Welcome New Readers!

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
The FlyLady talked about this newsletter on Tuesday on her morning video. Welcome new subscribers! My name is FlyLady Tami, and I have homeschooled my children since 2000. I have followed the FlyLady almost as long as that!
The FlyLady system worked for my large homeschooling family. I have six children, and I have graduated four of them from our homeschool. We live in western North Carolina. I would love to hear from you and would love to know what state you are in currently.
During the months of September through May, I give more homeschool tips that I do during the summer. In June and July, we tend to play a lot and enjoy some down time from bookwork. In August, I start gearing back up for a new homeschool year. So don’t feel like you aren’t hearing a lot about homeschooling until we get into August.
Each morning I send out an email with encouragement and the zone mission of the day. I also break down the Home Blessings throughout the week.
Menu planning is difficult for many, so I also share my daily menu plan with you.
Each Monday the email gives you the week at a glance. So you know what’s coming up for the week.
The missions are meant to only take 5 to 15 minutes a day. I do not want you decluttering for hours a day this summer.
For those of you who have been reading for a while, send me your favorite FlyLady tip. I want to share them with the new readers!
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter items from the left side of your bed.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe windows and mirrors.
My menu plan for Wednesday is soup and sandwiches.
Have a blessed day!

What do you do for summer fun?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
What do you do for summer fun?
Here are 5 Fun Things to Do with Your Family:
Go swimming or have a water play day.
When the temperatures soar in the summer, we like to play in the water. We have set up water games in the yard, gone to a mountain creek, or gone swimming. You want to teach your children water safety, and one of the best ways to do that is to expose them to water. If they do not know how to swim, sign them up for swimming lessons.
Go for a hike in the woods.
We live in the middle of the woods, so the boys and I have ready access to walking in the woods whenever we want, but I have also taken them to various state parks and the mountains to hike in the forest. It’s a lot of fun to get out into nature and learn about trees and animals. By using shady paths, you are also able to stay cooler on a hot day.
Go fishing.
If you live near a lake or a stream, get some fishing poles and simple gear and go fishing. My boys love to fish, and I enjoy watching them fish. When they were little, it was more work for me to supervise them. Now that they are bigger, I can sit in the shade and just admire their catches as they reel them in. I also walk around a little bit as they are fishing for extra movement in my day and to talk to each of them as they are fishing.
Go biking.
Do your kids have bikes? Do you have one, too? Get out your bikes and helmets and go for a ride! Last week, my son rode his bike for 3 miles while I ran 3 miles. We had a lot of fun outside, and we both got in some good movement. We go to local places that do not have car traffic for safety purposes, and we pack our water bottles and go out and enjoy the ride.
Go bowling.
What about indoor movement? Some bowling centers offer inexpensive rates for kids to bowl in the summer. We have gone bowling on days when the temperature was too hot or when it was raining. Bowling is great exercise and a lot of fun. It builds muscles and coordination.
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter stuff from the top of your bed that does not belong.
Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.
My menu plan for Tuesday is chicken and a salad.
Have a great day!

Finding Joy In Decluttering in Your Bedroom

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Do you find it joyful to declutter in your Master Bedroom? If you don’t, I want you to work on how you think about decluttering in your bedroom. Some of you would just be fine with closing the door and ignoring it. But I want you to purpose in your heart to do 15 minute decluttering missions in your bedroom each day this week.
Zone 4 Missions: The Master Bedroom and Master Bathroom
Monday – Clean out under your bed. If you have a lot of stuff under there, use a timer. Ask your children to do this mission, too. Have trash bags handy for them.
Tuesday – Clear off the top of your bed, if you have things laying around on it. If you have piled stuff on your bed and moved the pile, make sure you are putting things away.
Wednesday – Declutter items from the left side of your bed.
Thursday – Declutter items from the right side of your bed.
Friday – Declutter at the end of your bed. If you still have stuff under your bed, try to deal with that during this 15 minute mission, too.
Set your timers and then take a break when it goes off!
When you lay your head down at night, I want you to feel relaxed and peaceful. The way to get to that point is to declutter items from your bedroom.
Today’s focus is to declutter the items under your bed. Some of you use this area for things you don’t know where to put them. Work on finding another place for these items, so you can sweep or vacuum under your bed easily. Children usually shove stuff under their beds, so this is a great mission for them, too.
Do you pile laundry or stuff on your bed during the day and dump it on the floor or chair later? This is a habit I want you to get away from doing. Your bed should not be your place to toss stuff during the day, and face it, by the time you go to bed, you do not want to fold the laundry that is on your bed.
Your nightstand is the last thing you likely see at night, and it is the first thing you see in the morning. You deserve a decluttered surface beside of your bed. I have a lamp, lip balm, lotion, lavender oil, a book, and my phone plugs in near me. When I go to bed, I keep a water bottle on my nightstand as well.
Keep the things on your nightstand and dresser that you need. Resist the urge to use these flat surfaces as storage for items. Put out some of your favorite pictures on your dresser top.
If you have children at home, ask them to bring you anything from their nightstand or dresser top that they don’t use anymore. You might not get anything from them, so check their room later after you ask them to do this. I encourage my boys to use their top dresser drawer to hold the little things that they would normally put on top of the dresser.
Spend 15 minutes per mission and see what a difference this makes in your bedroom. Have a trash bag and a donation box handy. Your missions will go faster if you have something to put things in as you declutter. I want you to have joy and happiness in your bedroom!
Weekly Menu Plan
Monday – Pork BBQ
Tuesday – Chicken and a Salad
Wednesday – Soup and Sandwiches
Thursday – Steak and Gravy
Friday – Leftovers
Enjoy your week! Keep your routines simple.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.
Your Zone Mission for Monday is clean out under your bed.
My menu plan for Monday is pork BBQ.
Are you finding joy in decluttering?
Have a blessed day!

