Autumn Homemaking Checklist

25 October 2021

Autumn is here, which means that it is time to begin working through my autumn homemaking checklist. In this post, I share six seasonal homemaking tasks that I like to do each year to coax my home into the autumn spirit.

If it’s autumn where you live, I invite you to join the fun and complete some (or all) of these tasks in your home as well. Happy autumn!

Autumn Homemaking Task #1: Cook With Pumpkin

Every year, I experience an internal struggle when pumpkins appear at the supermarket. There are people who pounce on the pumpkin display as soon as it appears. I, however, am not one of those people.

I always resist buying pumpkins for as long as possible. Pumpkins are heavy and unwieldy—especially if, like me, you walk to the supermarket and carry your purchases home on your back, like a pack mule. Pumpkins are also bothersome to prep. The task of slicing through the tough peel of a pumpkin is not for the faint of heart. It is a strenuous task that requires dexterity, courage, and persistence.

Despite these valid objections, I inevitably find myself lugging home a pumpkin at least once every autumn. The truth is that the emotions evoked by eating pumpkin in autumn makes all the labour worthwhile. One hearty bite is all it takes for you to realise that you are entering the season of warmth and cosiness, of warm blankets and steaming cups of cocoa, of rest and repose.

Practice: If you haven’t already done so, consider this your reminder to cook something with pumpkin this autumn. It needn’t be the standard pumpkin soup—unless you want it to be. You can make pumpkin croquettes, with a tender, pillowy pumpkin filling and a shatteringly crisp panko crust. You can make pumpkin pizza, studded with goat cheese and topped with fresh basil. You can make a pumpkin stir-fry, elegant in its simplicity. Or—even better—you can make them all.

Autumn Homemaking Task #2: Clean Your Front Door

In the city where I live, autumn marks the end of typhoon season. In fact, the week before the leaves changed colour in the park, we experienced not one, but two typhoons.

After the typhoons had passed, one of the first things I did was deep clean my front door. The typhoons had plastered dirt and leaves all over my door, so I took my time with the task, methodically cleaning the front door, the handle and lock, and the door frame. It was immensely satisfying to see a clean front door gradually emerge from beneath the layer of grit and grime.

Practice: Even if you don’t live in a city that is frequented by typhoons, I invite you to welcome autumn by deep cleaning your front door. In my opinion, autumn is the perfect time to deep clean your front door. Autumn is the season of cosy hours indoors, and your front door is the symbolic border between your home and the outside world. The act of cleaning your front door is simultaneously an act of inviting and welcoming these quiet, restful days into your life.

Autumn Homemaking Task #3: Simmer a Bumper Batch of Soup

The first soup that I made this autumn was a chicken and chickpea soup. It was the perfect soup to honour the advent of a new season. Laced with toasty cumin and bright red pepper flakes, each bite reminded me of the beauty of living in harmony with the seasons.

On the topic of cooking soup in autumn, I have two tips to share. First, cook a big batch. A good rule of thumb is to make enough for at least two meals for your entire family. The feeling of having a homemade meal waiting in the fridge is especially comforting on a chilly autumn day. As an added bonus, many soups taste better the next day anyway.

My second tip is to prepare an assortment of tasty toppings for your soup. I paired my chicken and chickpea soup with freshly squeezed lemon juice, minced onion, shredded lettuce, and diced capsicum. The resulting bowl of soup was almost too pretty to eat.

Practice: I hope you will find the time to make a pot of soup at least once this autumn. Simmering a pot of soup is one of the easiest ways to embrace the cosy nature of the season.

Autumn Homemaking Task #4: Dust Off Your Autumn Attire

Where I live, autumn is capricious. Autumn makes her appearance on a different day every year, and once having decided to arrive, she arrives suddenly. Seemingly overnight, the weather changes from hot and sticky to chilly and breezy.

Naturally, a change in the weather calls for a change in clothing. But cool weather clothing that hasn’t been worn for half the year tends to look limp and forlorn. Fortunately, this can be easily remedied with a simple annual ritual.

Practice: Before the cool weather sets in, take out your autumn clothing and lovingly prepare it for service. Inspect each garment, and mend it if necessary. Then launder each item, so that it looks and smells fresh. If you follow all the steps in this ritual, the arrival of autumn—no matter how erratic—will pose no difficulty for you. There will be no frantic rummaging in the depths of your closet for a mislaid scarf or errant jumper. Your autumn clothing will be ready to be worn at a moment’s notice.

Autumn Homemaking Task #5: Fix Squeaky Doors

In my home, autumn is the season of squeaky doors. When the weather starts to cool down, hinges begin to groan and creak. Sometimes, even the door locks decide to join the creaky chorus.

Creaky doors are discordant with a cosy autumnal home, so I try my best to silence the squeaks in a timely fashion. To fix a squeaky door, I always follow a simple three-step process: locate the squeaky hinge, clean the hinge, then lubricate the hinge. My favourite lubricant for fixing squeaky doors is plain mineral oil. This task can get a little messy, so I like to wear an apron and a pair of gloves.

Practice: If there are any squeaky doors or locks in your home, fix them this autumn. It only takes a few minutes, and you get to start enjoying the benefits instantly.

Autumn Homemaking Task #6: Make Progress on Your Homemaking Goals

Autumn is a time that is full of potential. In autumn, the year is beginning to draw to a close, yet there is plenty of time left. That is why autumn is the perfect time to reevaluate your homemaking goals for the year.

I like to view autumn as a window of opportunity to make progress on my uncompleted homemaking goals for the year. This autumn, I finally learnt how to cook purple multigrain rice. This was something that I had wanted to learn for a long time, and autumn provided me with the impetus I needed to finally accomplish this goal. I’m so glad that I did it. My purple rice is healthier than plain white rice, but I didn’t realise that it would be prettier, too. I can’t help but smile every time I take a bite of my purple-hued rice.

Practice: Make a plan for achieving at least one of your homemaking goals this autumn. If you have been meaning to learn how to make bread from scratch, commit to doing it this autumn. If you have been planning to learn how to iron your clothes, get your iron out and start practising. Fill your autumn days with meaningful pursuits so that at the end of the season, you can look back and marvel at the positive changes that you have made to your life.

Celebrating the Ebbs and Flows of the Year

This post has described the seasonal homemaking tasks that I like to do in autumn. Before I wrap up this post, I want to touch on why I like seasonal homemaking.

As a homemaker, I spend large amounts of time doing similar tasks over and over again. I prepare meals, I clean my home, I do the laundry… and then I do it all over again. As a result, homemaking can appear mundane and repetitive.

But the repetitive nature of homemaking is just an illusion. In reality, we are not stuck in a time loop. Regardless of how we feel, time is constantly marching us forward, and each day that we spend feeling listless about homemaking is a day that we will never get back.

Fortunately, we have the ability to break the spell and free ourselves from feeling dissatisfied about our homemaking duties. There are many ways for us to do this, and seasonal homemaking is one such method.

Seasonal homemaking provides us with a way to dispel the illusion that homemaking is dull and burdensome. When we go about our homemaking with the intention of romanticising each season, we awaken to the reality that nature is ever-changing, and we realise that we can make a conscious choice to honour and celebrate the ebbs and flows of the year.

Autumn is here, and we’ll never get the chance to live through this particular autumn ever again. So why not make the most of it?