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Make a Note of That
While I was attending my weekly Bible
study, our daughter was playing school with
some of the children.
That week in science we had learned that
many cells working together make a tissue,
and many tissues working together make an
As we finished our study, our daughter ran
up to us with a 4-year-old boy in tow. She
proudly announced to the mothers, "Listen to
this! A bunch of cells working together make
a . . .?"
The little boy replied, "Tissue!"
"Right! Now a bunch of tissues together
make a . . .?"
The little boy looked puzzled for a moment
and then proudly proclaimed, "A piano!"
Submitted by Debbie W., Illinois.
Send your humorous anecdote to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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In This Issue
Getting Your House in Order –
7 Good Questions / 7 Good Answers!
1. How Can I Become Motivated?
2. How Do I Plan My Work?
3. How Can I Find a Place for
4. How Can I Deal with
5. What Can I Do To Keep Clutter
Itself at Home in My
6. Who Would Want My Castoffs?
7. Am I Finally Ready for "Spring"
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To Help You Get Your House
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Along with the pleasurable pursuits of
summer, there are
things that you can do now to make your life
easier during the
coming school year.
One effort that will yield great dividends
is getting your house in order. In this
issue we share practical
step-by-step plans and ideas for doing just
If you are already well organized, please
look around and
find someone you can encourage by your help
and prayer. It
probably won't be too hard to find someone!
May the Lord bless your family for His
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GOOD QUESTION #1
How Can I Become Motivated
To Get My House in Order?
As the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 who
"looks well to the
ways of her household," we, too, want to
follow the principle of
I Corinthians 14:40, "Let all things be done
decently and in order."
Can you imagine how much easier your life
and home schooling
would be this fall if all the extra clutter
were eliminated from
your home and it were clean and organized?
Although organization imposes limits on
your behavior, time,
and belongings, it is an essential tool for
peace, and plenty.
Human nature tends to throw off
constraints and to do what
we feel like moment by moment. The
result is chaos in the home
Personal victory in the area of household
organization will bring many benefits to your
home that is a haven from the world for our
families, friends, and guests.
allergies, illnesses, and accidents due to a
clean, safe environment.
that are in good repair and easy to find when
needed, saving the time, money, and stress of
looking for things or buying duplicates of
need for extra storage space.
pleasant and efficient environment for work
ability to practice hospitality and to open
the door and say "Come on in!" to unexpected
GOOD QUESTION #2
How Do I Plan My Work?
You can choose one of these strategies or
combine them to
fit your family's needs. You may want
to start with a bang and
finish off a little each week, or work up to
an all-out effort.
1. Decide Where To Start
You can go through your house room-by-room in
from "public" living areas to storage, more
cluttered rooms first
or last, or perhaps a different room for each
day of the week.
Or you could deal with categories one at a
time: all your
books and papers, all your clothes, all your
media, all your
kitchen things, etc., and then finish up
2. Schedule Your Time
or Two Weeks Concentrated Time
Schedule one or two weeks to unclutter.
Wipe all other
activities from your calendar and do a
systematic pass through
your entire house. You probably will
not complete everything in
one week, but it will give you a big
boost. You can follow up
with one of the following schedules.
Day Each Week
Schedule one day each week to unclutter.
Hours each Day or on Several Days each Week
The consistency of even small efforts –
just 15 minutes to
1 hour a day – will pay off
immensely. Or you could schedule
2-4 hours once or twice a week.
3. Enlist the Help of Family and
your family and friends to support you in
prayer if you are struggling to become more
to your family about the benefits of an
organized home and pray together that the
Lord will help each one to let go of unneeded
items and develop habits to maintain your
your children to do cleaning chores and help
them become consistent in doing them.
the wisdom and guidance of your Heavenly
Father above all.
4. Be Realistic
There is a fine balance between a
challenge and unrealistic
In the long run, clutter and
only be effectively overcome by constant and
It takes time to establish new habits and
Set your eyes on your goal, and even if
you make only slow
progress each day and week, you will be
delighted to see a real
difference in your home and life sooner than
you might expect.
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GOOD QUESTION #3
How Can I Find a Place
Before you start the major dejunking
below, take some time to plan a place for
everything you want to
keep. This is the foundation of a neat
home: "A place for
everything and everything in its place!"
Budget your space, much like you would
budget your money or
your time. Consider the amount of space
you have to work with
and what you want to do with it.
This is a new way of thinking about your
belongings – not simply where can I put
everything, but what do
I need and where do I need it.
