Back-to-School Prep, part 2

The next installment of Back-to-School Prep from The Teaching Home newsletters!

Resources To Help You Get Your House in Order

These websites contain a wealth of practical and encouraging information.

The Organized Home

Many pages of free information about how to organize, unclutter, simplify, and clean your home at, including:

•  Cutting Clutter. Clothes Closet Declutter, A Household Storage Plan, Cut Clutter in the Bathroom, Cut Clutter in the Kitchen, Declutter 101: How To Cut Clutter, What’s Your Clutter Personality?

•  Cleaning. Summer Cleaning Chore Checklist, Five Tips For Spring Cleaning, Kids and Chores, Speed Cleaning Tips, Homemade Cleaning Products, Clean Out The Refrigerator

•  Getting Organized. Tightwad’s Guide To Getting Organized, Garage Sale Tips, Organize Kids’ Rooms, Household Paper Management

•  Sidetracked Home Executives household management system. 21 Essays, S.H.E. Printables, Cardfile Tour, Book, Sidetracked Home Executives: From Pigpen to Paradise

•  Home Management For Homeschool Families. Lower your standards, Plan, plan, plan!, Bring your children onboard, Schedule the housework first, Look for new methods to save time

•  Household Notebook. What’s a Household Notebook?, Set Up Your Household Notebook, Dividers for a Household Notebook, Printables for a Household Notebook

The Fly Lady

The FlyLady takes you by the hand and gently leads you step by baby step through her housecleaning and organizing program.
• Getting Started
•  “Declutter 15 Minutes a Day – 5 Great Tools That Make it Easy!”
•  “How To Declutter

Don Aslett’s Cleaning Center

Clean like a professional – quick and easy – with information and products from Don Aslett’s Cleaning Center.

•  “Show Me” Video Demonstrations

•  Book, Clutter’s Last Stand: It’s Time To De-junk Your Life!

Do a Thorough Cleaning

A thorough house cleaning from attic to basement may be easier to do during summer break.

•  You might want to set aside a week, or a full or partial day each week, for cleaning until it is done.

•  As you clean, continue using the 4-box method of getting rid of clutter (1-Throw Away, 2-Give Away or Sell, 3-Storage, 4-Put Away).

•  Find professional cleaning products and notes on how to use them at Don Aslett’s

•  Clean each room and and deal with each and every item, nook, and cranny.

•  Clean as a team.  Assign each member of your family a chore (some may want to specialize) and see how much more you can do by working together.

How To Keep Clutter Out

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 return.

2.  Put Everything in Its Place.
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 used.

4.  “One Comes In, One Goes Out” Rule.
When you buy a new item, another item must be discarded, 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 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 and storage space.

Next: Chores and Routines

Did you miss the first installment? Check it out here.

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