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!

Pamper Yourself

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Dear Friends,
Happy December 1! This month’s habit is a great one for you to practice. You are going to practice the habit of taking care of yourself. This is one habit that many of you put off. You take care of everyone else, and you put your needs off. Pampering yourself may be a different concept for you, but I want you to hear me out.

In order to take good care of your family, you need to take good care of yourself. You need to sleep enough, drink water, exercise, eat healthy, and do something relaxing. If you burn the candle at both ends, you will end up burned out. I want you to be happy, relaxed, and not stressed out.

Do you have a hobby that you enjoy? In talking to many ladies over the years, I have learned that many of you do not have a hobby outside of being a wife and raising your children. Think back to something you used to do that you enjoyed. Did you do crafts, sew, read books, paint, or something else? You don’t have to spend hours a day doing this, but you can set aside 10 or 15 minutes a day to do something you enjoy.

A few of you are saying to yourself that I don’t have a clue about your daily life. The kids are demanding. They are little. Your schedule is busy. You don’t have a free minute in your day. Star small. Sit and relax in a chair with your favorite drink.

If you do something relaxing daily, it is good for your health. When you don’t relax daily, you run down your immune system. You get cranky. You tend to give orders rather than directing your children.

Part of your daily routine needs to be relaxing. Tell me some of the things you do to relax each day.

Today’s Zone Mission is to declutter in the Dining Room.

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!
Siggie - Tami Fox

12 Tips to Help You Get Ready for Christmas

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,
Have you recovered from Thanksgiving and started your Christmas planning? Here are 12 things you can do to help you get ready for Christmas.
1)      Declutter in your closet
2)      Declutter toys with your children
3)      Decorate one area at a time
4)      Check you guest linens if you have company coming
5)      Establish your Holiday budget
6)      Do you shopping early
7)      Wrap your presents when you get them
8)      Mail your Christmas cards early
9)      Make your Holiday menu
10)   Check your pantry for ingredients and start buying them now
11)   Make hair appointments
12)   Declutter 5 minutes a day
These steps will help you get ready for the Holidays a little at a time. Spend 5 to 15 minutes on these missions. Some missions may only need one session. Other missions may require a daily session to complete them.
Write these in bulleted format and post it near you. When you are doing things around the house, you can check this list and work on one thing at a time.
Today’s Zone Mission is to detail vacuum the Living Room.
Your Home Blessing for today is to declutter paper and magazines.
My menu plan for Thursday is chicken and vegetables.
Have a great day!

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Using Games to Help You Declutter

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,
Today is anti-procrastination day. I thought I would do something different with you today. Let’s play a little BINGO game to help declutter some of the areas you have been meaning to clean.

First, write down 5 short things you would like to accomplish. If you have a big project, break it down into steps. Assign one of these things to each letter BINGO.

You will need a timer for this game. I want you to keep this short and sweet today. You will just work in 5 minute increments.
For the letter B, start your timer and do whatever you assigned to “B.” You can include the children in this, but the goal is for you to accomplish some things that you have been meaning to do.

When the timer goes off, get a sip of water. Check your list for the letter “I.” What do you have written down? Reset the timer for 5 minutes and get busy! You can do it!

Each time the timer goes off, move on to the next thing on your list. You may not finish what you started, but you started. That is the hardest step.

Once you got through all 5 letters, just stop for now. You can play this game daily. It will help you work through your small and big projects. If you play music, it will give you a nice tempo as you move through the house.

Tell me some fun ways you have found to play games and declutter your home.

Your Zone Mission today is to detail dust the Living Room.

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

My menu plan for Wednesday is stir-fry chicken.

Have a great day!

What is your daily focus?

Getting Organized:
In Your Home and Homeschool

Dear Friends,

What are you focusing on today? Your home? School with your children? Many of you feel pulled in many different directions. You don’t know where to start, so you just hang on and do the best that you can. I understand that because I used to be like that.

While you might think that routines are restricting, they are actually freeing. You don’t have to think too deeply about what to do because your routines will guide you. If you follow the morning routine, you will be up and dressed for the day before you know it. Instead of wondering, “What’s for Dinner?” you will just check your menu plan in the morning.

Your children will know what to do if you teach them routines, too.

Once your morning routine is completed, you will be ready to start school. You children will be ready as well. If you are juggling multiple grades, take a look at the best way to divide your children’s schoolwork up for them and for you.

