Show me your kitchen!

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,
The second week of each month, we declutter in the Kitchen. I gave you some Zone Missions on Monday to help you declutter and detail clean your kitchen. Today, I want you to share a picture of your kitchen with me. I enjoyed seeing your Laundry Rooms last week. It encouraged me, and it gave me ideas for my laundry room!

Send me a picture of your laundry room at Tami@TamiFox.com.

On Thursday, I asked a question on Facebook, and it got quite a response from my readers.

“Where do you have the most clutter?”

Many responses had to do with physical clutter in various areas of the home. Many other responses had to do with mental clutter. We have a lot on our minds! We try to keep too much stuff in our heads. I keep composition notebooks for various projects to help me not have so much stuff in my head.

First, I have a FlyLady Control Journal in a 3-ring binder. This is the CEO manual for my home. I have my Homeschool Planner. I keep my menu planning, lesson plans, and other homeschool notes in it. Since it is new, it does not have a full year in it yet, but it will.

Next, I have a composition book for my blog posts and newsletters. I also have a Master To Do List in a composition book. I check it daily and write three small things to do from it for my daily list.

Since I will be traveling to two homeschool conferences in May, I have another composition book just for convention notes. I also have a composition book that I use to track my running plans and details about each run.

These books allow me to keep up with the details of large projects. They also allow me to NOT think about all of these projects all of the time. I am able to have my mind clear, and I can focus on the task at hand.

When my children were small, I would keep a notebook for healthcare needs. I could track medications and supplements. You think you will always remember these things, but believe me, you can forget things. You need a place to write down medication allergies and other allergies. You need to write down dates for procedures and/or surgeries.

Composition books do not cost a lot of money, and you can find pretty ones, too. You can even use a 5-subject composition book if you have a lot of things to track like I do. I just stock up on the cheap ones at the beginning of the school year.

What are the things that keep your mind cluttered?

Don’t forget to send me a picture of your kitchen! Email me at Tami@TamiFox.com.

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 take out.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Your daily routines will bring you peace as you do them.

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,

Throughout the course of the week, I hear from many of my readers, and one thing that I have noticed is that many of you have a hard time with being consistent with your daily routines. Any disruption to your normal schedule causes you to miss parts of your routines.

Your routines are what get you through the disruptions with less stress. Who doesn’t want that? Less stress. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

But you want to know how to get them done when you have all of these other demands going on around you. The distractions keep you from finishing your morning routine. The disruptions of sickness or travel or a holiday or a weekend derail your routines.

What I have learned over the years of doing FLyLady is that doing my routines every day is what gives me peace. I might have to get up earlier and go to bed earlier, but it is worth it! I am worth it.

YOU are worth it, too!

FLY stands for Finally Loving Yourself.

Doing your routines each day is loving yourself.

When you do your Before Bed Routine, you are checking your calendar, so you aren’t surprised with an appointment on your schedule. You are shining your sink, so you are greeted with an empty sink when you get up in the morning. Laying out your clothes at night means you aren’t scrambling to throw clothes on the next day. Putting things at your launch pad means you have what you need ready for you first thing in the morning. Washing your face and brushing your teeth helps you take care your health. Going to bed at a decent hour means you are giving your body the right amount of rest.

YOU are important!

Even when I travel, I do my routines. If I have company, I do my routines. If I am sick, I do my routines. If my kids are sick, I do my routines.

Your Morning Routine can be done in 15 minutes in the morning, unless you are also getting your shower in the morning. It will also take longer if you exercise in the morning like I do.

There are six basic steps of your Morning Routine.

Making your bed first thing in the morning means you don’t have to think about it again for the rest of the day unless you wash your sheets. Swishing and swiping your bathroom right after you go to the bathroom means you are greeted with a clean bathroom the rest of the day. Getting dressed down to the shoes means you are ready for the day. Checking your calendar means you won’t forget any appointments you have written down for that day. Rebooting or starting a load of laundry means you are not allowing Mount Washmore to take up residence in your home. Checking your menu plan for the day and laying out food that needs to be thawed means you are not stressed out at 5:00 in the evening when you are ready to start dinner.

Your routines will help you have peace. It will help you eliminate clutter as you implement the Zone Missions and Home Blessings.

How are you doing with your BASIC Daily Routines?

Today’s Zone Mission is to declutter items from one kitchen cabinet.

