Change is in the air: time to plan ahead One of the biggest pressure points can be the change in routine. Mealtimes, bedtimes, everything changes in one fell swoop at the end of August. Photograph: Getty Images

New beginnings can be stressful at this time of year but anticipating change and starting new habits in advance will help

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‘Happy birthday, Mam. Even if you don’t know it’

In a word. . . My mother doesn’t remember much but she still knows all of us. Her children. Her troubles.

Tanya Sweeney: Bare-bulb hipster chic is over but are we really going back to chintz? Are we really going back to chintzy interiors? Photograph: Getty

Chintz is so busy it rarely looks dirty, with fabrics so durable they can be wiped clean

Tips to turn your home smart Installing a smart meter will give you control of your heating and hot water, anytime, anywhere. Photograph: iStock

You don’t have to spend a fortune on the latest appliances – small changes can make a big difference

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