Are you too tough on yourself?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
How do you measure success in your home and with your zone missions?
Recently some of my readers have mentioned how they feel about their progress with zone missions when they are not able to complete everything on the list.
When you are new to The FlyLady system, you need to celebrate the small progresses. If you have never done the zone missions, then doing one or two a week is a success. Then you build from there. If you start with 5 minute zone missions, you can work your way up to 10 and 15 minute sessions.
If you have never established a routine for your Home Blessings (sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, dusting, changing sheets, taking out the trash, and decluttering magazines), you celebrate the successes in doing one of them at a time. Use your timer and try to keep each one to 10 minutes.
The reason The FlyLady has us practice one Habit per month is to help us slowly work on the Habits until they are a part of our routines.
If you struggle with your Before Bed Routine or Morning Routine, work on one of them at a time. Your Before Bed Routine will set you up for a successful start to your day the next day.
As you are working on your routines, I want you to celebrate your accomplishments with me. Share your progresses even if you feel like you are falling short. Forward progress is PROGRESS. I remind friends of this frequently when they say their running is not progressing like they want. Moving forward is progress whether it is fast progress or slower progress.
Pick something today that you have been wanting to do and do it. Use your timer. Turn on some music. Have fun. Celebrate your success! Email me and let me know what you did today.
I want you to feel successful with each step of your progress.
Today’s Zone Mission is to shine your bathroom sinks and counters. Relax for 15 minutes.
Your Home Blessing for today is to take off the trash, sweep, and mop.
My menu plan for Friday is pork chops and potatoes.
Have a great weekend!

What can you do in 5 minutes?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
As I get my house in order, I find that 5 minute missions are a great way to get stay on track. This is also a fun way to involve the children. Write down little missions on slips of paper and draw one out at a time. Set the timer and turn on some music.
The first thing I do is to write down some key things I need to do. Then, I use my timer and switch from one mission to another. I can break things into 5 minute missions this way.
In doing missions this way, I am able to throw out a lot of excess stuff. I can either toss the items or put them in my box of things to donate. This works great as a part of a 27 Fling Boogie.
With many loads of sheets and laundry, I can use 5 minute missions to keep the laundry going and get all of the bedding washed, dried, and folded. I decluttered items from the linen closet in 5 minute missions as well, which makes putting sheets away a breeze.
My kitchen counters accumulate lots of stuff, so I can do 5 minute missions to deal with the hot spots in the kitchen. I can use another 5 minute mission to unload the dishwasher. A third mission is all I need to do the dishes and shine my sink.
Next, I check my entryway for more items that need to be put away, and I use a basket to put the items to make it faster to put things away throughout the house.
Using my timer and my list keeps me focused. I take little breaks, and I sip my water throughout the day. I also have little sit down breaks throughout the day.
You can accomplish a lot of things using your timer and following the 5-minute rule. It makes a huge difference in my day and in how my house looks.
What can you do in 5 minutes?
Your Zone Mission today is to toss old cosmetics and perfumes. Do a 27 Fling Boogie somewhere else in the house.
Your Home Blessing for today is to toss paper and magazines.
My menu plan for Thursday is pork chops and potatoes.
Have a blessed day!

Mama, how does your laundry pile grow?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

laundry-963150_640
Dear Friends,
This evening I was feeling a little poetic.
Mama, how does your laundry pile grow?
 
Socks and towels by the pound.
 
Do you have a lost and found?
 
Shirts and pants.
 
How many underpants?
 
A tisket a tasket.
 
An over-filled laundry basket.
 
