Tag Archives: organizing

Free printables!

While perusing this week’s Subscriber Exclusive from Homeschool Freebie of the Day, I followed a link that led to a link that led to free printables from Life Your Way.

They have more than 150 free printables available for download here, including a room organizer chart (I don’t know about you, but with the change of seasons we’re moving our furniture around into new configurations) and a Home Management Notebook.

So if you feel the need to scratch that “get organized” itch, check out Life Your Way, and if you haven’t heard of Homeschool Freebie of the Day, take a look at that site, too, where every day there’s a new free download of PDF e-books or mp3 files or links to free resources.

Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom, revisited

In case you thought I meant myself, well…

That’s so not me. But I’m working hard at it. Have been spending three hours a day, once our schedule emptied out for the summer, going through the piles. Dejunk, recycle, donate, you name it.

Letting go

One of the things I’ve had to let go is my perfectionism (Down, I tell you! Down!) It would be really nice, say, to have a garage sale of all the stuff we’re getting rid of. However, I realized that such a thing would be a downer, a drag, in other words, putting on the brakes. It would add a level of organization to a job that is, frankly, almost overwhelming. You stuff your house full of two decades worth of accumulation, with only two real dejunking sessions over that span of time, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Sono Harris, with her annual (or was it every six months?) purge, had a better idea.

If it must be done, ’twere better done quickly

No, I have to get the stuff out of the house quickly, while my resolve is firm. Having it pile up in the garage, waiting for a yard sale, is too much of an energy drain.

Recycle — for budget-friendly dejunking

It’s as much as I can stand to recycle, and the main reason I do that is that recycling gets hauled away “for free” while additional trash bags (if they don’t fit in the trash can) generate a fee of about $10 each. A dumpster is several hundred dollars. It’s amazing how much you can cut down the trash going out for collection if you separate out the paper and plastic. Oh, and it fits with today’s environmental focus, too.

I’m really good at sorting. It’s the “getting rid of” or “letting go” that has stymied me to this point. Recycling is sorting, so it’s not that hard. Storing up treasure for a garage sale is a sort of extended “letting go” that I know I can’t manage at this point. Maybe once I’m organized I can do a regular purge-and-garage-sale, but I know I’d just be throwing an obstacle in my way if I tried to do it during this huge take-back-the-house campaign.

Got to keep the momentum going.

(If you, on the other hand, want to profit from your purging, go for it. I hear that it’s a good idea to price as you go — then you don’t have to go through that pile of stuff in the garage yet another time and make more decisions. Either that, or hold a sale on a donation basis. Let people offer what they think an item is worth.)

I’m not going to offer before-and-after pictures on the blog. While I’ve found these motivating, on other blogs, I don’t really want to show the world all my clutter. You’ll just have to take my word for it. There’s a lot of it around, sitting in piles. Some of the piles are neat. Some piles are hiding in boxes, masquerading as organized clutter. (There’s an oxymoron for you.)

And for another thing, I can’t find the charger for my camera battery. I’m hoping it will emerge sooner than later, as the clutter gets moved out of here.

Confessions of an Organized Mom" blog

Not mine. From "Confessions of an Organized Mom" blog. Mine may look this bad. Or worse. Or maybe not as bad. But it's getting better. (Monty Python, anyone?)

In other news, the Organized Homeschool Mom blog has moved, so I thought I’d post the updated link for your convenience. Good stuff there.

Happy organizing! Is that an oxymoron, too? Well, no, I don’t think so. Though I used to have anxiety attacks when I’d try to get rid of stuff, this time, it’s getting easier to let go with each load that leaves the house. We can talk more about that later, I hope.

Homemaking schedule help

Here’s a handy homemaking calendar to help you with your resolution to keep up with the house in this new year. (Yeah, I make that resolution every year. Or would, if I made New Year’s resolutions. I don’t need to make resolutions anymore, I just consider the areas I need to improve as things in need of my attention and effort, any day of the year.)

Suggested Chore Schedule

The JustMommies Home Organization Plan offers suggestions for establishing daily tasks, plus weekly and monthly tasks that are updated daily. It’s a way to spread out the things you need to do to keep your house running smoothly, so that it’s not overwhelming.

Decluttering lists

The website offers a new focus area for decluttering every month. For example, on the list for January, with a focus on the Master Bedroom:

Clean out dressers and closets. Get rid of outgrown and unused clothing.
Clean baseboards.
Wash window treatments.
Clean windows.
Flip mattresses.
Clean doors including door knobs, molding, and trim.
Spot clean walls of any marks, scuffs, or handprints.
Sweep ceilings for any dust or cobwebs.
Clean air vents.

I look at that list and think, “It’s doable!” (How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.) Keep on keeping on, and by the end of the year you’ll have gone through your entire house, all the while keeping up with daily, weekly, and monthly chores.

Of course, I’ve had to add some things to the list. This cleaning and decluttering list doesn’t deal with the stacks of books and papers cluttering up our Master Bedroom, for example. (Do you have that problem? I am a paper packrat. *sigh*) And it really ought to include cleaning out under the bed. We have a couple of containers of out-of-season clothes under the bed that are supposed to be there, but where did all that other stuff come from? (Shoes, books, more paper… Got to sweep it all out and then I can deal with the dust bunnies.)

