The September long weekend may be the last few days for summer R&R, but consider taking some time out to get ready for the months ahead. Here’s what you should tackle first.


It’s tempting to use the Labour Day weekend to draw out those lazy days of summer as long as you can. But whether you’ve been off travelling, enjoying a staycation or have simply found yourself in a more relaxed mood over the last couple of months, the long weekend is the perfect opportunity to gear up and get organized for the busy fall ahead. Here’s what you need to do.

have a family meeting

Get the family together to talk about how the fall schedule is going to work. Don’t forget to go over everyday routines like when homework and chores will get done, when family members are allowed screen time and who will walk the dog. Write these schedules down and post them where everyone can see them.

populate your calendar

Fall activities ramp up quickly, so make sure everything your family has going on is recorded in one place. This includes your kids’ sports and music lessons, of course, but also your volunteer commitments and evening work engagements. Put the calendar somewhere everyone can see it and then step back and take stock of what you’ll need to do – cook pre-made meals, find babysitting or take a work-from-home day – to pull it off.


Labour Day is also organization day for many – it’s an ideal time to free your house of excess before the September busyness begins. Organize your pantry, clear out the shed and put away those summer things you won’t need until next year.

do a wardrobe overhaul

Casual summerwear season is coming to an end. Make sure your fall clothing is washed and ironed and the kids all have running shoes in good condition. To ease the transition from lazy mornings to the weekday rush, set out your kids’ clothing for the first week back.

restart in the city

If you were away at the cottage, restart your magazine subscriptions, your cable TV and any other services you cancelled for the summer. Also, relieve the summer help you had in the city for lawn care, mail pickup or house check-ins.

connect with teachers and other parents

If you’re a busy working parent, you may have a hard time finding a chance to talk to your kids’ teachers or friends’ parents once the school year starts. If you know who your child’s teacher will be, send them a quick e-mail to set up a meeting to introduce yourself and discuss expectations. At the same time, contact a few key parents to find out what their kids’ schedules will be like and how you can help each other out with carpooling and babysitting.

plan for your first day back

If you’ve been out of the office on vacation, look at your work calendar and book time off for catch-up. To get through that now cluttered inbox, sort your emails by sender and then book phone calls with each person to review any outstanding issues that came up while you were away.


There’s more to do, of course, but if you can carve out at least some time over the Labour Day weekend to tackle a few of these tasks, then you’ll be that much better prepared to face the hectic fall season.