Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Keeping House

Thank you all for such positive responses on the previous handshaking post.  Please continue to leave your comments.  They are very helpful.  Most of the time when something becomes a big trend, the voice of the rest of the people, maybe even the majority of well-mannered folk, is not heard. It is assumed that the new trend is normal, while the old paths, where the good walk is, (Jeremiah 6:16) are cold and unfeeling. A handshake has more warmth and meaning in it than it looks. Please check the end of the previous post for links to the art of shaking hands, and please leave more comments.

No matter how long you have kept house, or how much experience you have had, things change over the years when you move to another town, have a busy family, become a grandmother, or take on new activities.  You may find you need a different way of planning your housekeeping, from one stage of life to another.  Today I am showing you some of mine.

This is a book I like very much, which is a printed copy from the web.  I much prefer to buy a pre-printed book, as it is higher quality paper and well-bound, but this one was not available in that form. You can find it here http://www.wholesomechildhood.com/GirlsGuide/   where there is also a house guide for boys that was quite well-done.

The qualities I enjoy best about this housekeeping book is the motivational pages and the step-by-step guide to cleaning each area.  As it is written to little girls, there is a calm sweetness that shows the love you can put into a task, making young people desire to be homemakers. It speaks to my heart when I need something more than a list!

It includes reprints of old household advertisements from the Victorian era and the early 1900's. I read sections of this book when I need to get my mind more focused on housekeeping, and when I find it difficult to start something. The instructions and ideas in this book is just one of the tools I use for homemaking, and it suits different needs.

I am including some posters you can print and frame for yourself. 

This pile, above, looks like a mess, but it is another one of my methods of getting some needed things done in a day.  I pile up the things that need to be done and either put them in a large container, or leave the stack on my bed to remind me. In this photo, the stack of things to do includes: 

-mailing out the church bulletin (I try to recycle my copy by mailing to someone who does not get one, and I always think that it is better news than the newspaper); 

-an order for Yorkshire Gold tea, which our family supplies for friends. I need to get the order ready today, so I have it on the stack and will be reminded; 

-sewing project, indicated by the folded fabric in the stack; 

-a box to sort and neaten and clean up so that I can find things in it more quickly--every day there is some kind of thing to clean out or sort;

- my Bible lesson that I have to prepare for ladies class;

-paper and rubber stamps to make a thank-you note to send in the post;

-a wooden swing seat that I want to decorate with paints, and hang up under a tree outside.

This is just one of my housekeeping methods.  I use it because I find I sometimes unknowingly bypass some item when it is written on a list.  I guess it is just not startling enough in print, so I have to put the actual item in plain sight.

Here is another notebook with a few housekeeping methods I use.

This one is the Sidetracked Home Executive card-file plan instruction, which you can print for free on the web. It comes from The Teaching Mom site here   Http://www.teachingmom.com/helps/SHEplan.pdf  

I like these plastic pages that already have the holes for the folder. That way, it prevents punching the paper, which sometimes cuts off words. Also, while using these pages, they do not get stained.

I began my homemaking life with that card file and if I had not abandoned it, would not have ended up be so behind in so many tasks today.  I had memorized the jobs and was doing very well, and then saw in the book that you could throw the cards away once you have started doing the jobs automatically without referring to the cards.  

A lady who joined a weight loss organization lost a lot of weight, and was advised to get rid of all her bigger clothes. The reasoning was that she would not be tempted to get overweight again. However through a few health problems when she was laid-up with illness, some of the weight came back and she had no bigger dresses to wear.

The problem of becoming disorganized again through moves or family events (company coming, trips taken, illness of family members, house rennovation, etc) is the reason I wish I had not thrown the original card-file away once I had learned to do the jobs without looking at the daily cards.  It seems to me like learning to acquire Christian conduct by reading the Bible, and then closing it and saying, "I already read the Bible. I have read it for years!" And never studying it again. By keeping some things, you have a solid foundation of information that once worked for you and you gain a better perspective of it.

