In the last year or so, it’s been my goal to get my homemaking under control. My house was often a mess (toys and clothes and dishes and trash in all directions) and I didn’t clean it often enough. Oh, I ran through and “blitz” cleaned it every couple of weeks, but I somehow expected it to stay that way. I have three mobile children (and now a newborn too) — it doesn’t.
I clearly remember looking at the house after we’d cleaned each time, thinking, “This time, I am not going to let that happen again.”
Oh, but it did. Sometimes with 24 hours. I was amazed. How could my home go from “this is pretty clean” to “total disaster” so quickly? And why couldn’t I keep up with it?
Today: It’s Clean!
But, it’s different now. I finally figured it out. You could come into my home on any given day and you might find a basket of clean laundry or some toys scattered across the playroom. Maybe a few dishes on the counter. But — that’s probably it. It looks like a home that’s lived in, but not a home that is filthy. Not a home I’d feel the need to immediately apologize for. (Tomorrow you’ll get to see me on camera again, this time demonstrating a Lemon Sherbet recipe from Simply Summer. You’ll note the kitchen is clean. It only took me about 15 minutes to get it that clean. I like that.)
I (usually) manage to keep the house clean, get meals on the table, homeschool the kids, and blog. Somehow.
It’s not magical. Really. You just have to be organized! And stick to it. Oh, that was always my problem before….
I want to share a few resources with you. Resources that will hopefully help you get more organized so that you, too, can enjoy a simpler life and a cleaner home. (I’m pretty obsessive about my “systems.” And you do have to actually use them and keep up with them, or they don’t work. Fair warning!)
First, there’s One Bite at a Time, by Tsh Oxenreider. The book is geared towards 52 small projects, one per week, to help you simplify and organize your life. The very first project is “Eat the frog” which basically means – just do it! But, the book goes on to talk about organizing your paper, creating new habits, cleaning as you go, trying new healthier cleaning products, switching to more local sources of food, and really everything that goes into natural living and homemaking! If you need some simple projects and plenty of time to make changes, this is a good resource.
The next is Organizing: Life as Mom. Jessica Fisher is the author behind both this book and the blog, Life as Mom. She has 6 kids herself, so she knows what a busy household is like! (And she homeschools too!) Her book is filled with resources to help the naturally messy get organized, and she includes a lot of printables and describes how to create your own ” homemaking binder” so that you have all of your important information in one place. Many moms live by their binders! Jessica gives you a good start by providing the resources and information for you — although it’s also entirely customizable.
Finally, there is ListPlanIt — Personal Planner. This is a collection of over 30 printable to help you get your personal life in order. It includes things like book clubs, fitness, a bucket list, daily to-do, goal setting, and more. All of these forms are “fillable” on the computer, meaning that if you prefer, you can save some paper and keep your information in the PDF book right on here. Of course, they’re also printable, so you can stick them in your homemaking binder and take them with you!
I really love resources like this. I like small steps, small changes. And I love paperwork. Heaven is an office supply store. I only a little bit kidding — I really love to wander around and see all the different types of paper, notebooks, planners, binders, pens, tabs, and so on that they offer. I wonder how many I can afford to buy, and how many I’ll really use. Paperwork = so awesome. (If I get to choose it myself!) These days I keep most of my stuff organized on the computer — but hey, these resources can do that too!
I am forever in search of cheap or free homeschooling materials. Who wants to spend $600 buying a big curriculum only to pick and choose just a few lessons out of it? A lot of the resources I find are not appropriate for my kids’ level or needs, and I often feel frustrated by it. There are too many skills at once, or they’re above or below the child’s needs…or sometimes even both at once!
(Seriously. There was a book that my daughter, who is 5, was using. One page would be “match the pictures” and the next page would be “write the correct word under each picture then put them in order to form a story.” The first was very easy for the her, and the second involved so many skills that we simply had to skip it. She can’t read yet. Not quite.)
Finding good quality homeschooling materials is important to me. And not breaking my bank? A must with four kids!
I pulled out the Raising Rock Stars Kindergarten curriculum, which is excellent. It teaches one letter at a time, and has several activities in it per letter — tracing a Bible verse, writing one, learning the sign language sign for the letter, and lots more. My daughter loved it. And, it’s written by a professional kindergarten teacher! It gives me a great place to start and doesn’t teach too many skills at once.
I’m looking forward to using this curriculum more over the next several months, and because it’s printable, I can use it for my boys when they’re ready, too.
There are a lot of other homeschooling resources that are a little bit above my kids’ level for now. But just think — curriculum can cost hundreds of dollars and if you have to re-buy worksheets for each child, it can get pricy. This curriculum can be used for as many kids as you have! It’s so worth it to me — and if you buy this bundle it’s only $0.31, just like each other resource! (Total bundle price is $29.97 which is STILL far cheaper than most curriculum.)
Many of the homeschooling materials are supplemental in nature. Which means even if you don’t homeschool, you can benefit from these. Many kids who are going to public school won’t get Biblical instruction, or perhaps you are looking for ways to include more — and this is a great way to do it, and the activities are fun. You don’t have to be a homeschooling family to enjoy this program or the other schooling resources!