Planning Ahead for Your Errand Day Helps You Save Money

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Thursday is errand day on the FlyLady’s weekly plan. Even if today is NOT the day you are doing errands, it is still a good day to check your supplies and make your lists.
Last week I had knee surgery on Thursday morning, and I was able to make my shopping list on Thursday night with the help of my family. We planned the menu for this week, and with their help, I put in an order online to pick up our groceries at two stores and scheduled the pick-ups for Friday morning.
While we were making the list, one of the boys said he never remembers seeing me just go to the grocery store and shop without a list. He also said he could not remember a time when we did not have a menu plan posted for the family.
My menu planning routine has been in place for many years, and I see how it has impacted my children. As they grow up and move out, they understand that menu planning and making a grocery list helps save time and money.
Doing my order online and picking it up last week also saved me time and money. There was one substitution made in one order, and it was fine with us. On the other order, an item was left off completely. If I had not checked the order, I would not have known it until I was ready to use the item in one of our meals.
What I learned is that the pick-up system is great when you are pushed for time on errand day or if you are physically unable to go into the store. However, I enjoy grocery shopping and picking out my own items.
How are you doing with your menu planning?
Your Zone Mission today is clear off your bedside tables.
Your Home Blessing for today is to toss paper and magazines.
My menu plan for Thursday is chicken and salad.
Have a blessed day!

5 Things We Tend to Put Off

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Happy Wednesday to you all! Today is anti-procrastination day, and if you have not participated before, I want you to start something today that you have been putting off. For those of you who have been participating in anti-procrastination day, I want to hear what you are doing.
The zone missions each day are designed to help you clean your home in small, consistent steps. If you have been busy with end of year school activities, I don’t want you to put off your zone missions. They are important to helping you maintain your home. Jump back in today!
Your home blessings sometimes start to slide on your priority scale when you get busy ending your school year. Your homeschool is important, and so is ending your year and celebrating. It’s also important to keep your home blessing routine going. If you have had a busy few weeks, jump back into them today.
As you start looking at the structure of your days/weeks during the summer, you might change your home blessings from one or two a day to doing them all in an hour once a week. If my schedule allowed me to do mine once a week, I would go back to that format. I love that feeling when I finish all seven parts of the Home Blessing in the same day.
Do you have hot spots that are burning? Little piles of clutter attract more clutter, and before you know it, the flat surfaces in your home have more piles than open places. Spend a few minutes today dealing with hot spots.
Are there stacks of mail, bills, and cards that you need to deal with? Paperwork in the home is a constant need. Set aside time daily to deal with your mail. Set aside time weekly to pay bills and file paperwork.
Are you putting off your self care and daily movement? I have found it to be true that if I put off my self care and exercise, I do not get it taken care of daily. It has to be a priority in the early morning for me, and it is done after my morning quiet time.
These five things are not the only things people put off, but they are things I hear over and over again from my readers. Don’t try to change everything you are doing all at once. Pick one of these and develop the habit. Then move onto another one.
Remember that The FlyLady says the only wrong way to do her system is to do nothing at all. Housework done incorrectly still blesses your family.
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter items from the Master Bathroom.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe windows and mirrors.
My menu plan for Wednesday is soup and sandwiches.
Have a blessed day!

Caring for Your Bedroom

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
This week we are focusing our decluttering missions on the Master Bedroom. Do you feel restful in your bedroom, or are you surrounded by clutter?
The Master Bedroom can become a dumping ground for things that need a place. When you pick up around the house, sometimes you take items that don’t have a place to your bedroom. Then it just stays there.
Some of you dump your laundry on your bed with every intention of folding it and putting it away. It sits there until bedtime, and you push it to the side or on the floor. If you have a flat surface that is not piled high, you put the clothes there.
Laundry baskets are used by many to hold clean clothes until they are worn. Usually, these baskets end up with both dirty and clean clothes in them. Then you wash both already clean clothes and dirty clothes. This causes you more laundry and costs you precious time.
Today, for your zone mission, I want you to put up all of your laundry. If you cannot put it away due to lack of space, you need to declutter some clothes. Before I left for a trip last week, the boys decluttered clothes that don’t fit them any longer. This only took them a few minutes, and they filled up a half of a black trash bag.
When we bought a few new shirts and jeans, they had room to put them away. I do the same thing in my closet and dresser drawers monthly. I declutter items I am not wearing or that don’t fit.
If I find a great deal on clothes for me, I get rid of the same number of items I am bringing home.
Your laundry will be much easier to do, if you declutter the extra clothes. You won’t have as many things to wash. Your children won’t have as many clothes to choose from. Most of your children wear only a fraction of the clothes they wear regularly.
If you have a mountain of laundry to fold and put away, use your timer and do it a little at a time. Fold it and put it away.
Your Zone Mission today is to put your laundry away and declutter stuff from the top of your closet.
Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.
My menu plan for Tuesday is chicken and a salad.
Have a great day!

