Are you ready to tackle the clutter in your Master Bedroom?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

    

 
Dear Friends,
Welcome to Zone 4! We are going to declutter and detail clean the Master Bedroom and Master Bathroom this week.
How does your bedroom look right now? Take a quick picture of it. I want you to be able to compare the difference at the end of the week. I have also found that photographs show you where you have cluttered areas.
Here are you missions for the week:
Zone 4 Missions: The Master Bedroom
Monday - Declutter & toss unused items from your bedroom
Tuesday - Attack the clothes pile in your bedroom
Wednesday - Clean & organize the bottom of your closet
Thursday – Clear off the top of your nightstand
Friday - Declutter items from the shelf in your closet
Set your timers and then take a break when it goes off!
If you have a Master Bathroom and did not detail clean it last week, I want you to spend 5 minutes a day doing missions like we did last week in the Main Bathroom. I want you to have a lovely bedroom and clean bathroom.
On Monday, take a trash bag into your bedroom and just toss any trash or paper that needs to go away. Watch for papers with identifying information. You will want to shred those items. Then go into your Master Bathroom and toss old cosmetics and lotions. Use your timer and toss as much as you can in 10 minutes.
If your kids have a bathroom, ask them to bring you anything that needs to be tossed. That way you can check to see what they are tossing out. Then send them on a trash mission in their bedrooms. Give them a box or trash can and see what they bring you. Have a goal to get rid of as much trash and junk as possible this week.
Your bedroom can become your haven of rest!
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.
Your Zone Mission for today is to toss trash from your bedroom and master bathroom.
My menu plan for Monday is grilled burgers for the guys and salad for me.
Have a blessed day!

Where did you declutter this week?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

    

Dear Friends,
How did you do with the Zone Missions this week? I want to see your progress in your kitchen. Email a picture to me at Tami@TamiFox.com.
Zone 3 is one of my favorite zones because I maintain my bathroom using the swish and swipe method, and I love being able to pick where I am going to declutter. This way, I can target an area that has clutter building, or I can work on a different area each day.
If you are not doing swish and swipe in your bathroom daily, I want you to start now. It’s simple, and it only takes a few minutes each day.
This is how I do mine:
After my daily shower, I wipe the shower walls down with a purple rag. Then I give the tub a quick wipe. Next, I wipe the bathroom counter and sinks. I take a look at the mirror to see if it needs a quick wipe, too. Next, I swish the toilet with a toilet brush and wipe the edge of the toilet with a piece of toilet paper.
This entire process takes me two minutes.
When we have our monthly decluttering and detail cleaning session, I don’t have to do a lot. I basically check supplies and see if I need to toss anything from the cabinets or drawers.
The boys do swish and swipe in their shared bathroom daily as well. I also use that bathroom at some point during the day, so I know if they are doing it or not.
We have hard water with iron in it, and while we filter our water, we still can have stains. Doing swish and swipe helps keep staining to a minimum.
How does your main bathroom look today? What other area did you declutter this week?
Today’s Zone Mission is to mop the bathroom and declutter one other area.
Your Home Blessing for today is to empty the trash, sweep, and mop.
My menu plan for Friday is BBQ.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Your Family and Laundry

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

    