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

My menu plan for Thursday is chicken and rice for the guys and veggies for me.

Have a great day!

Teaching Your Children Life Skills

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,
Teaching your children life skills is as important as teaching them academics. I have three young adult children, and I have three more children at home. They have all learned how to do things around the house from cleaning and cooking to general maintenance. If they showed an interest in a particular area of home maintenance, I let them take that as a regular part of their care of the home.

For instance, I have one who likes to change the air filters for me at the beginning of the month. Everyone who lives in the house knows how to change these, but this one child changes them for me monthly.

One of the boys really likes to work on engines. He services the lawnmowers and weed eater. He is also learning how to work on a car engine on one of our cars that needed a head gasket replaced.

If you have read my articles for long, you know that one of my sons is a talented chef. He does a lot of our cooking, but I have taught all of the boys how to cook and wash dishes. These are important life skills.

Once one of my children gets a job, we set up a bank account for them. Most emplyers pay by direct deposit, and they need a bank account for this. I teach them how to balance their checkbook. I teach them how to responisibly use a debit card. I am a secondary user on the account, and I can manage the account from my online banking.

If they have a job, they pay for their car insurance and cell phone bill each month. They are taught to tithe to the church.

Each one of my children can do laundry, and they have been taught to wash their bedding weekly. If you are still doing this for your teenagers, you are not doing them any favors. They need to get into the habit of this, so they have a routine when they move out.

Your job as a parent and a teacher is to give your children the tools they will need as an adult. I teach my children how to find the answers to their questions. I teach them basic life skills that will help them take care of themselves and their homes when they move out.

Do you teach your children life skills?

Your Zone Mission today is to declutter leftovers from the fridge.

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

My menu plan for Wednesday is veggie taco soup and a salad.

Have a great day!

Decluttering in the Kitchen can help you save money.

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,

Menu planning is an important habit that will help you save time and money. As you are decluttering in the kitchen this week, take notice of what you have on hand. Check expiration dates on spices and condiments. Check labels on your canned goods and boxed items. It will surprise you what you find that is expired.

Your Zone Mission today is to declutter items from one drawer. I want you to pick a drawer that you have been avoiding. Set your timer for 10 minutes. Put the trash can beside of the drawer. Toss. Toss. Toss. If you finish the drawer before your timer goes off, do another drawer. When the timer goes off, take a few minutes to reward yourself with something you enjoy.

If you toss any spices or cooking ingredients, write down the items on your grocery list to replace them. If you find things you forgot about, think of some recipes you want to make. Add those to the menu plan for next week. Sometimes, I come up with very interesting recipes when I am cleaning out the pantry or fridge.

As you organize the pantry, pull the items with the closest expiration dates to the front of the cabinet. As you put things away when you grocery shop, try to put the newly purchased items toward the back of the cabinet.

After you declutter expired items and organize your drawers and cabinets, it will be much easier to do your weekly grocery list. You will know what you have, and what you need.You will save money by using what you do have on hand, and you will not be buying duplicates.

Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.

Your Zone Mission for today is to declutter items from one kitchen drawer.

My menu plan for Tuesday is vegetable stir fry.

Have a blessed day!

The kitchen is the heart of your home.

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,
Thank you for sharing pictures of your laundry room with me last week. I enjoyed seeing some beautiful rooms! This week we are going to declutter and detail clean in the kitchen. At the end of the week, I am going to ask you to share pictures again.
Your kitchen is the heart of your home. For many of you, not only do you prepare meals in the kitchen, you also homeschool in the kitchen. My home office is at the kitchen table. It is easily the room I spend the most time in each day.
Kitchen Hot Spots are normal for all of us. By spending a few minutes daily taking care of the hot spots, you will find it easier to maintain your kitchen. Shining your sink nightly helps you start the next day off on a positive foot. I still smile every morning when I am greeted by my shiny kitchen sink.
Here are you missions for the week:
Zone 2 Missions: The Kitchen
Monday – Declutter Counter Tops and Wipe Down
Tuesday – Declutter items from 1 Kitchen Drawer
Wednesday – Declutter leftovers from the fridge
Thursday – Declutter items from 1 Kitchen Cabinet
Friday – Wipe down the Stove top and Microwave
Set your timers and then take a break when it goes off!
Have you been practicing the Habit of the Month and making your bed daily?
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.

Your Zone Mission for today is to declutter and wipe down your kitchen counters.

