August is a terrific month to savor those last days of summer while at the same time prepping for the fall season. Then, finally, it’s back-to-school time, and cooler weather is just around the corner. So here’s a handy must-do list to get you and your home ready.
- Go through your closets with an eye toward fall. Start with the kids’ closets and ask them to help. Worn and outgrown clothing are easy candidates for removal. Set aside the tattered clothing for textile recycling and donate the rest. Adult closets can be more difficult. Ask yourself these questions: Do I love it? Does it fit? Will I have an occasion to wear it the next year? If the answers are no, then it’s time to donate.
- Take advantage of late summer sales on school and office supplies. Consider buying extras to help those families at your child’s school who are struggling financially.
- Clean and put away vacation items once you return from your last summer trip. Air out suitcases, rinse and dry beach chairs and toys and launder beach towels. Toss anything that is broken or worn and shop the summer clearance for any needed replacements.
- Clean out the pantry and freezer, tossing expired and stale items, and consolidating duplicate open packages. Once you’ve cleared out the mess, stock up on the staples for easy-to-make items for those busy school nights. Next, create a shopping list based on family favorite recipes.
- Summertime can wreak havoc on the family vehicle so take the time now to do a thorough cleaning. Declutter the entire vehicle, tossing the trash, and rehoming the toys, paperwork, and anything else that has inadvertently been left behind over a busy summer. Wipe down the dashboard and seats and vacuum the floors. Don’t forget to clean out the glove compartment!
- Set up a family drop zone or tidy up an existing one that has been neglected all summer. Add hooks and cubbies, as needed, for shoes and backpacks. Designate a basket or bin as your “action” file for school, work, and home-related paperwork that needs your attention. Create a monthly wall calendar to record schedules, activities, and family events.
- Schedule medical and dental appointments for the remainder of the year for each member of your family. Pets included! Don’t wait until the end of the year when the holidays make schedules more hectic and appointment times become scarce.
- Preserve those summer memories. Go through your photos now and print the favorites to display in your home or preserve them in photo albums and scrapbooks. Don’t forget to print a few extras to share with distant family. In today’s digital world, we sometimes forget that a printed photo can be a cherished gift, especially to older family members.