Please see the article written by Suzanne Himka. It was too
long to include all of it in the newsletter, so we put the rest of it
on our website with a link to it. Suzanne did a great job!
"Need Help with Difficult Subjects?"
is the subject line of the e-mail accompanying this newsletter.
You are welcome to forward this newsletter in its entirety.
The Teaching Home E-Mail Newsletter #42
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement
July 20, 2003 / Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors
Table of Contents
Removing Clutter for Fun and Profit
The Four-Box Dejunking Method
Profiting from Your Castoffs
NorthStar Christian Online Education
Family Time Movies
Hewitt Homeschooling Resources
Teaching Home Back Issues
Sunny Side Up: Humorous Anecdote
Our family is thoroughly enjoying this summer, appreciating
the beauties of God's creation, and the fellowship of friends and
family. I trust that your family is doing the same.
Along with these pleasurable pursuits, there are things that
we can do this summer to make our lives easier during the coming
One effort that will yield the greatest dividends is to unclutter
our homes. In this issue we share practical step-by-step plans and
ideas to help remove clutter for fun and profit! Be sure to read
how Suzanne earns money for children's clothes and home-school
supplies by selling on eBay.
May the Lord bless you and your family for His glory!
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian Welch
The Teaching Home is a 22-year-old, home-school family business.
Christian Online Education
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and shipped to your door anywhere in the world.
Removing Clutter for Fun and Profit
Can you imagine how much easier your life and home schooling
would be next fall if all the extra clutter were eliminated from
* Why organize clutter that shouldn't be there in the first
* You don't want to spend so much time dealing with your stuff --
buying it, finding it, organizing it, and cleaning it -- that
you don't have enough time to spend with your family.
* It is much easier to clean a clutter-free room.
* Don't spend money to store unused junk.
* Be able to find and use your things when they are not buried
Summer is an ideal time to deal with clutter. Here is a
step-by-step approach that can help you attain your goal of a
Pray that the Lord will help you and your family to be
willing to let go of things that are cluttering your home and
2. Get Tips and Encouragement.
Read through the suggestions in this newsletter. They were
gathered from many people and sources. The recommended websites
within this article contain much more information and
encouragement to help you along.
3. Enlist the Help of Family & Friends.
Ask your family and friends to support you in prayer as you
tackle the clutter in your home. If they offer help, graciously
accept and return the favor. We need each other in these
practical areas of our lives.
4. Plan Your Attack.
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.
* One Week Plan. Schedule one week to declutter. Wipe all other
activities from your calendar and do a systematic pass through
your entire house. Some serious dejunkers even rent a small
dump box. 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.
* One Day a Week. Schedule one day each week to declutter during
the summer months.
* An Hour or Two 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.
* You can go through your house in any order: from "public"
living areas to storage, more cluttered rooms first or last,
or perhaps a different room for each day of the week.
Your Family's Worst Enemy Is in the Living Room!
If you are tired of the trash being dumped into
your living room on TV, we have the alternative you've
been looking for!
With membership in Family Time Movies, you have
access to movies that have been edited for language,
blasphemy, objectionable content, and extreme violence.
Take back control of what your family is watching
with no more surprises or awkward situations.
* DVD-R format.
* Flexible Membership Plans.
* Browse the list of available movies on our website.
* 15-day free trial membership.
The Four-Box Dejunking Method
This method is recommended by many experts.
1. Get four boxes and label them:
Give Away (You may also want a box for things to sell.)
2. 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.
3. Near the end of your appointed work time (marked by a timer),
appropriately dispose of box contents:
* Relocate Put-Away items.
* Place Give-Away items in car to take to donation center.
* 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 quickly without a second thought.
To prevent clutter from growing back, try one or all of the
1. Hold Your Ground.
After a particular area (as small as one counter top) has
been cleared, do a daily clutter check to make sure no clutter is
permitted to return. You might assign a child as a "clutter
police" to patrol certain areas.
2. Find a Place for Everything.
Every item needs a home and each member of your family needs
to know where that home is.
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 and
dealing with clutter the Four Box way.
4. "One Comes In, One Goes Out" Rule.
When you buy a new item, a like item must be discarded,
recycled, sold, or donated. This keeps the sheer number of items
below the clutter point. It 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 seldom-needed items
or to borrow them from your public, church, or home-school
library. This is another way to keep down the volume of material
in your home.
