Why don’t we do a big fall cleaning?

Dear Friends,
How have your zone missions been going in your Master Bedroom? We have been building up slowly to you having a clean, peaceful, decluttered space in which to sleep.
Today’s zone mission is a fun mission. Pick out your favorite pair of pajamas and lay them out for tonight. Enjoy your hard work tonight. While you are putting things out, set out your favorite bath salts and a candle in the master bath. Tonight, you need to reward yourself with a nice soak in the tub and put on your favorite pajamas.
Throughout the week I have had comments from people both in person and through email. I have had some laughs with people about how they have been dealing with their clutter, and I have had a few instances where I told them to go ahead and make the first step in getting rid of things.
Someone talked to me about why they don’t enjoy spring cleaning. We talked about how the spring cleaning ritual was started. It goes back to Bible days, and the Jewish calendar. In the spring, the Hebrews prepared for Passover by cleaning all of the crumbs of leavening from their homes before the celebrated Passover.
In pioneer America, the ritual was continued as the ladies had to clean out their cabins after a winter of burning wood or coal. Everything was covered in dust or soot. They had to pull everything out and beat the dust off and clean their homes.
In modern times, most of us do not heat with wood or coal in the winter. Some of you may use these methods, but by and large, most of us use electric heat, oil heat, or gas heat as primary heat sources.
We can clean and declutter a little at a time each day. We do not have to have a large spring cleaning or fall cleaning. We can enjoy the progress of smaller steps of cleaning and decluttering through the zone missions and Home Blessings.
Some of you are still not convinced that the FlyLady system will work for you. I want you to start today with a small decluttering mission for 2 minutes and do today’s zone mission.
Send me pictures of your progress this week!
Today’s Zone Mission is to set out your favorite bath salts for a soak in the tub tonight and lay out your favorite pajamas.
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

You deserve a clean, fluffy bed tonight.

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 


Dear Friends,
We are focusing on the bedroom this week, and today your focus is your bed. If you have not washed your sheets this week, today is the day to do it!
It is important to wash your sheets weekly. Washing your sheets in hot water evicts any dust mites that are clinging to the fabric. If you typically wash your sheets in cold water, you are not completely eradicating the dust mites. I am very allergic to dust mites, so I learned many years ago what I had to do each week to keep the dust mites at bay.
You deserve a fresh bed each week, and I know it takes time and effort. You can move things along in the changing process if you have two sets of sheets for each bed. As soon as you pull the sheets off the bed, you can immediately remake it with the second set. That way you are not scrambling to make your bed right before you go to bed.
If you have several beds in the house, you can divide up and assign a wash day for each set of bedding. That can also be how you divide up the rest of the laundry for the family. Here is an example:
Monday - wash bedding from Master Bedroom and Mom & Dad’s clothes.
Tuesday - wash bedding from room #2 and the clothes for the person in that room.
Wednesday – wash bedding from room #3 and the clothes for that person or people in that room.
Thursday - wash bedding from room #4 and the clothes for that person.
Friday – towels and any other loads of laundry that might need to be done.
We have four bedrooms, and it has worked well to divide and conquer the bedding and laundry by assigning a day of each week to one person (or two people who share a room).
As you make your bed today, whether it is with fresh sheets or not, fluff the pillows and make it look pretty.
What are some ways you have success with your laundry system and in washing bedding?
Today’s Zone Mission is to put clean sheets on your bed and fluff your pillows.
Your Home Blessing for today is to declutter paper and magazines.
My menu plan for Thursday is spaghetti and a salad.
Have a great day!

Are you putting off lesson planning?

Dear Friends,
Happy Anti-Procrastination Day! Are you keeping up with your lesson planning and grading? As a homeschool mom of several children, I know that this can easily be put off for one reason or another.
Today, I want you to check your lesson plans. Are you on track with where you wanted to be by this point in the year?
Some of you may have just started your homeschool year, but others have been going for some time now. I started my school year the first week of August. In a check of our progress over the weekend, I found that we are a little ahead of schedule.
Have a regular time each week where you check your children’s progress with their school work and update lesson plans accordingly. I only recommend lesson planning from week-to-week. This enables you to adjust as needed when you children need extra time on a subject or when something pops up in your schedule, such as sickness or an appointment.
If you struggle with where to start with lesson planning, divide your book up by the number of months in your school year. Then divide it again by the number 4, which is the weeks you will homeschool in a month. Then divide it once more by 5, which is your number of days in a school week. Or you can just divide the number of pages in a book by 180, if that is the number of days you will homeschool in a year.
By knowing how many pages to cover in a day, you can plan appropriately with your weekly lesson plans.
An example would be a book that is 540 pages long. That would mean your child needs to cover 60 pages per month. Which would divide up to 15 pages per week and 3 pages per day. If you divide 540 by 180, you would also get 3 pages per day. So it doesn’t matter how you divide it, you just need to know a range of pages to cover per book per day.
Another area that tends to be put off in homeschooling is grading papers. Not everything your child does has to be graded, but you should be checking for progress. Many times when I am checking my children’s work, I will help them figure out why they missed a problem. We will work on it together until they understand how to do the problem. I call this mastery learning.
When you do your lesson planning, be sure to put in place fun activities, too. Children learn in many ways, and it helps children retain what they are learning academically when you include music and art in their day. Children also need play time and to use their large muscles to help them process what they are learning in math and reading.
Your Zone Mission today is to dust the Master Bedroom.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe windows and mirrors.
My menu plan for Wednesday is soup and sandwiches with a side salad.
Have a great day!

