PS  The garage sale was AMAZING.  Truly.  We sold everything thing at the sale by 9:32. 🙂

PPS  Who’s with me?  Who’s ready to simple?

Comments

  1. Image for Teddee Grace Teddee Grace

    Well, stirrup pants are coming back...and obviously from the success of your sale, some people still like stuff! Glad it was a success, but the pendulum will swing the other way one of these days...and I'll be there with my stuff!

  2. Image for Stephanie Wethington Stephanie Wethington

    Good morning Karianne, I'm in!!! I love your simple fall decor. That is was I do also...simple fall decor!! Glad your yard sale went well. That was quite an accomplishment selling out by 9:30! You must of had all great stuff. I hope you have a great week sweet Lady! xo

  3. Image for Kristen Kristen

    Totally me. I have so much fall stuff I feel I NEED to put out but I just don't want to. I haven't decorated for fall yet......but it's going to be simple this year!

  4. Image for Linda Linda

    Hi KariAnne, I love you. I love your blog. You make me laugh, cry and feel all loved. HOWEVER, I am going to have to give up my daily dose of happiness if you don't write your script in a darker color. Gray does not get it for these older eyes. My eyes are watering and blurry by the time I get through trying to read it. This may not be a problem you are even aware of, so with pure heart I am addressing the issue. To be sure I was fair, I even had friends and family check it out. They agree. Please use a color that gives more contrast on the written page. Thanks for your consideration.

    1. Image for Jessica Jessica

      I agree...there have been several blogs I just started to avoid, cause it caused so much stress to my eyes trying to read them. You aren't the only one!

  5. Image for Tammy Tammy

    haha! .. I did the same this year -- left a few things in the tote that had a tad too much sparkle for my mood this year. But for now ... simple works just fine :)

  6. Image for Tumbleweed Tidings Tumbleweed Tidings

    I agree with you that a simpler approach is nice this year. Although I can't do fall without some autumnal tones, I too, simplified my stash. I think so many of us are feeling suffocated by all of our belongings and tubs of things we don't use anymore. I love your analogy of stirrup pants and blue eye shadow! So true.

  7. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Decluttering makes me so happy, even if I'm reading about someone else doing it! I realized a few years ago that I was not looking forward to seasonal decorating and after thinking about why, it was because I had too much stuff! I got rid of a lot and now I look forward to decorating again. Happy fall!

  8. Image for Marilyn J Samber Marilyn J Samber

    I never leave comments on a blog, but this hit so very close to home this morning as I read it that I have to say thank-you! I also am so ready to un-clutter my life and live more simply! I have collected for years and keep numerous "just in case I ever need it" totes in my basement. Enough with that! I also need to simplify the rooms in my house by letting go of antiques and primitives I have added to the house through the years. Streamlined, simple, and clean would make me feel so much better! Love your posts!

  9. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Simple is awesome...I have bins of Christmas ornaments that are sentimental...I pull some out, tell my kids the same stories about them, and lovingly put them back in the bin. My husband thinks I'm nuts, and maybe I am....somehow, those ornaments that were made by my mom, my kids, given to us by his Grandmother are 'stuff' I cannot part with~ yet I tell the family if THEY want to get rid of it once I am gone, they should have no guilt about doing that! Anyone else do that???Save stuff for someone else to deal with later on???

  10. Image for Sherry Sherry

    I am also letting go of stuff- feels liberating- even my beloved garden mags to my sisters. I just read your book- the last paragraphs had me tearing up- in a good way. ❤️Sherry

  11. Image for Nan, Odessa, DE, Nan, Odessa, DE,

    I am with YOU! Natural, simple is always the best. ANYONE can spend money to decorate - why not hire the decorator? BY decorating with simple homemade, nature, and things like potpourri, wildflowers you are using your talents not what the stores are selling or what the decorators likes in your home! Take pride in, I DID IT! We need to be sharing the simple, natural things with each other! PS don't forget to involve your children, this is how they learn by participating and following your lead.

  12. Image for Zolane Zolane

    I'm with you! I've hung onto things for years and have been purging all summer. Simple just feels more peaceful to me these days - less fussy and more striking since you can actually see the decorations now instead of being overwhelmed by everything. I can't wait to read your book, KariAnne. Since I first started following you, I had hoped you would write one. I received mine the day it came out and am waiting for a chaos free weekend to relax and savor every bit of it. I am so happy for you! Hugs <3

  13. Image for Cathy Cathy

    Oh that stuff just weighs me down. I don't have any room to store it, it's everywhere and I'm done. I just had my downstairs repainted, it looks fresh and bright and wonderful and uncluttered. A few understated pumpkins, some acorns scattered about, maybe a spooky ghost or two; that andthe weather is all I need to tell me that it's fall . Except for today. Today it's 90.

