Focusing on the Kitchen

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
It’s the second week of December, and we are going to focus our zone missions in the kitchen. This time of year we do more baking than normal (for most of us), and I want you to have a tidy kitchen.
These missions should be 10 to 15 minutes each day. If you complete the daily suggestion before the timer goes off, go ahead and do something else in the kitchen that will help the flow of the room. I don’t want you spending more than 15 minutes a day though.
Here are you missions for the week:
Zone 2 Missions: The Kitchen
Monday – Wipe the outside of your kitchen cabinets
Tuesday – Declutter the silverware drawer(s). Toss or donate extra items.
Wednesday – Declutter leftovers from the fridge
Thursday – Shine your kitchen sink
Friday – Clean off the top of the fridge
Set your timers for 15 minutes and then take a break when it goes off!
Here is an assignment for you today.
Take time for you today. If you enjoy a good soak in the tub, plan that for tonight. Run your water. Light a candle and turn on some Christmas music. Enjoy some relaxing time!
Weekly Menu Plan
Monday – Hamburgers
Tuesday – Teriyaki Chicken
Wednesday – Lasagna and salad
Thursday – Soup and Sandwiches
Friday – Christmas Party
Enjoy your week! Keep your routines simple.
Here’s your recap of the Weekly Zone Missions.
On Monday, wipe the outside of your kitchen cabinets. This is a great opportunity to use The FlyLady’s purple cloths. I like to use Murphy’s Oil Soap on my wood cabinets once a year. It helps put some oil into the wood.
On Tuesday, declutter in the silverware drawer. Donate extra items that you are not using. If you have a lot of plastic utensils, consider donating some to a homeless shelter.
On Wednesday, declutter leftovers from the fridge. Be sure to check the drawers.
On Friday, clean off the top of the fridge.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.
Your Zone Mission for Monday is to wipe the outside of the kitchen cabinets.
My menu plan for Monday is hamburgers with a salad.
Have a blessed day!

Snow Day! Snow Day!

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Good morning!
In the news this morning in my little corner of North Carolina is SNOW! So I am in a “get prepared mode.” For those of you who get snow often, you think Southerners are a little silly about snow. But snow has a tendency to be slick in the South and accompanied by ice, so we are cautious and prepare for several days at home.
For me, it is a bit like a Holiday. I don’t have to leave the house. I can cancel appointments. I can create WHITE SPACE on my calendar. Snow days can come with hazards though. We can lose power. We can be unable to get out of our driveway for several days. So I do recognize that we need certain supplies on hand.
What do you think we need to have on hand for several days of being snowed in at home?
  • Alternate source of heat or a generator
  • Water
  • Pre-cooked food
  • Food for the pets
  • Batteries
  • Flashlights
  • Candles (kerosene lamps or oil lamps)
  • Portable battery charger
  • Land line phone that plugs into the wall and has a cord to make an emergency call
  • Warm clothes and extra blankets
  • Hats, gloves, scarves, and boots
  • Medications
  • Board games or card games
The boys love playing outside in the snow, but that also means I have trained them on how to come into the house and lay their clothes out to dry.
Wet snow = a lot of wetness in my house
If we do not lose power, we are pretty much business as usual in the house. We continue our routines and homeschooling. We may clean the floors more often due to the wet clothes and wet boots coming into my kitchen. We may also do a lot more laundry with their wet snow clothes.
We make memories on snow days. We have hot chocolate, popcorn, or cookies.
If we are home for few days next week, we will possibly do some Christmas activities – baking, crafts, signing cards, wrapping gifts, etc.
We are finishing up in Zone 1 today. Your mission is to declutter anywhere in the Front Porch, Entryway, or Dining Room.
Tell me something good that happened for you this week.
Today’s Zone Mission is to declutter in Zone 1.
Your Home Blessing for today is to take out the trash, sweep, and mop.
My menu plan for Friday is take out.
Send me pictures of your progress this week in zone 1!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Some quick missions to help you get organized