Evict the Clutter from Your Master Bedroom

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

Dear Friends,
Today’s game is for you to have a pick up and put away day in the Master Bedroom. This will translate well into a game for your children, as well. Cleaning your bedroom does not have to be drudgery. You are making it look pretty and restful.
Gather your children. Give them specific instructions on what you want them to pick up in their bedrooms (floor, flat surfaces, closet, or under the bed). Set your timer for 15 minutes and turn on some music. Then see what a difference this game makes!
Put Away the Clean Laundry
If you have some clean laundry that needs to be put away, this is a great time to do that as well. If the clothes are living in baskets (smile), sort them out, so it is quick to put them away. Challenge your children to put theirs away as well.
Have a Central Charging Station for Electronics Other Than the Bedroom
Some areas you might consider are charging electronics in a central place in the house and not in the bedroom. Have a separate area for toy storage other than your children’s bedrooms.
Organize Dresser Drawers to be Easy to Use
Organize dresser drawers according to what your child can reach easily. Keeping things in the top drawer may make it difficult for a young child to put things away. Consider putting socks, t-shirts, underclothes, and other frequently worn clothing in lower drawers. This may be a different way of organizing for you, so don’t feel like you have to switch it all at once. Declutter and organize the drawers a little at a time.
Keep Bookshelves Easy to Use
Check bookshelves for safety and keep well loved books close at hand for young children. If you have early readers, you want to make it fun and easy for them to pick a book out to read. If you have a reluctant reader, consider setting up a fun reading basket with books of high interest to him or her.
Evict the Clutter from Your Bedroom
Our bedrooms can easily become a place where we put things that don’t have a place somewhere else in the house. Retrain your thinking to find a place for these items and get them out of your bedroom.
What are some other ways to make keeping a bedroom tidy and restful?
Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.
Your Zone Mission for today is to put away things in your bedroom.
My menu plan for Tuesday is Taco Tuesday and salad for me.
Have a blessed day!

Make Cleaning Your Room a Game

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

Dear Friends,
Good morning! I trust you had a wonderful weekend. My family watched the weather related to Hurricane Florence. As of Saturday night, we are well and safe.
We will be spending our zone missions in the Master Bedroom, Master Bathroom, and Master Closet. Use your timer and have fun!
Here are you missions for the week:
Zone 4 Missions: The Master Bedroom, Master Bathroom, and Closet
Monday – Toss the trash from your Master Bedroom & Bathroom
Tuesday – Put things away in the Master Bedroom
Wednesday – Dust the Master Bedroom
Thursday – Put Clean Sheets on Your Bed & Fluff the Pillows
Friday – Lay out your favourite PJ’s for tonight
Your Master Bedroom is your haven of rest. Declutter and decorate it to reflect a restful atmosphere. Keep your flat surfaces cleared off and make your bed daily. Your room has a finished look when you take a few minutes each morning to make your bed. You can make your side of the bed when you get up, even if your husband is still asleep on the other side of the bed. (smile)
Tell me some of the things you have done to make your bedroom a place of rest and peace.
Here’s your recap of the Weekly Zone Missions.
On Monday, spend 15 minutes tossing trash from your Master Bedroom and Master Bathroom. If you have children at home, give them a challenge to find more things in their room to toss than you do. Fun challenges are a great way to declutter.
On Tuesday, spend 15 minutes putting away things in your Master Bedroom. Put away laundry and anything else that is on the flat surfaces. If you have clean laundry that has not been put away, this is the time to do it. You can also challenge your children to put things away in their bedrooms as well. Use your timer and some fun music.
On Wednesday, spend a few minutes dusting your Master Bedroom. The previous two days’ missions should make this mission a snap. If you don’t need the full 15 minutes, spend the remaining time pulling clothes from your closet that you have not worn in the last year.
On Thursday, spend 15 minutes putting clean sheets on your bed and fluff your pillows. Check your children’s bedding as well. Wash any of the bedding that is pulled off today.
On Friday, lay out your favorite PJ’s for tonight. Set out your favorite bath salts and plan on a relaxing soak in the tub later tonight.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.
Your Zone Mission for Monday is to toss trash from your Master Bedroom and Master Bathroom.
My menu plan for Monday is hamburgers and the fixings for the boys. Salad for mom.
Have a blessed day!

