How much do you handle things when decluttering?

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,
When you are cleaning and decluttering, do you find yourself moving things from place to place? If you are handling the same items multiple times, focus on finding a home for the items you are moving around. If you cannot find a place for everything, you need to get rid of the things you are moving around often.

When I am decluttering, I have a box handy to put items in to donate. Then I take the box to my car until errand day. I make it a point to handle an item as few times as possible. Some of you get “stuck” trying to figure out whether to keep something or give it away. This is your perfectionism. You are trying to hold onto things until you might need them. Meanwhile, it is hard to clean your house because of the clutter.

You are holding onto books and papers that you are not going to use again. You feel guilty that you have not used the books like you intended. Let go of this guilt. If the books are not working for your children, you can get other books. You can use library books. You spent money on these books, and they are an albatross. You are trying to make them work for your family, and they just aren’t working out.

Unless your state homeschool laws require you to show your child’s work to someone, you do not have to keep all of the papers your children produce. Give yourself a limit on space and how you will hold onto their papers. Sort their school papers weekly into your storage area. Take photos with your cell phone or camera and share their artwork with others. You can make a cute flipbook once a year from these photos.

Tell me what your biggest source of clutter is in your home. Start working on the habit of handling things as few times as possible when you are decluttering.

Today’s Zone Mission is to have a 15 minute room rescue anywhere in the house.

Your Home Blessing for today is to empty the trash, sweep, and mop.

My menu plan for Friday is take out.
Have a wonderful weekend!

You have hope!

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,

At the end of each year, I pick a word for the next year that will be my theme for the year. In 2015, my word was “endurance.” I picked it because I was training for a marathon, and I needed endurance to run that far.

In 2016, my word was “joy.” I started writing a boy on choosing joy no matter what the circumstances. I got to practice this trait often in 2016 and 2017. Even in a bad situation, I looked for blessings. They are there. It takes patience at times. (Refer back to the previous year’s word of endurance.)

In 2017, my word was “grace.” I was shown a lot of grace in 2017. There are some things that happened in my life that could have been so much worse. It was grace that was shown to me. I can see where the previous two year’s words also came into play as I went through a difficult valley for more than 6 months. Honestly, I am still not completely out of that valley, but I have endurance, joy, and grace getting me through this valley.

For the past three months, the word “hope” keeps coming up. My word for 2018 is hope. I have hope that the valley I am in will end. I see light at the end of the tunnel. While it is a valley I would not have chosen, I have seen how it has been used to help others. I have seen where it has grown some of my family members.

Even in bad situations, there is hope. I know some of you are in a bad situation right now. Just keep moving forward each day. One day, it will be better. You aren’t alone either.

One way I want you to look at the word, “hope,” is that you can organize your home. You can get rid of the clutter. You can have peace and kick out the chaos. You have HOPE, too! Work on your routines each day. Declutter a little each day. You can do it!

Today’s Zone Mission is to do a 15 minute room rescue anywhere in the house.

Your Home Blessing for today is to declutter paper and magazines.

My menu plan for Thursday is chicken and a salad.

Have a great day!

Don’t Put It Off

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

 

Dear Friends,
Happy anti-procrastination day! This is the day of the week that we do something we have been putting off. Some of you are masters at putting things off. One problem is that you have a To Do List that is too long. Another problem is you allow your perfectionism to stop you from doing something on your list that really needs to be done.
Take a page from The FlyLady, and use the “Do it now” principle. When there is something that you have been putting off, set your timer for 5 minutes and get started on it. You might need longer than 5 minutes to complete it. But you are taking the hardest step by just starting. In many cases, you will have the momentum started and finish before you know it.
If your perfectionism is keeping you from doing something, remember that it is better to start it than to not start at all. What project have you started and abandoned because you weren’t getting it perfectly. If you tell yourself that you don’t have time to do something, you will never have time to do it. Break it down into small steps and get started.
The FlyLady tells us that housework done incorrectly still blesses our families. If you are putting off dusting, vacuuming, or sweeping because you don’t have time to do it “right,” just do it the best way you can. Dust around the items ON the flat surface. Vacuum the high traffic areas. Sweep quickly and move on. You do not have to spend hours cleaning your home.
Have you procrastinated your Christmas shopping? Get started today. You have time, if you get started. I know people who love the “thrill” of shopping on Christmas Eve. That stresses me out! I like to have time to shop a little at a time. This also means I wrap presents a litle at a time.
What are some things you have procrastinated? Tell me what you are going to do today.
Your Zone Mission today is to detail clean the shower.

Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe your windows and mirrors.

My menu plan for Wednesday is pizza for the boys and a salad.

Have a great day!

Let Go of Clutter and Just Make it Better

Getting Organized:
In Your Home and Homeschool

Dear Friends,

Do you delay picking up and decluttering because you don’t have hours in your day to do this? Today I want you to pick an area that needs to be decluttered; set your timer; and just make it better. You do not have to strive for perfection. You do not have to spend hours and hours a day.
Some of you have been saving your cleaning and decluttering for the weekend. If you can just budget 10 to 15 minutes a day through the week for decluttering, you will not have to spend all day on Saturday on a big decluttering project. I know you are busy throughout the week. That is why I keep my zone missions simple and quick for you.
If you have Hot Spots in your home because of your children leaving things out, you need a Hot Spot Drill implemented daily. You also need to be consistent with reminding your children to pick up behind themselves.

Are you still doing laundry for the whole family? Delegate laundry to the people in your home who are 10 years old and older. Teach them to separate darks, lights, and whites. Teach them how to start a load of laundry, switch it to the dryer, fold or hang up, and put away. Once they know how to do laundry, assign them a laundry day each week. They can also wash them bedding on that day.
Some of you have been resistant to teaching your children laundry and giving them this responsibility. But they need this life skill. By delegating laundry, you will have some time open up in your schedule for your decluttering missions.
You have a certain amount of time in each day to do the things you need to do and the things you want to do. By getting your routines established as habits, you will start finding that you have some time to do the things you want to do.
Remember to just make it better and let go of the clutter! Your
Zone Mission today is to declutter under the bathroom sink.
Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.
My menu plan for Tuesday is pasta and salad.
Have a blessed day!

You can take things off your schedule.

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Dear Friends,
How was your weekend? On Friday, we had a lovely snow in North Carolina. It really helped it feel like Christmas is coming while I was out shopping in the snow. I enjoy seeing the big, fluffy flakes coming down, and I enjoy it when it melts.
Keep doing your Holiday Missions each day. We are moving closer to Christmas, and I want you to enjoy the season.
This week we are decluttering and detail cleaning in the Main Bathroom and One Extra Room.
Monday – Declutter counters and wipe down
Tuesday – Declutter under the bathroom sink
Wednesday – Clean the shower
Thursday – 15 Minute Room Rescue – Anywhere
Friday – 15 Minute Room Rescue – Anywhere
Last week my schedule was really full. As I was keeping up with my routines and the appointments, I was feeling like I had too much on my plate. I cancelled two things on my calendar. It was not an easy decision, but it was the best decision for me. If I feel pushed, then I tend to be short with my family. They don’t deserve that because my calendar is full.
If you have too much on your schedule this week, see what you can push off until a later date. Be intentional with your time, and don’t allow outside activities cause you to be short tempered. Fix yourself a glass or cup of your favorite beverage. Put up your feet. Breathe. Enjoy the Christmas lights. Sometimes I turn on the Yule Log on my tablet and have a little “fire” while listening to Christmas carols.
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter the top of the bathroom cabinet and wipe it down.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash sheets.
My menu plan for Monday is beef roast and vegetables.

Have a great day!

Do you have a Happy Hour in your home?

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,
The first hour that you husband comes home either goes one of two ways. It’s either a Happy Hour, or it isn’t. Some of you are nodding your head with me about how that hour can go. I have heard it called the Arsenic Hour or worse. How can we make it a Happy Hour?