 
Dear Friends,
The FlyLady tells us that a load of laundry per day will keep Mt. Washmore away. This is a routine that I believe in and have been doing for years.
With a larger than normal size family, I have to do three loads of laundry per day to stay caught up.
We have six of us in the house currently, so that means that each person has bedding that needs to be washed weekly. We stage that out throughout the week. I do not wash all of the bedding on one day. It is just too much.
Generally, I will do my bedding one day. My 14-year-old and 11-year old do their bedding on the same day. The older boys do their bedding on their laundry day.
Normally, I have a load of dark clothes each day, and I have a load of towels each day. On Saturday, we have a load of white clothes that get bleached. This week, I did the white load early, so we will have everyone’s white dress shirts ready for the wedding.
In the winter, our clothes are bulkier, and there are times when the boys layer their clothes. So I sometimes I have an extra load here and there of their winter clothes. In the summer, the loads are not as full since our summer clothes are not as heavy.
If you are struggling with your family assisting with their laundry, you can work with them on the stages of doing laundry to make it easier. Have a dark clothes dirty laundry bin, a white clothes bin, and a towel bin.
Teach them to use the sorting system wherever you set it up. I instituted this years ago, and it really helps the process to have them sorted out as they are taken off.
You can set the sorter up in your laundry room or in a bedroom. I keep the towel bin and white clothes bin in my room, and everyone uses them. Then we each have a dirty clothes bin in our bedrooms for dark dirty clothes.
Teenagers can be the worst about tossing dirty clothes on the floor. Many times these dirty clothes get mixed up with clean clothes, and then you have a mess and a lot of extra laundry. Teach your children to use a dresser or chest of drawers for their clothes. Hang as much as possible for the amount of closet space you have available.
Involve you children in the laundry process from a young age. Make it fun to sort, wash, dry, fold, and put away the laundry. Sing songs and talk as you work together. Laundry does not have to be an albatross around your neck.
How many loads of laundry do you do per day?
Your Zone Mission today is to check your bathroom supplies and declutter under the sink. Spend 10 minutes decluttering somewhere else in your house as well.
Your Home Blessing for today is to toss papers and magazines.
My menu plan for Thursday is tacos and salad.
Have a great day!

How are you doing with your zone missions this week?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

    

 
Dear Friends,
Happy anti-procrastination day! Have you been doing your Zone Missions this week? I have been preparing for overnight guests this weekend. It’s been fun getting the room ready and the bathroom sparkled up.
Normally, I do my menu planning on Thursday night or Friday morning, but this week, I need to do muu menu planning today. Some of the days this weekend have a menu plan already set due to the rehearsal dinner and wedding, but I need to plan the breaskfasts and lunches while we have company.
Whare are some of your favorite meals to cook when you have family? For dinner on Thursday, I am going to do a walking taco bar. If I have leftover meat, I can repurpose it in taco soup or chili. Another way to use leftover taco meat would be to bake potatoes and serve the leftover meat and toppings with the potatoes.
The boys love it when I make baked French Toast, and I might do that for our breakfast the morning of the wedding. I have counted 12 people who will be here for breakfast that morning. So I need to fix something ahead of time that will keep my morning less stressful and be able to feed a large crowd.
In the past, I have also had success with a large quiche with spinach and cheese added to the eggs. It is also something that can be mixed ahead and cooked later. There are many breakfast casserole recipes out there. Do any of you have a tried and true breakfast casserole recipe you want to share?
My zone missions are moving along this week as I have dealt with some Hot Spots and worked my way through all three of our bathrooms. We swish and swipe daily, so detail cleaning and decluttering once a month does not take much time at all.
Tell me your successes this week!
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter items from one drawer in the bathroom.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe windows and mirrors.
My menu plan for Wednesday is lasagna for me with a salad.
Have a great day!

Paper clutter, stuff, and clothes — oh my!

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

    

