Fall is Almost Here!

This summer has been a scorcher!  We’ve been through summers that felt too short and not sunny enough, but this has been one of the best.  We had plenty of hot weather, really beautiful experiences and almost no rain at all.  For my area, that is a very big thing!  All this means that the beginnings of fall, the falling leaves, the slightly cooling weather, is not such a mark of the end.  In fact, because we’re so satisfied by our summer, we’re looking forward to the cooler weather of the changing seasons.

The transition, however, can be complication.  The mornings might be cool enough for a sweater, but by the afternoon, it’s still almost summer hot, so your workplace might become a second closet filled with barely worn items.  Your morning routine might be thrown off by the darkening mornings.  The light blankets on your bed are sometimes enough, but sometimes not.

Once we get to fall, it’s easier to get into a rhythm.  But we have a few weeks of transition time before we get there.  Here are some tips on the time before it officially becomes fall.

1.) Extra Blanket: It’s not time for your big duvet yet, but that thin sheet might not be enough.  Throw on a second blanket that’s light.  And get your duvet out of the closet.  Now is the time to wash it and get it ready for use.  There’s nothing worse than pulling it out the moment you need it only to sleep a fitful night smelling musty and covered in dust.  We’re only a few weeks away from needing it, so it might be time to think out all your bedding for optimal sleeping needs.  Your duvet might need some love.  If you have a feather duvet, I bet you haven’t ever had it cleaned.  It’s important to keep it at it’s best.  There are a few ways to clean it.  Some people take it to the dry cleaners.  Others have an at home system and then leave it to dry on the close line.  Do some quick research into what kinds of feathers or synthetic material you have, and how to keep it clean.

2.) Put away anything that doesn’t layer:  At some point, you’ll pull down all your fall clothes that are stored away, like big sweaters and scarves.  But for now, just pack up anything that doesn’t layer.  Most summer dressed can have a nice shawl or sweater, but maybe short skirts aren’t good anymore.  Tall boots can start coming out of the woodwork, and your grey heals.  It’s going to get soggier, so maybe start putting away white or beige shoes that won’t get much use until next spring.  This isn’t the entire transition, you’re just getting ready for your bulky warmer clothes that will take up room.  It can be a big job if you try to do it all in one go.  Start small by separating you summer specific clothes from the rest and look at what you can use for fall.  You might need a few pieces for your fall wardrobe.  Now is the time to start planning those outfits!

3.) Fall clean your bathroom:  Heavy sunscreens and coconut scented lotions are summer, not fall.  Swap them out for your fall products to start getting ready for the cooler weather.  Sunscreens can last until next summer, but if they’re already hold overs from the summers before, toss them.  While we don’t want to promote waste, there are some things that you just shouldn’t use after they’ve expired.  This is also the perfect time to pull out the products you’re almost out of and use them up to free space in your cupboards.  The cold weather is going to require a different skincare routine than the heat of summer.

4.) Invest in some leg warmers:  This is really a matter of opinion, but there is nothing better then leg warmers in the morning while you’re getting ready.  It’s not cool enough for flannel pajamas yet, but that bristly shiver in the morning can make getting out of bed a chore.  When you wake up, while you’re still under the covers, pull on some tall socks or leg warms so you don’t have to worry about being cold while you go about your morning routine.  You can also have a light sweater ready to throw over your pajamas just in case it’s needed.  Maybe even get your slippers out if you don’t use them all year.

5.) Stop putting ice in your morning smoothie:  It’s not quite time for comfort food yet, but your body doesn’t need any help cooling down anymore.  If you’ve been drinking iced coffee and cold smoothies in the morning, start warming it up.  A nice hot tea or coffee and a smoothie at room temperate will stop you shivering as you put on your makeup.

6.) Make sure you get out after work:  The days are just starting to get shorter, and that can spell doom for some people.  Do you get the winter blues?  Now is the time to really make the most of the sunshine and start planning time outside after work.  Go for a walk, breath in the sunshine.  Soak it all up.  Pretty soon it’ll be dark when we leave.

7.) Re-adjust to Fall:  We’re not at fall yet, but it’s time to re-adjust our thinking to be prepare for it.  We’re so used to the carefree feelings of summer that heading into fall can really be a downer.  So instead, start getting excited for the things fall brings.  Like crunchy leaves!  Driving home yesterday, crunchy leaves were starting to fall across the road.  I got a thrill of excitement thinking about talking walks through the trees in my boots crunching through the leaves.  Get excited about fall fashion.  Start Pinteresting fall fashion choices.  Get excited about warm drinks and sitting inside with a magazine watching the grey weather outside.  Summer is about being outside, fall and winter can be about nesting.

8.) Fall Clean:  We tend to focus on spring cleaning more than fall, but re-adjusting your house is so important.  If you’re like us and have summer/winter dishes, now is the time to get them out, wash them, and put the summer stuff away.  Put away all your light summer blankets and pull out the thicker fall ones.  Pack up all the flip flops at the door and replace them with boots and slip on’s.  Put the umbrella stand back at the door and make sure you have enough umbrellas that work.  Put away all the summer magazines of bikini clad women and buy the September issues that kick of the new season.  Store some of the ice cube trays you’ve been re-filling like a mad man and fill you freezer with easy to warm up soups.  You have a few weeks to plan all this.  Make a list and use this transition time to slowly put your house in order for fall.

9.) Get things done!  Had a bunch of summer plans that you didn’t get too?  It’s now or never.  It’s still warm enough for a picnic in the afternoon, or riding your bike around the seawall.  Don’t go into the new season full of guilt for not getting things done.  If you have to cram, do it.  It’s better to be busy then be full of regret.

10.) Plan your exercise:  While we’d all like to say we’re going to keep running outside when it gets cold, or going for long walks, but that’s not always realistic.  If you’re like me and live in a place that rains for months, sometimes you just don’t want to be soggy.  It’s time to start looking into going back to the gym, or signing up for indoor yoga.  Look into your options now so you can be sure to get into the class you want.  Put together your gym bag and get anything you might need, like a new sweat towel or weight gloves.  Get a small container for your face wash, and get prepared.

11.) Plan your Food:  Comforting eating comes with the cold weather.  As the earth around us freezes, we make up for it by consuming warmer foods and larger portions of carbs.  It’s natural for us to want to protect our bodies with warmth, so it’s harder to live without the comforting stomach filling foods of winter.  You’re going to find your light summer salads do less and less to curb your hunger and satisfy you.  But no one wants to see all their hard work of summer disappear after a few weeks of suddenly craving every carb in sight.  This is the time to stat planning for your meals.  Get out your favorite fall recipes and start getting excited about them.  Plan salads with less leafy greens and more root vegetables, like beats and sweet potatoes.  Evaluate your food goals, and make sure you’re getting the nutrients your need instead of filling up on empty carbs.  Buy whole grain brown rice to stop yourself from slathering a piece of white bread with butter.  Don’t fight the change in your bodies needs, adapt to them and prepare for them.  This will help you stay on track.

We want to hear about your Fall preparation tips!  There are so many ways you can prepare for this crisp, colorful season.  Write in the comments below and tell us your favorite fall things to do!

*Photo take by Jayne

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