How do your entryway and launch pad look?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Do you know what the Launch Pad is in your home? This is the area where your family puts their stuff for the next day. Hopefully, it is an organized area, but in many cases, it is a clutter magnet.
Usually the Launch Pad is also your Entryway, so it gets double the use and double the clutter. As your family members come into the Entryway, they drop whatever they have in their hands. This stuff sits there for days (or weeks or months).
Today’s Zone Mission is for you to declutter in the Entryway. Use your timer if you have a lot of clutter. I don’t want you to spend more than 15 minutes in this area today.
If your family members have left a lot of things in this area, use a box to collect the items. Then play a game where they put their things away. Use music and a timer to make it fun.
Take a look at the Entryway area and see if there is a better way to organize it for your family’s use. You can use hooks on the wall, and you can set up something to put book bags or lunch boxes. We are in a season of life where one son packs his lunch, so he needed a place for his lunch box.
Look at your coat collection near the door. Do you have coats there that do not fit anyone? Do you have the heavy winter coats still out? What can you get rid of in the Entryway?
Your Entryway is an important area in your home. Spend 15 minutes in this area today.
Your Zone Mission today is declutter in the Entryway.
Your Home Blessing for today is to toss paper and magazines.
My menu plan for Thursday is soup and sandwiches.
Have a blessed day!
 

Decluttering the Dining Room and Special Meals

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Today we move our zone mission to the Dining Room. If you have a Dining Room and don’t use it often, it likely has clutter in it. It is a popular stash and dash place for things that need a place to be put.
Dining Rooms are wonderful and look great when you keep them clutter free and use them, even if it is only occasional use. My family enjoys it when I fix a special meal and use the good china. If you have not done that in a while, now is a good time to schedule one.
My house does not have a specific Dining Room, but I can set up my kitchen table with nice tablecloth and my good china. I can use candles and cloth napkins. It does not have to take a lot of extra effort, but it is nice to do this for your family once in a while, when it is not a holiday.
In order to do this, you might need to declutter and detail clean first. That would be step 1. Then, sit down with your family and plan a menu. Include your family in all stages of planning, shopping, and preparation. You do not have to cook the entire thing youself.
If the flowers are not blooing outside, consider buying a bouquet of flowers for your meal. Make this a special event for your family. If you don’t have a large family, that’s okay, too. Special meals can be for any size family from one person to many people.
So take that first step today and start decluttering and detail cleaning for 15 minutes.
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter in the Dining Room.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe windows and mirrors.
My menu plan for Wednesday is pasta.
Have a blessed day!
 

Spring Break

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Are any of you on Spring Break this week? Our friends go to private school, and they are on Spring Break. I decided we would be on Spring Break, too. The boys are enjoying a few days off from school and playing with their friends.
It’s nice for the teacher to have a break, too. Last week, we worked on my son’s bedroom by painting it. Over the weekend, they put down new flooring. So this week, I can spend a few minutes each day doing something to finish it up. By taking the week off from homeschooling, I can easily fit in a few minutes to do something in his room.
It is so freeing to break up a big project into small steps. I am not under a lot of pressure to finish this project up quickly. I can take time to think about what I want to do next. It is a different way of thinking compared to how I used to attack a big project.
You can do the same thing in your home. I help you each day by breaking down your zone mission for the day and your home blessing for the day. If you do those two things, you will start to see how easy it is to care for your home.
Your zone mission today is to sweep your front porch. If you did this yesterday, go ahead and start decluttering in your entryway. Remember, there is no wrong way to do the FlyLady system except to do nothing at all. If you have two minutes, you can do something.
Since it’s Plan and Play Day, take a few minutes to do some of your planning (menu, budget, etc.), and then do something you enjoy. Sit down and relax. Relaxing is an important part of your daily routine.
Your Zone Mission today is to sweep the front porch.
Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.
My menu plan for Tuesday is chicken and vegetables.
Have a great day!
 

