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The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Saturday Spot: Se7en Tips for Getting Things Done…

March 12th, 2012 · 7 Comments

I have to say that as our school year drew to a close last year so a lot of the projects around our house slowed to a halt. In the last couple of weeks we have been doing one major project each week to catch up and we are finally getting things done! I guess the idea of 52 weeks and a project each week has become ingrained after we blogged about it last year…

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Let’s begin with Se7en Tips for Getting Things Done:

  1. Just start: I have found a rolling start helps. Just take the first step, start with just one small thing. Once we get going we usually enjoy the process.
  2. Split it into smaller projects: With any project and a heap of kids helping, a section a day and half an hour a day is really sufficient and quite doable.
  3. Share the load: I do not personally clean out every single cupboard. I have very willing helpers and quite frankly any time is a good time to teach my kids how to clean out a cupboard!!!
  4. Finish What you Start: There is nothing worse than a lingering project. If you just do one section a day and make sure you finish it then you will notice progress and you will get done.
  5. Tidying is not Cleaning: This might seem obvious but before you can clean or sort a place, it needs to be tidied, often once you have tidied the job you are trying to achieve isn’t nearly so bad!!!
  6. Toss Stuff Out: Don’t be afraid to toss stuff out. Honestly a lot of the stuff we hang to is because it cost us money, it was a gift or we may use it someday… If you don’t actually love something you won’t ever use it, much less look at it… So donate it. Consider it a gift and enjoy the joy someone else will receive from stuff you don’t love anymore.
  7. It’s Not Over Till it is Over: Seriously finish up a project or a part of a project completely before you start the next thing. Totally finished is so much more satisfying that stopping in the home straight.
  8. And the Se7en + 1th Tip…

  9. Enjoy Your Space: On Fridays we don’t work on major projects we take the time off to enjoy what we have done in the week. if you are always working on improving and reshaping your space then it is very hard to be content with what you have. The stuff we have is there to be enjoyed – so we enjoy a job well done.

And these are the projects we have tackled so far this year:

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We Began in the Kitchen:The first day we tidied the kitchen – you can not clean a room that is a mess!!! The next day we defrosted the freezer, not my best job!!!; The next day we emptied all the cupboards and drawers… scrubbed, rubbed, filled a donate box, and repacked… the next day we cleaned the top shelves and the counter tops and the walls… Kitchen done and dusted…

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Then We took on the Mending: Oh what a mission and I know why I leave it until the mending bag explodes. I sat down one morning to fix a rip and before I knew it every person had brought me a pile of mending. Nothing serious, just an inch of a seam in a crucial place, and the hem of a trouser leg undone, and buttons… oh buttons… waaahhhhh buttons. How many items of clothing had been worn once and needed – just a little – mending? It is maddening!!! It took a couple of days and an entire day of sewing on buttons… and ENTIRE day!!! The job got done and it feels good to know that the mending bag is empty. Because apparently mending, like laundry, is a daily event!!!

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Packages and Parcels: They have been wrapped, packed and sent – I don’t know how it happened but we got out of our “Friday is letter writing day” and before we knew it days turned into weeks and we got so far behind in our correspondence that it just wasn’t funny… not even slightly funny. But all our parcels have been posted- we owe nothing. We haven’t quite finished our letters but all our overseas friends should have their “Christmas cards” by Easter… and all our readers should be getting their GiveAway prizes really soon. See why I want to collapse laughing when folks say: “You are so organized”… Christmas cards – by Easter, It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad… so lots of hysterical laughter and our overseas friends are in for some nice surprises!!!

Project Simplify Got under way this week with Week 1: The kids stuff…

I knew it was time to get the kids gear into shape, school is looming and we need to start fresh and sorted. As we got going I realized that we have a system in play for kids stuff and it was just a matter of consolidating what every one knew and getting things sorted…

