I’ve spent the majority of my life either attending school or working at one, so this time of year always feels like a fresh start to me. Whether or not you have kids at home, the shift from summer to fall probably means a return to a busier and more structured schedule. A little pre-planning can make this time of year a lot easier, so here are some tips to make a smooth transition back to school: 1. Develop a morning and evening routine – If bedtimes for you and your family have been more relaxed in the summer, start shifting now to your new schedule. Doing this gradually will help prevent that dreaded back to school hangover. Another important thing you can do to feel your best is to develop a morning and evening routine. Set a regular time to go to bed and wake up (even on the weekends!), and allow your body to slowly get going in the morning and wind down in the evening. Try to incorporate a little self-care into each time of day, whether it’s meditation, prayer, stretching, journaling, or just counting your blessings. Even five minutes can make a difference in your outlook and quality of sleep. 2. Start planning your meals – One of the major chores of everyday life is addressing meals. Grocery shopping, cooking, and cleanup can take a lot of time, and doing it without a plan can be absolutely miserable. Start by making a list of your family's favorite meals and create a schedule to rotate through them. If you need some new ideas, check out meal plans online or download a meal-planning app. Most of these provide grocery lists to make shopping a breeze. Other options for streamlining mealtime include services like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh that mail you all the ingredients with instructions for preparation. If you shop at Wegmans, they have a user-friendly app that allows you to browse recipes and create a list based on frequently-purchased items. My favorite part is that it automatically arranges your list by the aisles of your store! Some local Wegmans are now offering home grocery delivery. You can see if it’s available in your area here. For more grocery shopping tips, check out this post: How to Declutter Grocery Shopping. 3. Transition your wardrobe – Getting ready in the morning is much easier with a decluttered and well-curated wardrobe. As the weather starts getting cooler, take a few hours to sort through your clothes, get rid of anything you don’t like or doesn’t fit, and make a list of things that need to be replaced. Remember, having fewer options can actually help you make decisions, so if you have a lot of clothes consider creating a capsule work wardrobe with just a subset of them. You can find more tips on streamlining your clothes here: Get Your Wardrobe Ready for Winter; How To Purge Your Wardrobe. 4. Get your entryway in order – The place you enter and exit your home is an important transition point, but one that tends to collect clutter. Make this spot work for you and your family by sorting through coats and shoes and keeping only what is currently in use in this area. Provide a place to set down bags and keys, and if space is tight consider adding hooks or a shelf to provide storage without sacrificing floor space. For more ideas on how to transition your entryway to a new season check out this post: Get Your Entryway Ready for Spring.
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