  14. Image for Ruth Ruth

    Very Inspiring post and replies. I'm there myself and enjoying every moment of clean and simplicity. A few small pumpkins with fresh greenery from the garden and I'm done!! Ahhhh

  15. Image for Kimberly Heavner Kimberly Heavner

    You made me feel so much better about going simple with Fall decor this year. Thank you! As always, I look forward to opening your emails. They are wonderful!!

  16. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    Oh, friend! Once again, you spoke directly to my heart. In looking for fall tubs--where my wonderfully made labels had disappeared from the outsides in the garage--I opened tub after tub of stuff I've been keeping for future use--way past it's expiration date. I'm a keeper of things. Perhaps in my teacher training, home ec. world where everything has purpose and value. And yet so difficult to let go of this weight. That's my heart. To simplify. Prayers my heart will allow me to tell it to take a hike. After all, those things could be friends with yours in the hiking world!

  17. Image for Yvonne Shafer Yvonne Shafer

    Hi KariAnne! I thought only older people were parting with all the extra stuff! Now I feel hip and cool! Happily, my wonderful daughter-in-law just loves all the stuff (I think she's telling the truth) and wants it all. I've read through your book twice already and found new inspiration each time. Keep going, Rock Star!!

  18. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    Yes to the simple life! Everything looks lovely, simple...understated...natural! I've been purging the extra stuff for over a year now...and it feels so good. This fall I put out candles, acorns, and a few small pumpkins....that's it...that's enough. Enjoy your day! ;)

  19. Image for Pam Pam

    Simple....that is me. Love it. My motto is if you can replace it within 20 minutes for under $20 dollars then I don't need to keep it.

  20. Image for Bonnie W. Bonnie W.

    I wanted to see pictures of your garage sale! Congrats on selling out so early. Everything must've been priced right to sell so well! I have storage tubs of Halloween 'stuff'. It was my dad's birthday so it is like revisiting him when I sort through the goodies. But you're so right about simplifying so I'm going to pick out some favorite things and then let those other things go to good homes so they can enjoy them too. Maybe you can give some suggestions for holding a successful yard sale? Thanks for all you do! My daughter shared your blog with me and I'm so glad she enjoys your down to earth perspective!

  21. Image for JessB JessB

    I think listening to your heart was the most important part. If it was done with stuff, then let go. If it had wanted to decorate floor to ceiling, then do it. Just do what makes you happy.

  22. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    Simple is my new middle name. OK, it's really "Sue," but "simple" has a nice ring to it, don't you think? There have been a few years that, with increasingly busy schedules, I didn't even get the fall tubs OUT. This year I think I'll take a tip from YOU, and just pull out my pumpkins . . . and maybe get a few more. I never saw a pumpkin-made-out-of-something-unusual that I didn't like!

  23. Image for Peg Peg

    Love your fall decor!! xoxoxo "It is the sweet simple things in life which are the real ones after all." -Laura Ingalls Wilder

  24. Image for Catherine Catherine

    I've gone simple for the last 3 or 4 years. Age is creeping up on me and the thought of bringing up all those totes with a sore back doesn't do it for me any more. Less is more now!

  25. Image for Sherri Sherri

    I'm with ya girlfriend! I did the same thing this year, pulled out my totes and started eliminating everything that hasn't been used or will never be used again. Boxed it up and took it to my local thrift store. Felt so good to purge. I made a little money too, which is never a bad thing. Love your simple decor. Looks beautiful as always.

  26. Image for linda linda

    I am culling through my stuff. There is just too much. Last year I did not even use half of it! Plus some is so sad looking. My daughter gets first dibs They just bought a much larger house. Then trash!

  27. Image for Karen Karen

    Oh my, I did that last year with our Christmas stuff....took most of it to work with a sign stating that Mrs. Claus was downsizing.....it was gone within an hour.....and now I have about 10 empty totes in the shed and just added 3 more after downsizing my fall items. Some went to family and the rest was donated to Goodwill. My stack of totes are growing and that is good. I am sure that more Christmas stuff will be gone this year too. It just feels good to live "simple" and it looks beautiful!!!!

      1. Image for Karen Karen

        I just saw all the "stuff" and decided that what I didn't use, let someone else enjoy. I had fun with all the Christmas mugs I had accumulated by dividing up into families, made cute little Christmas bags with the mugs loaded with hot chocolate mixes, mini marshmallows and gave them to everyone at Thanksgiving so they could start using them. Once you get one tote or container empty, you are kind of motivated to do another and another. It is fun to share what you have with friends, family and co-workers. What is trash to one is something new to someone else. Just start with one!!!

  28. Image for Dee Turk Dee Turk

    I'm completely with you! One, you are extremely busy with all that's going on in your life, writing, travel, signings(is that a word?😄) Your tastes have changed, life is busy, organic, natural simplification is great! It's freeing to let go, l knew the garage sale would be a huge hit!😄 I'm loving all those pumpkins!

