Developing the Habit of Picking Up Behind Yourself

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool


One key to my ability to do my Weekly Home Blessings quickly is that my house is picked up when I start. Picking up begins with you. You need to model picking up behind yourself. Then you need to ask your children to pick behind themselves. Add it to your routines.
If you use something, put it away when you are done. If you work on a project, put things away. Don’t leave them out for days or months. If your children do craft projects, have them clean up afterwards. Don’t let them move to the next thing until they pick up the area.
If you are spending an hour picking up the floors before you can vacuum or sweep, you need to declutter and find a home for each of the things you are moving.
If you have small children, I understand that they play and have toys out a lot. Have a toy pick up times in the morning, afternoon, and evening. You can play a quick game with them to motivate them to pick up. If they have bins to put their toys in, teach them to use them. If they have too many toys for you to store, you need to declutter.
Limit how many toys they have out at once. If they play with toys with small pieces, have them play in certain areas of the house.
When we go on vacation, we take very few toys, and my children are always fine. Remember this for your own home. They can be just as happy and creative with fewer toys.
My house stays in much better shape since we instituted regular pick up times and have fewer toys.

Your Zone Mission today is to declutter and wipe the bathroom counters and shine the sink.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash sheets.
My menu plan for Monday is chicken and salad. (I will be working through my freezer this month. It will be interesting!)
Have a great day!

Keeping Your List Short

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

How are doing with your routines?

Some of the emails I have received over the past few weeks ask about dealing with previous years’ school materials and cleaning out big areas in your home.

When you have a large area to declutter, work at it consistently each day. Just 5 minutes a day will make a huge difference in a big project. I have worked in my garage in this manner. The FlyLady has talked about cleaning out her extra bedroom by taking one thing out at a time.

Besides consistency, the key to this is to purge deeply. Give things away. Throw things away. Keep very few things from a highly cluttered area. Find a home for the things you keep. If you cannot find a place for an item, you need to let it go.

If you have uncovered old school materials, purge a little at a time in that area as well. It is likely going to be a lot of paper, and you don’t need to keep all of it. If you have a lot of books, find a place to keep them that does not cause you a more cluttered area. Purge. Purge. Purge.

Because of the things we have encountered in the past week and a half as a result of my son’s accident, I am thankful I closed out my school year and decluttered. I don’t have to think about it for a couple of months.

To keep yourself from going overboard with your decluttering this summer, use a sticky note and a bullet point list each day. Only write down 3 things to accomplish outside of your routines. You will see a difference with consistency.

If your children do not have their routines in place, write them down on sticky notes and put them up where they will see them. You can put one in the bathroom and one in their bedroom. You can put one in the kitchen, too. Reward them for doing a good job. Remember small children need frequent praise and rewards.

Plan something fun to do as a family this weekend.

Today’s Zone Mission is to wipe the stove top and microwave.

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

My menu plan for Friday is rotisserie chicken and a salad.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Protecting Your Time This Summer

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

For many of us, we will have well-meaning friends and family ask us to watch their children this summer. If this is something that happens to you whenever school is out in your area, set boundaries now.
Having extra children in your house changes the dynamics of your household. Even well-behaved children will add to your responsibilities.

If you need to set a price for caring for other people’s children, make it worth your while. Check costs for sending children to summer camp during the day. Set your price and stick to it. Make sure you include money for snacks/meals or ask them to provide food.

If you have friends who want you to watch their children for free, just say, “No.” Family might be a different case, but I do not think you should watch someone else’s children for free unless it is a special circumstance.

You might be thinking that it will give your children playmates. This is true, but it is still more work for you. It may limit the activities you want to do with your own children.

If you need to earn a little extra money, baby-sitting can be a good way to supplement your income. You will just need to be firm and have paperwork handy. You will also need to check your state laws regarding baby-sitting on a regular basis for a non-family member.
Over the past 26 years, I have done a fair amount of baby-sitting for others. Most of the time, it was a great experience. I did have times when it was not a great experience. In those cases, I had to end it.

My children are more important than me caring for someone else’s child. I won’t allow them to disrupt our home and cause strife.

I am going to give you permission to say, “No” to any request that you receive to babysit where you do not want to do it. Do not feel obligated to say anything else. They will find someone else. I have seen this turn into the babysitter being taken advantage of, and I don’t want that for you.

How are you doing with decluttering and closing out your school year? I have heard from several of you who are working on this now. You will be so happy you got it over with before your summer break.

Your Zone Mission for today is to declutter extra foil, plastic wrap, or disposable containers.

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

My menu plan for Thursday is chicken and veggies.

Have a great day!
Siggie - Tami Fox

Do you have your important paperwork done?

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Do you have your important paperwork up to date and in a safe place for your family?

My son turned 18 just four days before his accident. He was able to consent for most of his care, but there were papers that I was asked to sign as well. You do not know when you will need important paperwork signed and at hand.

What paperwork do you need?

If you do not have a will and guardianship established for your children, that is your priority this month. Call a lawyer and make an appointment. This is crucial if you have children under age 18 in your home.