The Power of Saying No

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
It’s the start of a new week, and for some of you the end of May has been busy with activities as you wrap up your school year. You probably do not have any white space on your calendar. You may be feeling overwhelmed by it all. Read below about the power of saying No.
Zone 4 Missions: The Master Bedroom, Bathroom, and Closet
Monday – Clean off the top of your dresser, toss trash, put away things, and detail dust.
Tuesday – Declutter stuff from the top of your closet.
Wednesday – Declutter items from your Master Bathroom.
Thursday – Clear off your bedside tables and dust.
Friday – Wash the bedroom windows.
Set your timers and then take a break when it goes off!
Last week during one of my homeschool talks, I told the members of my audience that they had the power to reduce the stress in their lives by using the word, “No.”
Ladies, we are nurturers. We like to take care of others. We like to say, “Yes.” We like to fix things for others. But by saying, “Yes” to something, we are also saying “No” to something else.
There are only 86,400 seconds in a day or 1,440 minutes in a 24-hour day. When you deduct time for sleeping and eating, you start seeing how much time you really have to do other things. You cannot do everything.
Last week one of the ladies told me that her take-away quote from one of my talks was, “We share the load in taking care of our home. No one has to do it alone.”
Don’t fall into doing everything yourself. Foster teamwork in your home. It might be a different way for your family to do things. You might meet resistance. But you are doing it to teach them life skills, and you are doing it, so you can take care of the things you need to do.
We cannot fill our days with things we said “Yes” to and do all of the things we need to do to take care of ourselves, our families, and our homes.
Think about how many things you are responsible for in just one day. You wear a lot of hats, and you have a mission field right in your own home — your family. You are raising your children to be salt and light in the world. You are pouring into them, so your efforts and your light will be multiplied through them.
As I shared this thought with someone, she told me that her calendar was too full. She starts the month off with all these clear places on her calendar, but by the end of the month, she is drowning in appointments and obligations.
We talked about her home routines, and her quote to me was profound as she was looking around her home.
She said, “I have three hours available to take care of my home two weeks from now.”
That statement is going to hit a lot of you because you are overbooked. It is the end of the school year. Activities abound all around us! Our churches are doing special things to recognize Moms, graduates, and having homecoming services and meals.
We are asked to head up this activity or to volunteer for that activity.
When you are asked to help with something, take a moment. Pray about it. Talk to your husband about it. If it will push you too much to help out, just say, “No.” You do not have to offer an excuse or reason. Simply answer with “No.”
When you do say, “Yes,” remember that you will not be able to do something else in that time slot. You will have to reorganize your day. You may have to ask for help with your children. You may not be able to cook dinner that night. Your Home Blessings will not get done. I know what things get pushed off when you are over-committed.
If you are chronically tired and rushing about all of the time, start taking things off of your schedule. The summer is a great time to re-evaluate what you are doing and pull back. I have resigned from two volunteer positions in the homeschool community because I am very busy with my family and in taking care of myself and in doing what I love with encouraging all of you.
I am going to give you permission to just say No when you need to say it.
Weekly Menu Plan
 
Monday – Ham and Salad
Tuesday – Chicken and Salad
Wednesday – Soup/Sandwiches
Thursday – Corn dogs and tots
Friday – Take out
Enjoy your week! Keep your routines simple.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.
Your Zone Mission for Monday is to clear the top of your dresser and detail dust.
My menu plan for Monday is ham and salad.
Have a blessed day!