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Today’s zone mission is a bit of an extension of yesterday. Today I want you to dust any areas of the Dining Room that you need not dust yesterday. If you don’t have any dusting to do in the Dining Room, you can work on your décor or prepare your Holiday serving pieces.
If you are using your Dining Room as a staging area for Christmas gifts or for your homeschool stuff or clutter, spend 5 minutes of your mission time decluttering. The Dining Room is not used often as an eating area, and it tends to gather clutter.
Some homes don’t have a designated Dining Room, and if that is the case for you, you can come up with a mission. I know you have an area that needs decluttering or dusting. Just pick an area and set your timer.
Check your Holiday shopping list today for items you have been meaning to order and haven’t. Order them today. You don’t want to cut yourself close on time on getting the gifts delivered. Speaking of delivery, if you have gifts to mail, do that this week as well.
Are you doing any Holiday baking? Check your supplies and add items to the shopping list that you are out of. Some items you might want to have a little extra on hand.
What are some other things you can do ahead of time this week that will help you in your preparations?
Today’s Zone Mission is to dust the Dining Room.
Your Home Blessing for today is to declutter paper and magazines.
My menu plan for Thursday is homemade pizza and salad.
Have a great day!

Making Dusting Fun

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Happy anti-procrastination day! Do you have a favorite duster or dusting cloth? I personally, do not want to be without my FlyLady Feather Duster or my FlyLady Purple Rags. Both of these tools make my home blessings and zone missions fun and easy.
Today’s zone mission is to wipe windows, walls, switches, and door knobs in the Dining Room. If you have The FlyLady’s microfiber cloths, use them for this. Wet one with warm water and have a dry one handy. Wipe quickly and then dry as needed. You will be surprised at how quickly this mission goes.
Next, I want you to think about something you have been putting off and start it as soon as you finish reading this email. It just has to get started. You do not have to complete the task. I just want you to make progress on the things you are procrastinating.
Speaking of procrastinating, have you started your Christmas cards? If not, start them today. If you don’t have the cards yet, you can work on the address labels. Check addresses. Count how many cards and stamps you need. The point is to just start.
Do you have all of your Christmas gifts purchased and wrapped? If you need to do these things, this is a great project for anti-procrastination day. Set up a wrapping station with paper, ribbon, tape, bows, boxes, bags, tissue, scissors, pens, and labels. Work on gift wrapping a little at a time. Don’t let your perfectionism take over. Just do it.
If you have small children in the house, you can number the packages, and then you can write down who gets which gift. You just cannot lose the list, and you will want it in a secure location to keep wandering eyes from seeing it.
Do something for yourself today. Fix your favorite beverage. Sit down and relax for a few minutes. It does not have to take a long time. If your evening is free, run a warm bath and have a little soak in the tub. If you do needlework of any kind, sit and enjoy a few minutes of that. There are many ways to relax and enjoy yourself.
Your Zone Mission today is to wipe the windows, walls, switches, and door knobs in the Dining Room.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe windows and mirrors.
My menu plan for Wednesday is lasagna.
Have a blessed day!

Preparing for Christmas and Decluttering

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Is it beginning to look a lot like Christmas in your home? If you have not participated in the FlyLady’s Holiday Missions, she is doing Super Cruising Missions now to help you prepare ahead of time for your celebrations. This helps you have more time to enjoy the Holiday time and celebrations versus being stressed and buying things at the last minute.
Since it’s Tuesday, it’s a good time to sit down with your planner and budget for a few minutes. Write down the purchases you have made. File the receipts in an envelope. Check your budget. For our Christmas purchases, I have a notebook, and I track the item and amount spent on each gift.
As my husband and I talk about ideas for gifts, we have a place to check on what we already have. We both purchase gifts, but we keep track of it in one notebook. This keeps us within our budget, and it helps keep us from overspending on one person.
If you have not made out your menu plan for the week, spend a few minutes on it as well. My suggestion is that you keep a planning time for 15 to 30 minutes in your Tuesday schedule to menu plan, budget, and pay bills. Then you are ready to make a grocery list and errand list for later in the week.
Your Zone Mission today is hopefully an easy one. Spend 15 minutes in the Entryway. Put away anything that has taken up residence in the entryway but has a home elsewhere. The entryway is the prime area for your family to drop clutter.
If you decorate your Entryway, spend a few minutes on that as well. Make your entryway look pretty and inviting to all who come into your home.
Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.
Your Zone Mission for today is to declutter in the entryway.
My menu plan for Tuesday is chicken and a salad.
Have a blessed day!