  29. Image for Naomi S. Naomi S.

    I always have plans and fantasies about decorating the whole house for holidays but I never actually pull it off. So I've settled for Simple for a long time! Now I think I shouldn't feel bad about what I didn't get done and just think of it as intended sparsity! I like that idea! Let's hear it for SIMPLE!

  30. Image for MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!)

    KariAnne, I love the simplicity of Fall decorating! When I brought my Fall totes up from storage, I went through them and took over half of my things to a local outlet that works with special needs youth. Some of the things are going to be used for their Fall raffle and also for door prizes at their Thanksgiving dinner. It just felt so good to know how much everything was appreciated -- and I feel so good letting go of all my stuff that I did not need to use any longer. It was a win-win! Glad that your garage sale went so well! Blessings and thanks, so much, for sharing with us! I always look forward to your posts! I got your book in our mailbox today so will start to read it tomorrow! I am really looking forward to reading your wonderful book! Hope it won't be long before you have another one for us!

  31. Image for Mary Burchette Mary Burchette

    Me!!!! I've been craving "simple" for a while now, and I'm slowly making progress. It's definitely a process, but I'm soooo ready for it! Thank you for your inspirational and uplifting blog, Karianne ~ it always brings a smile to my face! Have a blessed day!! And happy simple fall! 😊

  32. Image for Betsy Betsy

    Karianne, great post as always. I love how you decorated. I use to do Halloween but sold everything in a yard sale. Now I put out a few fall themed items. Of course I still buy Halloween candy even though we don't get trick or treaters. You never know when there will be a shortage of Peanut Butter cups. Now I need help with Christmas decorating. I LOVE Christmas decor but I'm beginning to feel overwhelmed storing all the items. How about giving some help with less is more Christmas. Thanks so much. We love you!

  33. Image for Cindy Cindy

    Isn't it funny how we all, young and old, want to simplify things! I too will be getting rid of some fall decorations! Even the glittered acorns!

  34. Image for Linda Linda

    I did the same thing this year. I opened all the boxes and said no way, not this year. Closed them up and gave them all away. Saved just the pumpkins I loved and put them out. My son 22 said mom the fall looks great this year, so nice and simple. My 15 year old daughter said mom where is all the fall stuff? She is all about more lol Happy Fall Linda

  35. Image for Rowena Rowena

    I'm ready for simple as well. I love your pumpkins with the printed leaves. Very cool. I have some old bottles and the leaves in them is really cool. I will have to do that as well. Its been a while since I have written. Lots going on with my family in ways that aren't good but we will all get thru it at the end. Praying for sure. Thanks for the escape of the great pictures and idea of getting back to crafts and decorating.

  36. Image for PatV PatV

    I'm with you. Just moved into my retirement home, had it painted crisp linen, and have gone all neutral, with whites, creams and neutral cord. Then I can add pop's of color like the oranges of pumpkins and gourds. Really liking this new "simple".

  37. Image for Jenny W Jenny W

    - "because I might use it again someday" :) Words I seem to use with each changing season! I'm with you, purging is therapeutic, and a necessity, if you want to maintain a calm and enjoyable home. <3

  38. Image for Kay Kay

    I've discovered that the older I get, the less stuff I want to drag out of the attic and set out all over the place. Simple is easier for sure. Because I'm thinking, okay, you unpack all these things, then you're going to have to pack it all back up again. These days, just not worth it. I have all sorts of Autumn stuff in a tub in the attic but the last few years I've left it there--even the Indian corn and the scarecrows! I shop for 'fresh' pumpkins with my grandpeeps each September. It's our little Autumn tradition. I put a big fall wreath on the front door. Come Halloween, I string orange and purple mini lights in the living and dining rooms. Seems this has spilled over into Christmas decorating, also. Less is just fine with me!

  39. Image for Amber Amber

    Beautiful post! This year I did the same thing Opened the tote took a couple of things out and used what I had around the house with the addition of a few real pumpkins here and there. I really love it! You can see my fall tour on my blog! Thanks for sharing!

  40. Image for DGaddis DGaddis

    I'm pretty sure this is the third (or fourth) time I've read this post. It inspires by coaching the editing and refreshing of all the things that make our nest beauty and unique...again, Thank You!

  41. Image for Laura Forehand Laura Forehand

    Ahhhhhhhh!!! yes, simple is speaking to me also....purging and refreshing helps me get excited for each new season....thanks for sharing On a 2nd note, may I ask where you got your rug in the room featured in this post? We laid new floors, and purchased new furniture, and I have been looking for a rug like the style of you have....Thank you,

  42. Image for Megan Megan

    I took have a few large totes filled with Halloween and fall decor, but I WISH I had more simplistic pieces like this because I love how you handled your decorating this year!

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