Hewitt Homeschooling Resources
1. Teacher services for junior/senior high with
curriculum recommendations, counseling, and
2. Untimed, parent-administered, standardized
testing for grades 3-8.
3. More than 800 curricula products including:
Winston Grammar, Math-It, Apologia Science,
and NEW Lightning Lit & Comp.
These websites contain a wealth of free, practical, and
The Organized Home
Many pages of free information about how to organize,
declutter, simplify, and clean your home, including:
* Secrets for a Successful Garage Sale.
* Declutter 101: Where Do I Start?
* Clutter and Personality Types - to help you lick your clutter,
plus clutterbusting articles.
* Guide to menus and meal planning, including a complete guide to
once-a-month cooking with recipes, equipment guide, and tips.
* Cleaning tips, lessons, strategies, and charts.
* Much more!
Fly Lady's 27 Fling Boogie
Fly Lady has invented the 27 Fling Boogie to help you declutter
Take a garbage bag and walk through your home and collect 27
items as quickly as you can. Do not stop until you have collected all
27 items. Then close the garbage bag and pitch it. Do not look in it!
Just do it.
Next, take an empty box and go through your home collecting 27
items to give away. As soon as you finish filling the box, take it to
the car. You are less tempted to rescue the items. If you have two
of any item and you only need one, get rid of the least desirable.
The FlyLady takes you by the hand and gently leads you step
by baby step through her housecleaning and organizing program.
Don Aslett's Cleaning Center
Clutter's Last Stand. Book by Don Aslett
Are You Buried in Junk? Article by Don Aslett
Buy Teaching Home Back Issues Online
Select from 51 Never-Out-of-Date Back Issues.
Practical How-Tos & Teaching Tips.
Search for Topics You Need.
Find Information, Inspiration & Encouragement!
Each Issue Is Pictured and All Articles Are Listed.
How To Energize Yourself for Teaching This Fall
Profiting from Your 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:
* Give them to people you know that could use them.
* Donate them to your church, mission, Goodwill, or Salvation
* Sell them in a garage or rummage sale.
* Sell them online through one of the websites listed below.
Selling Books and Educational Materials
Why let your used materials gather dust on the shelf? Help
yourself and others by re-selling home school material.
Sell rare, used and out-of-print books worldwide through the
world’s largest online marketplace for used, rare, and out-of-
print books. Your books will also be automatically listed on
Selling on eBay
According to eBay, it is the world's largest trading
community, where millions of people buy and sell millions of new
or used items every day.
Most of the selling on eBay occurs in either an auction or
Buy It Now format. It all begins when the seller posts the item
on eBay for a specified duration of time (3, 5, 7, or 10 days).
Potential buyers search for items and place bids on those
they are interested in purchasing.
Either the first person who chooses to Buy It Now, or the
person who placed the highest bid by the close of an auction is
the winner! At this point, the buyer and seller make arrangements
for payment and shipping.
After payment is made and the item is delivered, the buyer
and seller leave feedback on each other in eBay's Feedback Forum,
thus building their reputations for future deals.
by Suzanne Himka
I am a home-school mother of three children (ages 5, 3, and
10 months). I began selling on eBay three years ago after the
Lord convicted me to stop working as a personal trainer and stay
home to be a full-time mother to my children.
To have a little extra spending money, I began selling some
of my old dolls on the internet and found that it was
profitable. First I went through my own boxes in the attic, but
now I go to rummage and yard sales looking for some of these
items to sell. I take my children with me as I teach them about
money and saving.
Each week I spend about eight hours total. This time is
divided between going to garage sales Friday and Saturday and
preparing and listing the items on eBay Monday and Tuesday.
I look for clothes and books for our own children and even
homeschool items. I also am able to find other items that I can
sell for profit. Through buying what we need at garage sales or
using what I have earned on eBay, I have been able to buy all
of our children's clothing, all of their home-school curriculum,
plus gifts and special treats for our family.
Did you realize that you could actually collect 50-75% of
the original price you paid for some of those items you have been
meaning to get rid of anyway?
This effort has been successful for me, and I hope that you
may be encouraged to get organized and use the resources God
has given you.
I have found that God knows exactly what we need and
provides it if we just ask. If you have any questions and I can
be of help, please e-mail Sue Welch to pass along to me. I am not
a professional, just a mother finding ways to meet the needs of
my family in a fun and educational way!