Pampering Yourself this Month

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Happy first week of December. First, I want you to take a deep breath and relax. My prayer for you and your family is that you will have a wonderful month and no anxiety about your home and your schedule.
If you have too much on your calendar, you can always take some things off of the calendar. Enjoy your Holiday preparations and make memories with your family. These memories do not have to include every single Holiday event you see or are invited to do.
Your Habit of the Month is to Pamper Yourself. Remember that as you schedule in some quiet time for yourself.
Here are you missions for the week:
Zone 1 Missions: The Front Porch, Entryway, and Dining Room
Monday – Declutter items from the Front Porch and add Holiday decorations
Tuesday – Declutter the Entryway
Wednesday – Wipe Windows, Mirrors, Light Switches, and Door Knobs
Thursday – Dust the Dining Room
Friday – Declutter for 15 minutes in Zone 1
Set your timers for 15 minutes and then take a break when it goes off!
Here is an assignment for you today.
Sit down for 15 minutes today with your favorite beverage and your notebook. Write down some of the things you like to do to pamper yourself. I want you to try to write down 30 things, but if you can’t think of that many, I want you to write down as many as you can.
Each day, I want you to pick one thing on this list to do to pamper yourself.
Ladies, we take care of everyone around us, and we put our relaxing time off. Some of you are at a point where you are doing good to come up with 10 things to do to pamper yourself. Once you have your list, you are welcome to share it with me!

If you need some ideas, here is a link to The FlyLady’s page on Pampering Yourself. There are all kinds of ideas on her site.

You can share some of your ideas, and I will share them with the other readers.
Some of my favorite relaxing things to do are: reading, sewing, doing crafts, listening to music, soaking in the tub, going for a walk, talking to a friend, having a quiet dessert with my husband, sitting by the fireplace on a winter evening, drawing, coloring, painting, watching a Christmas movie, journaling, getting my nails done, doing a facial at home, doing a puzzle, playing a game with the boys, and hanging with my girlfriends.
That’s my list just off the top of my head. I need a few more to make it a list of 30 things for the month, but I think this is a good start.
Start thinking and writing stuff down!
Weekly Menu Plan
Monday – Chicken
Tuesday – Chicken and Rice Casserole
Wednesday – Lasagna
Thursday – Pizza for the boys
Friday – Take Out
Enjoy your week! Keep your routines simple.
Here’s your recap of the Weekly Zone Missions.
On Monday, take a look at the Front Porch. Toss anything that needs to go from your fall decorations. Put out your Christmas decorations on the porch.
On Tuesday, declutter in the Entryway. How many pairs of shoes did you find?
On Wednesday, wipe the windows, mirrors, walls, light switches, and door knobs in the Dining Room.
On Thursday, dust the Dining Room. If you have decorations to put out, spend a few minutes doing that, too.
On Friday, declutter for 15 minutes anywhere in Zone 1. If you have any more decorations to put out, do that as well.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.
Your Zone Mission for Monday is declutter items from the Front Porch.
My menu plan for Monday is chicken with a salad.
Have a blessed day!

What are your favorite Family Christmas Traditions

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Good morning!
Have you enjoyed your week? We have been decluttering and detailing the Living Room. The missions were designed to be short and sweet, but they are effective in helping you bring peace and order to your home.
Yesterday, you did a 27 Fling Boogie, and today you are going back one more time to get rid of some more clutter in the Living Room or Family Room. If you have not done all of the missions this week, no worries. You can spend 15 minutes today decluttering.
An area that always needs attention and purging is your homeschool papers. As we are wrapping up school in preparation for a Christmas break, spend a few minutes each day purging paper and going through your homeschool books.
Teach your children to put away their materials daily. Establish a place for their books and don’t let them overtake your home with stacks of books. Having a central location for your books helps your home look less cluttered, and it saves time for you when it’s time to do school each day.
Do you read Holiday-inspired books with your children or do a special devotional? I heard an idea this year to read a chapter of Luke each day beginning on December 1. There are 24 chapters, so it will take you right up to Christmas Eve. It’s a great way to set the tone for your Christmas season.
When you sit down to do your planning for next week, include some fun activities with your children.
Tell me something good that happened for you this week.
Today’s Zone Mission is to declutter in the Living Room/Family Room.
Your Home Blessing for today is to take out the trash, sweep, and mop.
My menu plan for Friday is take out.
Send me pictures of your progress this week in zone 5!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Let’s do a 27 Fling Boogie Today!