Enjoying April Flowers and Your April Routines

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Happy April 1st, to you all! We are starting a new month, and we will be working on a new habit of the month.
Each morning, the first thing I do is to make my side of the bed. I do this as soon as my feet hit the floor. I turn around and immediately pull my blankets and spread up and fluff my pillow. When my husband gets up each morning, he does the same thing.
Each time I walk back into my room, I am greeted with a bed that is made up. Even if my day is not going according to plan, my bed is made, and I feel great.
If you are not making your bed daily, I want you to start today. If your children are not making their beds daily, now is a great time to instill the habit in their lives, too. Use positive words and praise them when they make their beds. Remember that it does not have to be perfect.
Here are you missions for the week:
Zone 1 Missions: The Front Porch, Entryway, and Dining Room
Monday – declutter items from your Front Porch that do not belong there.
Tuesday – sweep the Front Porch.
Wednesday – declutter in the Dining Room. Put things away or give them away if you are not using them.
Thursday – declutter in your Entryway. Enlist your family in putting away their things that are in the Entryway.
Friday – detail dust your Dining Room. Move things around and dust your furniture. If you have a lot of things sitting out in the Dining Room, consider putting some of your stuff away.
Set your timers for 15 minutes and then take a break when it goes off!
Weekly Menu Plan
Monday – Chopped Chicken Salad
Tuesday – Chicken and vegetables
Wednesday – Pasta and salad
Thursday – Soup and sandwiches
Friday – Take out
Enjoy your week! Keep your routines simple.
The weather is getting warmer here, and we are enjoying more time outside. For those of you who homeschool, consider how you can get more activity and fresh air incorporated into your day.
One thing that worked well when my children were young was to alternate sitting at the table doing book work with outdoor play. I used a timer, and I followed through on calling them back inside to do some more of their school work.
If you have children who struggle with sitting still for longer periods of time, try this strategy with your children. If you tell them your expectations and use a timer, this is a great way to add in physical activity to your school day.
For those of you reading this who do not have children at home, you can use this method to get in more physical activity for yourself. We all need movement, and it is easy to get caught up in our daily tasks and not get outside to walk around and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. Go enjoy the April flowers!
If you have not completed your tax return, you need to move along on your preparations and get it filed before April 15.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.
Your Zone Mission for Monday is to declutter items from the Front Porch.
My menu plan for Monday is chicken salad.
Have a blessed day!
 

Finishing Up March on a Strong Note

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Happy Friday! We are finishing up in Zone 5 today, and we are finishing up the month of March. We start a new month on Monday, so I wanted to check in with you to see how you did with the Habit of the Month for March.
The habit was getting dressed down the shoes first thing in the morning. I want to hear your successes. How did it make you feel to start off your day by getting dressed and not staying in your pajamas.
If you did not do this every day, I want you to make this your mission for April. Your day will go much better if you start off the day by getting dressed down to the shoes.
Your zone mission today is to detail dust the Living Room. This is when you do move items from your flat surfaces and dust. If you have been doing your light dusting during your Weekly Home Blessings, this should not be too difficult.
Finish any decluttering in the Living Room. In April, you will only have a few days to declutter and detail clean in the Living Room, so really use a discerning eye on the items that are in there.
Yesterday, I talked to you about picking the date for the last day of school. Today, I want you to look carefully at your lesson plans. Have an idea of how much your children need to accomplish each week. Then spend time on Saturday or Sunday evening doing some lesson plans.
Today’s Zone Mission is to declutter in the Living Room and detail dust.
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!
 

Setting date for the end of your school year.

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Take a look at your lesson plans and school days. Set the end of your school year, if you have not already done so. We will end our school year at the end of May.
It is important for you and your children to have an end in sight, even if you homeschool year round, you need breaks. Please resist the temptation to keep pushing through your homeschool books without breaks.
Over the years, I have seen my children grasp concepts they struggled with when I gave them breaks from school. Children are able to process a lot of information through play and being creative. A break can be beneficial to a child who has struggled with learning a new concept.
As a teacher, I also need a break. It helps me to get rid of materials we have finished and start thinking about the new school year. I generally start wrapping things up with the boys during the month of April. We do testing in April, and we see how much we have left to cover in each subject.
If you look at the end of your child’s math book, you will see that the last several lessons are teaching concepts they will not be covering for a year or more. It is more of an introduction to higher level math. You do not have to complete every single lesson in a textbook. Most of us did not finish all of a textbook, and you are not obligated to do every lesson with your child.
The end of year testing is used for me to see where they are, and it helps me determine if we need any remediation on a subject before the end of the year. I test because state law mandates that I test them, but I do use the results.
Tell me when you are ending your homeschool year.
Your Zone Mission today is detail clean around the baseboards and under the furniture in the living room.
Your Home Blessing for today is to toss paper and magazines.
My menu plan for Thursday is soup and sandwiches.
Have a blessed day!
 

Daily Pick Ups Help Maintain Your House

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Happy anti-procrastination day! Your Zone Mission in the Living Room today is a Hot Spot Fire Drill. Go through the Living Room and/or Family Room and find things that either need to be thrown away, given away, or put away.
After you do this, I want you to be a detective and determine who is the one who leaves things behind in the room. Once you identify this person, you can use gentle reminders for them to pick up behind themselves.
One of the best strategies in maintaining your home is to have the habit of picking up behind yourself. If you have small children at home, you might need to have pick up time a few times per day. The most natural places in your routine for pick up time is just before lunch time or nap time and then again before bed each night.
If you have bigger children or young adults, they need to have a routine in place for putting their things away daily as well. The entryway is clutter prone because each person who comes home has the tendency to drop whatever is in their hands when they walk into the house.
Some of you may struggle with having places for everything, so you need to be consistent in getting rid of the things you are not using. Last week, I donated three bags of clothes after we spent 15 minutes each pulling stuff out of our closets.
What have you been putting off that you need to start?
Your Zone Mission today is to do a Hot Spot Fire Drill in the Living Room or Family Room.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe windows and mirrors.
My menu plan for Wednesday is pasta.
Have a blessed day!
 

