THANKS TO HOUZZ
Make a foraged centerpiece. Collect all the ingredients from your garden or back yard, arrange them in a group and fasten with a length of twine. Place the natural arrangement on the table as the centerpiece or on a sideboard surrounded by votive candles. To create a centerpiece with a lot of texture, look for brightly colored leave and branches covered with pine cones, seedpods and berries.
Skip raking leaves. Give yourself permission to be lazy. There’s enough going on that you may not have time to tackle everything on your to-do list. Sweep your pathway but skip raking the lawn, and let leaves cover the ground with a dusting of gold. Dried leaves and grass clippings will break down to act as a natural fertilizer.
Organize your kitchen hutch or cabinets. Take the time now before the rush of the holidays to organize plates, bowls and serving platters you’ll be needing by the end of the month. Hutches, kitchen sideboards and other high-use surfaces can become cluttered quickly. Adding some order early on in the holiday season can help give a sense of calm.
Hang a fall wreath. Welcome guests with this season’s easiest fall decoration. Pick up a wreath of preserved fall leaves, berries or understated green boxwood to use year after year. Besides the usual placement on the front door, wreaths can also be hung from garden gates, sheds and mailboxes, or be brought indoors to serve as tabletop decorations.
Add seasonal throw pillows. There’s no need to make major changes to your room’s color palette to make it feel like the holidays. Adding a handful of inexpensive pillows in cranberry, copper and gold will warm up the space and make the living room look more inviting.
Freshen up your entryway with cut branches. Unlike flowers, branches with green leaves last for weeks. Pick up a bundle at the farmers market or cut them from a tree in your garden. Those with red and gold leaves will have a shorter shelf life, unless they are treated for preservation.
Prep your guest room. Do it before the holidays kick into full swing, because the last thing you’ll want to be worried about on the day of is running loads of laundry and locating the spare comforter. In anticipation of guests’ needs, layer cozy blankets for warmth and pile up extra pillows.
Stock your pantry. Get your ducks in a row in terms of basic pantry items while there is still plenty of time to spare. Organize your pantry so that everything is easy to find and within reach. Take stock of what you have and what you’ll need to purchase early, so you can knock the big grocery store trips off your to-do list before the mad rush.
Collect leaves for day-of decorations. If you have family coming for the holidays, send kids out on a leaf hunt. They’ll stay out of the kitchen, and the fallen foliage they collect can be used to decorate the Thanksgiving table.