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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at San Francisco chapter.

Walking down the home decor aisle the past few weeks have been an overwhelming array of items but how do you swim through the sea of orange? If you want to decorate this fall season but don’t know where to start, here is an easy way to engage your senses without breaking the bank.

Decorating for me needs to be simple and what is more simple than our five senses. Purchasing one item that fulfills each sense can make your space feel more fall than if you were to have dozens of items. Here are my must have items for your space to feel like fall.

Candles

Imagine, you are sitting at your desk, rereading an academic journal for the fifth time trying to derive its meaning and are about ready to step away from the computer, instead light a candle. Smell can invoke memories and so when you go down the candle aisle try to find a comforting scent that reminds you of a safe place. There are also candles that make a wood crackling sound as well, which can also satisfy your need for audio. Ross has a wide selection of larger candles at an affordable price making them feel like a deal. 

Blankets 

When watching a scary movie, where the suspense is making you too nervous, it is natural for us to want to hide under a blanket. Blankets satisfy the touch component whether you prefer fluffy and soft or thick and knitted there is something for everyone. Marshalls is the place if you want something on the softer side for a cheaper price but if you want a more thick blanket you may want to visit Target but it will cost more.

Pumpkins

Despite the wall to wall of orange, there can also be little pumpkins. Pumpkins can come in all colors and shapes from the traditional orange, to fabric pumpkins. These little touches of fall can engage our eyes when we need to look away from our screens. Target is the place to go with their $5 and below section. I would argue the smaller the pumpkin the better. You not only get a better price but you can also do a little bit of decor in every part of your space and not have it strictly in one spot.

Baked goods

In most fall movies growing up there was always a plate of cookies on the counter ready for when the kids came home. It may seem indulgent to buy baked goods for two months but when you get home and it has been a cold rainy day, or your midterm didn’t go as planned you can take a cookie, put it in the oven to make it warm again and take a bite. Cookies are not the only dessert you can limit yourself to but having that sweet nostalgic treat when you get home not only satisfies the taste of fall but gives you the permission to be a little nostalgic. You can make your own or buy from the store either way I would recommend a trip to Trader Joe’s for their seasonal section or their baking bounty. 

Jazz music

When thinking of fall, I like to imagine that I am in a movie with a soft track playing as my background. There are some great young jazz musicians like Laufey, and Samara Joy, or if you prefer there are classics Ella Fitzgerland, and Billie Holiday. Music is an easy and free way to get the sounds of fall with apps like spotify or youtube. On Youtube there is always a 24 hour livestream featuring lofi jazz music. Their music will not only make you feel alive but tingles your brain. 

You can do more with less items if they are chosen with this senses method in mind. If you don’t have a big space, a lot of decorations can make a space seem smaller or cluttered. If you don’t have the budget then you are not alone but when making purchases try to evaluate how long these items will last you or if you would want new ones each year. Not everyone can be a social media influencer who spends thousands covering their walls with decorations. That doesn’t mean you can not participate in the feeling of fall, it just means you have to do it with more mindfulness.

Jessica Sheppard

San Francisco '24

I am originally from Sacramento and am earning my bachelors and masters degree at San Francisco State and pursuing both degrees in communications. In addition to being assistant editor on SF State's HerCampus I am the president of the rock climbing club on campus. I enjoy writing culture, life, and experiences articles. My LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessica-sheppard-sfsu/