Dear Friends,
Paper, stuff, and clothes, oh my!
Thank you for your responses to my emails and questions on social media. Most of you have issues with clutter in the form of paper, stuff, or clothes. Paper is a problem for many people because paper comes into our homes on a regular basis.
If you have stacks of papers, you need to realize that you don’t need 80% of it. The problem is sorting it down to the 20% you do need. Having a filing system in place will help you take care of the papers you need to keep. If they are important enough to keep, they are important enough for a filing system.
Set up some basic files based on your tax returm. Most of the papers you need to keep are related to your tax return. A small percentage of the papers you need to keep are for legal matters or homeschool. When you have your files set up, you have a place to file the papers you need to keep.
Next, you need to shred papers that you don’t need that have identifying information on them. You might need to set up a box to put papers to shred and spend 5 to 10 minutes a day using a paper shredder.
If you have piles of paper, start with one small stack. Deal with each piece of paper as you go through the stack. You have three choices — file, trash, or shred. Resist the urge to keep putting a paper back in the stack. If you sort papers into stacks, only do a small amount at a time and deal with those stacks. Don’t restack them to deal with them again later.
The ladies I have talked to over the past two years who have issues with paper have something in common. They keep putting papers back into the system to make a decision later. Meanwhile, their piles of paper continue to grow.
Some of you have papers that have literally been an albatross around your neck for years. You need to let go of these papers. It will take consistency. I talk to ladies who have overcome their paper clutter monster, and I know you can do it, too!
If you are dealing with too much stuff, get some black trash bags. Use them to bag up things to give away. Use them for stuff you need to throw away. You need to be ruthless in getting rid of the clutter that is stealing your joy.
Clothes clutter in your home robs you of your joy and your time. When you have too many clothes, you spend a lot of time managing them. Your kids do not do a good job with their laundry and putting it away when they have too many clothes. You also struggle with putting your own clothes away when you have too many clothes.
Start today with purging clothes while you are doing laundry. Toss the worn out clothes. Put the things that are too small in a bag to donate. By using black trash bags, your kids cannot see what you are throwing out or giving away. My kids will hold onto clothes well past their usefulness. I have had to teach them to let go of clothes that are worn out or two small.
You can keep a few sentimental clothes for your children, but you do not have to hold onto everything single piece of clothing. The same goes for your closet. You can let go of the clothes that don’t fit you well.
This week, we get to pick an extra area to declutter. Do you need to declutter paper, stuff, or clothes?
Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.
Your Zone Mission for today is to shine your tub/shower and bathroom sink.
My menu plan for Tuesday is spaghetti for the boys. Veggies and salad for me.
Have a blessed day!

Decluttering in the Main Bathroom and One Other Area

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

    

Dear Friends,
Happy Monday to all of you! It’s wedding week in my house! My son is getting married on Saturday, so I am going to use the Zone Missions this week to help work my way around the house as we prepare for company. Where are you going to declutter as the extra area for your Zone Missions?
Here are you missions for the week:
Zone 3 Missions: The Main Bathroom and One Extra Room
Monday – Declutter the bathroom counter & wipe down
Tuesday - Shine your tub/shower and bathroom sink
Wednesday - Declutter Items from 1 bathroom drawer
Thursday – Declutter under the sink
Friday – Mop the bathroom
Set your timers and then take a break when it goes off!
Your emails and responses to my questions help me and encourage me. I can see progress with many of you with your decluttering and zone missions.
Taking care of your home is a blessing to yourself. As you get rid of the clutter, you start to feel lighter. You feel more peaceful. It starts to rub off on your family. FLY with The FlyLady stands for Finally Loving Yourself. Decluttering and cleaning your home are a part of loving yourself.
Some of you have scars and carry emotional baggage. Some of you are afraid to declutter. You are afraid you are doing it wrong or getting rid of stuff you might need in the future. This is your perfectionism. It’s holding you back.
As my son is getting ready for the next step in his life, we will be going through his things. It may be emotional, but I am happy and blessed by him. I know he is ready for the next step. He has had obstacles in his life, and I am proud of how he overcame them.
Today, I want you to spend 10 minutes decluttering in the area of the house that bothers you the most. Then, spend the other 5 minutes decluttering in your main bathroom.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.
Your Zone Mission for today is to declutter and wipe down the bathroom counters.
My menu plan for Monday is grilled burgers for the guys and salad for me.
Have a blessed day!

