Getting Organized and Staying Organized

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Do you wonder if there are things you can do to be organized in your home without cleaning all day long?

Over the years, I have seen so much common sense in the FlyLady’s system and keeping my home organized. As a large family, we live in our home and use it more than a lot of families.

By homeschooling, we are home at lot. This means we need to have routines and consistency.

Decluttering is a part of my daily life. With a large family, things come into our home daily. I have to spend a few minutes each day decluttering. This is not just boxing stuff up and putting it away. This is actually throwing things away and putting them in a box to give away. I am a regular benefactor to our local resale shops. I donate clothes and household items weekly.

Picking up behind yourself is a daily routine. Throughout the day, we get things out and use them. Take a few minutes to put them away when you are finished. Teach this to your children. When they leave things out, I use a calm voice and ask them to pt their things away when they are finished.

Don’t procrastinate. When you put things off, you tend to make them a bigger deal than they really are. Small things become mountains when you continue to ignore them and put them off. Even with a busy schedule, I do one thing each day that needs to be done. I don’t let it pile up. I set routines for blessing my home, menu planning, cooking, paying bills, doing school with my children, and taking care of myself. These are the areas I often see procrastinated.

Use a timer. A timer gives you an ending point to whatever you are doing. It keeps you from going overboard in doing something you like, and it keeps you focused when you are doing something you do not like. It is a tool that helps your children learn to be independent.
Make it fun. Anything you do in your home can be made into a game.

You can use music, timers, or competition to get things
accomplished. It feels really good to beat the clock in dusting. It is satisfying to get your mopping or vacuuming done in 10 minutes. You have a smile on your face when you go into your bathroom, and it has been swished and swiped. Waking up to a shiny sink starts your day off on a happy note. All of these can be fun to do! Get creative and make up some games.

Rest. Are you chronically tired and lack energy? There are four main parts to having energy that you can control. You need to rest for approximately 8 hours a night. You need to drink an adequate amount of water each day. You need to exercise daily. You need to eat healthy.

Going to bed at a decent hour is easy to do once you get into the habit. If you are getting adequate sleep, you will have the energy you need to care for your home and your family. You will have the energy to meet the day’s requirements.

Homeschool moms wear a lot of hats during the day. Get enough sleep to support your actvitity level. For those with small babies, you can add in afternoon rest time daily.

Water. Your body needs water to survive. It needs water to function well. When you are dehydrated, it effects your body systems. Proper hydration is easy, if you take the time to do it.

Exercise. You need daily movement to give you energy. You don’t have to go to a gym or spend hours on exercising. You can walk a little bit each day to get in enough movement. Start out by just walking around the yard or house. You can add to it if you like, but look for a minimum amount of steps for you to be active. Teaching your children at home adds to your schedule. You also may find that you sit at the table a lot. So model healthy habits by walking and playing with your children daily. Not only will it help you physically, it will help you with your relationship with your children. They like it when you play with them.

Healthy eating. You have heard that you are what you eat. This is true. If you eat on the fly all the time, you are likely not getting enough nutrients from your foods. This leads to being lethargic. Menu plan weekly. If you need the structure, menu plan for all three meals of the day. I have done that in the past, and it takes the thinking out of your day. You make a menu plan and shop for it. Then, you have the foods you need to eat healthy.

Do one thing a day. We like to make lists. We feel like we have so much going on that we need a big To Do List every day. You can have a master list, but each morning, pick one thing to do. Write it on a sticky note or in your daily journal. At some point during the day, take a few minutes to do that one thing. If you accomplish it plus your regular routines, you will see progress. You do not have to do 10 things a day from your list to be successful.

You can get organized and stay organized. You just need to develop daily routines and stick with them. Follow the FlyLady each month to practice the Habit of the Month. Read her new book, CHAOS to Clean, and implement her ideas. I have been using them for 15 years, and it works!

Today’s Zone Mission is to clean under the living room furniture.

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

My menu plan for Friday is pizza and a salad.

Have a wonderful weekend!
FB Cover - Tami Fox

Let’s Get Outside and Learn – Getting Organized

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Learning Opportunities are All Around You
Take a look at your lesson plans for today. Is there something you can do outside to enhance your learning time and soak in some of the beautiful weather? (If it’s raining in your area, do this on the next sunny day.)

Going outside for reading time and some nature journaling makes learning fun. You also get the side benefit of everyone soaking in some natural vitamin D. This helps elevate your mood, and it gives you more energy.

