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Gear Up for Fall 2023: Tips and Tricks to Get Ready for the New Season

Fall marks a transitional period as the northern hemisphere tilts away from the sun, bringing decreasing temperatures and daylight. This seasonal shift from summer to winter results in cooler weather, changing leaf colors, and harvesting of crops.

Gear Up for Fall 2023: Tips and Tricks to Get Ready for the New Season

The autumnal equinox in late September officially welcomes the astronomical start of fall in the Northern Hemisphere. However, "meteorological fall" begins September 1st, based on the annual temperature cycle. Most people recognize fall starting sometime in late September when the weather cools down and trees start displaying vibrant hues of orange, red, and yellow.

During the fall months of September, October, and November, daylight hours steadily grow shorter (ugh, I know). Much of the United States experiences first frost dates and freezing temperatures as winter approaches. Areas further north get snow early in the fall season.

Nature responds to the lowering angle of sunlight and cooling temperatures. Deciduous trees like maples, oaks, aspens, and elms undergo chemical changes that break down the green chlorophyll in their leaves. Vibrant carotenoids like orange carotene and red anthocyanin become visible, creating dazzling fall foliage displays.

Fall brings the harvest season as many fruits, vegetables, and grains ripen. Farmers reap bountiful crops of apples, pumpkins, corn, and other produce before the first hard freeze. Wildlife like squirrels and bears fatten up before winter by eating the autumn nut and berry bounty.

The fall equinox signals winter preparations like birds migrating south, animals growing thick fur coats, and people preserving the fall harvest. As nature makes these adaptations, so should we as the seasons change to colder, darker winter weather.

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Why Fall Prep is Important

Getting your home, family, and self-prepared before winter sets in is key. Autumn is the perfect season to get organized, make repairs, enjoy the outdoors, and transition to the colder months ahead. Essential fall preparation includes:

  • Home maintenance - servicing furnaces, sealing drafts, cleaning gutters
  • Yard work - raking leaves, planting bulbs for spring, pruning shrubs
  • Weatherproofing - installing storm doors and windows, insulating attics
  • Closet changeover - storing summer clothes, taking out warmer wear
  • Pantry stocking - using up summer produce, freezing, canning, baking
  • Fall auto care - replacing wipers, checking batteries, tire traction
  • Outdoors enjoyment - hiking to see fall colors, afternoon apple picking
  • Health checkups - scheduling annual doctor and dental visits
  • Holiday planning - Halloween costumes, Thanksgiving menus, gifts

Why Fall Prep is Important - colored leaves
Source: Pixabay

Fall preparation spans cleaning, organization, maintenance, health, travel, and more. By accomplishing these to-do's before winter, you can ensure your home and family function smoothly all season. Anticipating colder weather and seasonal illnesses will help limit their impact.

The fall months present ideal conditions to take care of business before the busyness of winter holidays ramps up. Completing fall prep tasks results in greater peace of mind and the ability to enjoy a cozy, festive winter season.

Prepping Your Home

Now that fall's arrival is imminent, it's time to prep your home inside and out for the change of seasons ahead. Don't let the busyness of autumn disrupt your domestic domain. By taking time to deep clean, maintain your yard, update decor, and more, you'll keep your living space running smoothly all season long.

Tackling household projects like washing walls, windows, and floors; clearing gutters; inspecting the roof; and checking appliances and systems for problems allows you to address issues before they worsen or cause damage in upcoming cold weather. Eliminate clutter and reorganize closets to make way for transitioning your family's wardrobe and gear over to warmer layers.

Outdoors, keep trees and plantings looking their best for fall by pruning dead branches, raking debris, and patching bare spots in the lawn. Plant spring bulbs like tulips and daffodils to ensure an eruption of cheery color after winter's gloom. Freshen up your home's exterior too with a new doormat, festive porch decor, and mums or other autumn-hued container plantings.

Fall outdoor decor with pumpkins

Inside, infuse coziness through the senses. Bake comforting, spiced treats like apple pie and snickerdoodles. Sip mulled cider or hot chocolate. Burn autumnal candle scents like pumpkin spice or apple. Soften harsh overhead lighting by using more lamps, sconces, and natural light. Warm up decor by incorporating rich shades of crimson, amber, mustard, and hunter green. Finish the look with plush pillows and throws for the ultimate autumnal hygge.

Crimson, amber, mustard, and hunter green decor

By prepping your dwelling before winter, you ensure your home provides a functional, soothing retreat all season long. A clean, well-maintained, and seasonally decorated home brings peace of mind and the ability to fully enjoy the holidays ahead. Don't let the increasing fall to-do list become overwhelming. Cross off tasks systematically so you and your family can relax, unwind, and make merry this autumn and winter.

Transitioning Your Wardrobe

As temperatures drop and autumnal hues emerge, it's time to transition your family's wardrobe to lighter layers suitable for fall. Swap out those shorts and tanks for long sleeves, sweaters, jackets, and accessories that keep you comfortably warm as the weather cools.

Start by sorting summer clothing and determining what should go into storage versus staying in rotation. Wash or dry clean all garments before packing them away to prevent mildew or moth damage. Use vacuum seal bags, cedar blocks, or natural pest deterrents to protect stored clothes over the winter months.

Next, take inventory of your fall and winter wardrobe. Look for gaps where new seasonal essentials could be added - think cozy sweaters, weatherproof boots or shoes, hats, gloves, and scarves. Shop end-of-summer sales to score discounts on cold-weather gear. Stick to versatile neutral colors along with a few trendy jewel tones like emerald, sapphire, and amethyst that pair well with your existing core wardrobe.

