We’re so sorry! Sorry to bring attention to the very sad fact that summer is… (whisper it)… almost over. True, some of us are secretly excited that the kids will be going back to school and we can get our house back (yay!). But for the most part, it’s hard to ignore the change of seasons and the leaving behind of things like backyard barbecues, swim parties, big beautiful sunflowers and the sound of the ice cream truck.

But, not to dwell…snap out of it! Time marches on and we have a short to-do list that will both help with the transition from summer to fall, and help get ready for the coming autumn season.

First, hold on to a bit more summer…

  • Hit the beach. Or the park. Or the mountains. Or the pool. Whatever your local outdoor fun spot, the place that just says “summer” – go there! There’s still time to fit-in one last afternoon in the sun, with fresh air and physical activity like swimming, hiking, softball, or just wandering leisurely down a wooded path. Maybe hit up a theme park. Bonus tip: be sure to end the day with a stop at an ice cream shop!
  • Get fresh flowers. It’s easy to remember fresh cut flowers when summer is new and the garden seems to be bursting with new colors every day. As summer winds down, we tend to forget about flowers. But don’t – look out in your yard and we’ll bet there are some beautiful, lush, possibly overgrown plants that will look great when cut and placed in a pretty vase. If you really can’t find something you like in your own yard, go ahead and pick-up a bouquet at your local florist or even the grocery store. Fresh flowers are such a welcome addition to any room and they really change the tone, instantly.
  • Dine different. Here’s a fun tradition for seasonal transition time: plan to have dinner out on a Sunday evening, and involve the whole family in choosing the restaurant. There’s just one rule: it has to be a restaurant that no one in the family has ever been to. This isn’t the time to visit one of your old stand-bys, like the pizza place downtown. The idea is to share a new discovery together. Try something new. Websites and apps like Yelp or Zagat or Urban Spoon can help you do research. Explore! Taste something new!

Then, complete a few transitional chores…

  • Declutter. By the end of summer, you’re bound to have some clutter built up. Now’s the time to take a critical eye, especially to shared spaces like your kitchen, entryway, living room, mudroom and den. Put away the sunscreen and bug spray. Stash piles of flip flops in a closet. Weed through the piles of junk mail, takeout menus, theme park brochures, etc.
  • Car & garage. Late summer/early fall is the perfect time to clean out your car. Remove the trash. If baseball season is over, take out the balls and bats. Don’t forget to check the glove box and console for any leftover papers, trash, loose change. In the garage, go for it: Pull everything out and place it in piles: keep, move or purge. Keep is for items that belong in the garage. Move is for items that belong somewhere else in the house. And purge is for items you do not need/want. Toss them or donate them, as appropriate. Put everything back in an organized and neat fashion. (Don’t forget to sweep the floor and remove cobwebs first!)
  • Switch some decor. A change of seasons is a great time to freshen your décor, but that doesn’t have to mean new paint or carpet or furniture. Try something relatively small – switch out your curtains in the kitchen (we keep two sets of curtains, one for spring/summer and one for fall/winter). Change your throw pillows to something in a completely different fabric color or pattern. Get a new lamp for your entryway – nothing fancy, just a small change.

Yes, it’s sad when summer comes to an end, but don’t fret… it’ll be back! Instead of moping, celebrate the change (and have a little fun!).