At the start of every new season, I use ten seasonal reset questions to intentionally think through how to prepare our home to meet the changing needs, schedules, and moods of a new season. Read about each question and print your own seasonal reset questions to use in your home!
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Y’all, I am so excited to share with you the general method with which I approach the changing seasons during the year. The saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is applicable here.
My personality is one that welcomes changes and new problems to solve, and so I look forward to the puzzle of a new season. I have learned over the years what areas to consider and take steps to prepare for in order to have a generally (can’t plan for everything) smoother season.
Last spring I shared the questions I ask in order to intentionally transition seasons, and many of y’all were excited about them too. So, as I worked on transitioning our home from summer to fall over the past couple of weeks, I added a few more questions, and updated them into an accessible format for others to use as well.
Continue reading to see each of the ten questions, as well as a brief explanation, and to get a free copy of the the seasonal reset questions you can use in your own home.
Seasonal Reset Method
10 Questions to Intentionally Prepare for A New Season:
1. What atmosphere do I want to cultivate in this season?
I love starting the process with this question because it’s less practical, but no less important. Looking ahead at the upcoming season, what are some words I would like to describe the atmosphere in our home? How do I want to feel? What would I like my family to feel? Cozy? Adventurous? Safe? Hopeful? At peace?
Once I have an overall encompassing word to describe the atmosphere, I can consider how to cultivate that in our home. This can be done through all the senses– with certain smells and cooking aromas, with textiles, with artwork and messaging on the walls, and so on.
For example, now as we transition from summer to fall, two major things are happening. Our weekly adventures and excursions become less frequent and often closer to home, and our homeschool is starting back.
So my goal at this time is to focus on giving our home a warm and welcoming atmosphere that makes the transition to more days at home more pleasant and desirable. Fall is also a time when we start thinking about being comfortable and cozy in our spaces, though this is ramped up much more in the winter reset.
Fall is also a time for feasting and harvesting and enjoying special foods together. Even simply choosing artwork and related quotes on a chalkboard can increase our anticipation of these things. It truly can be as simple as that.
A display of wooden charcuterie boards to use as our lunch trays or for gatherings with friends, and an open prayer book help to create the atmosphere I’m looking for this season.
2. What clothing do I need to plan for, and accommodate spaces for in this season?
On to a more practical question, CLOTHES. I think many parents reasonably dread the switching out of their kids’ clothes at the start of a new season. And yet, taking the time at the start of the season to carefully consider what the clothing needs will be is one of the best things you can do to ensure smoother sailing the rest of the season.
Now, you may not be able to purchase or acquire everything at once, but that is not the point.
The goal here is to look ahead and consider what will be needed. Rain boots? Dress clothes for cooler weather? Special clothes for a new extra-curricular? Water clothes for playing in rivers or water parks? Comfy clothes or cozy cardigans for lounging around the house. Every new season brings with it new clothing needs.
In addition to knowing WHAT clothes your family needs, this is also the time to plan for where the varying clothing items will be kept. Will you need to figure out a good way to store dirty boots, or how to keep cleats and shin guards and tall socks all together, or maybe you need to have a system for making sure wet clothes and bathing suits get washed and put away immediately.
I shared my process for updating my kids’ wardrobes at the beginning of each season on Instagram. A step-by-step look into my regular method, from completely emptying their drawers, to getting them full again.
3. Where will we spend much of our family time together, and what can I make more accessible for family activities?
I love this question because it assumes that quality family time will happen… and all the more if I can prepare a little ahead of time to make it easier.
This could be a room of the house, a space in your yard or neighborhood, or even a favorite destination. Obviously we won’t plan for every family occasion, but we can think about past seasons and what kinds of things we liked to do together, then take steps to streamline whatever might make that activity more or less likely to happen.
In the summer, we will spend extra time outdoors– in the garden, at the river, at a park. In the winter, I want to make our living room as cozy and inviting as possible since we tend to gather in front of the fireplace most of the time. Because I know this is where we will be, I make sure there are plenty of books, blankets, and even a few favorite games within easy reach.
4. What out of the house activities do I need to prepare for, and how can I make it easier to leave the house in this season?
How we spend our time out of the house also varies by season, and taking the time during a seasonal reset to prepare for future departures can be a major sanity saver later on. Whether your kids are going back to school, you participate in co-op, there are weekly sports practices, or so many other possibilities. Can you make a checklist for getting out the door on those occasions? Can you adjust where you store activity-specific gear in a central location near the door? Maybe even store some items in the car if they’re not also needed in the house, and thus avoiding a last minute scramble completely.