Show Me Your Kitchen

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

    

Dear Friends,
How did you do with the Zone Missions this week? I want to see your progress in your kitchen. Email a picture to me at Tami@TamiFox.com.
Your kitchen sees a lot of activity daily, and it will help you with menu planning and meal preparation if you keep it decluttered.
Shining your kitchen sink will bring a smile to your face when you walk into the kitchen.
With a large family with mostly boys, my kitchen stays busy. It seems someone is always eating as we navigate different schedules for those at home and those who work. One evening, I counted 5 separate times when someone was in the kitchen getting food.
Teaching your children to cook and clean the kitchen behind themselves is a valuable tool for you. They can be an asset to you in the kitchen.
On Friday mornings, I plan my weekly menu for the next week. I ask for input from everyone, and they help cook the meals they suggest. If they are able to cook it completely alone, I just supervise them. As they are learning to cook, I assist them as needed.
During the summer, you have access to more fresh fruits and veggies than in the winter. Use this opportunity to serve a lot of raw veggies with your meals. It is healthy for you, and it is easy. If you have a place for a garden, let your children grow some veggies this summer.
What are some of your favorite summer meals?
Today’s Zone Mission is to wipe the stove 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!

Do you have big projects planned for the summer?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

    

 
Dear Friends,
Many of you have been planning on doing a big project this summer. What do you want to do around your house?
Some of the ideas I have heard from my readers deal mainly with decluttering areas such as the school room, basement, attic, or garage. Other ideas are for home improvements, such as painting or landscaping.
With any large project, you need to break it down into small steps and be consistent with working on it. I have done this many times over the years with decluttering and home improvement projects. If you break it down into steps and not let your perfectionism hold you back, you can do it.
Many of the projects that you can do to make your house look great don’t cost a lot of money. Start with decluttering. Just getting rid of your excess will make your home look better. Teaching your children to put things away where they belong will make your home look better, too.
You don’t have to spend 8 hours a day on your projects either. You can break it down into smaller steps. You just have to work on it a little bit each day.
A project I want to work on is painting my son’s room. I will break it down into steps, and the boys will help me. I will use it as a learning tool, and it will help me, too. My goal is for them to learn as much as possible about home maintenance and repair as they can while they are still at home.
You can pick a different focus each week as well. If you have several areas that need to be decluttered, work on one at a time. You can rotate to a different area each day of the week, or you can focus on a different area per week of the month and rotate like we do with Zone Missions.
If paper clutter is one of your problems, invest in a good shredder and shred paper for 15 minutes a day. You will be surprised at how fast you can go through paper clutter this way.
If you have too many toys, sort them by type. Get rid of some of them. Then start a toy rotation process. Only allow the children to have access to certain toy bins at one time.
Your school room may be another area that you really want to do a makeover. Start planning how you want to organize your books, and then implement it. I move school books around every summer depending on what we will be studying next school year. I want to have the books we will be using handy.
Tell me what is on your project list this summer and how you will break it down to accomplish it.
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter items from one kitchen cabinet.
Your Home Blessing for today is to toss papers and magazines.
My menu plan for Thursday is chicken and salad.
Have a great day!

How are you doing with your daily routines?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

    

