Letting go of your Excess

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Today’s zone mission is designed to help you manage your clothes. Your mission might take place in your bedroom, but it may start in the laundry room or wherever you might have baskets of clean laundry.
You are going to work with your pile or basket of clothes today. You need to put your clean clothes away. If you do not have enough room for the clean clothes, you need to declutter some of the clothes you have in your closet and/or dresser.
Get a box that you can put donations in as you work. Set the timer for 15 minutes and start purging clothes. Many of you have three or four sizes of clothes. You might have maternity clothes or nursing tops, and your youngest child is over age 10. You need to bless someone with your excess clothes.
As many of you are entering warmer weather, really consider the winter clothes that have hung in your closet this year, and you have not worn them this season.
If you start to talk yourself into holding onto some of the clothes, don’t think too deeply about it. Make it your mission to really thin out the amount of clothes you and your children have.
A mission for your children today would be to ask them to bring you five things that they cannot wear or do not wear. Add these to your give away box.
If possible, fill up a box and donate it this week.
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter clothes and put away any clothes that are in piles.
Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.
My menu plan for Tuesday is basalmic chicken.
Have a great day!

Quick and easy bedroom missions

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Are you ready for short and sweet decluttering missions that will help you make your Master Bedroom look and function better for you? You will be surprised at how you will love seeing your bedroom at the end of the week after you get rid of the clutter.
If you have children at home, use these same missions for them!
Here are you missions for the week:
Zone 4 Missions: The Master Bedroom
Monday – declutter for 15 minutes in the master bedroom. Turn on some music and set the timer. Then try to find 27 things to throw away, put away, or give away.
Tuesday – deal with the clothes pile in your bedroom (or the laundry basket that is full of clothes). Try to find some things to throw away or give away.
Wednesday – Today you are going to focus on the bottom of your closet. Pull out the things that you can either give away or. (Yes, some of you have shoes in there that just need to go in the trash.)
Thursday – Declutter the top surface items and straighten your night stand.
Friday – Declutter items from the top of your dresser and detail dust. Sweep or vacuum under your bed, too.
Set your timers for 15 minutes and then take a break when it goes off!
Weekly Menu Plan
Monday – Chopped Chicken and Walnut Salad
Tuesday – Basalmic Chicken
Wednesday – Mushroom Pasta
Thursday – Soup and Sandwich
Friday – Take out
Enjoy your week! Keep your routines simple.
Your Master Bedroom is your place of respite. It’s where you go to rest. You deserve a bedroom that is free of clutter and peaceful. Once you declutter and maintain your flat surfaces, you will see a difference in how you feel about your master bedroom.
Your children’s bedrooms might be problem areas. The best tip I have shared about children’s bedrooms is that you have to be specific when you give them a zone mission. You cannot simply tell them to go clean their rooms and expect that they will do what you are thinking in your mind.
This week as you do your missions in your bedroom, specifically tell your children what they need to do in their bedrooms. Some of them may need to start with the floor or a section of the floor. Some of them may need to go into their rooms and simply pull out trash for 15 minutes at a time.
Your children may be pack rats and have things shoved under their beds. This is not an easy mission, so I would recommend that you have a reward for the end of the week for them getting their missions accomplished in their bedrooms this week.
You also need a reward for dealing with the clutter in your bedroom. Let go of your perfectionism and the need to hold onto everything. Think of how you can bless someone else with your excess clothes or shoes that are in good condition.
Look for a ministry that is collecting clothes or shoes and take them a nice-size donation at the end of the week.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.
Your Zone Mission for Monday is to declutter in the Master Bedroom.
My menu plan for Monday is chicken and salad.
Have a blessed day!

