Fall Time Preparations
Crystal Miller

Life on the homestead follows the seasons. Each season has its own business that must be done. Fall time is no different. As the days begin to get shorter, the nights and early mornings have the cool nip in the air, and the leaves on the trees begin to fall I know it is time to start making changes in my home.

Fall time for many of us is where the seasons of routines and schedules start for the year. My children begin their homeschooling for another year. We begin to establish a more structured routine. I like the free-ness of summer schedules but it always seems there is a point where enough is enough of that and I begin to crave more structure and routine. It is so much easier to accomplish the details of life when you live on a routine.

I start a few days before we begin school by having my children go to bed earlier and set their alarms to wake up earlier. It is a somewhat painful transition for them but one that works much better for our home!

I do a bit of fall cleaning before I begin my school year. Not a real intense cleaning, I just spend a few of days with help from my children, cleaning, vacuuming and reorganizing shelves and school supplies.

I take this time to start weeding out the summer shorts and t-shirts (but not all of them as we are still enjoying some summer time heat) and replace these summer items with a few more useable fall clothing. I also check on shoes and see what may need to be replaced. After a summer in sandals and flip-flops some of my children realize they no longer can get into their shoes. ~smile~

I also spend a day reorganizing my kitchen in preparation for fall time baking. This is the time of year I enjoy baking and cooking lots of good things from my kitchen. I enjoy serving these goodies to my family, friends and neighbors. I go through my baking cupboards, clean them out, refill containers, and take I take an inventory of my pantry to see what I may need (if you would like to see my basic pantry list you can do that HERE).

I have my kitchen organized in such a way that all my basic baking supplies are in one cupboard. I buy many of my spices and baking ingredients in bulk or large sizes. I transfer them to small canning jars that I label. I have these spices and a canning jar filled with all my measuring spoons in this baking cupboard. I have another shelf for my glass measuring cups and another one for things like vanilla, non-stick cooking spray, etc.. Below this cupboard on the counter is my mixer and the cupboards under this counter have my baking pans and other baking ingredients. I have also have a drawer where I keep all my measuring cups. When you have an organized area for baking it makes the job of putting together breads and cookies and other baked goods simple and quick.

When my house is clean and we are back on regular routines it allows me to accomplish more and spend time enjoying this season. All to quick winter will be upon us and there are more preparations to be done for this season too.

In an effort to make life flow easier as we ease into our new routine I think about simplifying breakfast. I donít typically buy my children cold cereals. In the summer breakfast seems to be granola, fruit, yogurt, kefir, and eggs. But as the fall mornings cool down we like having more hot meals. I make oatmeal quite often with eggs and/or pancakes a close second. So in order to simplify these mornings I do things in advance. I make a batch of instant oatmeal, put together a pancake mix and store it in the freezer and try and put a few ready to go meals in the freezer such as egg burritos or coffee cakes.

And finally when all this is done and we are making progress I start my holiday planning. I get my Christmas card list together, plan my gift giving and begin any other holiday planning.

I pray all of you are having a simple and smooth transition time into this season. Happy fall Ladies!!

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