Two weeks ago, in my End of Summer post, I wrote about my love for shiny new school supplies and decluttering, clearing space out for what’s to come.
Since then, I have acquired three glittery pens from the Target dollar bins, washed my bedroom curtains, and continued to clear one item a day out of my house. Some of this is still sitting in a donation bag behind my closet door, but that’ll go to the childrens’ hospital thrift shop when it’s full, and will be replaced with an empty one. I did some rearranging to tidy up our den.
(Of course, I’m still putting off the biggest part of my decluttering- donation of baby clothes, since we don’t expect to have any more kids and our youngest is growing out of things. I find this incredibly hard and sad. Just me?)
But enough about things that make me sad, and enough about clearing out the end of summertime. Let’s talk about fall!
While I hate cool weather, there are a few things I’m looking forward to. Turning on the heat in the house. Flannel pajamas. The county fair (that’s this weekend!) Going back to the pumpkin patch we found last fall (see picture above). And Thanksgiving, without being as miserably pregnant and totally unable to enjoy it as I was last year.
And corn boxes! Living out in the country as we are, the corn box for kids seems to be ubiquitous in the fall. Yes, a corn box is just what it sounds like.
But with the fun parts of fall come the tricky parts, and the prep parts, and the inevitable ticking toward the holiday season. And in my life (full-time work, long commute, two toddlers and a baby) it really is impossible to just get things done as they come up. Life takes some prep work. So here’s my plan-way-ahead list, which I’m making while sitting in front of my calendar and marking the days I’d like to accomplish these things.
Note: don’t get intimidated by the length of this list. You’re not DOING any of it right now. It’s a list of things to put on your calendar to do.
- Sometime in the next week: make holidayshopping list, of people to shop for- and as far as I can, fill in what I’d like to buy and when I’d like to buy it. Goal is to buy all presents before Thanksgiving.
- Sometime in the next two weeks: Check in with kids’ schoolteachers (well, day care providers, in my case). Do they have all the supplies and stuff they need in class? Is there anything they want us to work on at home with them?
- Sometime in early October: Halloween costumes! What do the girls want to be, or what do I want them to be? What do I need for their costumes? Fill in when I’d like to buy things- fit them in with our regular weekend shopping trips.
- Sometime in early October: What are your holiday plans? Decide with your family, and if there’s anything that needs doing to prep, put it on the calendar.
- Sometime in mid-October, before the bugs hit: go into medicine cabinet, and clear expired products out. Take inventory. Make a shopping list of everything you need for stuffy noses, coughs, sore throats, tummy bugs, and aches and pains- for kids and adults. Then go restock.
- Sometime in mid-October: When do you plan to get flu shots for the family, if you do? Set a date and a place, and go. Pray it won’t be as hard to get as last year’s.
- Sometime in late October: Take stock of your holiday shopping.
- Sometime in early November: Make Thanksgiving plans. Who will you have it with, and where? Make your food plan*.
- Sometime in mid-November: Start talking to family and friends about impending holiday parties, and get them on your calendar. What do you need for them? Plan to get it. Check in on your holiday list again.
- Sometime in late November: What are your holiday plans? Are they finalized?
- Sometime in late November: If holiday shopping’s not finished, put the last few errands on your calendar. Set them in stone.
And there you have it. You DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS NOW. Just get it on the calendar. Spread things out and put them on in advance so that once they come around, they’ve already been planned and ready.
*My Thanksgiving food plan? Thanksgiving is the one holiday our immediate family does alone (or with any local friends looking for a meal), at home. Last year I was REALLY, REALLY pregnant (Allison was born less than a week later), and we ordered a pre-made dinner from Harris Teeter, the local grocery chain. It was a smart decision because I spent too much time thinking I was going into labor (and praying to do so) and the rest of my time sick as a dog with a bad cold and bronchitis, I never would have been able to cook. Looking back, I’d really have enjoyed the easy Thanksgiving without the physical limitations… so I think we’re going to do it again. We saved time, money, effort, and the food was really very good!