Finishing Up this Week’s Missions

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Are you ready for the weekend? If you have not finished your zone missions for the week, I want you to do what you can in 15 minutes today.
If you have busy weeks sometimes, I want you to still try to get in two or three days of Zone Missions. I know that co-ops and field trips sometimes happen and through you off on your missions.
The thing I do not want you to do is to hold all of the missions to do on Saturday. Saturday is your family fun day. It’s not supposed to be your big project day. You have spent many years doing big projects on the weekend. Start protecting your weekend time and plan some fun activities!
If you are not budgeting your time to get the zone missions done daily, I want that to be your focus area for the next two weeks. Once you start seeing the benefits from the daily missions, you will want to keep up that routine.
The first step to any new routine is the hardest. It gets easier. I will give you a real-life example. I have been swimming for a long time, but I don’t like keeping my face in the water and breathing by turning my head to the side.
Learning this skill is muscle memory, so this week, I am making myself practice my side breathing in the pool. I don’t love it, and it is not comfortable. But I am going to keep practicing it.
Your routines are muscle memory, too. As you build your daily habits, you will start to find yourself doing them without thinking about it.
Your zone mission meets up with your home blessing for today. So use the zone mission time to declutter 27 things from your home. Focus on throwing away stuff or putting away stuff.
Today’s Zone Mission is to mop your bathroom floor and do a 27 Fling Boogie.
Your Home Blessing for today is to empty the trash, sweep, and mop.
My menu plan for Friday is take out.
Have a great weekend!

Let’s Talk About Your Morning Routine

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Since I have some new readers, I want to talk about your basic morning routine for a few minutes. This is a good reminder for those of you who have been doing your routines for a while. You can do a little self-check as I review the parts of the morning routine.
Are you setting the example in your home and getting dressed down to the shoes first thing in the morning?
As you establish this habit, encourage your children to move along with their morning routine as well and get dressed first thing each morning. When my children were little, I made it a point to be dressed before they got up. Sometimes it was hard. Sometimes it did not happen. For the most part, I was successful!
Then I taught my children the following routine:
  • Get up
  • Go potty
  • Wash hands
  • Go to the kitchen table for breakfast
  • Brush teeth
  • Wash hands and face
  • Get dressed
  • Make bed
They still follow this routine, and they are much older now, though don’t tell them I mentioned the potty thing. (smile) Give your children a legacy of habits and routines!
If you are not getting your bed made during your morning routine, I want you to try to remember to make it as soon as your feet hit the floor each morning. It will take a bit of re-training on your part, but it makes such a difference when you go back into your room later and the bed is made.
I make my side of the bed while my husband is still in the bed. When he gets up, he makes his side of the bed. Isn’t that great team work?
After my shower each morning, I give the bathroom a quick swish and swipe. It’s become such a habit that I find myself wiping down counters and sinks in hotel bathrooms when we travel.
Another important step in your morning routine is to check your calendar. Sometimes we forget we have an appointment, so it helps to check the calendar. While you are checking the calendar, check the menu plan to see if you need to lay something out to thaw.
Then, you are ready to start a load of laundry. This can be a quick thing to start if you pre-sort your laundry as people take their baths/showers.
If you have not mastered your morning routine, write down the 6 parts of it on a sticky note and post the list somewhere visible throughout the morning.
Your Zone Mission today is to shine the bathroom sink and toss the anything that you do not need.
Your Home Blessing for today is to toss paper and magazines.
My menu plan for Thursday is fish and a salad.
Have a blessed day!

Don’t put off to tomorrow

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Welcome to some new readers who have signed up in the past week! I am happy to have you join us as we declutter and bless our homes!
Wednesday is a special day. It’s anti-procrastination day! Do something you have been putting off. The guideline is to only spend 15 minutes or less on it. This is not an all-out day to dump clutter and sort.
We are deep into March now, and if you have been procrastinating your tax return, this is your reminder to get on with it. You have a little over a month to get it finished and filed. If you need to make an appointment with your tax preparer, do that do. Nothing lights a fire under you like an appointment to get your taxes done.
Your zone mission in the main bathroom today should not take long, but I want you to do it with care. Today you are going to go through your medicine cabinet and look for expired items. Be careful how you dispose of them.
Many pharmacies and police departments have a way for you to dispose of unused and/or expired medication in a lock box in their lobbies. I have seen them in many pharmacies, and I know our county sherriff’s office has one as well.
You do not want to flush or trash expired prescription medication. You can use kitty litter that has been soaked in water to dispose of medications. You would just use a black trash bag to hold the wet kitty litter and dump the medications in the bag. A hospice nurse taught me that.
Your other mission is to go around the house and look for things to put away. Call it a reverse scavenger hunt. Find one thing that needs to be put away. When you put it where it belongs, look for something in that area that needs to be put up. After you put that item away, find another one. Do this for 15 minutes and see what you can put away.
Your Zone Mission today is declutter expired medications, and then go through the house and find things that need to be put away.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe windows and mirrors.
My menu plan for Wednesday is soup, sandwiches, and a salad.
Have a blessed day!