Take out a blanket and enjoy the freedom you have to homeschool your children. We are blessed to be able to choose this option for our children. We tend to get hung up on checking off the boxes and moving along with curriculum plans. This is your jump start to add some fun and movement into your day.

From older children to young children, they benefit from getting outside and learning about the world around them. They are naturally curious, and the spring brings all kinds of new growth to the world around us.

My boys come up with the most interesting questions. Today’s question was, “What color are crow’s eggs?” We did some research to find that answer. We found that they are blue and speckled.

Bird watching is very interesting. They are quite lively this time of year, and they like to nest near our bird feeders. We spend time each day observing our bird population.

The boys have planted a few things in the garden so far, and they check daily on growth. We have had several days of rain, so they are not watering the plants currently. They just keep a check on them.

Send me pictures of your children enjoying nature and learning!

Your Zone Mission for today is to dust the tops of the doors, pictures, moldings, corners, and the tops of your curtains.

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

My menu plan for Thursday is chicken and veggies.

Have a great day!
FB Cover - Tami Fox

Putting Things Off Until Tomorrow – Getting Organized

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Do you put things off to do later?
Later never seems to come. Today is anti-procrastination day. Pick one thing that you have been putting off, set your timer, and do it.
We put things off for different reasons, but if you look deeply, you will find that you procrastinate because of perfectionism. Just getting started and moving forward is better than doing nothing at all. Even trying and failing is better than not trying at all.
Each morning, I make my small To Do list with three things on it, and I use my timer to help me accomplish them. If it is a big task, I break it down into steps that can be completed in 15 minutes.
Sometimes, you realize you have a few minutes to do something, and you just do not know where to start. This is where your little list comes into play. You pick something off the list and move forward.
Many of the tasks we do around the house are the same ones day after day. Bring a little fun into these tasks. Make it a game to fold laundry and put it away.
When the dishes need to be washed or put away, enlist the help of one of your children. Use it as a time to talk and laugh.
When you have a Home Blessing to do that you have procrastinated, turn on some music and make it a fun activity. Play beat the clock.
If you have decluttering to do, write down a few of the areas and draw them out of a hat. You can do this for 15 minutes and switch to something else.Have you been putting off grading school papers? This is an area that is easily put off, and later you have a big stack of papers to grade. Add grading papers to your daily routine. It works well for me to do this in the afternoon.

The goal is to find ways to help you to have fun doing your tasks and Home Blessings.
Your Zone Mission today is to detail dust the decorative items in your Living Room.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe your windows and mirrors.
My menu plan for Wednesday is spaghetti and salad.
Have a great day!
FB Cover - Tami Fox

Save

Decluttering Daily Works – Getting Organized

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

    

 

Decluttering Daily Makes a Difference
Are you using your timer regularly to declutter in your home?

Many of us grew up with the mindset that we need hours to clean and declutter.

That goes back to perfectionism that you don’t start a project unless you have hours to complete it.

After using The FlyLady system for the past 15+ years, I have discovered that being consistent in my decluttering for 2 to 15 minutes a day makes a huge difference. I no longer have to have big cleaning projects during the spring or fall. I don’t have to crisis clean before someone comes over.

Right now, I am sitting in my Living Room, and I did my daily Zone Mission this morning. The boys have picked up their stuff. It is company ready, and we are not expecting anyone over.

Each evening, I spend 2 to 5 minutes decluttering stuff that has found its way to my Hot Spots. This part of my Before Bed Routine is as ingrained into my mind as Shining my Sink. I have to be sick in bed to miss doing either of these things daily.

Decluttering can be done where it fits your day the best. The main thing is to do it daily. If you have a lot of clutter, you will need to budget 15 minutes into your schedule. If you are just doing maintenance of your daily clutter, you may only need to declutter 2 to 5 minutes a day.

As a part of your children’s daily routine, ask them to spend a few minutes decluttering in their bedrooms. Children like to keep lots of little things I their bedrooms. Put a reminder on your calendar each day, and ask them to declutter in a specific area each day (floor, flat surfaces, closet, under bed, bathroom).

If you have not decluttered this way before, try it for the next few weeks. Let me know how you are doing!

Today’s Zone Mission is to dust along the top of your ceiling and along your baseboards.

Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.

My menu plan for Tuesday is Taco Tuesday.

Have a blessed day!
FB Cover - Tami Fox

Are you a juggler?

zone-5-april-2017

Homeschooling brings a lot of elements to your home. Many days you feel like you have been a juggler all day. That’s when you realize that you did not take the time to eat properly or took the time to drink enough water. You start to feel tired and burned out. You might even think to yourself that it would be easier to put them all in school.