Anticipation of a Storm and Zone Missions

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

Dear Friends,
Happy Friday! This week has seemed long to me as we have anticipated the arrival of hurricane Florence off the coast of North Carolina. As I sit here on Thursday, the sun is shining, and it is beautiful outside. Inside my house, my zone missions for the week are done. How did you do with your missions?
Each day we did a quick mission in the bathroom, and sometimes the missions are so simple that you just skip them. How could it possibly help your home to spend a few minutes decluttering the flat surfaces in your bathroom or doing a Hot Spot Drill in the Living Room?
In your mind, a simple mission is just too easy. You want a long, complicated formula to help you declutter and maintain your home. But you don’t have time for a long, complicated mission. So what do you do?
Today I want you to do the two zone missions that are listed. I don’t want you to beat yourself up for the other things you see that you wish you did this week. I just want you to enjoy the moment of accomplishment for today.
Next week, I will have more simple daily missions for you, and I want to you to strive daily to do them. You only need 10 to 15 minutes a day for your zone missions.
Your Home Blessings are equally as important as your zone missions, and they help you have a clean home with minimal time spent on cleaning. Each Home Blessing should take between 5 minutes and 10 minutes. If you have a two-level home, you will need to budget a little more time to complete them. Or you can include your family when you do them.
Today’s Home Blessings are the big ones for me. The boys are a huge help to me. We divide and conquer! Each of us will take an area and gather trash. They will take all of the bags outside and sort out the trash and recyclable items. My husband will take it off to the local convenience center for disposal and recycling.
Our other big mission is to do the floors. One person will sweep, and a second person will follow with the mop. For our 1,000 square foot lower level, it takes 20 minutes to do this. There are a few things that help us go this quickly. First, we have two people working together, and second, we keep the floors picked up daily.
Send me pictures of your progress this week!
Today’s Zone Mission is to clear off the flat surfaces in your main bathroom and do a quick Hot Spot Drill in the Living Room.
Your Home Blessing for today is to empty the trash, sweep, and mop.
My menu plan for Friday is stir fry.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Smiling and Shining in Your Home

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

Dear Friends,
As I am writing this, the East Coast is preparing for Hurricane Florence. Being prepared for an emergency was a portion of one of my articles this week.
If you are in this in the path of Florence, today is too late to prepare. So I will go back to my normal topics of zone missions and decluttering. Just know that I am writing several days ahead of the storm. I am praying for all in the path of the storm.
Our zone missions give us peace with the consistency of doing them. They give us peace as we get rid of the clutter that causes us so much work around our homes. Working around clutter brings you down. It distresses you. It clogs up the arteries in your home. Decluttering brings you peace and makes you smile.
Zone missions do not have to be all-day affairs. Use your timer and just do what you can in an area in 15 minutes. If your children interrupt you, include them in what you are doing in a cheerful, fun way. You will reap benefits from this as they get older. By including them and making it fun now, you are teaching them for the future.
Today’s zone mission might make you think it will take a long time, but I want you to use your timer. After your shower or bath, I want you to wipe down the shower walls and the tub quickly. Do not stress about scrubbing for a long time. Use a microfiber cloth, like the FlyLady’s purple cloth and move on. I do this daily after my shower, and it literally takes a couple of minutes to wipe the walls and tub down.
The second part of your mission today is to wipe your kitchen appliances. This is another easy task for a microfiber cloth. This is for your smaller appliances and the front of your fridge and oven. Let your children do this one with you. Sing or play some fun music and dance your way around the kitchen. Shine and smile and enjoy blessing yourself with a pretty home.
Today’s Zone Mission is to shine your tub or shower and shine your kitchen appliances.
Your Home Blessing for today is to declutter paper and magazines.
My menu plan for Thursday is chipotle burgers and a salad.
Have a great day!

Happy Birthday to my Mom!

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

Dear Friends,
Today is a special day for me. If you will indulge me for a few minutes, I would like to wish my mother a Happy Birthday! My mother is an example of a mom who takes care of everyone around her. I am blessed to be her daughter, and my children are blessed to call her Grandmother.
My mother raised three children on her own. She took care of us and did without for us. She sewed our clothes. She cooked for us, cleaned the house, and did our laundry. As moms, we know you don’t get a lot of accolades for these things. It’s nice to be appreciated, and this is my chance to show my mom appreciation for all she has done for me and my children.
No matter what’s going on in her life, my mom is there for me. I know how blessed I am to be able to say that. Not everyone has this blessing, and I do not take it for granted.
Your anti-procrastination mission today is to call someone who is important in your life and tell them. We tend to get caught up with our lives and don’t stop to make phone calls like we should.
Tell me what part of your daily routine you have found works best for your Zone Missions and Home Blessings.
The best way to be consistent and success with these missions is to have a certain part of the day that is designated for this. The Morning Routine typically works the best, but it might work better for you to do these missions right after lunch.
Engage your children in your missions. Make it fun for all of you, and before you know it, your house will be less cluttered and more peaceful.
Your Zone Mission today is to clean around the toilet and declutter the Entryway.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe windows and mirrors.
My menu plan for Wednesday is lasagna with a salad.
Have a great day!

