The first official day of fall is September 22, but most people start kicking summer out the door around Labor Day.

Ah, fall ... just the word brings to mind visions of twirling leaves, the smell of a crackling fire, and Halloween. These are the top 10 harbingers of the autumn season; how many have you spotted already?

1. Pumpkin spice everything is everywhere.

By the time winter comes, you'll be sick of all the PSL Instagram posts, Facebook photos, and "could-this-line-be-any-longer" tweets. Every year, I wonder if people realize that pumpkin spice is available all year in the baking section of any grocery store. I'm just saying!

2. These boots were made for walking!

All of a sudden, women are wearing tall boots like they're about to go horseback riding or striding through the heather in the Highlands.

Courtesy of Pexels

3. The Michaels parking lot is packed 24/7.

"I just need to run to Michaels" is a phrase that strikes fear into many a husband's heart. Do yourself a favor and stay in the car; there's nowhere to sit and wait inside, and the smell of those cinnamon pinecones will send you into a catatonic trance. On second thought, make yourself useful and get in line while she picks up one more garland of faux foliage.

4. Your Instagram is filled with pictures of leaves.

Leaves on the ground, leaves in the air, holding up just one leaf ... we get it. You know this happens every year, right?

fall leaf
​​​​​​​Courtesy of Pexels

5. Everyone and their mothers want you to go apple-picking with them.

I'm definitely guilty of this one. What else says fall like picking tons of apples you'll never eat in time?

6. College football rivalries hit an all-time high.

Tempers flare as college football season heats up. You start curating your going-out shirts based on the games you're heading out to watch and who your companions will be.

7. Pumpkins start appearing everywhere.

Even the warty gourds get love this time of year. Whether they're lined up artistically in the middle of a dining room table or coupled demurely on a doorstep, pumpkins are the suburban decor du jour.

Courtesy of Pexels

8. Your Instagram feed is filled with #itsfallyall shots.

Something about the fall season brings out the photog in all of us. Tailgates, chunky scarves, pumpkin bread ... it all fits under this catch-all hashtag.


My kid just requested a pumpkin flavored something. #🎃 #itsfallyall

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9. Pet parents start planning their fur-kids' Halloween costumes.

It's not unusual to hear things like "Booboo simply hates anything with a chin strap. I need to remember that when I order his pirate outfit on Etsy." Just smile and nod.

10. Halloween candy is everywhere and you're absolutely fine with it.

Unlike the outrage everyone feels when Christmas stuff comes out in October, aisles of tiny treats bear no such stigma. You've somehow convinced yourself that eating five mini candy bars is not as bad as inhaling a regular-sized one, and every trip to the grocery store is an exercise in self-control.

Keep an eye out for these signs and go pick up a PSL. I'd be lying if I said I haven't already! It's fall, y'all!