7 Steps To Finding a Place for
by making a list of the functions your house
for (e.g., sleeping, cooking, washing,
eating, playing, visiting,
making things, entertaining, studying).
the best use of each room as you match it to
more of the functions. This is also a
fresh approach to organizing your home. For
instance, two or more children could share a
room with bunk beds
and free up a room to be used for a your
school work and library.
write the name of each room at the top of a
list the uses of that room and what items
should be in that room
for those needs.
assign a space in each room for the items
will need some general storage space as well
in your house for miscellaneous items that
don't fit anywhere
else or are being saved for later.
This could be either unused
space in the rooms, or a separate area in the
you know exactly where each item belongs,
of your list. Post them throughout the
house (inside cupboard or
closet doors), and distribute them to family
members. You can
also place labels on shelves and in drawers
and closets, etc. until
habits are firmly established for putting
things where they belong.
7. Now you
are ready to remove clutter and unneeded
One way of getting started might be to
check your list for
needed items and "go shopping" among your
stuff, find them, and
put them away. The balance can be
discarded as suggested below.
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GOOD QUESTION #4
How Can I Deal with Clutter?
Dealing with clutter is an ongoing
challenge. The "Four-Box
Dejunking Method" below is recommended by
many experts to help
you identify and dispose of clutter.
1. Get Four Boxes and Label
• Throw Away
• Give Away and/or Sell
• Put Away
2. Make Your Decisions.
As you go through the items in your
current work zone, force
yourself to make a decision about each item
you pick up and place
it in the correct box. Indecision is
often the biggest problem
in dealing with clutter.
Refer to your master list of items needed
for each function
and space assigned for those items.
Ask yourself questions like
these: • Can I do without it?
• Do I have room for it?
• Can I use something else
in its place?
• Can I borrow or rent one
if I rarely need it?
• Do I have too many of
• Could someone else use
this more than I would?
3. Finish Up.
Be sure to schedule time before you stop
working each day to
appropriately dispose of box contents.Relocate "Put-Away" items in their correct
places.Place "Give-Away" items (in labeled bags or
boxes) into your car to take to their
destination (e.g., donation center, church,
support group, friends or relative's house).Put "Storage" items, as well as items for
your summer yard sale or eBay sales, in
clearly labeled boxes in your storage area.
Throw away the rest. Use large
trash bags for non-garbage throw-aways,
rather than overfilling your garbage
can. Some serious dejunkers even rent
a small dump box.
GOOD QUESTION #5
What Can I Do To Keep Clutter
from Making Itself at Home
in My House?
To prevent clutter from accumulating
again, try one or all
of the following suggestions.
1. Hold Your Ground.
After a particular area (as small as one
counter top or
drawer) has been cleared, do a daily clutter
check of that area
to make sure no clutter is permitted to
2. Put Everything in Its
Each member of your family needs to know
where every item
belongs. (Review your master lists!)
Keep eliminating stuff until everything
fits in the space you
have available, rather than wishing for
something you do not have –
more space for more stuff!
3. Build Good Habits.
Work hard on the habit of returning items
to their homes.
One suggestion is to have an attractive
basket or other
container in a corner of each room for items
that need to be put
away in another room.
At a designated time each day (e.g.,
before dinner, bedtime,
or free time) have each person check the
containers and put away
his own belongings and things that he has
4. "One Comes In, One Goes Out"
When you buy a new item, another item must
recycled, sold, or donated. This keeps
the sheer number of items
below the clutter point.
This can also save money as you consider
if you really need or want to buy a new item
badly enough to
release one you already have.
5. Don't Buy It.
It is more cost effective to rent some
or to borrow them from your public, church,
library. This is another way to keep
down the volume of material
in your home and storage space.
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GOOD QUESTION #6
Who Would Want My Castoffs?
Ridding your home and life of clutter is
enough reward in
itself, but you may also realize other
profits. Items that could
still be of use to others can be disposed of
in several ways:
1. Give Them Away.
Give them to people you know that could
use them, or donate
them to your church, mission, Goodwill, or
2. Sell Them in a Garage or Rummage
See "Yard Sale Tips" at organizedhome.com.
3. Sell Them Online.
GOOD QUESTION #7
Am I Finally Ready
for "Spring" Cleaning?
Did you miss spring cleaning this year (or
maybe the last
Of course, if you are really well
organized, you have been
keeping your house neat and clean all
year. But those of us who
always seem to be a little behind probably
need to do a good,
thorough house cleaning right about now.
If you followed the steps above for
dejunking your house,
you are ready for the next step –
discover a new level of
It is amazing how easy it is to clean a
house with the
clutter out of the way. In fact, your
house might even be cleared
up enough so that you can hire some help for
Afterwards, enjoy the fruits of your labor
as your family and
friends live and fellowship in your clean and
For valuable tips on efficient ways to
clean anything, see
the online resources listed in the left-hand