Are you ready to play today?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Good morning!
Happy Tuesday! How is your week going with the time change? Have you updated all of your clocks? It’s funny how such a small change can feel like a really big change.
Today I want you to wash your bathroom trash can and put in a new liner. You other mission around the house is to find things to donate. Put them in your donation box and take them out to the car. The next time you do errands, you can drop off the donations.
Tuesday is also plan and play day, so sit down and do a few of your paperwork items. You can pay bills, or do your budget updates, or menu plan. Check your basic supplies in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room.
After you finish planning, I want you to do something you enjoy and PLAY!
If you don’t keep a running grocery and supply list, it is a great way to keep track of your needs on a regular basis. I keep a list on my fridge. I have taught my children to add items to it when we run out of stuff. It does not guarantee that I will buy what they put on the list, but it is helpful for me.
My menu plan is also posted for everyone to see. I remind them to check the menu plan before they start fixing a meal. Boys have a tendency to eat everything in sight, and they have been known to eat food that I had planned for a future meal.
Teach your children the skills of menu planning, shopping (and budgeting), and cooking. It is an invaluable skill to have in adulthood. My grown children all do well with cooking because I always included them when they were growing up.
Keep your zone missions short and sweet! You are doing a great job a little at at time.
Your Zone Mission today is to shine your kitchen sink.
Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.
My menu plan for Tuesday is sloppy joes and a salad.
Have a great day!

What am I asked about decluttering?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Welcome to week 3 of the month! This is the week where you choose an additional area to declutter besides the main bathroom. I will have some ideas below for you if you don’t have a second area picked out. But if you have a room that is filled with clutter, I want you to spend 10 minutes a day getting the clutter out.
If the room you are decluttering depresses you, I want you to take items out of the room and then deal with them. You do not have to sit in the room to declutter it.
Here are you missions for the week:
Zone 2 Missions: The Kitchen
Monday – clean around the toilet in your main bathroom. Go around the house with a small trash bag and toss items for 10 minutes.
Tuesday – wash your bathroom trash can. Go around the house and find items to donate.
Wednesday – Toss empty bottles and expired items from the medicine cabinet. Go around the house and put things away.
Thursday – Shine bathroom sink. Go around the house and toss clutter.
Friday – Mop the bathroom. Do a 27 Fling Boogie through the house. (For the 27 Fling Boogie, you will find items to toss, donate, and put away.)
Set your timers for 15 minutes and then take a break when it goes off!
Weekly Menu Plan
Monday – Chicken and a Salad
Tuesday – Pizza and a Salad
Wednesday – Soup and Sandwiches
Thursday – Breakfast for Dinner
Friday – Take out
Enjoy your week! Keep your routines simple.
“Will I ever be finished decluttering?”
This question has been asked of me many times. My response is the same, “As long as you bring new things into your home, you are going to need to declutter.”
Decluttering daily is something that needs to be a part of your routine. Mail is delivered. Packages arrive. You go shopping. Your children make things. People give you things. The list can go on and on.
A few people were discouraged when I told them that I still declutter daily. It’s true. It’s often not a lot of stuff that I declutter, but I either throw things away daily when I clear a Hot Spot, or I put things in the “to be donated” box. Some things from the Hot Spot end up getting put away.
If you have a lot of clutter in your home, you need to get rid of two things for each new thing that comes into the house. You also need to declutter for 15 minutes a day. You will need to work with your children on decluttering from their rooms, too.
If you have an area in your home that really bothers you because of the clutter, I want you to focus on that for a couple of days and start seeing a difference. You have to throw things away. You have to donate things. Once you start getting clutter out of your house rather than just finding a new place for it, you will love seeing areas cleared up.
Many of the ladies I mentor find that they maintain areas very well once they have decluttered it. It gives them peace and joy. They do not let the clutter back into those areas.
You do not have a lot of extra time in your days to declutter. Use your timer for 15 minutes a day. You can spare that much time. You spend more time than that on your computer or phone. You can budget 15 minutes a day to declutter your way to peace.
The first step to change is the hardest step. Take it today.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.
Your Zone Mission for Monday is clean around the toilet. Then go through the house and find things to toss.
My menu plan for Monday is chicken and salad.
Have a blessed day!

