*Now, the essential thing to know is, I don't do everything on these lists! (That's the problem, remember?) Please don't think I am some kind of superwoman who keeps up with all her housekeeping effortlessly. :) If I were such a woman, my husband would never have to dry his socks on his car heater, and I wouldn't need all these lists, lol!*
I am going to post my daily homekeeping routine in my next post, but for right now, I want to address a couple of questions that came in via the comments last night:
KC asked about dating the planner pages ...
A few years back, I tried dating each page for a planner I was printing out, but let me tell you, that was a very dicey process - confusing and time-consuming. This time, by printing 52 Monday pages all at once, (actually 13 in 4 batches so the paper doesn't jam) and then printing Tuesdays on the back in the same way, it didn't really take much time. I spent Saturday finalizing the Word documents and then Sunday morning I started printing before we left for church, continued when we got home, and by noon I was done and ready to head for the copy shop. I will add particulars (date, events of note, etc.) by hand.
Meredith asked about the cost of the project ...
I paid $5.24 for the binding at Kinkos. A pack of 500 sheets of copy paper cost me $5.29; I used 210 sheets, so that adds another $2.22 (maybe a bit more if you count the occasional page I messed up). The cover sheet I bought at a paper craft store for 75 cents, and the cardboard backing, lol, I pulled off the back of a pack of construction paper! It was just the right size. ;) As for the ink, that is the only thing I can't figure out. I have no idea how much of our color ink I used up printing these pages, only I will say I never got the message that the ink was running low. Needless to say, you could print a black and white version of the calendar for less money, but for me, the color might make all the difference. ;)
Now, a word about formulating the checklists. What I did was to spend a good deal of time thinking about all the things that should be done in a household day, week, month, year. I started with suggested lists in favorite homekeeping books and worked from there. I wrote it all down randomly (even walking room by room to jog my memory), then looked it all over and, task by task, asked myself, A. does this need to be done and, B. how often does it need to be done? Then I started organizing the tasks into routines.
I also found it helpful to visualize how I wanted each day to be. So for instance, starting with Sunday, I thought about how nice it would be to be all organized for church (in other words not running around looking for clean socks and dollar bills) and to return home to hot coffee and something nice I've baked. I wanted the week's Gospel to be familiar to the boys at Mass. I also wanted Sunday to be a quiet day with no major housekeeping to do and a hot Sunday dinner on the menu. Knowing this is how I wanted Sunday to be, I worked backwards ...
- I need to organize church outfits on Saturday (pressing clothing if need be when there's actually time). If laundry had been done earlier in the week, then there should be plenty of clean socks and dress clothes hanging in the closet. ;)
- I need to prepare the collections in advance too. When I am running errands Saturday morning I can be sure to get the money I need for our family envelope as well as dollar bills for the boys' allowance (from which comes their contribution).
- I need to sit down with the boys near week's end to read the Sunday liturgy (using Magnifikid) and do any crafts or projects that wll bring the church year into focus in our home.
- I need to tidy up the house before Saturday's bedtime, so we wake to a neat and fresh house Sunday morning. (And if all the cleaning tasks have been done throughout the week, then all that should be necessary is a quick tidy.)
- I need to plan a nice meal for Sunday afternoon. Which means on my Saturday marketing trip, I have all the ingredients written down on my list, and I purchase all the items. Keeping Sunday a quieter day (no outside commitments) and getting the house in order beforehand, means it is more likely I will have the time and energy to pull together a nice family dinner.
And on it goes. Each day has its own rhythm and needs and those needs can be translated into simple tasks that can often be done (or at least begun) in advance. Of course, all this looks good on paper (or, computer screen as it were), but this doesn't mean it all will get done. This is the easy part, all this planning. The hard part comes next: actually working through the tasks everyday.
Please understand I am not complaining. Though I do love the planning (it comes easy to me and it's fun) I have no qualms about the housework (draining though it can be at times). Mainly it's about finding the time to get it all done. And, bottom line, all of this supports my family and our home, my life's greatest blessings. It might sound corny but this is my work, my sun up and sun down, my love put into action ...
I love thee to the level of everyday's most quiet need, by sun and candlelight ...
OK, I'll wrap up. You all are so good to hear me out on all this! This was another very long post, so I will save my daily homekeeping routine for next time. :)
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the remaining hours of 2007 and may I wish you all a Very Happy New Year!