My children start with math, and I work my way through reviewing their work. Next we move on to spelling. After that, they do their writing for the day. Then, they do their history and science reading. They do their independent Bible reading as a part of their morning routine before school.

During your afternoon routine, you will work your way through your home doing a daily zone mission. You will also take care of the laundry and clear a hot spot. Your home will start looking different as you are consistent with the routines. You will start to feel different because your home is looking like you want it to look.

Your before bed routine will set you up for a great start the next morning. You will lay your clothes out and check your calendar. You will know what you need to have ready before you go to bed. Your children can also lay out their clothes and go to bed easier as they develop their bedtime routine.

Focus on your routines, and your home and school will follow suit.

Your Zone Mission today is to put things away that do not belong in the Living Room.

Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.

My menu plan for Tuesday is Cornish Game Hens, vegetables, and salad.

Have a blessed day!

Preparing for Christmas and Making Memories

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Dear Friends,
How was your weekend? This week we will end November and start a new month. Have you been planning your menus? Keep up the great work with it! In December, we will work on the habit of Pampering.
Zone 5 and Zone 1 Missions: The Living Room and Dining Room
Monday – Take down fall decorations and declutter
Tuesday – Pick up and put away items from the Living Room
Wednesday – Detail dust the Living Room
Thursday – Detail vacuum
Friday – Declutter the Dining Room table and dust

As you are decluttering this week, start putting out your Christmas decorations a little at a time. Include your children and make memories with them. When my children were little, we made cornstarch ornaments. They are easy to make, and children love to paint them. Here is a link on how to make them yourselves.
You can also make cookie dough ahead of time and freeze it. You can make several different kinds this way and bake them closer to Christmas or for a party when you need them.
As you wrap presents, include your children. Even if you wrap the present, they can write or draw on the outside of the gift. If you want to keep their presents a surprise, write down a list of numbers. As you wrap a gift, put a number on the box and write down the name of the person the gift is for and do not lose the list. One year I assigned a number to each child. As I wrapped their presents, I put the number on the box. It was a lot of fun when they opened the presents.
Have you started your Christmas cards? Your children can help you with them.
Your Zone Mission today is to deal with Hot Spots in the Living Room.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash sheets.
My menu plan for Monday is chicken fried steak.
Have a great day!

Getting Back to Routines the Day After a Holiday

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Dear Friends,
How was your Thanksgiving? Sometimes the day after a Holiday feels a little like a let-down. You plan and organize. You cook and clean. You make ready for a celebration, and then before you know it, it’s over.
Today is a new day. It’s a gift. You have been given today. Take a few minutes to think about what you are thankful for today. Now, take a look around your house. What do you need to do today to get things back to normal?

Start a load of laundry. Empty the dishwasher. Empty and shine your sink. Swish and swipe the bathroom. Pick up things that are not in their right place. Take the trash out. That should help you get your house back to how it looked.

If you kids have toys lying about, ask them to put their things away. Give them a challenge to fill a box or a basket with things to give away. Help them prepare for new toys and clothes now by decluttering.

Don’t make your To Do List too long today, but do the things that will help you the most. I want you to enjoy your weekend and not work on housecleaning all day on Saturday.

Every week I hear from ladies who feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start in their homes. The things I put above will help you.
If you are paralyzed with making decisions about where to put things and what to keep, think about the things that you would absolutely pack if you moved across the country. Do you need all of the paperwork you are holding onto? No. Spend 5 minutes a day just purging paper and things that are just in the way.

Do you have a lot of sentimental stuff that is taking up valuable space in your home? Look at it through different eyes. Let go of things if you don’t enjoy seeing them. If you are holding onto stuff to please someone else, give yourself permission to let it go.

If you have less stuff, cleaning your house will be a breeze. You won’t have to pick up stuff and move things around if you have less stuff sitting out.

Spend the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas letting things go. Instead of making a New Year’s Resolution to “Get Organized,” you will be well on your way before New Year’s Day!

Today’s Zone Mission is to declutter in your bedroom.

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

My menu plan for Friday is leftovers.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Siggie - Tami Fox

Happy Thanksgiving to You and Your Family

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your day. Make memories. Some of you may not be celebrating today because of various circumstances. You may not be having a “traditional” meal. In all things, give thanks.

My husband has had to work on Thanksgiving Day in the past. We chose to celebrate either later in the evening or on Friday when he was off work. I made Thanksgiving morning special for the children if he was not home.

