My Winter Break Goals


I have a very part-time job. I work a few months at a time, throughout the academic year, as a college career counselor. Since my only job is to meet individually with students, when the demand for student appointments goes down – think final exam weeks – I go on break. I’m off over summers and the college’s winter and spring breaks. While this is not a particularly lucrative work schedule, it comes with tremendous flexibility. I’m able to get my daughter on and off the school bus every day, and I can adjust my work days as needed to accommodate school holidays, half days, and sick days. (Read more about my job here.) For this stage of my life, it’s the perfect position.

In the lead-up to final exams, the demand for student appointments decreases, so my winter break inevitably begins before the students’. Mine started late last week, and I return to work on January 10th. What am I going to do with these two months? Well, there’s the holiday season and all of the school events, celebrations, and preparations that come with this time of year. But that still leaves plenty of unstructured time on my hands. As a person who craves structure, I find it helpful critical to give myself some goals for the next two months. So in addition to the standard holiday preparations, here’s what I plan to accomplish:

  1. Empty, clean, and organize the cabinet under the kitchen sink. This hasn’t been emptied since we moved into our house seven and a half years ago, and it’s jammed full of cleaning supplies, bags, and who-knows-what-else. Frankly, I’m afraid to see what’s back there.
  2. Clean the ovens. Please don’t judge me, but I haven’t thoroughly cleaned the ovens since we moved into the house. (Are you sensing a pattern here?) While we have two, one gets most of the use – and it shows.
  3. Finish my fall reading list. I have two books left – The Power of Habit, and The Mindful Child.
  4. Complete six, small-space organizing projects. There are countless cabinets that have not ben emptied and organized since – you guessed it – we moved into our house, or shortly thereafter. Occasionally I’ll reach into the back of one of them, and I’m surprised – sometimes pleasantly, sometimes not – by what I find.
  5. Try five new baking recipes. Although the holiday baking season is a time for traditions, I regularly come across hundreds of recipes that I would like to try. Now is the time to do it.

When was the last time you scrubbed your oven? Are there any cleaning/organizing projects that terrify you?

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Author: My Upstate Life

Wife, mom, and lover of books, podcasts, and blogs. Not a fan of cooking, winter, and snakes.

9 thoughts on “My Winter Break Goals”

  1. I had not cleaned my oven recently… until a few weeks ago when I found a mouse had made a home in there ? Consider it thoroughly cleaned now!

  2. You really do have a PERFECT job for this stage of the game. My dreaded to-do tasks all have to do with de-cluttering and organizing. I keep thinking I’ll do it “some day” – and I have taken on mini-projects of this type over the years. But it’s not enough to keep up with the build-up of clutter that continues to accumulate. Just as I’m writing this, I realize it’s a lot like debt – it keeps growing unless there is fierce intention to DO something about it. (This might have to be a blog post topic some day . . . )

    1. Clutter is out-of-control in my house, Ruth, especially all of the completed worksheets and crafts that my daughter brings home from school! Oh, and the million recipes I print out to try “some day”…

  3. It’s been about a year since I cleaned the oven. It gets it when it needs it, and that is more frequent in the winter as we use it more. I try to put a cookie sheet under things as they bake, so they don’t bubble over.

    The cabinets and cupboards are a job I need to do. Especially my bathroom cabinets. So many containers of things that I don’t use but am loathe to toss. But they are just taking up space, I just need to do it. I will breath easier with less clutter. And I’m afraid what I’ll find there! LOL

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