When you have lots of small children in the house, you count down the hours until Daddy gets home. It means reinforcements are coming. It means you will have another adult to talk to. It means that you will see your beloved.

What I have also seen is that you are ready to unload your day’s cares on your husband. The kids want attention. You are likely working on dinner preparations. There is generally a lot going on in that hour. Your husband is coming home tired from a day at work. He is ready for a little relaxation before dinner.

Your daily routines can help you with this hour of the day. You can plan to do the things that bring peace to your home. If you are stressed about getting dinner on the table, do your prep work early in the afternoon. Get your meal started. Wash and chop your veggies for the salad. Prepare your side dishes. Have the children set the table. These can all be done before your husband gets home.

If the kids are young and tired by this time of the day, see if you can adjust nap time. Offer a small snack right after nap time and give them water to drink. This may help with their crankiness.

If you are the one who is tired and cranky, add a short relaxing activity to your afternoon routine. Put your feet up for 10 minutes and drink some water. Play with your kids and give them some attention before you start your kitchen preparations.

The first hour you husband gets home from work should be a peaceful time for the family. Tell me of any roadblocks you have encountered during the hour of the day. Any funny stories to share?

Today’s Zone Mission is to wipe the stove top and microwave.

Your Home Blessing for today is to empty the trash, sweep, and mop.

My menu plan for Friday is take out.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Finding Joy in all Things

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,

Can you think of one circumstance that happened in your life when it was hard to find joy in that moment? There are things that will happen in our lives when we have to look really hard for something that looks like a blessing.

This year has brought some situations into my life where I had to ponder on the blessing. Through sickness, accidents, things breaking, storms, fallen trees, and more, I can look back at each circumstance and see at least one blessing.

In the moment of the hardship, I have to remind myself to breathe and have faith. Something good will come out of it.

The Holiday season from Thanksgiving to Christmas can be hard for some of you. It brings back memories of pain and loss for some of you. We lost my grandfather on December 13, 2008. The days leading to that date always cause me to reflect back on the years I had with him. He was like a father to me, and he was the one who fixed everything for me when it broke. A big hole was left in my life when he died. I treasure the memories we made and the time we had together.

Some of you have lost a loved one in the past year, and this is your first big Holiday season without them. Reflect on the joy they brought to your life. Don’t fret with worries or regrets. Love the ones who are with you now. Even if you are sad and grieving, you can still love the people in your present. You can still feel happy and joyful.

If you have neglected some of your routines lately, jump back into them. Shine your sink. Get dressed to the shoes. Make your bed. These simple things can help you feel better about yourself. They can brighten your mood.

Have you neglected your paperwork? Purpose to spend 10 minutes a day on your paperwork. Whether that means filing, paying bills, or shredding paper, just be consistent with this routine starting today.
Have you had a hard time planning for the Holidays and getting your presents purchased? Make a short list, and get started today. You don’t have to pull out every decoration you own either. Put out a few Christmas decorations that bring you joy. You can keep it simple and still have a meaningful celebration.

If you are in the midst of a storm, hang in there and move forward a step at a time.

Today’s Zone Mission is to declutter items from one kitchen drawer.

Your Home Blessing for today is to declutter paper and magazines.

My menu plan for Thursday is chicken and a salad.

Have a great day!

Life is messy, and I am not perfect.

