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Table of Contents
Your House in Order
Plan Your Attack
for a Summer Clean-up
A Place for
Deal with Clutter
The Four-Box Dejunking Method
Recycling Your Castoffs
Ways To Prevent Clutter
Be a Work-at-Home
Up: Humorous Anecdote
We hope that your family is enjoying this summer,
the beauties of God's creation and the fellowship of friends and
Along with these pleasurable pursuits, there
are things that
you can do this summer 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 that.
You might notice that we have assumed that
everyone else has
the same need that we have -- to be more organized. 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 you and your family for
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian Welch
The Teaching Home is a 24-year-old, home-school family business.
Do You Want To Be
A Work-at-Home Mom?
We help women who want
to improve their family's finances
and work from their home while
they continue to nurture, teach,
and enjoy their children! Shop from over
50 detailed home business profiles and find your perfect
home business today.
Unique benefits await you at your local, regional,
home-school convention, conference, or book fair. We urge
you to attend!
For information about your state convention,
go to The
Teaching Home's website (link below) and link directly to the
state organization's website. Upcoming state conventions:
July: AZ, KY, SD / August: NV, OR, TX
September: England / Various Dates: TN, TX, NZ
Christian Light Education
In listing additional information for Christian
Education in our last issue, we inadvertently typed Christian
Life instead. Here is the correct information:
CLE now has their own website at http://www.clp.org
offers a record keeping service for home schoolers.
Letter in Reply to College at
We can't thank you enough for The Teaching
#83: College at Home! It was very encouraging and very much in
God's timing for us.
We hope and pray that other homeschoolers
who have guarded
the hearts and minds of their children at home since birth will
also read and take heed.
We had planned on a traditional Christian
but God has been good to bring several things to our attention
lately. This newsletter was further proof of His leading.
We look forward to reading the testimonies
of others who
have completed college at home, with details telling how they did it.
Again, many thanks!
In Christ, David and Dione Williams and family
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Getting Your House in Order
by Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors
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
Can you imagine how much easier your life
and home schooling
would be next fall if all the extra clutter were eliminated from
your home and it were clean and organized?
Organization imposes limits on your behavior,
belongings, and life. Yet it is an essential tool for achieving
freedom, 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
bring many benefits to your family:
* A home that is a haven from the world for our families,
friends, and guests.
* Fewer allergies, illnesses, and accidents due to a clean,
* Possessions that are in good repair and easy to find
needed, saving the time, money, and stress
of looking for
things or buying duplicates of unfound items.
* Less need for extra storage space.
* A pleasant and efficient environment for work and study.
* The ability to practice hospitality and to open the door
say "Come on in!" to unexpected visitors.
Plan Your Attack for a Summer Clean-up.
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.
Schedule Your Time
One 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
One Day Each Week. Schedule one
day each week to unclutter
during the summer months.
An Hour or Two each Day or on Several Days
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.
Decide Where To Start
By Rooms. You can go through
your house room-by-room 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.
By Categories. 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 room-by-room.
Enlist the Help of Family &
* Ask your family and friends to support you in prayer
are struggling to become more organized.
* Talk to your family about the benefits of an organized
and pray together that the Lord will help
each one to let go
of unneeded items and develop habits to maintain
* Train your child to do cleaning chores and help him become
consistent in doing them.
* Seek the wisdom and guidance of your Heavenly Father
There is a fine balance between a challenge
unrealistic expectations. In the long run, clutter and disorganization
can only be effectively overcome by constant and consistent effort.
It takes time to establish new habits and routines.
Set your eye 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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A Place for Everything
Before you start the major dejunking process
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
budget your time with a schedule. 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 space
belongings -- not simply where can I put everything, but what do
I need and where do I need it.
1. Start by making a list of
the functions your house is
used for (e.g., sleeping, cooking, washing, eating, playing,
visiting, making things, entertaining, studying).
2. Decide the best use of each
room as you match it to
one or 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 school library room.
3. Next, write the name of each
room at the top of a page
and list the uses of that room and what items should be in that
room for those needs.
4. Now assign a space in each
room for the items needed
5. You will need some general
storage space as well
somewhere 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 attic or
6. After you know exactly where
each item belongs, print
copies 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
closets, etc. until habits are firmly established for putting
things where they belong.