Sometimes people procrastinate doing this, so your assignment is to do it now. Talk to your spouse today, if you do not have this in place.

You also need a durable power of attorney, and you need a medical power of attorney for both you and your spouse. Besides your spouse, you need to appoint another adult. If you are in an accident with your spouse, you need someone else to be able to sign papers and make decisions. My husband and I both put my mother down as the secondary power of attorney and medical power of attorney. She is also the guardian listed for our children. She knows where our papers are filed for this purpose, and she has a notarized copy in her fire safe box.

If you have children over age 18, talk to them today about their paperwork. You need them to choose a power of attorney and a medical power of attorney. You need to know who this person is for your children. My young adult children have done this down to the 18-year-old. His paperwork is just a little newer than the other two.

Talk to your spouse about life insurance. I asked my husband to increase my life insurance to cover private school tuition if something were to happen to me. As a homeschool mom, we do a lot of things that someone will have to do if we are not here to do them. You need more life insurance than to just cover the cost of a funeral and burial.

A very dear friend lost her 17-year-old daughter a little more than a month ago. It can happen in the blink of any eye. One distracted driver crosses a yellow line, and it can be a fatal accident.

It’s anti-procrastination day, so move on this if you have not already done it.

Your Zone Mission today is to declutter the junk drawer.

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

My menu plan for Wednesday is spaghetti and meatballs.

Have a great day!

Water is important for good health

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Are you drinking water daily?

The FlyLady is started a new habit of the month on June 1. The new habit is to drink water daily. Many years ago, I stopped drinking soft drinks. It was not easy, but it was for my health.

You need to research how much water you need daily for your weight and the climate you live in. I live in the hot and humid South, so I allow a few extra ounces each day for that. I drink 80 to 100 ounces of water a day. I drink this over the course of the day. I do not chug it down. It is possible to drink too much water, so this is why you need to research how much you need.

Your children also need to develop the habit of drinking water. Invest in some reusable bottles that can be refilled throughout the day. I love The Flylady’s water bottles because they keep the ice from melting too fast in the summer. I can put ice and water in my bottle, and it does not sweat and the ice lasts even in 90 degree weather.

Drinking water helps your body in so many ways. It helps you feel more energetic. It fills in your skin (fewer wrinkles!). It helps your brain. It helps flush impurities from your body. No other liquid helps your body like water.

If you have been practicing your movement habit daily in May, you need a good amount of water each day to keep your body feeling great.

To keep track of your ounces per day, you can set up a check off sheet, or you can put something on your bottle. The FlyLady keeps colored hair bands on her bottle and rolls one at a time up the bottle when she refills it.

If you drink tea, coffee, or other drinks, you can start slowly replacing them with water. You don’t have to go cold turkey.

Today’s Zone Mission is to shine the sink and put all dishes away.

Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.

My menu plan for Tuesday is chicken fajitas.

Have a blessed day!

A New Week and a Grateful Heart

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Hello, Friends,
Last week had some unexpected things happen in my family, and I am very thankful for the outcome. You may have seen a prayer request from The FlyLady last Wednesday. If not, I will share briefly.
On Tuesday night, my 18-year-old son, Jacob, was in a serious car accident. We got a phone call just after 8:30 pm. I went straight to the ER with little information. He needed care above what our regional hospital is able to do, and he was transferred to a trauma center over an hour away from home.
He spent less than 48 hours in the hospital. He is a miracle. I have seen pictures of his truck, and I know God spared him.
One thing that was so helpful in all of this (besides my faith) was my routines. Before the call, I had just taken off my shoes. They were easily put back on. My purse, phone, and keys were handy. I walked out of my house in minutes. I had filled my gas tank up that morning.
Once I knew I was going to drive out of town, I called my mother, and she packed me a care bag with water and protein bars.
The next day, my mom went to my house to help the other boys. Through phone calls and texts, they took care of the home front. I had a posted menu plan. The food was in the house for the menu plan.
I needed clothes and vitamins. Because I put my clothes away each time I wash and fold them, I could tell my 16-year-old son exactly where to find the clothes I wanted. I keep an overnight bag packed, and that was handy, too.
He was also able to get clothes for my 18-year-old since his clothes were cut off him at the scene.
When we got home late Thursday night, the house looked great. The laundry was done. There was food prepared.
If you have read my newsletter for long, you know that I normally grocery shop on Fridays. I have been stockpiling some food in the freezer, so I put off grocery shopping until Saturday this weekend. I needed some rest.
I am very thankful that my son will be okay. This could have had a much different outcome. We are praising God for working miracles.
Make memories with your family. Love them! Have fun with them!
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter your kitchen counters and wipe down.

Your Home Blessing for today is to wash sheets.

My menu plan for Monday is chicken and salad. (I will be working through my freezer this month. It will be interesting!)
Have a great day!
Siggie - Tami Fox

You Can Do It!

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Did you reach your goals this month?

The month of May has been a fun and busy month for me. I achieved a big goal and worked on steps to other goals.

Is something you wanted to do but did not get to it? Do one thing toward completing that goal.

