The Autumn Cleanse vs The Spring Clean

The autumn cleanse | Growing Spaces

I’m calling it – the autumn cleanse beats the spring clean hands down for me. In spring, all I want to do is get outside, but in autumn I go into full home declutter mode. For some reason this always takes me by surprise, but having looked back in my blog archive it seems I get this urge every September. It’s my seasonal reset button, with its promise of a new start (remember the joy of all that new stationary for the brand new school year?), and the reintroduction of routine and structure after the summer break.

Autumn cleanse | Growing Spaces

Autumn cleanse | Growing Spaces

So I’ve gone into organisation overdrive. Friday, my first child-free non-work day in months, I had grand plans to take it easy and tick a few things off the to do list between plenty of Netflix sofa time. Instead, by 11am I could be found turning my office completely upside down, sorting every cupboard, going through piles of paperwork and rearranging furniture. And I’ve been on a mission since then. The latest obsession was my craft cupboard, which was so full to bursting I had to cross my fingers each time I went to open a drawer that it wouldn’t jam. Now the various craft materials are sorted into pleasing little tupperware containers. It’s so satisfying.

And it doesn’t stop at the physical decluttering. September always compels me to write lists, create planners, draw up charts and sync calendars in a bid to be more organised. I dive into my inbox and reply to people I really should have got back to months ago. I compose schedules and slowly declutter my brain and put things in order.

The reality is that if I want to keep sharing here on Growing Spaces while also holding down a challenging full-time (pretty much) job, the only way to do it is by being more organised. I must put any window of free time, however small, to use rather than frittering it away. Being less of a perfectionist will play a big part. Have you heard of Allison Sadler’s #freeupmyinsta photo challenge on Instagram? It’s all about escaping that pressure we feel to beautify our IG feeds, and present a ‘perfect’ grid of pictures. Instead Allison is encouraging us all to focus on ‘capturing and sharing random moments of life that feel good and make YOU feel happy.’ It’s time to rediscover the fun and individuality that used to make IG such a wonderful community of creatives.

It’s something I reckon I could do more here on the blog as well – #freeupmyblog! Too often I don’t post because I haven’t had time to take photographs that I deem to be good enough to share. I have to let go of some of that control. And so, for this post, I gave myself just ten minutes to grab the camera and snap some shots. No time for over-styling or obsessing over a tiny detail.

They’re not perfect, but neither is my home. I have too much stuff, clutter is often piled high, and I definitely don’t dust my shelves or vacuum my stairs enough. But that’s my life. My home is where I live, and where I work, and where my children play, and where we hang out as a family. It’s time to give myself permission to let go, and keep it a bit more real on Growing Spaces. It doesn’t mean the end of faffery (because goodness knows I do love me some faffing once in a while), but I won’t hold back from sharing other, more off-the-cuff, slightly rough-around-the-edges stuff as well.

Autumn cleanse | Growing Spaces

Autumn cleanse | Growing Spaces

Autumn cleanse | Growing Spaces

Autumn cleanse | Growing Spaces

Oh, and before I go, my excavation of my emails has revealed that I have completely failed to beg for your votes in the Amara Interior Blog Awards, for which I am nominated for Best Craft Blog. I’ve left it way too late to be in with a chance now probably (voting closes at 5pm on Friday!), but getting crafty is high on my list of things to carve out more time for, and this nomination is a great motivator. I love sharing my DIYs and makes here, and I know you love to read them, so take a moment to give me your vote and I promise to focus on more craft and DIY projects over the coming months in return.

Brain dump complete. Thanks for your patience folks.



  1. September 13, 2017 / 7:03 am

    I love this! It’s funny “free up my blog” went through my mind as I published a less than perfect post too. It’s the new ‘thing’, let’s make it so.

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