7. Now you are ready to remove
clutter and unneeded items
from your home.
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.
Deal with Clutter
Dealing with clutter in an ongoing challenge.
Here are ways
to identify it, dispose of it, and keep it from accumulating.
The Four-Box Dejunking Method
This method is recommended by many experts.
1. Get four boxes and label
* Throw Away
(Some serious dejunkers even rent a small
* Give Away
(You may also want a box for things to 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
* 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 these?
* Could someone else use this more than I would?
3. Finish Up.
Be sure to schedule time before you stop working
appropriately dispose of box contents.
* Relocate Put-Away items.
* Place Give-Away items in car to take to their destination
(e.g., donation center, church, support group,
* Put storage items, as well as items for your summer yard
or eBay sales, in clearly labeled boxes in
your storage area.
* Throw away the rest.
(Use large trash bags for non-garbage throw-aways,
than overfilling your garbage can.)
Free Online Resources
These websites contain a wealth of practical
The Organized Home
Many pages of free information about how to
unclutter, simplify, and clean your home, including:
* Several articles on decluttering.
* Many detailed articles on cleaning.
* Much more!
The Fly Lady
The FlyLady takes you by the hand and gently
leads you step
by baby step through her housecleaning and organizing program.
She has invented the 27 Fling Boogie to help
Take a garbage bag and walk through your home
and collect 27
items to get rid of 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
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. http://www.FlyLady.net
Don Aslett's Cleaning Center
"Clutter's Last Stand" and other books by Don Aslett.
Articles on dejunking and cleaning.
Venture to foreign lands
with powerful, picturesque
Power-Glide Flash Cards.
Populated with more than 200
nouns, this effective vocabulary
resource visits 22 different categories
in six different languages and includes
two audio CDs to simplify learning!
You can use the flash cards just as they are or play games
with others learning the same language or different languages.
Travel abroad with Power-Glide -- your ticket to foreign language
Ways To Prevent Clutter
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
drawer) has been cleared, do a daily clutter check to make sure
no clutter is permitted to return.
2. Put Everything in Its
Each member of your family needs to know where
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
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
or free time) have each person check the containers and put away
his own belongings and things that he has used.
4. "One Comes In, One Goes
When you buy a new item, another item must
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
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 and storage space.
Recycling Your Castoffs
Ridding your home and life of clutter is enough
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 or donate
them to your church, mission, Goodwill, or
* Sell them in a garage or rummage sale.
(See secrets for a successful garage sale
* Sell them online.
Laurelwood Publications. http://www.laurelwoodbooks.com
(List individual books, sets, or by grade
Suzanne Himka, a home-school mother of three
selling some of their own unneeded items on eBay three years ago.
Now she resells enough garage sale finds to pay for clothes, curriculum,
and more. Read the full text of Suzanne's article with detailed
on how to sell on eBay at:
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
you are ready for the next step -- discover a new level of
clean. 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 the scrubbing!
Afterwards, enjoy the fruits of your labor
as your family and
friends live and fellowship in your clean and orderly home.
For valuable tips on efficient ways to clean
the three online resources listed above.
Thank and Support
These free newsletters
are made possible financially by
the fine suppliers who advertise in them and
e-mail. Please consider those that advertised
in our last issue
(below) as well as the ones in this issue.
Christian Liberty Academy School System
Marvelous Math Software
"The Third Alternative: Christian Self-Government"
AVKO Dyslexia (& Spelling) Research Foundation
"College at Home Handbook"
Our 6-year-old overheard a phone conversation
I was having
with a friend. She could sense the surprise and concern in my
voice and was curious as to what we were talking about.
When I hung up, she immediately asked, "What
Her eyes grew big when I told her that our
had been broken into the previous night. Her expression changed
from one of curiosity to one of great perplexity as she gasped,
"How did their house break in two, Mom?"
Submitted by Lorie D., Mich.
God Loves You.
Because we were separated from God by sin,
died in our place, then rose to life again. If we trust Jesus
as our Savior and Lord, He will give us eternal life.
"For by grace you have been saved through
faith; and that
not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of
works, that no one should boast" (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
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