It’s that time of year where many of us are bracing ourselves for the transition from summer to fall. 

Although I had a busy summer at work, I’ve found that the fall always has a bit more chaos as everyone returns to campus after more sporadic summer schedules. While I don’t mind launching into a new school year, I do recognize that the speed of the fall can be challenging to adjust to.

With this in mind, I’ve started thinking about what I can do to get organized for the busy few months that a new term will bring. My mantra for August is to “get things in order” so that my future self is as ready as she can be.

And, although I don’t have syllabi to prep and lesson plans to draft, I find that there are some to-do items that help me to feel more prepared before I launch into this next term.

Here are some of the tasks that I’ve added to my personal “back-to-school” list:

  • Clean off my digital desktops. I’m going to take some time to file the documents sitting on my home laptop and my work computer so that I have a de-cluttered space when I log in each day.
  • Clean off my physical desktops. The transition between the terms is a great reminder to wipe everything down and put away all the stray papers that tend to collect on my desks at home and work.
  • Put away my books. I often end up with piles of books in various spaces when I’m working on manuscript edits or when I just have a lot of books checked out from the library. I need to get those piles put away on book shelves to further de-clutter my work spaces.
  • Get a fresh haircut. Once I really get into the fall, I’m going to have less time for appointments like this. Plus, it’s really nice to head into the fall with a fresh chop.
  • Decide on fall project priorities. I have a few too many projects currently on my plate, so I need to look through my list and decide which ones are the most important to move forward (hello, book revisions due in November!).
  • Detail my car. The inside of my car could definitely use a little attention. Whether I do this cleaning job myself or outsource it to a local company is still to be determined, but I love the idea of starting with a freshened up environment since I’m in the car every day.
  • Catch up on laundry and routine cleaning tasks. Although these things can’t be finished and set aside for the fall, it’s nice to enter into the new term without a pile of dirty clothes staring me down. I try to spend some time each weekend keeping on top of routine cleaning tasks so nothing gets too out of control.

What are some of the items on your “getting things in order” list?