August focus-Preparation

When August rolls around, I start seriously thinking about Christmas-time, about winter, about how to keep it all together during my heaviest work load of the year. The nights are a little bit cooler, the days are a little bit shorter, and I just get in the mood to plan, to prepare, to make one last ditch effort to be ready for the rush.

First I think about my goals for the year.

One was to have my complete Christmas inventory done by now. … That didn’t happen.

-BUT I am farther ahead than I was at this time last year.

-I have kept a consistent inventory throughout the year and shipped things in a timely manner.

-There have been far fewer 4:45 rushes to the post office.

-Even though I didn’t work as much as I wanted to, I stayed consistent and didn’t fall behind on my orders.

The other main goal was to keep better control of the house, as far as keeping the kitchen clean and the messes picked up.

-Again, I haven’t been perfect.

-BUT there has been definite, noticeable improvement.

-I went away for our summer shore trip with the house clean, all of my orders shipped, and even had time to make applesauce the day before leaving.

For August, I have to step up the workload. Wholesale orders start rolling in in September, and I want to be ready for any new customers. Plus I have 2 craft shows in August, and 3 in September. I need to focus on making hay while the sun shines to last us for the rest of the year when toy sales are slow.

I want to continue to focus on keeping up with the messes. One thing that has been helpful is to be obsessive (or so it seems to me) about putting things away immediately, regardless of whether I’ll come back to them tomorrow.

It helps to pretend that I am sharing the house with another woodworker who needs to share my tools and supplies. If I were doing that, of course I would put the wheels back in the proper box, regardless of whether I was making fire trucks tomorrow. To do otherwise would be rude and inconvenient. I need to show myself (and my son) the same courtesy I would show a fellow employee at the factory of Mama Made Them Toys.

The other side to preparation is making sure I have what we need for fall and winter. This encompasses supplies for toys, but also clothing and footwear for winter. If I start looking now, I will find reasonably priced used sheepskin boots (our preference) for myself and Caleb before cold weather comes, and I’ll remember to waterproof them before we need to wear them every day.

Many home-schoolers are spending August planning their schooling, and I feel the pull of this even as an unschooler. I’d like to plan a few “field trips” and other time consuming things that tend to be overlooked if they aren’t on the calendar.

I spend less time planning what Caleb should be doing, and more time planning how to get my work and housework finished and out of the way, so I have more time to respond to his needs. I’ll do a separate post on fall activities I think we’ll enjoy doing together (our second annual corn maze visit is top of the list!).

I also want to spend some time gathering craft ideas, since I have fond memories of making things for our relatives as a child.

Tomorrow, I’ll announce the winner of the July giveaway, and the August giveaway prize.

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