How do I tame this pile?
 
You can do it, dear, with a smile.
The FlyLady tells us that a load of laundry per day will keep Mt. Washmore away. This is a routine that I believe in and have been doing for years.
With a larger than normal size family, I have to do three loads of laundry per day to stay caught up.
We have six of us in the house currently, so that means that each person has bedding that needs to be washed weekly. We stage that out throughout the week. I do not wash all of the bedding on one day. It is just too much.
Generally, I will do my bedding one day. My 15-year-old and 12-year old do their bedding on the same day. The older boys do their bedding on their laundry day.
Normally, I have a load of dark clothes each day, and I have a load of towels each day. On Saturday, we have a load of white clothes that get bleached.
In the winter, our clothes are bulkier, and there are times when the boys layer their clothes. So I sometimes I have an extra load every couple of days in the winter. In the summer, the loads are not as full since our summer clothes are not as heavy bulky. They are also not layering their clothes like they do in the winter.
If you are struggling with your family assisting with their laundry, you can work with them on the stages of doing laundry to make it easier. Have a dark clothes dirty laundry bin, a white clothes bin, and a towel bin.
Teach them to use the sorting system wherever you set it up. I instituted this years ago, and it really helps the process to have them sorted out as they are taken off.
You can set the sorter up in your laundry room or in a bedroom. I keep the towel bin and white clothes bin in my room, and everyone uses them. Then we each have a dirty clothes bin in our bedrooms for dark dirty clothes.
Teenagers can be the worst about tossing dirty clothes on the floor. Many times these dirty clothes get mixed up with clean clothes, and then you have a mess and a lot of extra laundry. Teach your children to use a dresser or chest of drawers for their clothes. Hang as much as possible for the amount of closet space you have available.
Involve you children in the laundry process from a young age. Make it fun to sort, wash, dry, fold, and put away the laundry. Sing songs and talk as you work together. Laundry does not have to be an albatross around your neck.
How many loads of laundry do you do per day?
Your Zone Mission today is to wash the bathroom run, shower curtain, and accessories. Detail dust one other area.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe windows and mirrors.
My menu plan for Wednesday is lasagna and garlic bread.
Have a blessed day!

Do you have paper clutter or stuff clutter?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Most of you have issues with clutter in the form of paper, stuff, or clothes. Paper is a problem for many people because paper comes into our homes on a regular basis.
If you have stacks of papers, you need to realize that you don’t need 80% of it. The problem is sorting it down to the 20% you do need. Having a filing system in place will help you take care of the papers you need to keep. If they are important enough to keep, they are important enough for a filing system.
Set up some basic files based on your tax return. Most of the papers you need to keep are related to your tax return. A small percentage of the papers you need to keep are for legal matters or homeschool. When you have your files set up, you have a place to file the papers you need to keep.
Next, you need to shred papers that you don’t need that have identifying information on them. You might need to set up a box to put papers to shred and spend 5 to 10 minutes a day using a paper shredder.
If you have piles of paper, start with one small stack. Deal with each piece of paper as you go through the stack. You have three choices — file, trash, or shred. Resist the urge to keep putting a paper back in the stack. If you sort papers into stacks, only do a small amount at a time and deal with those stacks. Don’t restack them to deal with them again later.
The ladies I have talked to over the past two years who have issues with paper have something in common. They keep putting papers back into the system to make a decision later. Meanwhile, their piles of paper continue to grow.
Some of you have papers that have literally been an albatross around your neck for years. You need to let go of these papers. It will take consistency. I talk to ladies who have overcome their paper clutter monster, and I know you can do it, too!
If you are dealing with too much stuff, get some black trash bags. Use them to bag up things to give away. Use them for stuff you need to throw away. You need to be ruthless in getting rid of the clutter that is stealing your joy.
Clothes clutter in your home robs you of your joy and your time. When you have too many clothes, you spend a lot of time managing them. Your kids do not do a good job with their laundry and putting it away when they have too many clothes. You also struggle with putting your own clothes away when you have too many clothes.
Start today with purging clothes while you are doing laundry. Toss the worn out clothes. Put the things that are too small in a bag to donate. By using black trash bags, your kids cannot see what you are throwing out or giving away. My kids will hold onto clothes well past their usefulness. I have had to teach them to let go of clothes that are worn out or two small.
You can keep a few sentimental clothes for your children, but you do not have to hold onto everything single piece of clothing. The same goes for your closet. You can let go of the clothes that don’t fit you well.
This week, we get to pick an extra area to declutter. Do you need to declutter paper, stuff, or clothes?
Your Zone Mission today is to shine your tub and shower. Declutter in 1 other area. If you have a lot of paper clutter, work on it for 15 minutes.
Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.
My menu plan for Tuesday is sloppy joes and tater tots.
Have a great day!