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Are you ready to do some flinging today? The 27 Fling Boogie is one of my favorite decluttering missions! It’s quick, and it’s easy. If you do this consistently, you will get rid of clutter.
You can approach the 27 Fling Boogie in different ways. Here are a few ways I have played it:
Set the timer for 15 minutes and find 27 things to throw away.
Set the timer for 15 minutes and find 27 things to give away.
Set the timer for 15 minutes and find 27 things to put away.
Set the timer and find 9 things of each (throw away, give away, and put away).
Start with one thing and build your way up to 27 things. If you cannot do 27 things in 15 minutes, it’s ok. The timer is to keep you from getting caught up and spending hours decluttering.
If you have a lot of paper clutter, that is a great way to get rid of 27 things in 15 minutes.
If your children need incentive to clean their rooms or find their floor under the stuff, use the 27 Fling Boogie to get them rolling along.
Turn on some fun music for this. You can use Christmas music this time of the year, or you can find some peppy kids’ songs. It really doesn’t matter as long as you are having fun while you declutter.
If you have a storage area or room that is heavily cluttered, go into it and pull out a couple of things. Walk out of the room and make a decision on where that item needs to go. It is depressing to sit in a room full of clutter and make a decision, so take the items out of the room.
You have three choices for each item – throw away, give away, or put away.
You are likely going to focus on the first two options, so have a black trash bag ready for the trash and have a box ready for the items to donate.
You can do this! Start in the Living Room today!
Today’s Zone Mission is to have a 27 Fling Boogie in the Living Room.
Your Home Blessing for today is to declutter paper and magazines.
My menu plan for Thursday is date night, so the boys are having pizza.
Have a great day!

Keep Your Routines Simple and Consistent

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Happy anti-procrastination day! What have you been procrastinating?
This can be anything – Home Blessings, Zone Missions, Holiday Missions, Menu Planning, decluttering, paying bills, budgeting, or even pampering yourself.
The thing you are procrastinating might not be on the list above, but I mentioned them because I have learned from talking to ladies over the past several years that these are frequently procrastinated.
If you traveled over Thanksgiving, you might be living with a mountain of laundry – clean or dirty.
While we did not travel over Thanksgiving, we had a lot going on, so I pushed through several loads of laundry the past two days, and the thing that helps keep my home from being cluttered from laundry is the habit of putting it away when it is comes out of the dryer. I fold it or hang it up (or someone in the house does it), and we put it away. If you really struggle with laundry, work on the consistency of doing it all the way through each time you do a load of laundry.
Another area that I hear frequently on the “didn’t get to it” list is dusting.
Today’s zone mission actually covers the detail dusting in your Living Room or Family Room. I want you to be intentional about doing this mission today.
When you do your Weekly Home Blessings, whether it is once a week or a couple of them per day, don’t skip out on dusting. It can be done in a few minutes if it is done consistently. The tendency is to get hung up in the idea that you cannot do a good job dusting unless you move everything around every single time you dust.
If you dust once every six months, then you do have more of a job to do, but with weekly dusting, you can dust around the items on your flat surfaces. Then once a month, you will detail dust in each zone.
Don’t make your routines complicated. Keep them simple and consistent.
Your Zone Mission today is to detail dust in the living room or family room.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe windows and mirrors.
My menu plan for Wednesday is lasagna.
Have a blessed day!

Planning Ahead Helps You in Many Ways

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 
 
Dear Friends,
Today is Plan and Play Day. Have you updated your Christmas shopping list? A big part of your Holiday purchasing and gift giving is to keep track of your budget. You don’t want to spend months after Christmas paying off credit card bills. Set a budget and stick to it. Update your gift list each time you make a purchase.
If you haven’t started your Christmas cards yet, start them today. Start with checking your mailing list for updates. If you print labels, go ahead and do that. Then you can start signing the cards a little at a time. You can spread this out over a couple of weeks; you don’t have to do a mega Christmas card session at one time.
If you enclose a family picture in your Christmas card, get those done this week or over the weekend at the latest. You need to get them ordered in ready to pop into your cards.
Do any of you write a Christmas card letter? I used to do them when my children were little, but I have not done one in a while. I like reading them from others, but it gets harder to put them together as the family grows and moves into adulthood.
In my small town, we have a special stamp we can use on our Christmas cards that says, “Bethlehem, North Carolina.” It’s a star-shaped stamp, and it is one of the things that I enjoy doing each year on my Christmas cards.
We are coming close to the end of the month, and we have been practicing the habit of menu planning this month. How do you feel about your progress in this area? I did my weekly menu planning, and while we switched around a couple of meals, I think it went well.
What have you learned this month about menu planning?
Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.
Your Zone Mission for today is to detail vacuum the Living Room or Family Room.
My menu plan for Tuesday is spaghetti and a salad.
Have a blessed day!