Decluttering and Closing Out Your School Year Day 5

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Welcome to Day 5 in this series! Are you almost finished decluttering and organizing your homeschool books?
It’s been a fun week for me to share with you how I declutter in small steps to organize my homeschool.
Today, I share more about my bookshelves and how I use them.
Only keep as many books in your home as you have room on the bookshelves.
As you watch today’s video, you will hear background noise. These are not professional videos. I did them in my home while the boys were here. I filmed today’s episode while they were frosting a cake. So the banging in the background had a purpose for them. (smile)
I did these videos and emails to encourage you that you can successfully declutter in small steps. It is easier to do it now while you are ending a school year versus waiting until the beginning of your school year.
Here is a picture of my school cabinet:
You can see that I changed it around when I decluttered when you watch the video at this link:
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Have a wonderful day! Drop me a line at Tami@TamiFox.com.
Today’s Zone Mission is to shine the tub and faucet. Declutter in one other area for 15 minutes as well.
Your Home Blessing for today is to take off the trash, sweep, and mop.
My menu plan for Friday is take out.
Have a great weekend!

Decluttering and Closing Out Your School Year Day 4

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Welcome to Day 4! How are you today? Send me an email with your progress at Tami@TamiFox.com. You can even share pictures with me!
Today I share my progress report with you and show you inside of my school cabinet and drawers. I even share where I keep my secret stash of chocolate. (Shhhhh! Don’t tell anyone!)
The top drawer of my school cabinet is my catch-all drawer. I spent two 15-minute sessions decluttering and organizing that drawer. It looks so much better!
I also decluttered and organized the other two drawers, but I was able to do that in less than 10 minutes.
I shared a little bit about the bookshelves in my home, and tomorrow I will talk more about them.
Remember that she who has the most books is not necessarily the best homeschool mom. You want to teach your children to read, research, and write papers, but you do not need to be drowning in books to do that.
Here is the link to today’s video:
Your Zone Mission today is toss old cosmetics and spend 15 minutes decluttering in another room.
Your Home Blessing for today is to toss paper and magazines.
My menu plan for Thursday is chicken and salad.
Have a blessed day!

Closing Out Your School Year – Day 3

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
How are you doing today? Update me at Tami@TamiFox.com with your progress this week. Are you getting rid of clutter and getting your school area organized?
Do your children have a specific place for their school materials? Today, I want you to work with them on rounding up books and materials that are in different places around your house.
If you already your homeschool materials in one place, you can just start going through them and deciding what you need for next year and what you can put away or give away.
By designating a specific place for your children’s school books, you are setting them up for a successful school year. You can train them on where to put their books each day as they finish their work. This will help greatly in keeping up with school books.
I know children have a tendency to “lose” books when they do not like a subject. (smile)
Today, I used two 15 minute sessions to set up my teacher resource shelf. This will make it easier for me to pull out teacher manuals and answer keys.
When you declutter, keep it short and sweet. Set the timer for 15 minutes and STOP when it goes off. You can always go back later to work in that area some more.
At the end of this week, our school year will be over. Testing will be done. My school cabinet will be decluttered. We will be ready for our summer break.
Here is the link to today’s video:
Your Zone Mission today is to check your bathroom supplies. Declutter in the kids’ rooms or another area in your home.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe windows and mirrors.
My menu plan for Wednesday is soup and sandwiches.
Have a blessed day!

Day 2 of Closing Out Your School Year

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Did you get started yesterday with decluttering your school materials from this year?
In today’s video, I give you a progress report on my school cabinet. I spent 15 minutes sorting the books from the boys’ stacks of books.
Some books went on the bottom of each boy’s stack to use next year.
On top of those, I put some review books for reading and math.
If I had books that I was not going to use again, I put them in the giveaway box. If I had books that I wanted to hold on to, I put them on the bookshelves in a different room. I spent about 5 minutes doing both of these things.
The giveaway box will be added to daily, and I will take it to donate on my errand day at the end of the week.
Remember to use your timer to keep you from spending too much time at once decluttering. I do not want you to get burned out.
Check with your local homeschool moms and have a book swap. When my kids were younger, that was a great way to bless others with books we did not need and to get some books that we did need.
Here is the link to today’s video:
Your Zone Mission today is to shine the tub or shower. Declutter in one other area of your house.
Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.
My menu plan for Tuesday is taco Tuesday.
Have a great day!