Where will you declutter this week?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
This week we are in Zone 3 – the Main Bathroom and one other area.
Where is your other area this week? The FlyLady’s missions this week give you ideas for decluttering in the guest room, but not all of us have a guest room. So I want to know where you will be decluttering besides the Main Bathroom.
Zone 3 Missions: The Main Bathroom and One Extra Room
Monday – 27 Fling Boogie in the Main Bathroom and one other area. This is the time to find things to throw away, put away, or give away.
Tuesday – Shine your tub/shower. Declutter in one other area.
Wednesday – Wash the bathroom rug, shower curtain, and any accessories. Detail dust one other area.
Thursday – Toss old cosmetics and perfumes. Do another 27 Fling Boogie somewhere else in the house.
Friday – Shine your bathroom sinks and counters. Relax for 15 minutes.
Set your timers and then take a break when it goes off!
This week we lead into a couple of Holidays. We have Flag Day on June 14. Have you ever talked to your children about our flag and the significance of it? Have you shown them earlier renditions of our flag and talked about why it was changed over the years?
How many patriotic songs do your children know? We hear our National Anthem regularly, but there are many more patriotic songs for our country. Look them up and share them with your children.
Next Sunday is Father’s Day. You can guide your children in making something for their Dad or take them shopping. Father’s Day is not nearly as popular as Mother’s Day in terms of cards and gifts. Plan a special lunch with your children to celebrate their dad. We do not like to go out to eat on Holidays because it is so busy, especially after church.
My children have made me breakfast in bed for Mother’s Day, and then they did the same thing for my husband for Father’s Day. It was a sweet thing for them to do, and it makes your loved one feel special.
When my children were little, we decorated a white t-shirt with their hand prints. It’s a special treasure to my husband now that our children are growing up and moving out.
If your father or grandfather live far away, go ahead and get a card in the mail as soon as possible. If possible, go see him, but if that is not possible, call him.
What are some ways you have celebrated Father’s Day?

Cool off and clean out the freezer

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

 
Dear Friends,
Thank you to those who have emailed me this week and answered my questions. It encourages me, and it also gives me ideas on new things to write about. If you have questions about home organization, routines, homeschooling, or working from home, please ask. I am happy to answer your questions.
The past three days we have been decluttering in the kitchen. Today we are going to declutter from the freezer. You likely have something in your freezer that has been there a long, long time. You may have things in there that you have forgotten about.
Take your trash can close to the freezer. Get a pen and paper. Go through your freezer. Toss the stuff that has freezer burn, or you can identify. Write down what you do have in there.
As you do your menu planning, check the list you made and use the items you have on hand. It will save you money on groceries, and it will also help you be a good steward of your freezer stockpile.
Earlier in the week, I went through my freezer. There were several items that just needed to go. I also found that I had many packs of frozen vegetables that I need to use in the coming weeks.
How was your week? If you did not get all of the missions done, it’s okay. If you have something you really wanted to do, then do it today. You can tweak these missions anytime to make them fit what you need to do in your home.
Have you finished up your home blessings for the week? Use your timer and finish them up for the weekend. Then you can enjoy family fun day and your day of rest.
Today’s Zone Mission is to declutter items from the freezer.
Your Home Blessing for today is to take off the trash, sweep, and mop.
My menu plan for Friday is a fish fry.
Have a great weekend!

What’s under your kitchen sink?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
What is under your kitchen sink? I can tell you what is under mine.
When we did our kitchen renovation a few years ago, I started putting my dish drainer under the sink when I was not using it. I also keep dishwasher liquid and trash bags under the sink. There is not a lot of room under there with the dish drainer sitting in its place 99.9% of the time.
That’s right, I learned to get along without a dish drainer. The only times I have pulled it out to use has been when I used my china and glassware that does not go in my dishwasher. This has me thinking that maybe I don’t need it at all.
Tell me what’s under your kitchen sink, and I would also like to know how many of you use your dish drainer. I can remember the years of sippy cups and bottles. That is why I had the dish drainer on the counter, but it was always full of the kids’ cups.
Now that my kids are older, it was easy to put the dish drainer away and forget about it. I enjoy the extra space on my counter, and I love that my counters look less cluttered without it.
Do any of you hand-wash dishes on a regular basis? If so, you likely use your dish drainer regularly. Do you put the dishes away or use them from the drainer? When I used my drainer for the kids’ cups, I never put them away. They were always there.
What are some other things that sit on your counter but are rarely used?
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter under the kitchen sink.
Your Home Blessing for today is to toss paper and magazines.
My menu plan for Thursday is chicken and salad.
Have a blessed day!