Decluttering versus Renovations – Getting Organized

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Do you watch home improvement shows on television? I enjoy watching them, and I am struck with how clean and fresh to homes look after a big renovation. Sometimes, they show how the owners live before a renovation. Usually, they have a lot of clutter and too much stuff everywhere. If you are wanting to make your house look different and do a home renovation, I suggest decluttering and working on your routines first. If you do a renovation and love how everything looks, you also have to be able to maintain it. If you don’t, you will be back to living a cluttered life.

People are surprised that I continually declutter. I also move things around often. I switch out seasonal decorations. I change my silk flowers. Just a little decluttering and switching furniture and decorations can make you feel like you did a renovation. It can change the look of everything.

Another area to reign in clutter in your home is your homeschool materials. Most homeschoolers like to collect things — books, paper, supplies, accessories, etc. Only allow yourself to keep the amount of materials that you can easily store. If you have piles of papers and crates and stacks of books everywhere, you need to thin down what you have. Consider how many bookshelves you have in your home. They are dust collectors. I have slowly decluttered books and reduced the number of bookshelves in my home. I am continually thinning out my book collection. I rotate through history and science topics every 4 years, but I am coming close to finishing the rotation as my youngest child is growing up fast!

Start a box to put things you are not using and donate regularly. You can give your home a fresh, clean look by decluttering a little bit daily.

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Zone Mission – Clean out the fridge.

Weekly Home Blessing Task: Declutter Paper/Magazines

 
Menu Plan for Thursday: Baked Chicken and Salad

Routines:

Home:
  • 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.

School:

  • Do a fun Christmas craft
 Afternoon Routine:
  • Eat Lunch
  • Clear off One Hot Spot
  • Reboot the Laundry
  • Declutter for 15 Minutes (Be sure to have your children declutter, too.)
  • Drink Your Water
  • 15 minutes of loving movement

Before Bed: (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

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Choosing Joy – Getting Organized

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

During this time of the year, you hear a lot about the word, “Joy.” Joy is something that I strive to have every day. There are days when I do not feel joyful, and it is a conscious decision to have joy. On the hard days, I look for the blessings that I have. This helps me reverse how I feel on the hard days. I know you can relate to the days when something breaks or multiple things break. It is hard to choose joy. When our bathroom pipe burst a few years ago, it was hard to see the joy at first. We had the floor in 5 rooms damaged. The clean up and replacement process were difficult. But we ended up with enough money from our home owner’s insurance to replace all of the flooring and replaced damaged drywall and repaint. We ended up with a home improvement project that turned out really nice. At first, it was hard to find the blessings, but I realized that we were ok. The house could be fixed back and look even better than it did.

When I am having a hard day, I think back to the basics and what I am thankful for. This always changes my perspective and helps me choose joy.

The Zone Mission today should be quick and easy if you have been working on your pantry. Do some basic organization and write down ingredients on your shopping list that you need to pick up for your Holiday baking.

Have a great day!

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Zone Mission – Check your pantry for ingredients you need for Holiday baking

Weekly Home Blessing Task: Wipe Windows and Mirrors

 
Menu Plan for Wednesday: Spaghetti and salad

Routines:

Home:
  • 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.

School:

  • Do a fun hands on science experiment today.
 Afternoon Routine:
  • Eat Lunch
  • Clear off One Hot Spot
  • Reboot the Laundry
  • Declutter for 15 Minutes (Be sure to have your children declutter, too.)
  • Drink Your Water
  • 15 minutes of loving movement

Before Bed: (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

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Desk Day – Getting Organized

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool
         
As a homeschool mom, we have a lot of paperwork to contend with on a daily basis. For the FlyLady, Tuesday is Plan and Play day. This is the day to plan school lessons, pay bills, make a grocery list, grade papers, check the calendar on the wall with the digital calendar, etc. I actually spend a little bit of time each day doing paperwork or desk day duties. That way it is spread out over the course of the week.