My menu plan for Monday is 15 bean soup.

Have a blessed day!

Show Me Your Laundry Room

Getting Organized in Your Home and Homeschool:

 

Dear Friends,
The Laundry Room is a well-used room in my home. To make it easy to wash laundry and fold it, I try to keep it open and decluttered. I ask the boys to put away their laundry as they do it, but I do allow them to leave their church clothes hanging in the laundry room.

Laundry rooms come in all shapes and sizes. Some washers and dryers are tucked into a closet. Some are in an area that only has room for a stacking washer and dryer. Some of you have large laundry rooms. It does not matter how big or small it is, but it helps you if you keep it clutter-free.

When you have sick children, sometimes dirty laundry gets stacked up. A trip out of town can cause a back-up in the laundry room when you get home. A child cleaning his or her room can cause a back log of laundry.

What I have learned over the years whether I am doing my normal three loads of laundry per day or more, if I fold or hang the load and put it away, my overall laundry process goes more smoothly.

I remember how my life was when my children were little, and I just included them as much as I could in the process. I would sit in the floor with them and fold towels while they played with washcloths. When I folded regular clothes, I would have them stand with me in the laundry room and hand me clothes from the dryer.

If you have children who are age 10 or older, you can teach them how to do their laundry. Remember that many hands make light work. You do not have to live with mounds of laundry – clean or dirty.

Send me a picture of your laundry room at Tami@TamiFox.com.

Today’s Zone Mission is to sweep and mop or vacuum the Entryway and 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!

 

Use Simple Steps to Clean Your Home

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Dear Friends,

Are you over-complicating your home cleaning routines? Many of you were raised to clean a certain way. Some of you may not have learned a lot about cleaning your home. Either way, you can use simple steps to clean your home.

Your daily schedule as a homeschool mom is busy. You have many things you need to accomplish each day. To clean your home, you need to take a look at your overall, weekly schedule. Are you out of the house a large amount of time during a specific day each week? Do you have specific days you are home?

Next, take a look at the seven parts of the Weekly Home Blessing Hour. Each of these should take you 10 minutes or less. You can do all of them in a little more than an hour one day each week. The FlyLady uses Monday as the day to do the Weekly Home Blessings.
Here are the 7 parts:

1)      Declutter Magazines (I also declutter paper.)
2)      Take out the Trash
3)      Wipe Windows and Mirrors
4)      Dust
5)      Change Sheets
6)      Vacuum
7)      Sweep/Mop
When I am doing my Home Blessings in a one-hour session, I will start my sheets and either remake the bed immediately with a clean set of sheets, or I will wash and dry them while I am doing the other parts of the Home Blessings. With a large household, I wash a load of sheets each day.

Most weeks, I do one or two of the Home Blessings a day. That way I can budget 10 to 20 minutes a day for a Home Blessing, and I am able to get them all finished before Saturday.

This is how my schedule looks for Home Blessings:

Monday – wash sheets
Tuesday – dust and vacuum
Wednesday – wipe windows and mirrors
Thursday – declutter magazines (and paper)
Friday – take out trash, sweep, and mop

By keeping them short and simple, I can get them done. I know you can do it, too. Don’t try to do detail cleaning by moving furniture and taking everything off of your flat surfaces. You will do those tasks during your Zone Mission time.

You can piggy-back your daily Home Blessing and Zone Mission, if you can budget 20 to 30 minutes. It tends to work better for me to do a Home Blessing in the morning and the Zone Mission in the afternoon.

If you home has more than one level, you can work on one level the first week of the month, and then you can do you Home Blessings on the other level the second week of the month. You would just alternate every week which level you do your Home Blessings.

You will want to have a daily pick up time in your home to better facilitate your endeavors to do your Home Blessings quickly. I have talked to many ladies who tell me that they spend 10 minutes or more just picking up things before they can start their Home Blessings. Your family needs to pick up behind themselves, and the things in your home need a place to be stored out of the way.

How are you doing with cleaning your home weekly?

Today’s Zone Mission is to detail dust the Dining Room.

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

My menu plan for Thursday is lasagna for the guys and veggies for me.

Have a great day!

What do I do if I have a lot of papers to declutter?

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,
Recently someone asked me about dealing with a lot of papers that are many years old. She has been struggling with all types of clutter, but the paper clutter is some of hers and some of it for a family member who has passed away several years ago.

