Yesterday I spent the day pursuing stress free, mindless activities. I planted an indoor garden, read a book that did not try to fix me in any way, and watched two RomComs filled with escapism and lots of PDAs. I crawled into bed exhausted and as I was blissfully beginning to fall asleep my eyes popped open and I immediately regretted my life choices. I had been behaving like 2019 in a 2020 world, and friends that is not an option this fall.
The art of keeping up with yesterday is no longer a game we can play in 2020. With winter just around the corner, it’s time to become masters of initiation and get all the grown up stuff done and dusted, so we can slack off guilt free when the snow does fly.
10 Things to To Do Now, to Save Yourself Grief Later
Book Your Winter Tire Appointment
According to a recent Kal Tire survey, 60% of Canadians intend to wait until at least November or when snow is forecast, or even falling to have their winter tires put on. This is a what I would call a 2019 mindset.
With many Canadian provinces in their second wave, and social distancing practices part of our lives now, we can no longer afford to wait until the last second to get our winter tires on. The good news is that winter tires aren’t just made for snowy conditions, and will start to outperform your all-season tires when temperatures regularly hit 7C. That means right about now for most of us.
That same survey also showed 11% of Canadians didn’t bother to get their winter tires taken off this year and plan on coasting right on through Winter 2020 with them. I’m frankly surprised that number wasn’t way higher, and if you’re part of this group I commend you on your efficiency this year. Even if you didn’t drive around a lot on your winter tires this summer though, you still need to ensure they are safe for winter roads this year. Use a tread depth gauge to check and if you don’t have one, you can stop in at any Kal Tire and they will be happy to check them for you.
Prep once, eat twice
If there’s one thing I’ve become quite adept at, it’s cooking less than I have to. It takes no more time to double or even triple a recipe, and in the end you’ve given yourself the gift of time and frankly brain cells somewhere else. Classic comfort foods like Shepherd’s Pie, Lasagna, Meatball Sauce, and Chili are frequent go-tos for me in the fall.
In this special new reality we live in, this is actually more important than ever. You never know when we’ll be in lockdown again, and you’ll be thankful you have meals ready to go when you’re binge watching sixteen seasons of Grey’s Anatomy.
Get your snow removal booked
September Me is always so much more ambitious than December Me. February Me though, sick of shovelling snow and pretty much giving up last year, set a calendar reminder to August Me to book snow removal for this winter. And you think you’re complicated. Anyhoo, the point here is book now to get a deal on snow removal or buy yourself a snow blower. Much like getting your winter tires on early this year, you’ll be grateful you booked this early.
Get rid of your used stuff to a Donation Centre
Chances are you’re driving around right now with a trunk full of goods ready for donation. The chances are also good that you’ve had this in your trunk already for over a month, so let me give you a few good reasons to dispose of it now. First, people are genuinely in need and by donating your goods you’re helping someone out. Second, the extra weight in your car is costing you fuel. Third, you’re doing the earth a solid by donating rather than dumping. Finally, you get to put a great big check mark on your to-do list and nothing feels better than that.
Check your medicine cabinet
I have this set up as an annual reminder in my calendar to check expiration dates on all my medication but in a world where you could find yourself in quarantine at any time, you want to make sure that your medicines, both prescription and over the counter are always up to date. This is a good time to also ensure that supplements like Vitamin D, shown to cut risk of dying of Covid by 52% are on hand. Finally, is your thermometer in working order, do you have filters for humidifiers on hand, and toilet paper. Naw, I’m kidding, please don’t hoard toilet paper.
Check In With Your Doctor
This is a serious one because unfortunately many of us are putting off getting that “thing” looked at, or seeing our doctor to discuss an ongoing concern. While Covid is definitely a worry, it should not push legitimate medical concerns aside either. Call your Doctor and book that appointment now.
Predict Your Amusement Needs
Around April of this year, I briefly thought that an above ground pool would be great for the summer and then promptly put it out of my mind because it’s Canada, and who else would be thinking about a pool in April? I’ll tell you who, half of Canada did because when I finally got around to implementing that great idea, they were pretty much sold out everywhere and even used ones were caught in a bidding war. It was only through sheer tenaciousness that I landed one. That experience got me thinking about winter needs.
Keeping in mind that nothing is normal this year, seriously sit down with your family and think about how you’re going to stay busy this winter. Maybe an outdoor ice rink? Cross country skis? DIY projects? Whatever it is, order it now before it’s gone. If you’re hoping to save some coin, start a swap group with close friends for things like puzzles, books, and board games.
Check Your Automatic Renewals
Money is tight, there’s no point even trying to pretend otherwise. Now is the time to stop paying the stupid tax, something writer Carla Young talks about here. The bottom line, stop letting unnecessary charges come out of your bank account. I recently cleaned up mine and found an extra $75 a month in charges for things I was no longer using. Looking forward to things that would automatically renew, I found a $250 renewal coming up for something I could do without. That’s a stupid tax at the best of times, but right now, it would really hurt my bottom line.
There is a sweet spot in Canada in the fall when the air conditioning is off and the heat is not on, and you can open your windows and let the fresh air flow through. This is the time to think about what needs to be deep cleaned in your home. Carpets and ovens in particular should be top of your list. It’s also not a bad time to clean out your vacuum or central vac.
I don’t want to overwhelm you with Christmas creep, especially if it’s not your thing but considering some popular items are taking up to six weeks to ship, you may want to give this one some serious consideration.
Start taking notes on your Christmas list early this year, and aim to have all your shopping done by mid-December. You’ll thank yourself later.
Disclosure: Kal Tire sponsored this post, and as always I’m grateful they trust me to share their message. Why do I continue to work with them year after year? Because they truly care about their employees and customers. Read their COVID-19 response here.