Read the full text of Suzanne's article with detailed
information on what to look for, what sells on eBay, and how
to sell it at:
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How To Get Started Selling on eBay
Go through your entire house and gather all the TOYS,
VIDEOS, BOOKS, and CLOTHES that you are no longer using. Then
* KEEP for Grandkids or future kids
Make This a Family Event!
* Let children sort what they are done with, husbands can go
hrough the garage, teens can sort books they are done reading.
* Use it as a motivational tool to clean the rooms because they
an certainly make money to buy something else they may be
* If you have a digital camera, let the photographer of your
amily be in charge of photographing all the items you may want
* Let the computer wizard do some of the listing, etc.
What Sells Best on eBay
1. Toys (in used but still good condition)
* Fisher Price toys (Little People, Dollhouses, baby items, etc.)
* Little Tykes (waffle blocks, dollhouse furniture, cars &
* Vintage toys from the 60s, 70s, 80s (Strawberry Shortcake
* Thomas the Tank Engine items
* Dolls with popular names (Amazing Ally, Crissy, Mrs. Beasley,
Sunshine Family, American Girl)
* Baby toys with name brands like Fisher Price or Playskool or
* Lego sets
* Lincoln Logs sets
* Playdough toys
* Fisher Price Adventure playsets like castles, treehouses, and
* Discovery Toys
HINT: Toys sell best in groups of like items, for example:
* HUGE LOT of Fisher Price Little People Toys
* HUGE LOT of Winnie the Pooh Books, Puzzles, and Videos
* Homeschool books that you are done with (A Beka, Christian
Light, Modern Curriculum Press, BJU, etc.)
* Children's books in HUGE LOTS of 30+ books
* Name brand books like DK or Usborne
* Books in series (Little House on the Prairie, Boxcar children,
Nancy Drew, Bobbsey Twins, American Girl)
* How to Draw books
* Arts & Crafts Books
* Unused activity books for preschoolers
* Learning-to-read books
* Cake decorating books
* Foreign language tapes, books, CDs, and courses
* School textbooks
* Computer games on CD-ROM for kids (e.g., Jumpstart and Reader
* Baby board books (without teeth marks!) for toddlers
HINT: Clothes sell best in large lots of like sizes. For
* HUGE LOT 10+ Boy Clothes, size 0-6 months, Like NEW cond.
* Children's clothes sell better than adult clothes because the
sizes are more standard. Just be specific and say what is on the
* Girls dresses in good condition, sizes 4/5, 2T-3T, 5/6
* Women's maternity clothes S, M, L
* Women's nursing outfits
* Baby sleepers in good or like-new condition
* Coats for winter or fall
* Name brands (e.g., Columbia) jackets/sweatshirts
* Baby shoes, size 0-5
* Gymboree, Old Navy, Healthex, Baby Gap clothes will sell well
because they are durable.
These videos will always sell well:
* Veggie Tales (Sell as a group and you can get nearly half to
full price you paid for them.) For example 6 Veggie Tale movies
will usually bring about $50!
* Adventures in Odyssey
* Prayer Bear by Steve Green
* Cedarmont Kids Videos and tapes and CDs
* Donut Man
* Quigley's Village
* McGee & Me
* Any Bible Stories videos
* Little House on the Prairie
* Anne of Green Gables or Avonlea
* Disney Movies (Bambi, Mary Poppins, Babe, Toy Story,
* Disney movies in nice cases sold in large lots will bring a
good amount of money. I often find these in my garage sale
adventures for 50 cents a video and then can resell them for 10
times or more what I paid. Be watching. Videos are easy to
sell by name without pictures.
5. Baby Items
* Strollers in good condition
* Johnny Jumpers in good condition (not recalls!)
* Nursing pillows or other nursing items
* Crib bedding sets
* Nursery decor that matches (themes)
* Breast pumps
* Slings, Snuglis
* Nursery monitors
* Exersaucers (Don't worry; buyer pays shipping!)
6. Other Items That Sell
* Exercise equipment
* Items that are still in their original boxes
* Computer games on CD
* There's even a category for weird items!
What Do I Need in Order To Sell Online?
1. Something to sell.
2. A computer with internet access.
3. A digital camera. These cost $60-$300 and are optional, but
4. Boxes to ship items in (can be obtained free at local hardware
stores, etc.) Also you can get Priority boxes free from the post
office if you choose to send it Priority. However, these can't be
used for Parcel Post. Parcel Post and UPS are often cheaper for
5. A scale is helpful to weigh each package so you can let the
buyer know exactly the total shipping based on your zip code and
theirs (from the usps.com domestic calculator).
