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Aghast, it's August

“I don't think necessity is the mother of invention. Invention . . . arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness. To save oneself trouble.” ― Agatha Christie, An Autobiography

All my life I thought of the month of August as the extra month. In my family there were no birthdays, no anniversaries, no holidays of significance (example: August 4 is national mustard day). August was always a picture in my mind of the mid afternoon and setting sun of summer. There are things to enjoy and do but August is a lazy month, a month in which to lay back in my hammock and dream away my days. However, there are lots of things that can happen in August if you choose to do them.

According to research, August is an Anglo-Saxon word meaning “weed” month. Of course, the obvious question is weed what? I imagine that since we are getting closer to harvest time weed month could be about dead heading flowering plants and getting them ready for their dormant season or it could mean a weeding of our vegetable gardens or actual weeding of grass weeds from our lawn.

Weed month could also mean a weeding through of clutter in and around our house. Weeding out repetitive gifts received, or weeding through magazines collected, or weeding through memorabilia that now can go into a keepsake album or frame from vacations taken during the summer days. No matter what “weeding” project you deem important it boggles my mind that it is August already and we only have a few precious weeks left of summer before we start back around with schedules and routines and deadlines.

Let’s take a last, long deep breath and allow August to transition us gently and slowly and lovingly toward fall.

Our top 5 organizing ideas from GROOM YOUR ROOM for August concentrate a good amount of energy on relaxing but also taking care of little details that will help prepare us for getting back to work and school schedules, for setting to-do lists for fall events and holidays. Taking some time now while all is quiet and unhurried will be of great joy once it all gets going again.

Idea #1: Take some time to de-clutter your inbox. Today I spent some time really looking through the kinds of emails I have been getting and hitting “unsubscribe” to the mail that just isn’t serving me any longer. What a relief to know that I will be spending less time looking through unwanted mail and concentrating my energy where it belongs. If the kids are still at day camp or if you find that you have an hour to yourself, make this chore a bit more fun and take your laptop to the beach, to the park, to the local coffee shop and enjoy the task as defined by you. For information on how to keep your inbox clean click here.

Idea #2 comes from my habit of trying to stay one step ahead of the game. I know summer isn’t over yet and I too want to get every, last, drop out of the time that is left. Now would be a great time to look through all the summer toys, blankets, towels, sunscreen lotions, snack pantry, etc. and donate what isn’t serving you anymore or recycle or reuse in a new way what isn’t recognizable as its original object. Click here to learn how to recycle or donate kid’s toys.

Idea #3 comes on the heels of recycling kid stuff. What could you get away with using again this new school year? Clothes, shoes, back pack? Before any back to school sales kick in, now would be a fun time to spend a day rehearsing a back to school morning or day. Get up at school time hours, get dressed (this is the time to see what still fits, what needs to go, what needs to be purchased), eat breakfast (great time to try new recipes and encourage more healthy breakfast options. Perhaps the kids tried something new at camp or at a friend’s house), take a ride to the new schools, try a new route, or just go shopping for all the new clothes or school supplies. If any summer reading needs to get done a quiet, low key month like August is a great way to spend the day together at the beach or park or yard or an indoor tent on a rainy day getting that stuff done.

At the very least it couldn’t hurt to start a list per child of what they will need so when those back to school sales roll around you are a warrior ready for action. My kids were hardest on back packs each year so that was always a new purchase for us and I learned quickly and painfully that ordering one of those suckers as soon as possible is the way to go. The more prep work you can do now will save you tons of time and aggravation when school does officially start. Click here for some back to school meal and storage ideas.

Idea #4 was born when my daughter started middle school. With every major change that she deemed important she would want to update her bedroom to reflect her new age or school milestone or just to feel like her space was keeping up with where she was at then. Some great ideas that helped her were things like changing her furniture around, decorating her walls with friend’s pictures, concert tickets, movie tickets, posters, etc. New sheets or new nail polish, a book shelf or 2 for school books old and new and books she enjoyed reading. For some inspiration on bedroom design ideas, click here.

Use idea #5 as a jumping off point to take care of you. Does your town hall have a calendar/schedule of classes you might like to take? Perhaps cooking, volleyball, crocheting, musical instrument? How about any volunteer opportunities that interest you? You matter and keeping up on the latest trends, computer programming/software, workout classes will go a long way in being able and available for your family at every turn. “Ain’t no one happy if mom ain’t happy.” For stay-at-home-mom support and information start here and click here.

Did you know that a bee dies after he stings you? And that there's a star called Aldebaran? And that around the tenth of August, any year, you can look up in the sky at night and see dozens and dozens of shooting stars?” ― Elizabeth Enright, Then There Were Five

Call to Action

What does August mean for you?

If you could draw a picture of August, what would it look like?

What is the flow of activities during your summer months with the kids?

In what ways do you help your family transition back to “work” mode in August?

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