The long awaited summer’s here and it’s the perfect time for teachers to purge, plan and prepare for the coming school year. If you’re like me, you’re lowering your shoulders a bit, de-stressing and doing things you don’t get to do during the school year. I try to get out of the Arizona heat and get to the mountains or the beach. I love to visit Utah where the trees are green, there are real mountains, sometimes with snow caps, and plenty of outdoor activities to choose from to get replenished and renewed.
Even as I drive out of the desert and into the green mountain areas I’m reflecting on the past year. I’m asking questions like, “what went well?”, “what do I need to do better?”, “how can I make my job easier?” “How can I be a more effective teacher and person?” Driving or flying away let’s me process my thoughts and feelings and allows me to do some big picture planning. It’s during the summertime when I can focus more on how to bring more balance to my life. That’s why I feel like my summer planner is almost more important that my school year planner-actually it’s more fun because it’s just “ME”. I’ve titled my summer planner “My Summer Dreams”. I’ve got to go through stuff and PURGE, I desperately need to CLEAN and I plan on spending time PREPARING for the next school year. That’s why I created a planner just to use in the summer. You’ll find a downloadable copy of it at the end of this post.
When I return home from my vacation I know that it’s time to get down to the summer purging, cleaning and then preparing for the next school year. The first thing I do is to purge some of the closets and drawers. The method I use for purging may take you by surprise. If you’ve noticed I sell a lot of brain break and creative movement activities–don’t laugh-but it’s because I NEED THEM! I take regular “brain breaks” when I’m working at home. I don’t like to purge and clean out cupboards so I came up with a plan that works well for me. Instead of say that “today” is clean out the closet day, I break things into 10-15 minute tasks and knock them out one job at a time. I’ve found that after 45 minutes to an hour, I need a brain break. Sometimes I’ll do some Yoga or stretching, make phone calls or clean out a drawer. I decided to whip up a little planner so that I’d have all of the tasks organized for the summer.
TIP: Break down purging tasks into small chunks.
I like a neat and tidy house. Even with four sons, I always wanted things to be organized. And since I didn’t want to go crazy, I learned to just shut their doors sometimes, as we didn’t always see eye to eye. It’s funny looking back and now I get to have it be the way I want it to all the time.
I use the same process with my house cleaning chores. Since creating things is my passion, I have streamlined my house hold chores and found that doing small tasks works really well for me and keep the house relatively clean all the time. That way I have tons of time for getting outdoors and my creative pursuits.
I find that keeping things put away and the house uncluttered helps-but it does take consistency and dedication.
I have to admit that it’s not a perfect situation and there’s days when the dishes don’t get done and my laundry piles up-but overall, I feel like the plan itself works well for me. Here’s two tips for keeping your house “clean”.
TIP: Clean one thing a day for a clean house all the time.
TIP: Put things away and clean as you go for an uncluttered house.
I’m a big believer in committing to plans. I was the kid who wrote in a journal and poured my heart and dreams out on the written page. Now I’m more into itemized lists and post it notes. Before I became a teacher, I’d schedule my day in 30 minute blocks. When I became a teacher the schedule was an easy thing for me to fall into and actually made me feel at home.
This summer I made up a general goal setting sheet for me to list WHAT? I want to accomplish-describe it, and then set a goal date. I”ll put this on the refrigerator for my husband to see too. I’m sure there will be some things on there that I’m hoping he’ll help me get done.
My hope is that all of these lists will give me more time for the outdoors,
and help me be prepared for the next school year.
I’d love to hear about your summer goals and how to manage your housework. How about your purging plan? Have you found something that works for you?
And, take a minute to share this post on Pinterest and Instagram with your friends.
Thanks for reading about my summer goals. Dream Big!