This is how my week looks for Desk Time:

Monday – Check the calendar and pay bills

Tuesday – File paperwork and note school days on my school calendar

Wednesday – Grade papers (usually math tests and review papers they have written)

Thursday – Clean out fridge and write down items needed from the grocery store

Friday – Menu plan and grocery shop, lesson planning for the next week

You can break it up anyway you want to do it, but I do find it easier to break it down rather than to sit for 2 hours doing this at one time.

Your Zone Mission today is to put away any kitchen appliances that are taking up valuable counter space and used rarely. I only keep out appliances that I use daily. This helps keep the counters from being full and cluttered. It also allows more room for food preparations. I will say that it is a daily battle to take care of the clutter that finds its way to my kitchen counters. I have to do a daily hot spot drill to take care of the things that appear there.

 

Zone Mission: Put away the kitchen appliances that you do not use daily

Weekly Home Blessings of the Day: Quick Dust and Vacuum

Menu Plan for Tuesday: Taco Tuesday, beans, and salad

 

If you need more help with organizing your home and homeschool, you can download  The FlyLady’s Homeschool Teacher and Homeschool Student Control Journals for free.

Set your timer for 15 minutes for the Home Assignment and 15 minutes for the School Assignment
 
Home:
  • 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.
  • Clean out your refrigerator. Toss the science experiments.
  • Spend 15 minutes loving movement.

School: Work on your Christmas cards and ask the children to sign them

 Afternoon Routine: 
  • Eat Lunch
  • Clear off One Hot Spot
  • Reboot the Laundry
  • Declutter for 15 Minutes (Be sure to have your children declutter, too.)
  • Drink Your Water
  • Write up a menu plan for the next 7 days. Check your pantry and freezer and make a grocery list. This habit will save you time and money. Try out some new recipes with the slow cooker. It will save you time once you start back to your school schedule.
Family Fun: Take your children for a walk.
Before Bed: (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 the Launch Pad that you will need first thing in the morning
  • Shine Your Sink
  • Clean Off a Hot Spot
  • Go to Bed at Decent Hour

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Christmas Memories – Getting Organized

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

  
 


Making memories with my children is important to me. For most of our Christmas celebrations, my children have decorated gingerbread houses. This year only my youngest wanted to make one, and it warmed my heart to watch him make his gingerbread house without any assistance. His technique has improved since last year, and last year I was helping him. He is growing up fast, and I am happy he wanted to continue this tradition. Enjoy these moments in your children’s lives.

We are moving to the kitchen this week for our zone missions. Let’s get our kitchens ready for the Holidays and our Holiday baking and memory making. Each of these missions is designed to take 15 minutes or less. Please resist the temptation to dump things out and sort. Pace yourself.

Zone Missions: The Kitchen
Monday – Declutter & wipe down the kitchen counters

Tuesday – Put away any appliances you are not using daily

Wednesday –  Check your pantry for baking needs

Thursday – Clean out the fridge

Friday – Wipe down the stove top and microwave

Menu Plan for Monday – Hamburgers and Tater Tots

Weekly Home Blessing – Wash the Sheets

Daily Routines:

Home:
  • 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.
  • Daily Movement for 15 Minutes

School: Do some thank you notes for handwriting practice and make a Christmas craft


Afternoon Routine:
  • Eat Lunch
  • Clear off One Hot Spot
  • Reboot the Laundry
  • Declutter for 15 Minutes (Be sure to have your children declutter, too.)
  • Drink Your Water
Family Fun: Take a nature walk today.
Before Bed: (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 the Launch Pad that you will need first thing in the morning
  • Shine Your Sink
  • Clean Off a Hot Spot
  • Go to Bed at Decent Hour

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Running Gear

Running Gear

tami-turkey-5k-pic

 

Many people think running is an inexpensive sport. It can be. I have found it can also be expensive depending on the gear you purchase. For me, some gear is definitely worth paying for quality. There are other pieces of running gear that I look at as disposable.

