Like a thief into the night, summer has left us high and dry! When did it become fall? It seems like just a few weeks ago we were easing into summer and finally winding down before the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Hopefully I’m not alone in the feeling that I need another 2 or 3 months before we even start to think about Oct. For my household in the last 3 months of the year there are 7 birthdays (1 of course is mine), 4 holidays (we celebrate Halloween like its 1999), 3 possible holiday office parties, 2 possible family holiday parties, coordination of family visits and getting the DramaTween where she needs to be to visit both sides of the family.
Needless to say, by the end of these 3 months in years past I didn’t know my name or if I was coming or going. I started my search to figure out how I could save myself time and energy when it came to one of the most event filled times of the year. I came across dozens of tips + tricks that ranged from bulk cooking to shopping and everything else in-between. Many of the tips + tricks I found were super helpful and as we prepare for shorter days and longer nights in these last 3 months of 2019 I wanted to share the ones that I use time and time again.
- Make a Plan: Nothing can really be done without an actual plan. This would be a good time to talk with the immediate people that you share your life with to have a clear understanding of expectations. I like to start with a list from each person in my household. The list contains what each person would like to do/get accomplished and confirmed commitments. Action: (1) Compile the list (2) Be realistic with the commitments and timeline (3) eliminate the things that do not work or conflict.
- Don’t Sleep on Pre-sales/Advertisement Emails: You may have already noticed an increase amount of emails you are receiving for advertisement from various companies. Starting around October most companies begin sending out notices of whats to come sale wise in preparation for the holidays. If you are a big planner, this would be a great time to mark calendars for specific sales. Action: (1) Mark calendars for major sales/events (2)Take full advantage of pre-sales, order those items early (like planners/calendars) save yourself time +energy.
- Switch Closet: Now depending on where you are located, you may have already taken this step. Here in NC the weather is so fickle- winter in the mornings, fall by lunch, spring early afternoon and summer by the time you hit traffic. Switching the summer and spring clothes for your fall and winter clothing gives you a good opportunity to go through your closet and remove things that no longer fit, you don’t wear or is no longer your style. * if you haven’t worn it in 2 seasons its a good chance you wont in the future* Action: (1) Gather the items that you realistically no longer need/use (2) Locate a place to donate those items (donations can be tax write offs, check local state details) (3) organize closet, take inventory of what you have vs what you may need for upcoming event, i.e holiday gatherings etc.
- Budget: Now is a great time to budget for the holidays and the end of the year. We have 3 months to consider bills and any changes ( our heating bill typically goes up while cooling goes down). Begin to put a little money away for holidays, gifts, traveling, parties or anything out of the ordinary in the final stretch to 2020. Action: (1) Create a separate reasonable budget for holidays, bills, travel and variables (2) compare budget to plan, if there are items on the plan that do not reasonably fit in the budget, now is time to remove those things. Do not wait on this, one of the biggest stresses I have during the end of year is knowing something isn’t quite in budget and not being honest with myself. In the past I’ve let time go by, stretching myself thin to accomplish something that I 100% knew months earlier was not feasible. Trust me my friend, we aren’t doing anyone any favors by putting ourselves in that situation.
- Shop Early: If it can be purchased early do yourself a favor and buy it now. This isn’t just for holiday gifts, this includes events and parties as well. Action: (1) Make a list of the items you need (2) whatever can be purchased now or over time (layaway), take advantage and get it sooner rather than later. Side note: I was 100% done with holiday shopping last year by the 2nd week in November because I shopped early and over time.
- Save: If your goal is Black Friday or Cyber Monday, put a little bit away for those dates specifically. Remember the budget? Create one for those dates and put money to the side so you a fully prepared to indulge in the festivities.
Now while there are tons and tons of tips and tricks a person could do to help them prepare for the last few months of the year, I found that these 6 are the most effective for my family. What are some tips or tricks you use to help you ease into fall and prepare for the end of the year?