Can’t flip the mattress — there are springs sticking out on the side that’s facing down. Sharp springs. One of these years we’ll get a new mattress set…

The site has links to monthly calendars you can print out. The calendars include the daily, weekly, and monthly tasks (sounds overwhelming, busy, and cluttered, but really it’s designed not to be). This gives you an at-a-glance page to suggested chores for each day of the month.

Catch up days and free days are built into the calendar, but if you take a specific day of rest each week you’ll need to tweak the calendar a bit.

You can also assign specific chores — just write someone’s name on the calendar next to their daily or weekly chore and post where everyone can see it. (And remember, you might need to do some chore training, and you’ll definitely need to follow-up. You know the rule: You get what you expect when you inspect.)

If you were born without a homemaking gene (or didn’t learn along the way, before being put in charge of a home of your own), following this type of calendar could give you a jumpstart to more organized living. If you have more than a smidgen of organization in your bones, you can use the JustMommies calendar as inspiration for making your own calendar and tailoring it to your family’s schedule.

Either way, it’s a good tool for digging out from under a messy, cluttered house.

Tackling the house… (again)

Ran across a new site (new to me) this morning when I was actually supposed to be doing something else (umm…)

…but my morning cup of tea is on its last sip so I’ll make this quick and then hit the day.

Anyhow, there seem to be lots of practical tips here on homekeeping, from establishing good routines (with suggestions on things to include in your routines, very helpful for clueless people, self included) to kids and chores and more.

But now I’ve taken my last sip of that morning cup, so I won’t go on, I’ll just give you the link, here: Totally Together Journal.

(Sheesh, that title is enough to either draw you in or put you off. I don’t think the author is claiming to have it totally together, it’s just a goal to aim at. After all, if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time. Insert smiley here–don’t know how to do that but you get the picture.)

Housekeeping, blog style

Have spent an hour or so this morning cleaning up the links in the sidebar of the home page of this blog. Several of the pages I had linked to were gone, disappeared in that mysterious way of web pages.

Happily I was able to find the pages at the Wayback Machine. I don’t know how long they’ll be stored there, but in each case I linked to the Wayback Machine’s list of pages for that site. You can click on the links there to see what was saved. In some cases, even downloadable forms in PDF are still available, just a click away.

It’s the time of year when home educators are working on plans for next year, so I hope the planning pages in the links will come in handy for somebody!

I just heard the washer spin to a stop, so it’s time to hang out those clothes and let them dry by solar power. That’s one of the pluses of 99 degree weather…

Contest: Free Schoolhouse Planner!

Ready to roll up your sleeves? The adventure of a lifetime is looming on the horizon.

There’s an overused expression hovering in the back of my brain, a cliche perhaps, but true for all that.

Today is the first day…

(…can you finish it with me? Let’s all say it together!)

of the rest of your life!

Who wants to join me?

(Of course, for all I know, you all are weeks ahead of me in this. I’ve had this feeling of the school year creeping up on me, and a glance at the calendar tells me it’s nearly here. All the planning that I’ve been *thinking* about doing is going to have to get done in the next two weeks if I’m going to meet my original start-by date, set last June when we embarked on a glorious summer of (mostly) vacation.)

Just to help establish the right mood, I’m offering a free copy of the new Schoolhouse Planner! All you have to do is comment on this post, and next Monday we’ll draw a name for a winner!

Let your friends know–as they say, “the more the merrier,” after all!

Everyone who joins in to plan and organize for the new school year is a winner, actually! Think about it! How many applicable aphorisms–“aphorisms” sounds so much nicer than “cliches”–can you come up with? Here’s one to start: “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”

Who’s with me?

Let’s get organized!


The new school year is around the corner! I don’t know about you, but I need to get my plans in order!

A lot of us must be thinking about this topic right about now. I just got notice of the Charlotte Mason blog carnival in my email box this morning, and what do you think the topic is?

You guessed it. Getting organized for the new school year.

Many homeschoolers have the option of starting their academic year at any time on the calendar. Of course, in states that require a certain number of hours during the school year, it might be a little more restricted, especially if you have paperwork deadlines.

That said, I know one local family that starts their school year on January 2, another that starts in October (after the harvesting of their large garden, and the canning), and yet another that starts at the beginning of August. I know a family in the hot South that “schools” through the summer when it’s too hot to play outside, most days, and they take their major breaks in spring and fall.

Most of the home educating families I know will be starting their homeschool on about the same schedule as the government schools. Some of it may be the convenience of their friends going off to school.

We often use that same convenience (the “school kids” going off to school) to take our annual camping trip. The campground isn’t crowded, the weather is still good, and it’s a celebration of our not being chained to the same schedule.

We try to take the whole month of December off, and other than that we take off a few days here and a few days there, depending on camping trips, visits from the favorite aunt, and Outdoor School. We don’t usually take the whole summer off, though we did this year. I wonder how hard it’ll be to round them up and head them back on the academic trail. They’ve been learning all along, just not in any sort of organized way.

How about you? How do you plan your calendar year?

(We can talk about details and planners next time. True confession time: I’m something of a planner junkie, and always struggling against the force of entropy. If you don’t remember “entropy” from high school or college science, look at http://physics.about.com/od/glossary/g/entropy.htm)

By the way, that link to the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival can be found here:

Happy New Year!
(throwing confetti with words, until I can figure out how to paste a sparkly animation here. How would I find out how to do that?)