 

Shoes and socks

 

Running shoes are the most important piece of equipment for me. My suggestion is to go to a running store and have a proper shoe fitting with a shoe professional. They will measure your foot. They will watch you walk barefoot and in shoes. They will ask you to run in the shoes. You should also talk about the types of surfaces that you run on regularly. You want shoes with the right type of tread for the surface. Shoe manufacturers use a lot of technology in the creation of running shoes. I wear a neutral running shoe. I did not know this before I had a consultation at the shoe store that specializes in running shoes. I wear two different types of shoes. I have a pair for pavement running, and I have a different pair with deeper treads for trails. For a good pair of running shoes expect to pay more than $100. The right shoes for you will pay off with less pain for your body.

 

While you are at the running store, take a look at socks. You want a pair with cushioning and wicking properties. Socks that are mainly cotton or wool will wick sweat away from your feet. Socks made from synthetic fibers will hold sweat in more. You want a sock that fits well. If you run very much in a loose sock, you will develop blisters. You will also want to consider the seasons when you buy running socks. In the summer, you will likely want a light-weight sock. In the winter, you may want a warm, wool sock. When running longer distances outside in the winter, you need to wear socks that will keep your feet from freezing. In the winter, I have been running in temperatures below zero. Wearing proper socks was a necessity.

 

Running clothes

 

Choosing running clothes can be an expensive proposition, or it can be inexpensive. I tend to be budget conscious about my running clothes purchases. There are so many choices for tech running clothes–from shirts to jackets to shorts or pants. Most running clothes will have an insignia or emblem that will reflect light at night. I don’t think I have purchased a piece of running attire that did not have some sort of reflective item on it. Of course, highly reflective clothing is recommended if you typically run at sunrise or after sunset. I look for clothes with few seams to help prevent chafing or rubbing. I look for tech products that wick the sweat away. Seasonal running plays a big part in my selection of running clothes. In the summer, I like lighter t-shirts and shorts that won’t ride up. In the winter, I look for items that can be layered. You have to consider that you will warm up while running in the winter, and it is easier if you can just take off layers as you warm up. There were some winter mornings where I started out with two shirts and a jacket. As I warmed up, I pulled off the jacket and one shirt. For winter races, I wear inexpensive jackets or over-shirts that can be tossed when I get warm. This is very common in full and half marathons in the winter. The volunteers plan for this, and they usually collect these items and donate them to a homeless shelter after they wash them.

 

If you have lower leg pain, you should consider compression socks or compression sleeves. They aid in recovery from running, especially with calf or shin pain. Compression products can be worn while running or afterwards. It is a personal preference. I prefer to wear compression socks when I am running a longer distance. I take them off soon after I finish the run. I have friends who are the opposite. You will have to experiment to see what works for you.

 

Picking out running gear is a lot of fun!

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Festive Friday – Getting Organized

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Do you have Christmas dishes? I have a set, and I use the during the month of December. It is a nice change of pace from our regular place settings, and it makes the kitchen look festive to have my Christmas table cloth and dishes out each day.

Another festive thing to do is to put up a Christmas wreath and put out Holiday candles. I use battery-operated lights in my front windows, and I use LED candles in other places in my house. This gives a festive look to the house, and it is very welcoming. I love seeing lights in the windows of houses as I drive down the road.

Many of the Holiday traditions I have done over the years are a part of tying heart strings with my children. I want them to want to come back home for the Holidays when they are grown up and married. I want them to have special memories of this time of the year. I don’t want them to have memories of a stressed out mom who was frantically trying to check things off a list.

Make time each day to play and talk to your children. Tie the heart strings now while they are little. It matters. I see fruits from it now with my young adult children.

Have a great week-end!

If you have any questions or tips, please email me. I enjoy hearing from my readers.
Zone Mission: Put out your Christmas wreath and put out some candles or lights

Weekly Home Blessing: Take out the trash, Sweep, and Mop

 
Menu Mission: Rotisserie chicken and salad

 

Routines:

 

Home:
  • 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.

