What I learned from being homeschooled

I wasn’t allowed to ride my bike. Back in the 80s, homeschooling was not hip. Homeschooling was not even a category anyone but a few families who listened to Focus on the Family had in their heads. So riding my bike during school hours was not ok – I’d be stopped as a truant for sure. In fact, once I did go ride my bike around the neighborhood at lunch. It was the early 90s, and I was probably wearing … Read More

You Need Self-Control, Not Self-Care

The other day as I stared into the empty bottom of my coffee mug, a movie quote jumped to mind: “I don’t want to see the bottom of this glass,” uttered desperately. It’s an early scene in Mask of Zorro, before the drunk vagabond is chosen by the master for a transformation. We’re like the drunk vagabond. We want a transformation. We want a different sort of a life. But we also don’t want to see the bottom of our … Read More

How to organize your life – for moms

When you want to get organized where do you turn? A quick browse on Pinterest or a flip through the magazine at the dentist office leads us to assume that the way to organize life is to use chalkboard labels on baskets, which line every shelf in every closet. Someone who has achieved this feat has earned the badge, “Organized!” Of course, then there’s the spice jars to label and arrange alphabetically, even if you have twelve but only use … Read More

How to Build a Housework Framework

Everything has a framework, whether it’s conscious or not. The government’s framework is the Constitution. Our education’s framework is made of our core principles. A computer software framework is the basic functionality before the frills and features. And our housework needs a framework just as much as anything else we do or use. We need to have an underlying structure that gives shape to our days and support to our sanity. Without a framework, we’re sloppy, floppy, and choppy. We … Read More

How to Create a Personalized Housecleaning Plan

There is one big problem with housecleaning. It’s never done. We make the checkmark, but the task returns the very next day or week. Making decisions is fatiguing. Front-load the decisions about what to do when is sanity-saving. The goal is regularity. A daily good enough. Remember that your home is a tool to be used. Its perfect end-state is not perfection. Its reason for being is as a setting for the drama of life unfolding within its walls. Is … Read More

Five Rules for a Better Calendar

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Your calendar is your #1 productivity tool to keep track of life. Improving your calendar habits will have ripple effects to other organizational and managerial aspects of your responsibilities. Better calendar routines will trigger further productivity improvements. 1. Only keep actual appointments on the calendar. Your calendar needs to be trustworthy. Don’t put your hopes or wishes on your calendar. A better calendar is used for appointments only so you can see the hard lines of your day. If you … Read More

Learning to Love What Must Be Done: September Progress Report

I am so excited to start this monthly link-up series where you can have a chance to share how you’re implementing Simplified Organization: Learning to Love What Must Be Done. Getting organized is a lifelong endeavor, not a quick-fix project. Part of finding joy and satisfaction in our work at home is stopping to evaluate our progress. It’s easy to find yourself elbow-high in daily details, feeling like a failure. But if we can pause and look back, I think … Read More

5 Days, 5 Essentials: 5 Things to Keep Track Of

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Here is the last installment of my 5 Essentials series. I hope they’ve been helpful for you as you gear up for another fall season. Remember that taking small steps, going for small wins, and gradually growing in small changes will yield bigger results than going gangbusters out of the gate. 5 Tips for How to Keep Track There are a lot of details to keep track of in a life at home. On top of that, there are a … Read More

5 Days, 5 Essentials: 5 Tips on How to Stay Organized

Now is the time when we all start organizing our stuff, buying new supplies, and preparing for another fresh start: a new school year. I always get ambitious about how much better this new, upcoming season will be. This time will be different, I tell myself. Turns out big overhaul projects never stick and usually leave me feeling worse. But small, incremental change – baby steps and small wins – add up much faster than I’d ever guess. This week … Read More

Review Required: Morning

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Try as I might, I cannot escape the reality that having a plan is not good enough. I have to work the plan. It’s painful, but true. In a GTD set-up, the review process, especially the morning review, is the basic component of “work the plan” mode. What is the point in having a list, after all, if you never look at it? The key to making your organization work for you at all isn’t putting into place the perfect system … Read More

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