When a family member of mine passed away, I was appointed as the Executrix. I had to go through mounds of paperwork. Some of the papers were more than 20 years old, but they contained personal information. I did not want this paper to get into the hands of someone who could use it to steal the identity.

The first step in the process was to get some empty boxes out. I labeled them as trash, recycle, or file. As I was sorting, I jotted down the titles I would need to make file folders. Since these were not my papers, I was handling these papers more than once. It was an overwhelming amount of paper. It took more than a month to sort and deal with the papers.

Each day, I made file folders and filed the papers that I needed to keep for the estate settlement. I did not wait until the end of the process to make the file folders. I just did it a little at a time.

When I was finished with the first sorting, I had a large box of papers that needed to be shredded. It was more than I wanted to do at home, so I looked for a company that did bulk shredding in my area. I took the papers and paid per pound to have the papers professionally shredded.

Some of you have a backlog of papers in your home, and you just don’t know how to get rid of them safely. It’s important that you protect your identifying information. Some of you will be getting rid of old tax returns this year as you finish your taxes for 2017. Some of you have a lot of homeschool papers that you don’t know how to get them out of your house.

Do some research. Invest in a good-quality shredder. Look for a business that does bulk shredding. You have options available. In the past, I have used a burn barrel when we had a particularly wet season. You could have a small bonfire and roast marshmallows one evening if you have a lot of papers to burn.

Don’t let papers overwhelm your home. Spend a few minutes daily getting paper out of your home.

Your Zone Mission today is to declutter in the Dining Room.

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

My menu plan for Wednesday is pork chops. Salad and veggies for me.

Have a great day!

Decluttering the Entryway to Your Home

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,

This morning, I want you to walk outside for a few minutes as soon as you finish your Morning Routine. Breathe deeply. Enjoy the fresh air. List the things you are grateful for this morning. It can be a simple list, or it can be a list as long as you wish.

Next, I want you to walk into the main entrance of your home and pretend you are a visitor for the first time. What do you see?

The main entryway to your home is where your family goes in and out the most. It is a clutter magnet. Family members will drop things as they come into the door. They will drop things on the floor or put them on the nearest flat surface.

You might have a coat rack or shoe rack in this area. You might have places for your launch pad for your family to put things out that they need the next time they leave the house.

As you survey this area, you need to decide what is necessary and what can be moved. You might need to write down a list if you have several things in this area. If you have items in this area that family members need to put away, write these down.

Sometime during the day, spend 15 minutes decluttering and putting things away that have landed in your entryway. When you walk into the house, I want you to have a feeling of peace. If your entryway is full of stuff, it is not going to give you a feeling of peace.

Put your things away daily as an example for your children. If your family has things that need to be put away, play a game with them to get the area cleared. You might need to remind your family regularly to put their things away. Keep it fun though! No nagging!

Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.

Your Zone Mission for today is to declutter in the entryway.

My menu plan for Tuesday is Taco Tuesday.

Have a blessed day!

Making Your Bed Daily to Help You Start Your Day

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,
Happy April! It’s the beginning of a new month, and we will practice a new Habit of the Month. We are going to make our beds first thing each morning. Some of you have been doing this already, but if you are not making your bed daily, start today.
When I get up in morning, the first thing I do is to make my side of the bed. I pull the covers and fluff my pillow while my husband is still asleep on his side of the bed. When he gets up, he makes his side of the bed. That’s it! It makes me happy to see my bed made when I walk into my room. Once a week, I wash my sheets and remake the bed.
We will have a full week in Zone 1. You will be able to spend time in each area daily. If you need to switch things around, you have the freedom to do that.
Zone 1 Missions: The Front Porch, Entryway, and Dining Room
Monday – Declutter & Sweep the Front Porch
Tuesday – Declutter in the Entryway
Wednesday – Declutter in the Dining Room
Thursday – Detail Dust the Dining Room
Friday – Detail Sweep & Mop or Vacuum the Entryway
Set your timers and then take a break when it goes off!

As you practice the habit of making your bed daily, teach your children to do the same. Do not expect a perfect job. Resist the urge to remake their beds. Let them practice this habit and do the best they can do.

Practicing these habits will help you move along faster each morning toward starting your homeschool day.

Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.

Your Zone Mission for today is to declutter and sweep the Front Porch.

My menu plan for Monday is chicken and dumplings and veggies.

Have a blessed day!