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As summer winds down, jump start the fall

summer, sunglasses with sun in background

Author note: I’m writing from a perspective of one who lives in the eastern United States. If you live where the weather feels like summer all year, this post is applicable to you as well. You just might have different goals or recipes in mind according to your climate!

Can you believe it’s already August 2020? I’d venture to guess that your spring and summer didn’t quite unfold as you’d planned this year. With a pandemic, quarantine, fake news, riots and non-stop political warfare, families had to get creative to find ways to enjoy themselves. As summer winds down, your loved ones are hopefully healthy. If that’s not the case, we pray that changes for the better, soon.

Maybe you were fortunate enough that you were able to take a vacation when things began to open back up. If you’re one of many moms or dads who suddenly feel rushed to get your act together before school starts, you’re definitely not alone in your struggle. Before summer bids its annual farewell, why not think ahead (while you still have time to think as you lounge by a pool) to your goals for the next season?

Do you swap out clothes as summer winds down?

summer, clothes hanging in closet

As I mentioned earlier, I live in the east, more specifically, in Pennsylvania. If you’ve ever lived in or visited this state, you know it’s quite common to experience all four seasons in a 24-hour period! I kid you, not! For me, this often leads to a yearly “Battle of the Storage Bins,” where I start to pack summer clothes away a bit prematurely. The problem is that, it doesn’t FEEL premature at the time because the temperatures start to plummet. This results in lamentations from my kids about needing their hoodies and blankets and snuggle-worthy pajama pants from the storage room.

No sooner do I make the swap than the Pennsylvania Indian Summer comes in with a bang! (Translate this to sun hot enough to cook breakfast on the sidewalk and humidity that causes our hair to look like we’re headed to an 80s party!) This leads to people ripping through all the bins I just stored away to find shorts and tank tops again, leaving a mess strewn all over the storage room. ( Do they sell storage bins with padlocks and would it be bad to lock my kids’ clothes away?)

That said, if you want to stay a step ahead of the game as summer winds down, at least start THINKING about how/when/where you want to store away summer clothes. If you ended last year with a goal in mind to organize your storage room, rearrange your dresser drawers or do a full-out Marie Kondo on your closets, NOW is the time to start , if you haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Think of delicious fall meals

food in bowls arranged in a circle on a tray

As summer winds down, you can also start getting ready for crock pot season! Fall is such a perfect time to use a crock pot. The end of summer weeks are a perfect time to browse the internet or page through cookbooks to gather some new recipes for the upcoming season. Have you been wanting to step-up your chili game or find new finger-food ideas for your Sunday night football fare?

Whether your kids are returning to their brick and mortar classrooms or will be learning from home this year, it’s never too soon to start planning weekly menus for fall. Think of all the time you can save later by organizing meal ideas for autumn BEFORE summer ends.

Stock up your pantry and your freezer before summer ends, too

summer, food in canning jars with paper lids

If you’re a gardener, you’ll likely be getting busy soon, bringing in the harvest and canning or freezing food for winter. (That is, unless you had a summer like me, and herd of deer jumped your garden fence and WIPED OUT YOUR CROPS!) Now is the time to clear space on your shelves, make sure you have lids and rings for canning jars, and also lots of space in your deep freezer if you like to freeze more than can.

Because there’s been talk about possible food and supply shortages this fall, it’s also a good idea to start buying thinks in bulk, like dried beans, pasta, paper products and other necessities. If you’re really in survivalist mode, you might want to pick up some 5-gallon buckets, which come in handy for storing non-perishable food items.

Set personal goals for fall

Goals typed on paper in typewriter

It doesn’t have to be New Year’s Eve for you to conduct a self-analysis and determine what goals you have for the upcoming seasons, what habits you might want to break or things that need changing in order for you to live your best life.

The end of summer is the perfect time to think of what you want to aim to achieve in the coming months ahead. Write a list and ponder what you need to do to accomplish your goals. This is a much less stressful way to go about it than waiting until fall is already here and feeling like a failure when you realize you don’t have time to prepare to do the things you were hoping to do.

Hot cocoa days are coming!

person in shawl holding mug of hot cocoa

You know how there’s always that FIRST day come fall, when the air is just so crisp and you can see your breath? You can smell chimney smoke when you step outside and you get an instant craving for a delicious cup of hot cocoa? Nothing’s worse than having that day arrive with NO supplies on hand!

Before summer ends, it’s the perfect time to stock up your pantry with winter drink supplies. Whether it’s hot cocoa or something a bit stronger for the adults, such as cognac or Kahlua. Don’t forget to store away some shaved chocolate, marshmallows and other toppings. You’ll be glad you did when fall arrives and you just can’t wait to start a fire and roast some S’mores!

 

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