How To Tell When It's Finally Time To Decorate For Fall

We can’t wait.

Pumpkin Votive Float
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Ah yes, the question we face every year: How soon is too soon to start decorating for fall? Well, we hate to break it to you, but there may not be a definitive answer. Really, you should decorate the moment that you're feeling the fall spirit and want to enhance the effect by seasonally sprucing up your home. For some, this may mean that autumn calls as soon as back-to-school season in late August or when Labor Day announces the end of summer in early September. For others, depending on where in the South, fall may come in tandem with a nip in the air.

No matter how you classify fall's arrival, we'd argue that it's never too soon to break out the warm, scented candles, harvest wreaths, and pumpkin motifs. If you truly jump the gun, the worst case scenario is that you come across a touch eager for your favorite season, and who could possibly fault you for that when your home looks and smells so cozy thanks to autumn decor and aromatics?

Still, for those who don't care to throw caution to the autumn wind, we've gathered four metrics that can be a helpful guide for your fall decorating schedule. Choose the timetable indicator that suits you best to get in the festive spirit—they're coming up soon!

Fall Equinox

When should you start adorning your home in festive fall decor? The simple answer is: When the season officially begins. The autumn equinox occurs every year between September 21st and 24th, so mark your calendar for the official first day of fall this year and ring in the season with decorations at the ready.

When the Leaves Change Color

If you live somewhere with fall foliage as a trademark of the season, the leaves can be a good sign. As it starts to look more and more like fall outdoors, take the opportunity to make your home equally as seasonal. Once the leaves start changing color, that's your queue to start breaking out your own reds, yellows, and oranges.

When Pumpkins Appear in Stores

When the stores get into the fall zone, why should you have to wait? Once you start seeing gourds for purchase, take that as a sign to pick one up to bring home for your front steps. This also indicates that it's pumpkin harvesting season: What's screams "fall" more than that? If you're a fall decor crafter, use that time to decorate your pumpkin and delay the display slightly.

October 1st

If you're still hemming and hawing over the right time to decorate, we recommend simply choosing a date and making it an annual affair. Although arbitrary, we like October 1st. Depending on where in the South you reside, September can still scorch with summer heat, but October feels just right. It's practically Halloween already, as far as we're concerned, so it's definitely time to put up the fall decorations as well as any additional spooky embellishments.

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