Are you ready to toss expired items with me?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Happy Friday! Are you feeling good about what you accomplished this week? If you have not been able to get to everything on your list, I want you to stop beating yourself up about it. You are doing fantastic!
Several years ago, we had 6 children at home, and life was hectic. I felt like I had conquered the world if I got through the daily routines! Some of you are in that season right now. Your routines should be your primary goal for the day, and anything else is icing on the cake.
Your list that you have written out (or in your head) is a goal list. You are not going to complete it in a day or a week or a month. Start celebrating your accomplishments when you complete steps to the things on your list.
Your routines are your foundation. They are what helps guide you to a decluttered home. I am sitting here tonight with two things on my list that I wanted to do today besides my routines. One of them was to write to all of you.
The other one is to study for a test I have tomorrow. I put a priority on my writing, so I could focus on the studying afterwards.
Yesterday, my husband was looking for something in the pantry. As I joined him to locate this item, I found a canned food item that I knew I had had for a while.
Take a look at the expiration date on this canned food item.
Yes, you are reading that right. It expired in 2014! I had no problem tossing it. Tell me what you find in your pantry today when you do search for expired items!
I always want to share the things I am doing, so you know that I am right there in the trenches with you. I have great days, and I have days when I get the bare minimum done with my routines.
Today’s Zone Mission is to declutter expired items from your pantry.
Your Home Blessing for today is to empty the trash, sweep, and mop.
My menu plan for Friday is take out.
Have a great weekend!

Short on time? Don’t skimp on your routines.

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
How is your week going? We are moving along in my home this week with homeschooling, caring for my home and family, and my real estate business. I can’t think of a better way to care for my home than The FlyLady system.
Even when you are having a busy week, you can find 5 minutes to do a little decluttering. You can find 10 minutes to do one home blessing. You can find 2 minutes to swish & swipe your bathroom.
If you are new to The FlyLady system, here are my top 3 things that make the biggest impact on my home —- shine my kitchen sink, make my bed, and get dressed down to the shoes.
Some of you might be having a rough start to your day, and you don’t feel like you have accomplished anything. Do those three things, and you will feel like you accomplished a lot. You will smile when you walk into the kitchen and see a clean, shiny sink. When you walk into your bedroom, you will smile when you see your bed made up.
Being dressed down to the shoes automatically signals your brain that you are ready to take on whatever the day brings your way. Think with me for a minute on how you feel when you stay in your PJ’s all day. Now, go get dressed and stay aware of how you feel throughout the day.
If you are a seasoned follower of The FlyLady, I want to hear from you. Tell me what one routine has had the biggest impact on you and your home.
Your Zone Mission today is to wipe the front and tops of the stove and fridge. Give the microwave a quick wipe, too.
Your Home Blessing for today is to toss paper and magazines.
My menu plan for Thursday is a surprise.
Have a blessed day!

Hot Spot Fire Drill in the Kitchen

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Good morning to you! I pray your week is going well. Sometimes things are tough, and I wanted you to know that no matter how little progress you think you are making, it is better than nothing at all.
Today you are going to do a quick Hot Spot Fire Drill in the Kitchen. Use your timer and really go after those clutter spots on your counters. Toss. Toss. Toss. Find a place for things that you do need to keep.
Take a look at the appliances on your counters. Do you have some that are not used very often? The only thing that I do not use often that has a space on my counter is my Kitchenaid. It is too big and heavy to move. Otherwise, I only keep the appliances we use regularly.
We have designated storage places for the pots and pans. I have a rolling cabinet that holds my cast iron. The lighter pots and pans stack easily in my lower cabinet.
If you have appliances that someone gave you, and you are not using them, you can bless someone else with them. You are not obligated to keep something that is just taking up space and not useful to you.
When we got married, we were gifted with many kitchen items. Over the years, I found that some of them were quite useful, and some of them were not as useful. When I did my kitchen renovation last year, I found things in the top of my kitchen cabinet that had sat there for 28 years. I donated these items.
The less stuff you have on your counters, the better your kitchen will function for you. Purge without guilt.
It’s also anti-procrastination day! Do something you have been putting off.
Your Zone Mission today is to do a hot spot fire drill in the kitchen.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe windows and mirrors.
My menu plan for Wednesday is soup, sandwiches, and a salad.
Have a blessed day!