Plan and Play Day Helps You Reduce Your Stress

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

Dear Friends,
Happy Plan and Play Day! Tuesday is a day to look forward to as you anticipate a fun activity after doing some planning. Planning is overlooked and put off by many, and it is not a chain around your neck. Plans can be changed and altered as things shift in your life.
Planning Helps You Prepare
Any type of planning ahead helps you to be proactive and prepare. You have a framework to use to divide large things up until small steps. Menu planning helps you same time and money. Lesson planning helps you keep your homeschool on course. Planning for holidays and family events helps reduce your stress and anxiety.
Emergency Planning Helps You When the Unthinkable Happens
Are you prepared for a storm? As we are getting closer to fall, hurricane season is upon us. For those on the East Coast and Gulf Coast, tropical storms and hurricanes can bring in heavy winds and rains.
Sometimes these storms take out power supplies. Sometimes they cause even worse damage.
Have an emergency plan for your family. If you are in the path of a hurricane, listen to warnings regarding evacuation. Have your medications in one place. Set up a notebook with important papers and information you would need in case of an evacuation. If any of your family members has a chronic illness, have a plan in place for their care in the event of an emergency.
Other things you should consider having on hand during a power outage are water, batteries and flashlights, hand sanitizer, and canned food items and a manual can opener. If you have the ability to cook outside, check your supply of wood, charcoal, or propane gas.
In 1989, hurricane Hugo came far enough inland that my area of the foothills of NC were effected. We lost power and many roads were blocked from fallen trees. Many houses had damage from wind and rain. Close to a year ago, our area had a tornado touch down. Friends of ours lost their homes. Many people had damage to their property.
When something like this happens, it helps to have an emergency plan in place. Are you prepared?
Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.
Your Zone Mission for today is to shine the bathroom counter and sink. Sweep the front porch.
My menu plan for Tuesday is parmesan chicken and salad for me.
Have a blessed day!

Get a Jump On Your Week and Your Missions

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

Dear Friends,
Are you ready for a new week? This week we are going to declutter and detail clean the main bathroom and hit a few other areas in our home. Since we combined two zones last week, you can use the time in the extra area to finish up in Zone 1, if needed. The missions will reflect that below.
Here are you missions for the week:
Zone 3 Missions: The Main Bathroom and One Extra Room
Monday – Declutter health and beauty aids and have a Living Room Hot Spot Drill
Tuesday – Shine Bathroom Sink and Counters and sweep the front porch
Wednesday – Clean around the toilet and Declutter Hot Spots in the Entryway
Thursday – Shine the tub and shower and wipe kitchen appliances
Friday – Clear off flat surfaces in the bathroom and declutter Hot Spots in the Living Room
Set your timers and then take a break when it goes off!
If you have been working on your homeschool area, you can substitute some of these missions to spend time decluttering paper and putting homeschool materials away. I have enjoyed seeing pictures of some of your homeschool areas, and if you would like to send a picture that I can share, I know that it helps others to see how you organize your materials.
Here’s your recap of the Weekly Zone Missions.
On Monday, spend 15 minutes tossing expired health and beauty aids. Then spend a few minutes taking care of any Hot Spots that have crept up in the Living Room. This is a great one to double team. Have your children do the Living Room mission while you take care of the mission in the Main Bathroom.
On Tuesday, spend 5 minutes shining your bathroom sink and counters. Then, spend a few minutes sweeping the front porch. Toss anything on the porch that needs to go, and start thinking about fall decorations.
On Wednesday, detail clean around the toilet. If your children have a bathroom, this is a good opportunity for them to clean around their toilet as well. Then take care of decluttering Hot Spots in the Entryway.
On Thursday, spend 15 minutes shining your tub or shower. This is often done easily right after your shower. Then spend a few minutes using a FlyLady purple cloth to wipe your kitchen appliances.
On Friday, clear off the flat surfaces in the bathroom and enjoy how it looks. Finally, do a quick Hot Spot Fire Drill in the Living Room.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.
Your Zone Mission for Monday is to declutter health beauty aids that have expired or that you do not use. Then do a quick Hot Spot Fire Drill in the Living Room.
My menu plan for Monday is appetizer night for the boys. Anniversary celebration for me and my husband.
Have a blessed day!