For many people, September seems like more of a ‘fresh start’ than January. Whether you’ve been away at the cottage, travelling or just treating every day like a Saturday, these tips should help you get organized into a good routine this fall.
Switching from vacation to organization
Coming back from travelling, cottaging or camping? Unclutterer.com recommends taking the suitcases straight to the laundry room to get that task underway before starting anything else. This gives you a jump on getting the household re-organized. They also suggest keeping the weekend after you return open—or with very little on the agenda—to help ease back into routines.
Once the vacation laundry has been tamed and you’ve refilled the fridge with healthful groceries, you can turn your attention to getting organized for fall schedules and activities. WomansDay.com suggests you use the fall to make a fresh start by creating new routines that will keep you even more organized than ever. Here are a few ideas to inspire you:
Map out your meals
Work out a weekly menu plan before you go grocery shopping to help save time on weeknight cooking, and save money on your groceries. CookingLight.com points out that a ‘cook once, eat twice’ strategy can be a real time-saver. Another great tip: put a star or checkmark on your plan beside meals your family really likes. Over time, you’ll build up a top-notch menu.
There are lots of apps available for your mobile phone or tablet to help with your plan. Popular features include providing recipe ideas and automatically creating grocery lists to make shopping a snap.
Reorganize your calendar
Put your household calendar where everyone can see it and write activities in a different colour for each family member. Some family calendars start with the school year and include handy stickers for common items like dentist appointments and birthdays. TodaysParent.com has some great tips for organizing your weekly calendar in no time.
Or consider using an online calendar, such as Google Calendar, that you can access on your computer, tablet or phone. You may find it handy to set up alarms and reminders so nothing gets forgotten.
Tame your bills and paperwork
If you get your bills in the mail, designate an area for sorting them and keep your cheque book and a stash of stamps in the same spot. Fall is also a great time to go through your filing cabinet and shred or recycle old papers that you no longer need.
MarthaStewart.com points out that you can cut down on clutter by signing up for online banking and getting your bills online. epost™ takes it a step further by consolidating your bills from different mailers all in one place. Not familiar with epost? It’s a great one-stop shop to help you manage all your bills online. And since your statements are organized and stored for up to 7 years, you won’t need to fill up your filing cabinet or hard drive with bills.
Schedule fall tasks
Whether you write out a honey-do list, post sticky notes in a cupboard itemizing individual tasks, use an app or spreadsheet, this is a great time to get ready for those jobs that come with fall weather. LifeOrganizers.com suggests tasks like these:
- Swap summer clothes in your closet for fall ones
- Check what fits and donate anything that doesn’t
- Schedule furnace servicing and duct cleaning (if necessary)
- Stock up on yard waste bags and get your pruning shears sharpened
- Start fall cleaning inside the house too
- Organize your vacation photos
How do you transition from vacation mode to a fall routine? Share your ideas in the comments below.