Today is also anti-procrastination day, so that is another reason to deal with something you have been putting off. What I have found is that the things that I put off tend to grow in size in my mind the longer I put them off. Once I determine to do something I have procrastinated, I use my timer and give myself permission to stop when I that timer goes off.

Many times, I complete the task before the timer goes off. If not, I put it aside and do something else. Then I put it on my list to go back and do one more thing on another day.

Are there parts of your decluttering or Home Blessings that you put off until it is really bad? In talking to ladies across the country, the things I see put off the most are dusting, mopping, and swish & swipe. Each of these can be done in a short amount of time. With consistency, you will see that it really takes minutes to do these tasks. If you continue to procrastinate them, they become raging fires in our homes.

Stop right now and think of one thing you have been putting off. Set your timer for 15 minutes. Do what you can do and stop. I know you can do this!

Your Zone Mission today is to move the Living Room Furniture (enlist help) and vacuum.

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

My menu plan for Wednesday is fish and baked potatoes.

Have a great day!

PS – Join my new email list to help you declutter and close out your school year in 5 days. Take the challenge!

Planning Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

How are you doing with planning and playing?

The FlyLady has given each day of the week a special name. She has given Tuesday the name Plan and Play Day.

As homeschoolers we are really good at the planning part. Sometimes we are so good at planning that we never get around to executing the plans. (smile) It has happened to me in the past. So I want you to work on keeping your planning simple and easy to manage. If you get complicated, you will have a hard time doing it.

One thing you can plan is your family fun activity for the week. My boys are enjoying kayaking this spring, and they are planning a camp out soon. They know to be able to do those things that we have to accomplish for us to have a family fun day.

We break down the things that need to be done for the week into daily goals. Each day we pick something to focus on. Many times, I direct it to the Zone we are working in for the week.

Since we just had a three-day weekend, we did not do our regular Monday tasks. We are not behind by starting on Tuesday.

We will do a quick Home Blessing Hour this morning. We will use the timer to declutter in the Living Room. We will do laundry. My menu plan will likely involve leftovers from a cookout we had on Saturday. I wrote down some ideas for out weekly menu, but we have more leftovers than I planned for. That will help me today.

Where do you need help with planning? Tell me what your next Family Fun Day Activity will be.

Today’s Zone Mission is to put away items in the Living Room for 15 minutes.

Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.

My menu plan for Tuesday is leftovers from our cookout.
Have a blessed day!

Tami

PS – Join my new email list to help you declutter and close out your school year in 5 days. Take the challenge!

Siggie - Tami Fox

Happy Memorial Day

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

       

Do you teach your children about the different Holidays we celebrate?
When we have a Holiday, I spend a few minutes talking to my children about the significance of the day. Today is Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a day to remember those who have given the sacrifice of theirs lives in protecting our freedoms.
Being raised in a military family, I have heard a lot of first-hand accounts of soldier life in the battlefield. My grandfather served in World War II along with his brothers. They were stationed in different parts of Europe during the War. I have seen clippings from the newspaper of local service men who gave their lives during World War II. Thankfully, all 4 of them returned home from the battlefield.
My father and my uncle served in the Vietnam War. This was a much protested war with heated emotions. Many people lost their lives in this war. I will never forget the sacrifice of these service men and women. I am thankful both of them came home from this war.
While talking to your children about the Remembrance of those who gave their lives in service to our country is hard, it is important that they know about it.
Today, I will remember. I will talk to my children. I will enjoy this day and my freedoms. I will do my routines very simply today. I will do one decluttering mission in the Living Room today. Tomorrow, I can do my Weekly Home Blessings.
The FlyLady system is flexible and can work in many different ways. Tell me about your successes today!
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter in the Living Room for 15 minutes.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash sheets.
My menu plan for Monday is French Toast, bacon, and eggs for the guys in my house. I will be having chicken and salad. (I stick to my gluten-free lifestyle as much as possible.)
Have a great day!

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Getting Outside as a Family

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Getting Outside as a Family

Saturday is Family Fun Day. The reason we Bless our homes during the week is so we can have free time to play as a family on the weekend. (If your husband works a different shift and is not off on Saturdays, make his day off Family Fun Day.)

We love being outdoors. We has lots of parks near us, and we have parks up in the mountains within an easy driving distance. State and National Parks are wonderful resources!

Have you looked up the ones that are near you?

When I travel with the boys, I like to look for interesting places to stop, and many times, we enjoy stopping at parks along the way. It is a great way to experience an area. If I plan ahead, we can have a picnic, too.

Plan some fun outings this summer to enjoy these resources. This makes for a great reward for a great week. It is also inspiring to keep moving when you visit these parks.

May is our month to practice the habit of moving daily. While I have not written a lot about it in my daily articles, purposeful moving every day is healthy for you and for your children.

Set some movement goals for the summer. Be active. Enjoy being outside. Have fun as a family.

Tell me about some of your favorite parks.

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

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

My menu plan for Friday is rotisserie chicken and a salad.

Have a wonderful weekend!