You have heard me say it before that it’s not all about the date on the calendar, it’s what you make of it. If you have to make choices on which side of the family to visit, enjoy the time you have visiting. If you have to see both sides of the family, be grateful for family! I know it can wear you and the children out if you have to go to more than one place, but you are greatly blessed!

If you are disappointed about anything, look for the blessings and good things. Do not dwell on the negatives. I want you to have a fabulous day with your family!

Tell me what you are thankful for! I am thankful that I have all of my children at home today.

Today’s Zone Mission is to pick up behind yourself today and go to bed with a shiny sink.

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

My menu plan for Thursday is turkey and the trimmings.

Have a great day!

Relax and Enjoy Your Thanksgiving Holiday

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! Are you feeling relaxed and ready or stressed and tired? The holidays bring extra things for us to do, but we can enjoy them, too.

Each year at Thanksgiving, I reflect on the past year. Some years have been really hard years. Some years have been really good years. No matter what, I always look for the good.

One year my Grandfather was diagnosed with stage IV kidney cancer right before Thanksgiving. While our hearts were heavy, we took advantage of every moment with him. He passed away before Christmas that year, so the Holidays bring back good memories and sad memories.

Being tired and crabby before a Holiday or during a Holiday is not something we want to do. Spread your tasks out today and tomorrow if you are cooking for a group of people. Go to bed early tonight. Drink your water. Sit down when you feel tired.

When you are feeling rushed, stop and take a deep breath. Watch your children play for a few minutes. Involve them in what you are doing.

Earlier this week, I cooked a turkey overnight for our homeschool Thanksgiving celebration. My son wanted turkey gravy, so he made it.

Having your children help out in the kitchen has great benefits as they develop skills. Don’t be afraid of them making a mess. You are going to make one anyway.

Teach your children to clean as you go when you are cooking a meal. Fill one side of the sink with warm, soapy water. Use it to wash things as you dirty them.

Make some memories over the next few days. I am so excited to have all of my children together, I can hardly stand it.

Your Zone Mission today is to put away all of the laundry.

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

My menu plan for Wednesday is chicken fried steak and gravy and a salad. (plain chicken for me)

Have a great day!

Crisis Cleaning for the Holidays

Getting Organized:
In Your Home and Homeschool

Dear Friends,
It’s two days until Thanksgiving. You have been busy with school with your kids. You have been working on your routines, but you aren’t quite there. You think about the Weekly Home Blessings, but it’s been hard to fit them into your day. Now, you are looking around and wondering how you will be ready for Thanksgiving.

First, take a deep breath. Fill up your water bottle. Put on your lace up shoes.

The FlyLady wrote an article on Crisis Cleaning. It will help you get ready for the Holiday this week. You will need to use your timer and listen when it tells you time is up. Enlist the help of your children. You can do this!

Crisis Cleaning is not meant to be the way you clean your home. You need to work on your habits a little at a time. You need to incorporate a quick Zone Mission and a quick Home Blessing each day. It fits best for me to do one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

If you are not doing swish and swipe in your bathroom, I want you to do it this week. It takes 2 minutes or less. If you are taking 15 minutes, you are taking too long. Declutter the top of the bathroom counter and leave it decluttered. It makes wiping the sink and counter a breeze.

Everyone needs to pick up behind themselves. I do not mean for you to be a drill sergeant about this. Ask each person nicely to pick up behind themselves. If they are resistant, remember that you control many things in the house. Collect power cords to devices and the WiFi. Collect devices. Pull the plug on the TV. Stay home. Motivation can be found.

You might have mountains of laundry (clean or dirty). Work as a team to get it under control. Teach your children to do laundry. Teach them ALL of the steps (sort, wash, dry, fold/hang, put away). If things are hung up quickly from the dryer, you won’t have as much to iron. I do very little ironing.

Flat surfaces are hot spot magnets. A friend recently told me that she cleared a side table and moved it from the Living Room because it was such a clutter magnet in the Living Room.

Have you been decluttering and have a pile of stuff in your house? Put it in your car and drop it off today or tomorrow. Stop trying to figure out the best place to donate it and just do it.

Where else do you have issues in your home? You can do this!

Your Zone Mission today is to declutter the flat surfaces in your bedroom and dust.

Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.

My menu plan for Tuesday is beef roast, potatoes, and a salad.

Have a blessed day!