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  • Books: Done… When you decided take on a project to build a library for Lesotho book by book then the best place to start looking is at home… and we have been whiffling through our shelves the last couple of weeks – love it or donate it. Love it or donate it. Just a handful of books twice a day everyday can add up really quickly!!!
  • Clothes: Whenever I do the laundry if something is out-grown it gets handed down or plonked in the donate pile, if something needs mending, heaven forbid, it goes into the mending bag to be gloriously forgotten – except now I am so thrilled that it is almost empty that i keep emptying it and it may well stay under control.
  • Stuff: My kids each have a box or a shelf or a drawer of their personal treasures. I have found that if they sort through them fairly often it stays under control. Every couple of weeks we take an afternoon or so to do a quick sort, when I told them it was time to tidy their treasures their wasn’t too much discussion!!! It has become a lot easier than when we began this “do it often” process a year ago… They are now used to donating what they no longer need and tossing the recycling that creeps into their collection back into the recycle bin!!!
  • Toys: Our toys are all communal and we have very specific toys… It isn’t a matter of needing to donate or toss any toys at the moment but rather taking all the bins out and making sure that all the Zoobs are in the Zoob bin; Duplo blocks in the Duplo bin and so on. At this stage my kids can do that all themselves in a matter of minutes… everybody gets a bin and they all sort one. it so helps to have gotten rid of heaps of stuff. Honestly, my kids are thrilled that the toys in our house have been radically reduced over the last year or two…
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    Next week on Simple Mom they are tackling the Pantry and the Fridge… – Shew we need to sort out our menu somewhat, I know the more organized the more we save!!! But we also need to get last years school books sorted before we get going with the next year. Alas, before we sort the school stuff I need to deal with the cupboards in the boys room – because in those closets are layers and layers of school from previous years… I am dreading it!!! And all I can say is: never move into a house with floor to ceiling cupboards… in any room. They quickly become a dumping ground that never look too bad because you just shut the door. So that’s the plan – sort out our menu and dive into the cupboards!!!

    Hope you have a great week!!!

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    Tags: House Tour · Inside · Organizing Se7en · Saturday Spot

    7 responses so far ↓

    • 1 Cheryl // Mar 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      I have floor to ceiling cupboards in the kitchen, which I love. I had to smile. I do tend to carefully place pots and pans in random places in these cupboards on the principle that I know where they are but no one can see how higgledy pickaldy they are balanced!

      I’ve taught my older two to sew buttons on. One less job for me and its nice company when I’m doing the more tricky mends.
      Cheryl´s last blog post ..Patchwork Along

    • 2 se7en // Mar 12, 2012 at 5:23 pm

      Oh cheryl, I am so glad it isn’t in the kitchen!!! SO glad!!! I can just imagine what would come tumbling down!!! As it is when we open our cupboard doors … sleeping bags, old projects, and heaps of school assignments and files that really do not need to be kept anymore!!! And as for the buttons – you are indeed a living genius!!! I bow before your brilliant brilliant idea – Why oh why have I never thought to just teach someone else to sew on a button!!! Love it!!! Hope you have fun week!!!

    • 3 katherine marie // Mar 13, 2012 at 5:52 am

      it took me a long long time to understand #5!!! Your tips are wonderful! You are the queen of organization!! Two out of five of my kiddos enjoy organizing (like me) so we have a good time when we put our minds to it!

    • 4 se7en // Mar 13, 2012 at 4:28 pm

      Hay KM, So true!!! #5… I know I cannot tidy up and clean my house on the same day – ever!!! EVER!!! Also, if we have guests over we often just tidy up there is no point in scrubbing the house for an invasion!!! Meanwhile, I really have to get started on those cupboards just can’t face it!!! Hope your week is fun and you enjoy some Spring-shine!!!

    • 5 Corli // Mar 13, 2012 at 5:59 pm

      I so relate to you r mending bag – clothes going in there in my house might as well have been donated! I gave up on ever getting to the mending bag. Now clothes that need that kind of minor mending just go back into their cupboards, and when they come out wearing something in the morning sans button or whatever, I fix it on the spot – only takes a minute. And that way eventually it all gets done. I think!!!
      Corli´s last blog post ..winter beauties

    • 6 se7en // Mar 13, 2012 at 6:07 pm

      Hay Corli!!! The mending bag… the mending bag… I hide it everywhere and it always resurfaces right next to where I work. I know it is the little folk trying to mention something, without actually asking!!! I know they are just quick jobs and really so quick I should do them on the spot… THE SPOT!!! But I fail!!! Hope you are having lots of fun on the far side of the world!!!

    • 7 Se7en's Fabulous Friday Fun #162 - se7en // Mar 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm

      […] 2012: Se7en Tips for Getting Things Done… […]

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