  
Dear Friends,
How are your basic daily routines? I had a few readers mention to me that they liked it when I put the daily routines at the bottom of my emails. It helped spur them on to doing them. I thought today would be a good day for a refresher course on daily routines. I will also include the daily routines for your children for cleaning their bedrooms.
Morning Routine: (Have your children do these, too.)
  • Make Your Bed (Do this as soon as you get up.)
  • Get Dressed Down to Your Shoes
  • Swish and Swipe
  • Start Your Laundry
  • Decide on Dinner
  • Check Your Calendar
  • Start the Day off with a Shiny Sink. Don’t leave the breakfast dishes sitting. Teach your children to do their dishes.
Your Morning Routine sets the tone for your day. It is easier to do it if you start off with your Before Bed Routine and have your clothes laid out and ready. I make my bed as soon as I get out of bed. I noticed last week while I was at a conference that I make my side of the bed automatically. I don’t even think about it anymore.
Your children are home with you a lot, and you can teach them to put their dishes in the dishwasher or wash them. You can also teach them to lay out their clothes the night before, so they can get dressed quickly in the mornings.
My Home Blessing of the day is normally done as a part of my Morning Routine.
Afternoon Routine:
  • Eat Lunch
  • Clear off One Hot Spot
  • Reboot the Laundry
  • Declutter for 2 to 15 Minutes (Have your children do a mission in their bedroom.)
  • Drink Your Water
  • Exercise
Your Afternoon Routine may vary. I exercise first thing in the morning, so it is a part of my Morning Routine. I also do laundry throughout the day. This is the time of day that I do some decluttering and my zone mission.
Before Bed Routine: (This starts right after dinner.)
  • Check the Calendar for Tomorrow
  • Lay out Your Clothes for Tomorrow (Have your children lay their clothes out, too.)
  • Put things at your launch pad
  • Shine Your Sink
  • Clean Off a Hot Spot
  • Go to Bed at Decent Hour
The FlyLady tells us that the Before Bed Routine is the most important routine of the day. For many of you, this routine is harder to nail down. Evening time can be busy, and if you have a child who plays sports, you may be gone in the evenings. If this routine has been troublesome for you, I want you to start tonight and do most of the steps right after dinner. That is when I do most of my Before Bed Routine.
Here is a sample for you to use to give your children concrete assignments for cleaning their rooms.
  • Monday - Wash Sheets and Make Bed; Clean Under Bed
  • Tuesday – Closet (Rotate floor, hanging clothes, shelves, etc. each week)
  • Wednesday - Floor (Under Furniture, too.)
  • Thursday - Desk/Flat Surfaces – Declutter & Dust
  • Friday – Detail Clean Bathroom or Declutter Chair or Anything Stacked in the Room
You can see that these routines are basic and simple. If you work on making these routines your daily habits, the stuff around your house will get taken care of, and you will find peace from the CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome).
How are you doing with your daily routines?
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 pasta for the boys and zuchini noodles for me with a salad.
Have a great day!

Being Intentional Having Fun with Your Kids

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

    

  
Dear Friends,
How was your Monday? Did you take time to play with your children?
I received several notes from readers who are going to be intentional about playing with their children this summer. The most precious thing you can give your children besides your love is your time.
Yesterday, the boys did a fantastic job with their routines, and they asked me to take them to the lake. We loaded up and spent an hour and a half at the lake where they fished and played. They were happy, and I enjoyed just sitting and watching them.
Another mom told me that she was going to see what programs their library had this summer in conjunction with the summer reading program. Most libraries have summer activities each week to encourage young readers. I so enjoyed the summer music programming our library has done in the past.
Use a search engine and look for GeoCaching spots near you, and go outside for some nature walks. You can take field guides to identify birds, trees, or flowers. You can learn so much out in nature, and it is not an expensive activity for you to do.
Call your local park ranger for summer activities. Many state and national parks offer free classes and activities for children. Park rangers know their parks and can answer questions and teach your children a lot about the park’s features.
Research activities at your local science center or art museum. They may offer classes for free or for a small fee. I found out our local art museum is having a special exhibit in the early fall. I am already thinking about incorporating it into my beginning of school plans.
If you have been stock-piling art supplies like many other homeschoolers, have an arts and crafts day each week. Turn on some classical music and let them create art. Yes, it might be messy, but you can work with them clean it up afterwards. They will learn so much from the creative process.
Another fun summer activity is simply playing outside with water. Kids love to play in the water! Have a water day each week this summer.
If you children have bikes, have a weekly bike ride in the evening. If they don’t have bikes, go for a family walk.
Use this summer to be intentional about your time with them, and keep them active. Limit screen time and encourage movement and creativity.
What are some of your favorite summer activities?
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 Taco Tuesday for the boys. Veggies and salad for me.
Have a blessed day!