Baking pumpkin bread and enjoying the sweet aroma that wafts its way throughout the house from our kitchen is one of my favorite fall traditions. Chili in the crockpot on the first NFL Sunday of the year is a close second. Fall heralds the beginning of cozy season, and in addition to updating your wardrobe and beauty routines, the food we eat this season gets an upgrade, too. While summer is all about foods that help you cool down, fall is for food that warms you up, head to toe. And that isn’t reserved solely for soups and stews—it’s also the cozy treats that are good for the soul, like cider doughnuts, homemade apple pie, and of course, pumpkin bread (with chocolate chips, please!).
Doing a fall kitchen reset is a great way to close the chapter on summer and welcome the warmer, cozier foods that fall brings. It’s also an opportunity to tidy up some clutter that has no doubt accumulated over the past few months and to set yourself up for success as the weather begins to cool down. Read on for a few ideas to help you cozy up your kitchen for fall and make way for autumnal goodies and treats.
1. Do a pantry clean-out
If there’s one spot that accumulates clutter in the kitchen, it’s no doubt the pantry. Whether you have a spacious walk-in pantry or a small cabinet filled with dry goods, take stock of what you have and toss anything that’s expired. Take note especially of your fall spices and baking supplies, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate chips, and vanilla extract. Once you’ve assessed all the items in your pantry, sort everything into categories like snacks, breakfast items, and baking ingredients. As you put things back onto the shelves, organize them into zones based on category. A fresh pantry at the beginning of the season will give you a chance to really see what you have and can help you better plan your next grocery visit.
2. Put your cold-weather appliances within reach
Over the summer, I don’t bring out my crockpot, Dutch oven, or KitchenAid mixer nearly as often as I do once the weather starts to cool down. At the start of the warmer months, I always tuck away these appliances towards the back of my cabinets, and they’re the first things I get out when the leaves begin to turn from green to gold and amber. Feel free to do a little kitchen rearranging so your cold-weather appliances are within reach, and be sure to give them a quick rinse and wipe-down before using them.
3. Put summer kitchenware up high
As you’re rearranging your kitchen and putting cold-weather items within reach, this is also a great opportunity to move summer appliances into hibernation. Stash them in the back of a cabinet or place them up high on a tall shelf. Come fall, my husband and I keep our cooler, along with drink koozies and summer tumblers, at the very top of our pantry. They are quite literally out of reach without the help of a step stool, which makes room on the eye-level shelves for items we use daily or weekly. You can also tuck away the juicer, the ice cream maker, and the frozen drink machine until next summer. And don’t worry—it’s not goodbye forever, just see you later!
4. Add fall touches and update decor
Just like the rest of your home, your kitchen deserves to be decorated. So while you’re tidying up, be sure to add some seasonal touches to your space. Fall-themed dish towels are an easy and cost-effective way to bring in autumn colors and patterns, as is adding fresh flowers to your dining table or countertops. If you’re short on space, a few sprigs of foliage in a bud vase can be just as effective as a whole bouquet or arrangement. For another easy addition, fill a tray with candles and small pumpkins, or display a cookbook open to your favorite cozy recipe. This will set the scene for all your fall baking adventures—now all you need is a homey autumn playlist or some seasonal background noise. Might I suggest a classic fall rom-com like When Harry Met Sally? After all, baking and Nora Ephron = perfection.