 

When you have those days, look at how you took care of yourself that day. If you go without enough water on a regular basis, it will effect how you feel physically and mentally. Use a timer to remind yourself to drink your water, or put an an alarm on your phone to remind you. Keep your water bottle refilled and close to you all day.

 

If you are trying to live on protein bars and protein shakes for your food source, spend a few minutes planning your menu and having healthy foods available to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Take time to sit down to eat your meals. Resist the urge to multi-task while you eat.

 

If you have a lot of children, teach them routines. If you give them a mission to do around the house, teach them that you will check their efforts. Don’t stand over them to make sure they do it. Walk away and give them the chance to do their mission. When you check back in 10 or 15 minutes, don’t look for perfection. Look at their effort. Did they try? If they dawdled, find a way to motivate them with a reward to focus on doing their missions quickly.

 

When you are doing school with multiple children, help them develop skills for independent work. Balance the subjects they do not like with their favorite subjects. This will give them motivation to focus and finish the tasks they do not enjoy because they get to do something they enjoy next.

 

If they make mistakes in their school work or in the home missions, work with them in a positive way to correct the mistake. Children and adults are going to make mistakes. You can teach them how to respond to mistakes without falling apart. Mistakes are learning opportunities.

 

Schedule breaks into your daily life. This can be a 5 minute time of quiet and reflection for you. If you have to go to your room and shut the door for 5 minutes, it will help you deal with the things that compete for your attention.

 

Have your daily devotion time before your children are up in the mornings. This will help you to be ready for the moment when their little feet hit the floor. You need to fill yourself first, so you can pour into the lives of your family. You can’t get water out of en empty water pitcher.

 

When you are having a hard day, remember that you are not alone. You can do this.

 

Your Zone Mission today is to declutter and deal with the Hot Spots in your Living Room. Do a reverse scavenger hunt in your Living Room and put away things that do not belong in there.

 

Your Home Blessing for today is to wash sheets.

 

My menu plan for Monday is hamburgers and salad.

 

Have a great day!

 

FB Cover - Tami Fox

Making Your Room a Place of Peace

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Peaceful Bedroom
This week we have had missions in our Master Bedrooms. The goal is to have a peaceful place to sleep and rest when you need to rest.
If you bedroom is a catch-all for miscellaneous stuff, stop putting it in there. Teach your family to stop putting it in there, if they are the culprits. When I do my daily hot spot drills, I put away things that have found their way to my bedroom.

Today’s zone mission is to remake your bed and fluff your pillows. If you have a different comforter or bedspread, switch them out. It’s nice to change things around in your bedroom.

Do you have a treadmill or other exercise equipment in your bedroom? Do you use it regularly? If it has become a clutter magnet, it’s time to move it.

Do you have a chair in your bedroom to sit on and relax? Does it serve as a place to pile clothes? If it is not serving a purpose as a chair for sitting purposes then get it out of your bedroom.

What else have you put in your bedroom that does not serve a purpose? Declutter anything that is not usable in your room.

Start thinking of your bedroom as your sanctuary and place of rest and not as a storage place. Make it as pretty as you can. Think of a beautiful bed and breakfast room and make your room that nice and inviting.

Today’s Zone Mission is to clean under your bed.

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

My menu plan for Friday is pizza and a salad.

Have a wonderful weekend!
FB Cover - Tami Fox

End of Your School Year

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Every year I talk to homeschool moms who are going to keep plugging along on school work with their children throughout the summer. If you are considering this, I want to encourage you to set an end date for this school year and take a break.

You need a break from school, and your children need a break from their formal lessons. You can have some math practice sheets and some pleasure reading for your children each day to keep their skills sharp. You don’t need to plan a full schedule.

If you are staring at books your children have not completed this year, skim over the topics. You can cover the topics quickly. You do not have to finish every textbook that you start. You can just end your school year. If you are less than halfway finished with a book, you can use it the next year. If you are more than halfway, then skim it with them.

In the summer, I have allowed more free play with a little math practice and reading, and I see growth in my children academically. Their brains don’t need constant input from workbooks and textbooks to learn. They learn quite well when given time to observe life around them and experience lots of different things.

The end date for my school year is May 31. We will take off the months of June and July. We will start back slowly in early August. This is my typical schedule, but it has been different in the years that I had babies in July and August.

Enjoy this time of unstructured learning with your children this summer! Set your end date now, so you have a concrete date in mind.

Your Zone Mission for today is to clean the Master Shower.

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

My menu plan for Thursday is chicken and veggies.