In our home, we have a storage bench by the door we most frequently use. During the summer, I kept our three Adventure Bags in the bench so we could quickly grab a bag for the park/a hike/the beach.
Now that it’s fall, we will still be doing adventure days, but we will also have field trips and co-op and so on. So the beach adventure bag will be stored somewhere else, and I might use that space for something we need on P.E. days to make that early morning seem… slightly easier.
5. What spaces have been “on hold” for a season that need to be refreshed?
This question is really simple, but may not apply to everyone. Where I live in the south, we don’t tend to use our porch for hanging out as much during the summer because it can get so hot. Same for the fire pit in the backyard– not really sitting around the fire hanging out in July.
However, once fall arrives, those are both places that I want to revive and prepare for use again.
Think about whether you have areas in your home that have been ignored, but in the next season, are just begging to be enjoyed again!
6. Where will we want to do schoolwork and how can I update organization to streamline lessons and projects?
At first, this question seemed homeschool specific, but I think that it really can also apply to families who school out of the house too. After all, learning is still taking place, homework needs to be completed, and a cozy reading area is always a welcome idea.
We do not have a dedicated homeschool room, so most of the time, we do our school at our large dining room table. However, during different seasons, we like to enjoy the flexibility of being able to do school in different spaces. Again, in the winter, I am all about cozy fireside school days. So for my winter reset, I will make room for school books in the living room. Sometimes in a basket on the fireplace, or sometimes even worked into the mantle decor as a way to create a little homeschool hygge.
7. What can I put away from last season that I will not need this next season? What needs to come out of storage?
Towards the end of summer, I get to a point where I can’t wait to put away all the canning supplies that have been standing at the ready for summer gardening preserving. I’m tired of looking at the stacks of jars, as much as I appreciate all that they represent.
But after the summer bounty is behind us, the canning equipment can be put away. Beach towels can be packed away in vacuum bags.
Then for the fall reset, there are other items that are ready to come out. Not only decor, but extra blankets, soup bowls, etc.
8. Where will I rest and recharge this season? How can I make that space a place of peace?
This is a question I added this year, but I think it is another great idea to consider. My husband sets a great example for me in this– he has a serene spot that he uses everyday to read and smoke his pipe. It is ready and waiting for him anytime he needs to get away and relax.
I likewise would like to consider creating my own personal haven of rest this season, where I can take advantage of pockets of time during busy days to prioritize rest.
This can be as simple as a comfortable chair in your room, or a closet converted to a peaceful meditation and prayer area. Just like the other reset questions, the goal is to be intentional at the start.
9. Are there any big events for which I should be saving?
Vacations, retreats, state fairs, holidays, etc. Technically, this question is more of a financial consideration, but I included it because it’s another way we can purposefully begin a new season.
Besides, once your kids are older and are also wanting to save money for upcoming events, you can get them on board with chores and projects around the home to earn extra capital!
10. How can I simplify meal times this season? What special circumstances should be considered?
While the other questions can be more fun to take care of (not all of them, *ahem*, kids’ clothes), this one can arguably have one of the biggest impacts in your day-to-day living. We’ve all got to each, most of us three times a day.
I like to start each new season with a seasonal menu, full of curated ideas of lunch and dinner meals specific to that season. Having a new list of meals can bring fresh inspiration and motivation to the kitchen. I also rely on more activity/energy/budget specific menus to help me select meals for days that need a certain kind of meal. I have meal lists for adventure days, nights I need super easy dinners, grab and go lunch ideas, and more.
Then, if we want to prepare even further for the new season, we might set a weekly rhythm of meals based on our schedules. We may plan for freezer meals on days we know we’re going to be gone most of the day, or sandwiches at sports nights, or simply delegating dinner to a family member with more free time that particular day.
Simple alterations or additions to the grocery list can be a great help when entering a new season!
Print the Seasonal Reset Method Questions
- Seasonal Reset Questions, Small Cards Page 1
- Seasonal Reset Questions, Small Cards Page 2
- Seasonal Reset Questions, Blank squares
I created these cards this week to make these questions more accessible. I printed them out and laminated each question so that there is a blank square on the back of the questions. This way, I can make little notes in with a dry erase marker for specific things I need to do or purchase.
Or, if you would rather simply have a printed list of all ten questions, you can print this PDF. Save it, or print a new one as you need it.
I truly hope that these questions are helpful to you! If you have any other considerations for starting a new season, please share them in the comments! If you enjoyed this post, consider sharing it with others so more people can utilize these reset questions.
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