School:

  • Round up this week’s paper. File what needs to be file. Purge what needs to go away. Check your lesson plans for next week.
 Afternoon Routine:
  • Eat Lunch
  • Clear off One Hot Spot
  • Reboot the Laundry
  • Declutter for 15 Minutes (Be sure to have your children declutter, too.)
  • Drink Your Water
  • Loving movement for 15 Minutes

Before Bed: (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

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Happy December

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Welcome to a new month! I am thankful for December. It is my favorite month of the year. I enjoy the Holidays, and I enjoy celebrating the reason for Christmas with the birth of Jesus. I take a detour from the regular school lessons, except for math and reading. I have specifically structured my school year to allow for this change in my regular plans.Especially if you have little ones, consider doing some different activities in your day. It will give you a boost after the last couple of months of homeschooling.

We enjoy doing Christmas crafts and making presents. We enjoy Christmas music and decorating the house. We enjoy doing things for others. There are just so many things to enjoy about this month.

Have you started your shopping and decorating? Never fear, if you haven’t! The FlyLady has Super Holiday Cruising Missions to help you get ready.

The other fun thing in December with The FlyLady is that the Habit of the Month is to Pamper Yourself. As homeschool moms, we are not great at doing this. We will practice this all month long. We have to take care of our health, so we can take care of our families. Resting, relaxing, and doing something we enjoy is good for our bodies. If we are running around on adrenaline all the time, it harms out body. By taking a few minutes daily to relax, we reduce the stress we put on our bodies. Exercise, eating healthy, and drinking water are also a big part of taking care of our health. All of four of these are monthly habits with The FlyLady because we can be neglectful of them.

Using the basic routines listed below will also help you reduce your stress. The Before Bed Routine helps you get ready for the next day, so your mornings are peaceful. The Morning Routine helps you with your day, and you will be more productive if you get dressed to the shoes first thing in the morning. The Afternoon Routine helps you get the laundry moving along and dinner in process, so you can serve a healthy meal in the evenings.It all works together in small steps.

Happy December! I hope it is the best one yet for all of you!

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Zone Mission – Declutter and sweep the Front Porch

Weekly Home Blessing Task: Declutter Paper/Magazines

 
Menu Plan for Thursday: Chicken and Salad

Routines:

Home:
  • 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.

School:

  • Do a fun Christmas craft
 Afternoon Routine:
  • Eat Lunch
  • Clear off One Hot Spot
  • Reboot the Laundry
  • Declutter for 15 Minutes (Be sure to have your children declutter, too.)
  • Drink Your Water
  • 15 minutes of loving movement

Before Bed: (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

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Finish Christmas Decorating and Wrapping

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

If you didn’t finish decorating yesterday, let’s finish it today. If you haven’t started wrapping your presents yet, start that today. If you wrap a little at a time, it is not so tiring. Staging it out can help you in many ways. Be sure you update your gifts purchased list, if you find gifts to wrap that you did not write down. Put the receipts in an envelope and label it Christmas 2016. Hang on to these until you are sure nothing will need to be returned after Christmas.

Do you have any favorite Christmas traditions with your family? If not, think of some fun ideas, such as caroling, driving around to look at Christmas lights, making cookies, reading the parts of the Christmas story from the Bible, watching Christmas movies, or having a Christmas card signing party.

We are working on our Christmas plans a little at a time, so we have time to do these fun things and make memories with our families.

Have a great day!

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Zone Mission – Finish decorating for Christmas

Weekly Home Blessing Task: Wipe Windows and Mirrors

 
Menu Plan for Wednesday: Spaghetti and salad

Routines:

Home:
  • 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.

