My Child, My Home, My Country: A Marine Mom Speaks

Marine Mom Speaks

The following essay, written shortly after the collapse of the Twin Towers, has been this writer's most-read piece of work.

Written on September 14, 2001, it was the cry of my heart as the mother of a United States Marine, a son who had been called to alert in response to the attacks on our country.

Each year on September 11, I re-read this essay. And remember ...

Get Ready for Christmas with a Holiday Plan

Labor Day weekend ahead! School bells are ringing, football fills the airwaves and September looms. Will the holidays be far behind?

Sure, you're dreaming of the perfect Christmas--then you open your eyes to reality. Looking around the house, it's hard to imagine how to cut the clutter, manage fall cleaning and prepare for Christmas all at once.

How will you bring the current state of domestic chaos into holiday readiness: clean, organized, prepared? You need a holiday plan!

Topics: 

Home's Cool! Get Organized for Homeschool

get organized for homeschooling

In my years as worker, mother and home manager, I have experienced a full range of life’s little organizational challenges.

I have run a business from a home shared with two tiny children and moved cross-country (and back). I've merged two cluttered households into one small city apartment, and lived for many happy years with a card-carrying packrat husband.

Home schooling a child beat them all hands-down, organizationally speaking.

How do I count the clutter? The books. The papers. The biology experiments on the kitchen window.

Plan to Succeed: Teaching Kids The Planner Habit

planners for kids

Kids using planners? I can hear the confused grumbling now. Well, isn't that just the latest status parent affectation!

Wrong! Teachers, parents and homeschool families know that training kids to the planner habit makes for successful students.

School districts throughout the USA issue planners to pupils and integrate planner use into the school day. Homeschool families use planners to track and organize lessons, chores and activities, while tech-savvy teens rely on calendar and to-do apps to organize their work.

Tame Morning Madness with a Family Launch Pad

family launch pad

Morning Madness! Only the pre-dinner "Arsenic Hour" comes close in the "Calgon, take me away!" category.

Bathroom fights, soggy cereal, and the ever-present, "Mommy! I can't find my . . . !"

Getting the family out the door in the morning can make any parent want to pull the bedclothes up and hide.

One small concept can go a long way to taming the morning beast: the family Launch Pad. Just as a spaceship must have a dedicated structure to support liftoff, so family members need a Launch Pad to stabilize them as they blast out the door.

Do It Now! Tips To Get Ready For Back-To-School

Move over, summer--a new school year is coming!

With the start of school, families face new organization challenges.

School bells ring--and so do early-morning alarm clocks.

Paper piles swell as hand-outs and homework stream into the house.

Shorter autumn days bring a hectic round of sports, activities and events, and calendars fill with cryptic notes. Can the holidays be far behind?

Get organized now for the best school year ever! Use these ideas to prepare your home and family for the busy days ahead.

Welcome to the Back-to-School Countdown

back to school countdown

A new school year is on the horizon! Time to prepare for back to school, with the Organized Home Back-to-School Countdown.

Beginning August 3, 2014, we're counting down to a new school year. For two weeks, we'll work together to get organized, gear up and get ready for back-to-school.

Following an ultimate back-to-school checklist, the Back-to-School Countdown includes daily reminders, free printables and inspiring articles to help you prepare for the first day of school.

Cash In: Start Now to Save Money for Christmas

Think Christmas ... in July? Sure--if you want to be prepared for a stress-free holiday season.

Starting holiday planning now makes sense ... and cents! Saving ahead for holiday expenses spreads the financial demands of the Christmas season over several months--and being prepared with a cash budget means you'll be less tempted to put holiday spending on credit cards.

Sister site Organized Christmas has some clever ways to start now to save money for a debt-free Christmas celebration:

Clever checkbook management can lead to a Christmas stash. When paying bills each month, "round down" the bank balance to the next even amount--say, from $967 to $900--by writing a dummy check for $67 and deducting it from the register. Don't cash it, but hold it for Christmas. Over a few months, those "round it down" amounts will add up to holiday funds.

Cash In! Do-It-Now Ways To Save Money For Christmas