Saturday, July 31, 2010

Housekeeping, routines and life

Yep, I'm to more home bound topics on this post. School starts next week for me (teachers only, no students, yet) and I'm full time this year. Last year, I'd hoped to be full time, but it didn't work out for them, and I think it was a good thing for me. I was at school all day Monday, Wednesday and Friday and for a few hours Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. Despite my disappoint at not being full time, it worked well for me. I got lots done on T/Th mornings -- grocery shopping, cleaning, running errands. It left my Saturday free to play and catch up.

This year, I'll be at school 5 days a week, all day. I'm full time. For many you, you might be thinking, "yeah, normal life, what's the big deal?"  I've never worked "full time" before. The closest I've gotten is 39.5 hours a week at the local coffee shop right after graduating from college, but before leaving for China. And I was still paid hourly with no work to take home after hours. I have finally reached true adulthood. In my mid to late 20s, I'd begun to wonder if I really counted as a true adult. Sure, I had the years of living, but I was still a student and had never held a full time/salaried job.  That I wasn't married didn't help any (I know marriage shouldn't play into it, but it does sometimes). So, all that to say I finally have my first "real" full time job.

Luckily, I'm excited about what I'm going to teach, just in case you hadn't notice from reading my blog. But I'm nervous as well. I have a lot of things I want to work on, just to be a better teacher. Teaching more means less time to spend in homekeeping.  And I'm really into homekeeping, in theory at least.

I love the idea of keeping a nice house in good condition, company ready nearly all the time. I read, and enjoy, Martha Stewart Living, I follow and I've read, cover to cover, Home Comforts: The art and science of keeping house. I love this stuff. If you had a chance to look at my bookshelf, there are other books that point to my desire to read about and think about keeping house. When it comes to the practice, however, I feel like I can't keep up. There is a voice in the back of my head (and Hubby says, it too) that says I'm not doing that bad of a job. Not getting around to vacuuming except every few weeks is not the downfall of the family... it just means the carpet isn't as clean as I'd like.

Yes, this all has a point, I promise.

In preparation of teaching full time, I put together daily routines to practice before school starts. I'd followed Flylady's admonition to spread out the cleaning tasks over the weekdays to keep Saturday free for "Family Fun Day". As I've practiced, and as Hubby observed, I realize I'm lazy in the evenings. And when school starts, I'll be tired. I want evenings to wind down, to chill and to get to bed at a reasonable time (which for me is 930 or 10 if I'm getting up at 6 or 630 am).  Some evenings we won't get home till 6:00 pm as Hubby has late classes those days -- doesn't leave much time for chores and chilling. So, I'm adjusting the routines. I'm taking all those chores (vacuuming, dusting, laundry, mopping, etc) out of the evening slots and putting them all Saturday morning. It will only be an hour or two, it will be good for me to have some specific to get done to get my day started, and it opens up my evenings. (Wow, many new thoughts of random reflection about me starting a day well have overwhelmed my thought processes. Crazy how that works.) Sometimes it takes me a bit to figure out the obvious, I can be quite stubborn.

In addition, I put together a very nice control journal. I've been using a simple, black, 1 inch binder with a flylady sticker on the front, and its worked okay for me. I realized recently that I need to be able to take this binder with me as well as some key supplies; having it all contained together is a major bonus. I have a small box of bill paying put together (checkbook, stapler, pen, envelopes, stamps, return address labels, a few paper clips and some post-its), but I'd like something to go with the binder with pen, pencil, post-its, and other such random items. I also want a binder where lots stuff doesn't all fall out when I put it in a bag or take it out, as it does now. I think I found something that works nicely (at least it does so far)... it has fabric elastic to pull around the corner to keep it closed, pockets in the back and these really nifty inserts. They fit in the front of the binder, under the rings and adds 2 more pockets to the front. I feel like there is no good way to fully describe it! Anyhoo, I got a pocket that fit in the rings to carry my random office supply style stuff, and stick-em-on tabs to put on the sheet protectors so I have "tabbed dividers" that actually show from between the sheet protectors. I feel pretty good about picking this thing up and taking it along. I might need to adjust what's in it so I can put school stuff, routines and notes, in it also. Now I'm wishing my calendar book was three-hole punched so I can put that in there, too. Oh, well, can't have everything.

I'll post about my classroom/teaching routines when I get those figured out.  For now, here is my housekeeping/life-in-general routines (haven't figured out a good time to go grocery shopping, though). And... think this post is long enough, now. Time to go!  I'd love to hear your thoughts about what you do to keep up with life.

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