School:

  • Do a fun hands on science experiment today.
 Afternoon Routine:
  • Eat Lunch
  • Clear off One Hot Spot
  • Reboot the Laundry
  • Declutter for 15 Minutes (Be sure to have your children declutter, too.)
  • Drink Your Water
  • 15 minutes of loving movement

Before Bed: (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

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Decking the Halls – Getting Organized

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool
        
The Christmas Holiday is approaching, and we have been working in steady steps to get ready. Today, let’s put away the fall decor and start putting out our Christmas decorations. My children love to help me decorate for the Holidays, so we can get a lot done in 15 minutes. I have learned to set my perfectionism aside and let them be creative. During the years when they were all shorter than me, I would decorate the top of the tree. Now all of them except for one is taller than I am, so I am relegated to the bottom of the tree when I put ornaments on the tree. We put out some candles and other decorations. We live out in a rural area, so we do not decorate our porch or our yard. We can decorate in a day. Some years, I pull out my Christmas china, and we use it nightly. I usually wait until the first week of December to do that. If you have a lot of small children or are pregnant, keep it simple on decorations and shopping. Two of my children were born in January, and the Christmas before their births, I kept things very simple. It was still memorable.

 

Zone Mission: Declutter in the Living Room and Decorate for Christmas

Weekly Home Blessings of the Day: Quick Dust and Vacuum

Menu Plan for Tuesday: Taco Tuesday, beans, and salad

 

If you need more help with organizing your home and homeschool, you can download  The FlyLady’s Homeschool Teacher and Homeschool Student Control Journals for free.

Set your timer for 15 minutes for the Home Assignment and 15 minutes for the School Assignment
 
Home:
  • 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.
  • Clean out your refrigerator. Toss the science experiments.
  • Spend 15 minutes loving movement.

School: If you still have little ones, use some red or green paint and make handprints on paper. It is fun to go back and look at these later.

 Afternoon Routine: 
  • Eat Lunch
  • Clear off One Hot Spot
  • Reboot the Laundry
  • Declutter for 15 Minutes (Be sure to have your children declutter, too.)
  • Drink Your Water
  • Write up a menu plan for the next 7 days. Check your pantry and freezer and make a grocery list. This habit will save you time and money. Try out some new recipes with the slow cooker. It will save you time once you start back to your school schedule.
Family Fun: Take your children for a walk.
Before Bed: (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 the Launch Pad that you will need first thing in the morning
  • Shine Your Sink
  • Clean Off a Hot Spot
  • Go to Bed at Decent Hour

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Making Christmas Crafts – Getting Organized

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

         

Do you make Christmas crafts with your children? Every year, I try to do some crafts with my children during December. It’s a nice change of pace from checking off boxes and doing workbooks. Being creative stimulates different parts of the brain. It helps them grow and learn. Yes, it can be messy. But we are learning to clean our messes as we go. As warm as it has been in the South this year, we can even do some messy crafts outside. Remember that children and their clothes are washable. Break out the paints and markers. Sit with them and do the projects, too. Let go of perfectionism and ENJOY this time with your children.

Here is my favorite Christmas craft to do: Cornstarch Ornaments.

Our Zone of the Week is divided up since December starts later in the week. We will start the week in the Living Room, and then we will move to the Front Porch, Entryway, and Dining Room. Get your lace up shoes on every morning. It is going to be a great week!

Zone Missions: The Living Room, Front Porch, Entryway, and Dining Room
Monday – Declutter & Detail Dust the Living Room

Tuesday – Put Away your Fall Decor and get out the Christmas Decorations

Wednesday –  Work on your Christmas Decor

Thursday – Detail clean the Front Porch and Decorate

Friday – Put out your Christmas Wreath and Lights

Menu Plan for Monday – Hamburgers and Perogies

Weekly Home Blessing – Wash the Sheets

Daily Routines:

Home:
  • 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.
  • Daily Movement for 15 Minutes

School: Do some thank you notes for handwriting practice and make a Christmas craft


Afternoon Routine:
  • Eat Lunch
  • Clear off One Hot Spot
  • Reboot the Laundry
  • Declutter for 15 Minutes (Be sure to have your children declutter, too.)
  • Drink Your Water
Family Fun: Take a nature walk today.
Before Bed: (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 the Launch Pad that you will need first thing in the morning
  • Shine Your Sink
  • Clean Off a Hot Spot
  • Go to Bed at Decent Hour

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