Fall is nearly here. We’ve already had our first snowfall here in Colorado. Thankfully, it confined itself to the high mountains and we are not yet a winter wonderland.
But it was a good wakeup call. It’s time to get organized for fall. The days are getting shorter and the weather will soon be getting cooler. Here are four simple ways to get organized for fall now, and stay ahead of the #falliday chaos.
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Simplify Your Morning Routines
With fewer daylight hours, you’ll soon be rising for work before sunrise if you aren’t already. I know at my house it’s harder to want to get out of bed when it’s cold and dark, so I have learned to do as much as possible the night before, and create a simple morning routine for myself.
When all my children were still at home, I had someone leaving the house about every 45 minutes from 6 to 9 a.m. It could have been constant chaos fixing breakfasts, packing lunches, and getting everyone out the door on time—with all their gear.
We made it work with simple morning routines— and by having everyone pack their own lunches the night before. Yes, even the first graders learned to pack their lunches. The key to success here is an organized pantry, and a lunchbox assembly line. And by the way, whether you’re sending them off to school, homeschooling, or holding virtual class at home, these ideas can still work.
I used plastic baskets like these ones to hold lunch and snack options in my pantry, making it easy for the kids to come through and choose what they would eat to build their own lunches. I like the plastic baskets because they are durable and easy to wash. And they have space for labels on the front. If you want a more fashion-forward pantry, you can use something like these pretty wire and fabric baskets.
By the way, I’m not a gadget person, but after my sister gifted me a Brother P-Touch Label Maker, not only am I a convert, but my husband has found even more uses for it.
If you’re like me and well on your way to an empty nest, you may just want to focus on your own morning routine. You can get some ideas for simplifying your routine in this post.
Clean Out Your Closets
Now is the time to start pulling out the winter gear. Does everyone have at least one warm jacket that fits? Does anything need repairs or need to go to the cleaners? What about winter boots and warm socks? Nothing spoils a cold-weather outing faster than cold, wet feet.
If winter clothes need replacing, now is a good time to shop the pre-season sales, while you have plenty of options. If you’re a thrift store shopper like I am, hustle in now. Most of our thrift stores are putting out the winter goods, and the earlier you shop, the more choices you get.
How do you manage everyone’s winter gear? It’s amazing how quickly clothing clutter can pile up in the winter. We don’t have a mudroom, so I added these large plastic shoe baskets at each entrance. They hold several pair of shoes with no wet floors, and because they are sturdy plastic I can just rinse them clean when I need to.
And I added this simple and clever over-the-door-organizer to store hats, gloves, scarves and such in our front closet.
You can also start clearing out the summer clothes that are outgrown, in disrepair or stained. You won’t need as many warm-weather clothes in this transitional season, so start making room for your winter wardrobe now.
Schedule Important Events Now
The last four months of the year often seem to be the busiest. Whether or not you have kids in school, there are many holiday and seasonal events that can quickly overwhelm your calendar. Take a few minutes now to add important events to your calendar for the next few months. This way, you won’t miss a critical activity, or find yourself double booked.
Get Ahead of the Holidays
It’s no secret. We have several major holidays coming up between now and the end of the year. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, and probably something else I’ve missed.
Start your holiday planning now. You don’t have to fill in all the details, but setting your budget and your expectations ahead of time will reduce stress and allow you to enjoy the season. You may want to pull out your fall decorations. Check their condition, see what needs replacing or what you’d like to add to your collection. Shopping for decorations early will give you the best selection.
Plan now for any entertaining needs. Are there special foods you buy or make at this time of year? You can make shopping lists now and budget for holiday cooking ahead of time.
It’s also the perfect time to begin holiday gift shopping. Avoid last-minute crowds and budget surprises by beginning your shopping early and spacing it out over the next few months. Be sure you keep track of what you buy, who it’s for, and where you stash it, so you don’t end up buying twice.
These simple steps can help you get organized for fall now, avoiding the stress and the expense of waiting until the last minute. And by starting to get organized for fall now, you can do a little at a time and still enjoy the change of seasons.
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