While we transition from summer to the beginning of a new school year and get back into a routine, August can feel like a sudden downshift. While we still enjoy the warm days of summer, there is time for a few more home projects and preparing the house for fall. Pick from these quick to-dos to create your own August plan.
1. Clean and store summer gear. Once the last trip to the beach is behind you, take the time to clean out the buckets, shovels and boogie boards so they’re fresh and clean for next year. Toss out cracked or broken toys, and shop end-of-season sales to replace items if needed.
2. Set up a shared family calendar. Whether you choose a big paper wall calendar, a digital version, or online version, having one calendar to rule them all will be a big help come fall. Set up your preferred method now, and record important dates, sports schedules, movie nights, etc.
3. Clear the way for easy dinners. A too-packed kitchen (and fridge and pantry) can make meal prep harder than it needs to be. Clear away clutter to create a clean workspace on the counter and remove expired, stale and unwanted food from the pantry, fridge and freezer. Donate unwanted and unexpired foods in their original packaging to a local food pantry.
4. Organize family photos. Have photos from the year’s special moments? Take this opportunity to sort and organize them — back up digital photos with cloud-based storage, and make an album or a book of recent photos. If you would like to display some of your photos but are finding it difficult to choose, put them in a big collage instead or hang them from clothespins or bulldog clips on a wire. There are also digital picture frames where you can upload your favorite memories to rotate around!
5. Clean carpets and floors. Dirt tracked in over the summer can really take a toll on floors. Vacuum and mop floors, and have area rugs and carpeting professionally cleaned if needed.
6. Get organized for back to school (and work). Consider what would make this fall run more smoothly for your family: a few extra hooks in the entryway to handle coats and bags? A better workspace or study area? If papers are a constant problem, take the time now to set up a simple filing system and an inbox for each family member.
7. Check emergency kits. Emergency supplies don’t last forever, so this is a great time to open up your kit and check expiration dates on food and any medications; replace as needed. Don’t have an emergency kit yet? Make this the month you create one.
8. Organize closets. Before making any new purchases, spend some time assessing what you already have in the closet. Try on clothing, fold and hang up any clothes on the floor, get rid of items you don’t wear and make a list of what you need. Doing this before shopping can help save money and prevent cluttering up your closet.
9. Clean and organize the garage. If you haven’t cleaned out your garage in a while, it’s likely this project will take an entire weekend (or more), so plan accordingly. It helps to think ahead and find out where you can take items (donations, hazardous waste, things to sell) before starting, and get a dumpster if you think you will need it. And if you need help, consider hiring someone to assist you with part or all of the process. Wait until you’ve cleared away the clutter before purchasing new shelving or wall-mounted organizers. You’ll have a better idea of what you need once the decluttering is complete.
10. Finish up outdoor projects. Make use of the long August days to finish up any outdoor projects you started (or intended to start) over the summer, from cleaning the gutters to adding a new deck.
If you need any help with projects, handyman, general contractors or specialty contractors, please reach out and I’d be happy to share my resources with you!
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