I am busy now listing every task that needs to be done and then writing each task from the list on the daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally and yearly cards.  Having a card file with the daily work coming up prevents a sudden need to clean the fridge at the last minute when you are involved in something else. It makes you less crowded for time.

In the same notebook, above, I got a free print-out from the Martha Stewart Site, here http://images.marthastewart.com/images/content/web/pdfs/2009Q3/ms_checklist_sixthings.pdf. There are some other lists you might like, too,mon that site and I printed several of them.  



Here is a list I made of things that were on my mind that I felt were important.  I used this list to get my thoughts organized one day.

Everyone has their own method, as each home has different priorities and needs.  You can find a plan that suits you or you can make up your own. Put your plans and lists in a pretty folder and enjoy it.


amulbunny's random thoughts said...

I buy one ream of 3 hole punched paper every 6 months so the recipes I print out for my daughter can go into the binder I gave her when she moved to Chicago.

As far as hugs and handshakes, I shake hands with people I am not well acquainted with but friends get hugs. When we pass the peace at church, it's a mixture.

Lydia said...

That is sensible and yet kind.

Sola Scriptura said...

Great practical advice. Thank you for this encouragement.

Katrinka said...

For many years I've used spiral notebooks as a sort of loose journal/to-do tablet. Each day I either start a list by putting the date and day at the top, or go to that date if I've already begun a page for it.

On the page for the day I list the things I need to get done or make notes of telephone calls I've made or the numbers and what people said. If I need to make new curtains or whatever, I measure the windows and record the measurements. I include my menu plan the week, recipes, and grocery lists. I take it with me everytime I go out. I've jokingly called it my 'brain' in the past.

Recently a bought a steno-sized business notebook that holds a top-spiral pad on the right and has a loop for a pen and on the left a flap to stick coupons or loose notes. I have a large paper clip there and I use a rubber band to hold back the previous days' pages of the steno pad so I can easily flip to the current day's list.

I found this at Wal-Mart and I believe the price was under $10. It's not very pretty, only came in black or maroon. But it's nice and sturdy and not bulky like some of those dayplanners are. It protects my notebook from getting ragged.

I have books dating back to 20 or 25 years ago. On the outside of each book I note the date range of that particular book. It's not very organized, though, and if I want to find something I have to flip through several pages. Your homemaking notes and plans are much more organized and easier to use, Lydia, and I would urge young homemakers to begin the practice of orderly homemaking early on. Habits in homemaking that are acquired and practiced early, are done nearly effortlessly later in life because we don't have to discipline ourselves to do it or think about how to do it. It just comes naturally.

I like the green color of the placemat or whatever you have under your stack-for-the-day.

Andrea R said...

Lovely ideas and inspirations to keep our homes peaceful, orderly and clean!

Have a blessed day!

Christine said...

When I was a young, stay-at-home mom, I read the book, Side Track Home Executives. It changed by life!
I made the card system and used them faithfully. I passed the cards down to my daughter, when she started her home.
I also, ordered two of those Girls Guide To Home Skills, for my grand daughters. Great information!

anonymous said...

I could spend all day reading your notebooks, so interesting! Very organized and efficient. Thank you for sharing.

Years ago I adopted Katrinka's idea with the top spiral bound steno pad. On the left column I write what stores I need to visit and what I need there. Under that brief items that need to be done that day. On the right column I write my grocery list. It works the best for me.

My homemaking note books are very large and wide. They are filled with great tips, ideas, crafts and recipes. All disorganized, but so interesting that I enjoy flipping through them on occasion.
Mrs. J.

Homemaker's Heart said...

Thank you for sharing about your notebook. I sometimes need a lift and I like the idea of printing off the guide book for that. I also like the idea of gathering things. I haven't seen that before but it makes sense. Physical things stacked in front of me will get my attention faster than my to do list.

I too like the green bedspread or placemat you have under your stack. Very pretty.