Closing Out Your Homeschool Year – Day 1

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

 
Dear Friends,
As we are moving through May, I want you to read below how to get started closing out your homeschool year. I did the videos for this a couple of years ago, and they will help motivate you as you follow my journey this week.
Zone 3 Missions: The Main Bathroom and One Other Room
Monday – Clear off your bathroom cabinet and wipe down the counters. For the other room, pick the one that needs the most attention, or you can give your children assignments for their rooms this week.
Tuesday – Shine the bathtub or shower. Declutter in one other area.
Wednesday – Check bathroom supplies. Go around the house looking for stuff that needs to be tossed.
Thursday – Toss old cosmetics and perfumes. Declutter in one other area today.
Friday – Scrub the bathroom faucet. Sweep or vacuum under the children’s beds.
Set your timers and then take a break when it goes off!
Thank you for joining me this week to close your homeschool year out and declutter in small steps.
As a homeschool mom of six children over the past 19 years, I have learned a lot about creativity, organization, and planning. The years that I took the time to declutter books and papers at the end of the year, set me up for an easier start of school the next year. I learned the hard way, that if I put it off, I had a more stressful start to my new school year.
By closing out your school year now, you can enjoy your summer without the thoughts of cleaning out books and paper hanging over your head. I will not tell you to dump everything and sort. I will guide you to use a timer and work in small steps.
If you have a lot of things to go through, you can use the timer for 15 minutes at a time for your decluttering sessions. When the timer goes off, you can take a break and do something else. You can always go back for another 15 minute decluttering session later in the day.
After you declutter, you can make a list of books and supplies that you will need next year. Then you can start placing your orders now instead of waiting until August.
You can give away the books you no longer need. Find some other homeschool moms in your area who would like to have a book exchange. Set up a day and place to meet and have a used book swap.
You can do this!
Here’s the video I prepared for you. You can see the inside of my school cabinet and my progress throughout the week.
Weekly Menu Plan
Monday – Spaghetti and Salad
Tuesday – Tacos
Wednesday – Soup/Sandwiches
Thursday – Chicken and Salad
Friday – Take out
Enjoy your week! Keep your routines simple.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.
Your Zone Mission for Monday is to clear the bathroom counters and wipe down. Give your children a decluttering mission for their bedrooms.
My menu plan for Monday is spaghetti and salad.
Have a blessed day!

Link

Steps to Starting to Close Out Your School Year

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Two years ago, I did a series of five videos on Closing out Your School Year. When talking to homeschoolers about how they end a year and start back up, I have found that many of them just stop doing school. They wait until they are ready to start again to declutter and get rid of things. For me, I think it’s better to take a week at the end of your school year to purge. Then you are ready for a fresh start right after your break.
You can read my first post and see a video here:
The first step is to pick your ending date for school. Then start going through the materials your children used this year.
What needs to be trashed?
What needs to be put away for another child?
What needs to be given away?
Some of you sell your materials each year to offset the cost of purchasing the next year’s books. Our local homeschool group does a yearly book sale to help bring buyers and sellers together. This is a great way to sell your books.
If your area does not have a used book sale, see if there is interest for one. This group has used a park with a large shelter. The picnic tables were used to display materials. A local college allowed us to use the cafeteria. A church allowed us to use their fellowship hall. There are many ways to find a location.
Don’t hold onto materials that are not working for your family. You have guilt that you spent money on the materials and have not used them. Let them go and bless someone else!
Go through your arts and crafts supplies. You can declutter a lot of it. You have been collecting things for years. It’s time to purge.
Go through the pens, pencils, and notebooks you have collected.
Organize your bookshelves one at a time. Only spend 10 minutes at a time on this, but you need to get everything in its place, so you know what you need to order for the next school year.
Toss the papers your children have completed that you do not need to keep. Set up a box for each of your children for artwork that you do want to keep.
You will be happy when you start school to have all of this done!
Today’s Zone Mission is to check the cleaning supplies under the sink.
Your Home Blessing for today is to take off the trash, sweep, and mop.
My menu plan for Friday is take out.
Have a great weekend!