Have a great day!
FB Cover - Tami Fox

Learning About the World Around You

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Do you take your children outside to experience the world around them on a regular basis? They can learn a lot from walking around outside and observing what is going on in your yard.

You can plant flowers to attract bees or butterflies. You can put out bird feeders to attract birds. We keep a bird feeder with bird seed in one feeder and hummingbird nectar in another feeder. The boys built a special birdhouse for blue jays to nest in.

You can research the type of flowers that grow well in your area and attract many kinds of butterflies. This is a great science activity for your children to research, plant, and observe with you.

If you have never tried nature journaling with your children, give them some drawing paper or drawing notebook and some drawing pencils and colored pencils. Let them draw their interpretation of what they are seeing. Use a field guide to help you identify what they observe.

We have several different field guides that I have collected over the years. We have an Audubon Bird Identification book, a plant identification manual, a flower identification manual, and a tree identification manual. All of these are pocket size, and I keep them in a small canvas bag with their drawing notebooks and pencils.

My youngest has been using the bird identification manual a lot this spring as he watched the birds that come in to our feeders.

Spending time outside with your children is a great way to get in some daily movement and soak up some vitamin D from the sun.

Your Zone Mission today is to declutter one drawer in your bedroom.

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

My menu plan for Wednesday is spaghetti and salad.

Have a great day!
Siggie - Tami Fox

Arts and Crafts are Learning Opportunities

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

    


Do you let your children play and create with art materials regularly? I have talked to many homeschool moms who tend to let this part of learning slip by day after day.

The reasons for not allowing your children to have creative play varies, but in most cases it boils down to you not wanting them to make a mess, and you having to clean it up.

Creative play for children has big benefits, and you can teach them to clean up behind themselves. In our homeschool, we don’t have arts and crafts daily, but it does happen at least weekly.

Children will grow academically when they are also exposed to the fine arts. Regular exposure to music and many art mediums uses a different side of the brain from the math and science side.

Creating and drawing is relaxing. It allows the brain to absorb information. It helps children work through emotional times, too. The year both of my in laws passed away, we did a lot of art and talking. It helped them process their grief.

Even before I started homeschooling, I made time to have messy art time with my children. It is something they enjoyed, and it is something I enjoyed with them. I grew up in a home where we did not make messes, and I wanted to let my children learn through art. That meant they would make messes, but I also committed to cleaning them up afterwards.

My daughter is very artistic. Her ideal school day was to create and do art all day long. She blossomed and learned many things through her artistic pursuits.

If you are resisting arts and crafts just because of the mess, please reconsider and make it something that is a part of your weekly routine.

Today’s Zone Mission is to declutter in your closet for 15 minutes.

Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.

My menu plan for Tuesday is ham and cheese sandwiches.

Have a blessed day!
FB Cover - Tami Fox

Spring Fever

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

 

Do you or your children have a case of spring fever?Recently, I talked to a friend who says she has spring fever. She wants to get outside and play with her kids. She wants to plant a small garden. She wants to take the children on a fun, outdoor field trip.

My advice to her was to do all of them! These are all educational activities. Learning does not just happen with books and worksheets. Education happens all around you. Embrace it! Have fun and learn with your kids.
Take school outside with a blanket or chairs to sit on. Grab your books and have lessons outside. Sit under a tree and observe nature. Get out the nature journals and colored pencils. Take the identification books you have in your homeschool collection. Watch the birds. Smell the flowers. Share the joy of creation with your children.
Take 15 minutes each day and play outside with your children. You can count it as PE for them, and it can count as your movement time for the day. Playing is good for you and your children!
If you want to plant a vegetable or flower garden, research with your children what grows well in your area and when to plant items. Use paper and sketch out a simple planting plan with your children. Let them make little signs that you can laminate and put in the garden.
Ask some of your homeschool friends about a spring field trip. Historical sites, science centers, and zoos are all fun, spring activities. Set up a play date at a local park. Have a scavenger hunt or go geocaching. Pack a picnic lunch and have fun!
The boys and I will be attending the Teach Them Diligently Conference in Sandusky, OH this week with The FlyLady. We will have some fun, field trips along the way, too!
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter your dresser top and detail dust.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash sheets.
My menu plan for Monday is tacos and a salad.
Have a great day!
Zone Missions: Zone 4         
Monday – Declutter dresser top and dust

Tuesday – Declutter your closet for 15 minutes

Wednesday –  Declutter 1 Drawer in Your Bedroom

Thursday – Clean the Master Shower

Friday – Clean under your bed
FB Cover - Tami Fox

Save