In our house August is a month of purging, cleaning and organizing. You see, I know that once September hits it won’t take me long to feel overwhelmed with busy schedules, rehearsals, concerts, hockey games, ballet, school committments…the list goes on and on. This fall promises to be busier than any before. Yes, we do it to ourselves but in our seasonal lives, we know it is just this year. We are going hard and fast for one more year and then after that, we plan to slow. This year is, in part out of the necessity of a healthier financial income whilst Ben finishes up his final year of course work for his doctoral studies and in part, because we see more things as “opportunities” as opposed to “obligations” than most. That being said, our unique mindset does not negate the fact that we have set ourselves up for a grey-hair-producing, can barely breathe, possibly lonely and yet overly busy fall. It’s a merely a season of our lives and dammit, despite it, I’m determined to enjoy it. But how? Well it’s not the first time we’ve done this, so let me share with you some of my strategies for making it through the fall flurry.
Here are my tips on how to prepare for September (be it busy like mine, or easy like Sunday morning).
In August, we deep clean. I clean the things, I only clean once a year. I sweep the cobwebs off the ceiling, I clean the vents, the washing machine, the freezer, behind the beds and dressers and all the other little places where dust bunnies and clumps of Soren’s hair live.
This goes along with cleaning. I clean my kids’ drawers out of any clothes that are too small or unwearable anymore. I organize the kids school work from the previous year and acquire/gather/purchase the school supplies they will need for the year ahead. I put things all back in their proper places from shoes, to toys, from tools, to books. Everything has a place.
I also organize my calendar. Few things give me more joy than picking up my copy of the Mom’s Ultimate Calendar. I write in everyone’s activities in their designated colour and then plug those dates into my electronic calendar, which is shared with my husband (also colour coded) so no one is forgetting anything.
Just Do It…whatever “it” is.
We all have them. The jobs we just do not want to do such as take the bottles to the bottle depot, have an annual investment review, dentist appointments, applications of all kinds – you name it. We all have them. Just do them. No if’s, and’s or but’s just get it done.
Be Prepared. Be Prepared. Be Prepared.
Prepare your freezer, the fridge and the pantry. Summer is such a great time to stock up the freezer with those things that you just won’t have time to make during the fall but will make you feel oh-so-good on those cold autumn nights, such as blueberry pies, strawberry jam and frozen lasagnas. There are a tonne of ideas for freezer meals that are quick and easy for nights when you have to play chauffer instead of master chef. Stock your pantry as you are able so if you don’t get to the store it’s okay and there is always something to pull together for supper and clean out that fridge. There is no time like the present.
Prepare your mind. We know it’s not going to be easy. I take one look at my calendar and I know that at one point or another I am going to be on the verge of loosing it. Put coping mechanisms in place. It could be a coffee fund for a designer cup of joe every once and a while if that is what you feel gives you a bit of a pick-me-up. It could be massage therapy, date nights with your partner or it could be a day reserved just for you. Whatever is going to keep you sane, make it a priority.
Prepare your cheque book. The last thing anyone needs to worry about is money – especially when life is jam-packed with other commitments. Get your cheque book organized before December 20th creeps up on you and you realize you don’t have enough for Christmas gifts, a Christmas meal or transportation that will take you to friends and family. Set money aside each month, or better yet, each week so you know you will have enough and it won’t add to the stress.