Treasure Hunts and Decluttering Fun

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
It’s Plan and Play Day! I share my menu plan with you daily. Today, I want to hear from you. What’s on your menu plan for the week? If you don’t have a plan, you can spend 15 minutes and do one.
Your zone mission today is a fun mission. You are going on a treasure hunt today! You are going sofa and chair diving. Pull the cushions from your furniture and see what you find! It’s always fun for my boys to do this because I let them keep any money they find down in the sofa or chair.
Tell me what you find when you do this mission. We have found all kinds of things down in our cushions. With six children, there were many times we found socks, remotes, toys, loose change, and once they even found a small shoe. When I had babies at home, we would find pacifiers and juice cups. We have found homeschool books, pens, and pencils.
My bigger boys have lost keys and pocket knives from their pockets, too, but these are usually retrieved as soon as they realize it is missing.
Once you have the big stuff cleaned out, use your vacuum cleaner and get the crumbs and dust out of the bottom of the chairs and sofa. This is a great team activity.
For the Play part of Plan and Play Day, I want you to do something fun that you have not done in a while. You need relaxation and fun for your physical and mental health. This is a great way of rewarding yourself for doing the Planning part of the day.
As I read more about maintaining good health and balance, I keep finding various experts who agree with the FlyLady’s system and way of using rewards and fun daily. If you are always putting the fun stuff off, today is the day to embrace fun and enjoy yourself.
Your Zone Mission today is to go sofa and chair diving.
Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.
My menu plan for Tuesday is basalmic chicken.
Have a great day!
 

Decluttering in Small Steps = Success

living-room-1048191_1280
Dear Friends,
Happy Monday to you all today! I pray you had a wonderful weekend. I enjoyed the beautiful weather and spending time with family and friends. One of the boys wants to change bedrooms, so we will be doing that over the next few weeks.
When you have a home project, it is so much easier on you if you can stage it out over several days or weeks. Since he wants the room painted, and it needs new flooring, we started with packing up loose items and moving the furniture away from the walls.
When you are doing a project in a well-used room such as the kitchen, you might have to be creative in how you work on the project. I have gone through burst water pipes that caused issues in five rooms of our home at one time.
Here are you missions for the week:
Zone 5 Missions: The Living Room
Monday – declutter in the Living Room for 15 minutes. Find things that you are not using and toss it or give it away.
Tuesday – go sofa and chair diving and see what treasures you find.
Wednesday – have a Hot Spot Fire Drill in the Living Room. Pay close attention to your family members after you do this. You can work on reminding your family to put things away when they are finished with them.
Thursday – declutter items that have slid under the furniture today. Clean around the baseboard and vacuum under the furniture.
Friday – finish off the week with one more quick decluttering session in the Living Room and do your detail dusting.
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 – Corn dogs and tots
Friday – Take out
Enjoy your week! Keep your routines simple.
If you have a Family Room in addition to your Living Room, you can divide your time each day between the rooms for 7 minutes each, or you can alternate each day what room you detail clean.
As you go about your week, remember to check your smoke detectors, air filters, and any other maintenance things that should be done monthly.
If you have not cleaned out your dryer vent in a few months, this week would be a good week to do that, too.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.
Your Zone Mission for Monday is to declutter in the Living Room.
My menu plan for Monday is apple and chicken salad.
Have a blessed day!
Siggie - Tami Fox

Family Fun Day is an Important Part of Your Routines

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

 
Dear Friends,
Happy Friday! What do you have planned for fun this weekend? I don’t want you skipping this important part of your week. You need to relax and have fun with your family. If you have been slacking off lately and been project minded, I want you to plan something.
Some of you don’t like to plan your fun activities, but it helps you actually take time out of your schedule to have fun when you have something you have been looking forward to. Look around your area and see what’s happening!
Spring brings out lots of fun outdoor activities, and there might be some things going on in your town that you did not know about. You can also just plan a trip to a local park or place to hike.
We need down time and play time in our lives, and so do our children. They need to see you make a priority of family fun because they have seen you work hard around the house. You are setting the example with including family fun as a part of your week.
You can have a game night or a movie night at home if you don’t have great weather yet. I know that my Northern Friends are a little behind the season change. I start getting excited when the flowers and trees start blooming, so I want all of you to get excited with me!
How did your zone missions go this week? Was this the first week for any of you to do them? There is no shame here. I want to cheer you on when you develop your routines.
Today’s Zone Mission is to declutter the top of your dresser.
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!