Emerald, sapphire, and amethyst jewelry

Once new fall fashion arrives, find creative ways to incorporate autumnal colors and textures into your everyday looks. Wrap up in an oversized cranberry cardigan or slide on some wine-hued suede boots. Top a neutral outfit with a cognac leather moto jacket. Accent daytime jeans and tees with a burnt orange infinity scarf or mustard beanie.

Mix up silhouettes too - try a midi skirt with tall boots and opaque tights. Layer under dresses and jumpsuits with long-sleeve tees or turtlenecks. Play with different sleeve lengths like bell sleeves, cold shoulder cutouts, or drapey Dolman styles. Update tired basics with vests, ponchos, chunky knits, or shackets.

Adapt and enhance your warm-weather wardrobe for fall by adding seasonal accessories. Incorporate autumnal patterns like buffalo check and plaid. Display your collection of pendants and long necklaces over crewnecks and turtlenecks. Break out those knee-high boots and saddle shoes. With a few transitional pieces, you can refresh your look for fall while still getting more mileage from your core closet.

Fall Fun & Activities

Before winter weather arrives, be sure to take advantage of fall's optimal conditions for outdoor adventures and cozy indoor pastimes. The crisp sunny days and cool evenings provide ideal opportunities to soak up the final moments of autumn.

Get outside and immerse yourself in nature's fall splendor through activities like leaf peeping, apple picking, pumpkin patches, and corn mazes. Take scenic drives to photograph vibrant foliage and picturesque farms. Go hiking or camping to see fall colors from mountain overlooks. Spend afternoons bird watching as migrations head south.

If you have an orchard nearby, go apple or pear picking as a fun family outing. Choose pumpkins for decorating or roasting seeds. Wander through festive autumn fairs and festivals showcasing local artisans, crafts, cider, baked goods, and more.

Festive fall baked goods

During chilly evenings or rainy weather, transition activities indoors. Host game nights or scary movie marathons. Break out jigsaw puzzles. Make creative fall crafts to decorate your home. Bake comforting treats like fresh apple pie or pumpkin bread. Curl up by the firepit or fireplace with hot spiced cider, a cozy blanket, and a good book.

The fall season also presents opportunities to get a head start on preparing for the upcoming winter holidays. Carve jack-o-lanterns for Halloween. Brainstorm fun costume ideas and build coordinating family themes. Plan your Thanksgiving menu complete with autumnal sides and pies. Get started on handmade gifts, holiday cards, and festive decor for Christmas, Hanukkah, and other December celebrations.

Autumn pie with pumpkin

Don't waste fall's precious weeks simply waiting for winter. Seize the season by immersing yourself in crisp sunny days full of fall flavor, colors, and cozy comforts. Cherish each moment before hibernating for the winter. Fully experience all the special delights autumn offers.

Wellness & Self-Care

As the vibrant season shifts to winter, be intentional about adapting your routines and lifestyle for wellness during fall. The cooler, darker days can disrupt healthy patterns so proactively adjust your self-care practices. Focus on maintaining mental, physical, and emotional balance.

With less daylight, carefully watch your sleep-wake cycles and vitamin D levels. Gradually shift to earlier bedtimes and wake-up calls to sync with earlier sunsets and sunrises. Take vitamin D supplements to compensate for less sunshine exposure.

To combat the winter blues, maximize any sunny days by spending time outdoors walking, hiking, or simply appreciating nature. Open blinds during daylight hours. Incorporate bright light therapy and SAD lamps. Diffuse citrus and floral essential oils like grapefruit, lemon, and jasmine to lift your mood.

Grapefruit, lemon, and jasmine

Adapt your exercise regimen as the weather cools. Transition outdoor activities like jogging, biking, and water sports to indoor options like cardio machines, dance classes, and gym circuits. Seek out heated pools and indoor rock climbing walls. Bundle up and keep moving outside as you acclimate to chillier temps.

Make nourishing, home-cooked meals featuring seasonal produce like squash, sweet potatoes, and root vegetables. Savor warm, comforting foods and beverages that boost immunity like bone broth, herbal tea, citrus fruits, and dark leafy greens.

Counteract feelings of loneliness or isolation by reaching out to friends and family for connection. Schedule video calls to catch up regularly. Meet up for some exciting fall activities. Send encouraging notes to your loved ones letting them know you care.

Epsom salt in a bowl

Relieve stress through calming practices like breathwork, meditation, yoga, massage, aromatherapy, and reflective journaling. Take relaxing salt baths and Epsom salt soaks. Diffuse lavender or cedarwood oil to unwind. Light candles, play soothing music, sip herbal tea - create an ambiance of tranquility. Give yourself permission to rest and restore during the quieter fall and winter seasons.

Now, You're Ready for Fall!

As the vibrant colors fade and crisp air arrives, autumn's preparations set the stage for winter. Taking time to get your home, family, and self ready for the coming cold allows you to fully immerse yourself in fall's fleeting beauty. Completing seasonal maintenance and organization during September and October prevents chaotic scrambling when the holidays hit.

Fall flowers in a pumpkin vase

By prepping inside and out, you ensure your home provides a cozy, well-functioning haven all winter long. Transitioning your family's wardrobe, decor, and pantry stocks ahead of time enables you to hunker down comfortably for the colder months. Maintaining your dwelling, property, vehicles, and health in the fall lets you focus on staying merry and bright as the days grow darker and schedules get busier.

Making the effort to get outdoors and soak up fall's stunning scenery, delicious flavors, and crisp fresh air is crucial before getting housebound by winter weather. Experience autumn fully through scenic drives, apple picking, fall festivals, and pumpkin patches

Fall preparation spans all facets of your home and lifestyle. By systematically crossing off your fall to-do list, you pave the way for a smooth, enjoyable winter season. Anticipating and adapting to autumn's changes with mindfulness allows you to fully savor the fleeting beauty of fall. Before winter's hibernation begins, embrace the harvest season and make lasting memories.

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