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,
If you have been a mother for more than a day, you realize that motherhood is unpredictable. I am not perfect. I make mistakes a lot. Many of my daily articles are written based of my real life experiences. I want to help you and encourage you.
When you were growing up, you had ideas of what you thought your life would be like. I know I had ideas that are vastly different than how my life actually is, and I am happy with my life and my choices to get married, have a large family, and homeschool.
When I was young, I wanted to get married, have two children, and a career. Then I had my first child, and those thoughts and dreams were replaced by better dreams.
With the addition of children, my life’s course changed. No longer could I clean the house once a week and it stay that way. No longer could I do laundry just *once* a week. The bathrooms needed more than a once a month cleaning. Sweeping and mopping became more important as I had babies who learned to crawl. Life changed for the better. I learned a lot along the way.
Household routines did not come naturally to me. Small children bring lots of little interruptions. But I hung in there. I kept practicing my routines.
When my children got older, they also brought new challenges and thought processes for me. All of my children are really good children, but they made mistakes. I made mistakes. It was not perfect or pretty sometimes, but in it all, we had love.
There are days now when I sit at the computer working longer than I anticipated. There are days when I have to jut set the timer and do a quick clean up. There are days when dinner is a quick affair, and there are days when we spend time cooking and taking longer to eat our evening meal.
This year we have learned the skill of writing a family letter to another family member. It has been interesting to read the tid-bits of our days that the boys share in these letters. It has grown us as a family. But it came about because of a messy situation. I am continually learning that ALL things work together for good.
Sometimes when I sit down to write this daily note to you, I struggle with what to say. Today I decided to share a little more deeply because at heart I am like all of you. I still need reminders daily. I need encouragement. THAT is why I continue to write to you. You NEED ENCOURAGEMENT, too!
Your Zone Mission today is to fling stuff from the fridge that you don’t need.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe your windows and mirrors.
My menu plan for Wednesday is pasta and a salad.
Have a great day!

Save

Being Consistent with Your School Paperwork

Getting Organized:
In Your Home and Homeschool

Dear Friends,

Today is Plan and Play Day! I want you to check on your paperwork. Do you have your school records for the year up to date? Do you have a high school student who needs to look into colleges or testing?

Sometimes, you put things on our list to do, and these things just languish because you don’t want to do them. You put them off. If you have a high school junior or senior, you need to check their records.
They will need a transcript even if they go to a community college. If they want to apply for scholarships, they will need information from you.

Even if you do not have high schoolers, you still have school paperwork of some sort to keep up with. You need to have a regular time in your weekly schedule to purge and file school papers. Update any records you are required to keep. It is a lot easier to do your school paperwork a little at a time versus doing it at the end of the school year.

This is a good time of year to evaluate how your children are doing with their curriculum. You may have a student who is going through books faster than you anticipate, and you will need to have the next book or level ready for them after the Christmas break. You may have a student who is struggling with a subject, and you need to order some supplemental books for them.

If your state requires end of year or standardized testing, start checking dates and get it scheduled. Each state has different requirements, so I am just making some suggestions for common things that many of us have to do.

Working on your paperwork now will get it off your To Do list before your Christmas break. You will be ready to start fresh after the first of the New Year.

Looking at my children’s books and paperwork shows their strengths, and it shows where I want to make sure we hit some subjects a little more in depth after the New Year.

Your Zone Mission today is to declutter items you don’t need from one kitchen cabinet.

Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.

My menu plan for Tuesday is chicken, rice, vegetables, and salad.

Have a blessed day!

Taking Care of Your Kitchen

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Dear Friends,
Good morning! It’s the first Monday of a new month. You can start fresh today on your habits and practicing your routines. As we approach the Holidays, don’t let your routines slide, and don’t let your children slide on their routines.
Keep your routines simple and consistent throughout the month. It will help you and your children feel peaceful even when life is busy.
This week we are decluttering and detail cleaning in the kitchen.
Zone 2 Missions: The Kitchen
Monday – Declutter counters and wipe down
Tuesday – Declutter items from 1 cabinet
Wednesday – Declutter items from the fridge
Thursday – Declutter items from 1 drawer
Friday – Wipe stove top and microwave
The habit of the month is pampering yourself. Take time each day to take care of yourself and relax. Put your feet up for a few minutes today, close your eyes, and just breathe. Let the stresses of the day melt away. Take a look at your calendar for the month. Are you over-committed? If you have too many things on your calendar, look at the things that you do not have to do. Can you drop a few things? I want you to enjoy this month and do over-extend yourself.
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter and wipe the counter tops.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash sheets.
My menu plan for Monday is pulled pork.
Have a great day!