50 Things You Need to Do Before the Fall
From taking care of your health to getting organized for fall to squeezing every last drop of fun out of the warmer days, here's how to maximize the rest of your summer.
Don't let the farmers down
Everyone loves the farmer's market during watermelon and peach season but your local growers have plenty of great things to offer as the weather cools down too, says Kristamarie Collman, MD, a family medicine physician specializing in preventative health, nutrition, and weight management. "Take advantage of the seasonal foods such as butternut, pumpkin, and other root vegetables," she says. "These eats are loaded with vitamins and immune boosting nutrients to help keep you healthy throughout the season." Add these summer superfoods to your diet for a glowing complexion.
Go sleep outside and burn a marshmallow
Thanks to cooler temps, fall camping can be the best camping, says Christian Shauf, CEO and founder of Uncharted Supply Co. The mild weather, changing foliage, and crackling fire will give you lasting memories, plus nothing will solve your sadness about summer ending better than crisp air and the beautiful colors of the leaves around you, he adds.
Be the person who plans all the fun stuff
Combat the dreaded end of summer by giving yourself something to look forward to. "Create a dream board filled with pictures of places you want to go or things you want to do to celebrate fall," says Janine Knighton, creative director at PuttingAPinInIt.com. Apple picking, drives to see the changing leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, a cozy bed and breakfast, a sumptuous Thanksgiving family feast—whatever says "fall" to you. Then hang it somewhere you can see it every day, she adds. These 38 photos of fall across America will inspire you.
Arm yourself for allergy season
You may feel like you've just escaped the pollen-induced snot-fest of spring but ragweed allergy season is right around the corner come fall, says Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, author of The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to Women's Health. So now is the time to talk to your doctor about your particular sensitivities and what you can do to treat them. Many allergy meds are over the counter these days or you can try a more natural route by drinking plenty of water and supplementing with magnesium citrate, she says.
Make it rain money with a garage sale
Spring cleaning is normally seen as a prime time for yard sales, but a post-summer garage sale can be the perfect way to clean out the summer toys and gear you no longer need while making room for holiday decorations—not to mention making a little extra cash, says Aaron LaPedis, author of The Garage Sale Millionaire. Plus, it is a great way to meet your neighbors and their kids before school starts to set up playdates and carpools, he adds. Follow these tips to rake in the big bucks.
Bring back your regular bedtime
Schedules are just as vital for adults as they are for kids, so use this time to get yours back on track. Implement a regular bedtime routine at least ten days before school starts, says Fran Walfish, PhD, Beverly Hills family and relationship psychotherapist and author of The Self-Aware Parent. "This will help your child's body get into the groove of winding down and waking up earlier so when school begins, your child's body, energy, and focus will be prepared for school's physical and mental expectations and demands," she explains. Read on for more tips from sleep doctors on how to catch better Zzzs.
Buy glue sticks that actually glue
For parents, filling your cart with fresh packs of crayons, still-sticky glue sticks, and neat notebooks is one of the most poignant reminders that summer is ending and fall is coming. The key to a smooth back-to-school transition is to include your kids in the shopping and preparing, Dr. Walfish says. Let them help you round up stuff you have at home and pick out the new items at the store to help them feel more calm and prepared.
Take a tour of the school
Whether it's your child's first year at a new school or they're a seasoned elementary expert, taking a quick walk around the school, pointing out their new classroom, and saying hi to their teachers can go a long way in helping them feel ready for school, Dr. Walfish says. Most schools offer a formal back-to-school night for this purpose but they'll often let you come in during other times as well. Don't miss the 33 things your kids' teacher wants you to know.
Set up a cozy homework nook
Whether it's putting a box of supplies near the kitchen table or getting a desk for their bedroom, make sure your child has a quiet, well-stocked place to do their homework. This not only serves as a visual reminder to your child of the upcoming summer-to-school transition but gives them the routine and structure they crave, Dr. Walfish says. Before school starts they can use it as a book nook to catch up on their favorite novels—perhaps one of these 13 books that you won't believe have been banned?
Ruthlessly purge your closet
The shift between seasons is the perfect time to declutter and organize your closet, says Rachel Rosenthal, a professional organizer. Overwhelmed? Use this trick: Look at each of your items and think about whether or not you've used it or worn it since the end of last summer. If the answer is "no" then it's time to get rid of it, she says. This tough love will make way for more seasonal items like ski pants or a new holiday dress. This flowchart will help you decide what to keep and what to donate.