6. TIME! Believe me it will be worth your time in money made.
You will get paid for the labor in organization you have done! (1
Corinthians 14 :40).
7. Total cost to list each item is usually about 70 cents,
depending on how many pictures you use. Then eBay charges about
5% profit fee. Be aware that eBay will take a portion of your
Gather the items you want to sell in one location and group
To determine prices, you can go to eBay.com and do a search
for like items. For example, type in "Johnny Jumper" and it will
pull up a list for all the Johnny Jumpers and what they are going
for. You can start the bid at $5 and list it for 10 days and it
will usually go for about $15-$20.
Go to eBay.com and click on Sell. Have a look at the form
and do a trial listing; just don't press the final button until
you are ready to actually sell the item.
1. Sell Your Item: Choose Selling Format:
Choose the option to sell item online auction.
2. Select Category & Sub-Catagories.
For example: if you have a huge lot of children's videos,
Pick Movies>Video, Film>VHS> Children, Family
Pick the category which best fits your item. You can do a
search on your item and see what categories others are listing
theirs in to get an idea if you are in doubt. Spend a few
moments seeing what categories are available. You can always list
your item in two categories, but be aware that that this doubles
your insertion fees.
3. List Title.
You get 45 characters maximum so be creative and very
For example **HUGE LOT 6+ Veggie Tales Videos Esther++
Hint: Use capitals, stars, or word L@@K! to make it more
For example an ad that says "Jogging Stroller" will get a
lot fewer looks than one that says LIKE NEW Jogging Stroller MUST
4. List Description.
Be as specific as you can be. List all the videos, books,
clothes sizes! The more you inform the buyers of what they are
getting, the better the chance they will be satisfied. Be
specific with brands of homeschool books and condition and year
5. List Price.
You have three decisions: Starting Price, Reserve price (not
recommended because it costs more), and Buy It Now price.
Decide on what price is the minimum you will take for an
item, then decide on what price you might like to sell it for if
someone wanted to buy it right away (optional). It only costs
five cents to add the Buy It Now price feature.
For instance, if you have 6 Veggie Tales movies and you know
somebody paid about $100 for these, full price, you can
start the bid at $19.99 and then have a Buy It Now price of
$49.99. This is a good deal for you and a good deal for them
because you are getting back about half of what you paid for them
(or more if you bought them at garage sales).
This takes some practice and some trial-and-error but as you
gain more experience, you will know more what goes for how much!
6. List Your Pictures.
If you have a digital camera, it will increase your sales
tremendously. Take a picture of your item and crop it. Then you
can upload it straight from your computer to the eBay.com site
and it will show a picture of the item you wish to sell.
The first picture is free, and any additional pictures are
15 cents each. Most auctions only need one picture but sometimes
it is good to take more for certain angles of things.
Digital cameras can be purchased for $60-$500. It is a wise
investment and will pay for itself with just a few sales. A
digital camera is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED but certainly not necessary.
Home-school books are easy to sell without pictures, so
start with those when you begin selling.
Always list your pictures in the Gallery option (0.25 cents
extra). Some people only shop the Gallery.
If you are using pictures, definitely use the gallery
because it increases your sales. A pictured item will nearly
always sell for more than an item without pictures!
7. Select Payment You Will Accept.
I recommend you accept money orders or PayPal only. It is
wise to sign up for PayPal so that others can use their credit
card if they wish to buy it immediately. It makes things easier
for both parties, and they are a reliable company. You can
request a check from them whenever you want for a small fee or
you can build up an account and use it to buy other things
8. Determine Who Pays for Shipping.
The great thing about selling online is that the buyer pays
for shipping. You must indicate this on the form. You can
determine what shipping will cost from zip code to zip code by
using the US Postal Service Domestic calculator which is on the
9. Review and Edit Your Listing.
Be sure that everything is how you would like it. Then
submit it and watch it get bids!
10. Keep a Log of Everything You Sell and Who Bought It.
Get a little notebook and jot down the auction number, date
it sold and who bought it with their address and the total amount
it sold for. Also weigh your packages and keep a log of what the
package weighs in case someone wants to know shipping costs prior
Selling on the internet can and should be a family event. Go
ahead, get organized, sort your stuff, and make some extra cash.
If you have already been successful in organizing your home you
can find things to sell at garage sales and estate sales. One
man's trash is another man's treasure.
Have fun and don't forget to give the Lord a portion of your
profits to benefit others who may be in need or other church