FLYing Together

Dear FlyLady,

I am an 18 year old Homeschooler who is about to graduate in August. I love being a FlyBaby!!!

My DM (Dear Mom), who is a single parent that Homeschooled Me and my two older siblings, started trying to FLY in 1999, but with Fibromyalgia she has hit quite a few speed bumps. I love my DM very much and seeing that your system works for so many others, I decided to try and help her FLY.

Last Christmas, my 27 yr old DS (dear Sister) and I saved up and got her the control journal, CD,  Body clutter book timer, and the  towels. She loved everything, but even with all that, I could tell she was still struggling, (fatigue and chronic pain really get to her).

Here I come, FlyBaby Em…. I kicked my franny into gear and rose to the challenge! I’ve been using the timer like a crazy lady and the CD is what keeps me going.  I have a lot of difficulty waking up to an alarm in the morning ( I roll over turn it off and instantly fall back asleep ) so I put the CD in my CD player and put the remote on top of my alarm clock. When my alarm goes off, I now roll over, turn it off, click my CD player on and put it on track 3 ( my fav’s are # 2 & 3, although I love them all ). That CD has helped me to establish waking up at 9a on days I’m off and 6a on days I have to work!

Now, instead of getting up as late as 2 or 3p on days I’m off, I get up at 9a,make my bed, use the bathroom ( brush teeth, wash face, swish and swipe ), feed my kitten, get dressed ALL THE WAY TO MY SHOES!! I put out hot spots in the Kitchen & living room ( as well as do my chores ), make breakfast/coffee, check my reminder’s while I’m eating, clean up from breakfast, tackle my schoolwork ( three-15 minute blocks per subject!! ), clean up the zone & do a little decluttering.

Then I have the rest of the day to be as flexible as I love to be!!! I’m still trying to get my DS (dear Sister) to FLY, but I think that if I keep FLYing, she will hopefully follow.  Since I’ve been establishing my routines, my Mom has been a lot less stressed out and is able to have more *me time*….. We glide through zones together. She say’s I’m cute when I get into my “clean the zone” mood, lol, no whining here!!
Finally Love Yourself 02
I just want to say a HUGE THANK YOU for helping me, help my mom FLY and also, helping me to overcome the fear of turning 18 by giving me the confidence to take charge in cleaning and cooking, with a positive attitude.  I am really looking forward to having my own house and family when I get older and it’s not so intimidating now! Thanks again and again and again, lol…. I LOVE TO FLY!!!!!!!

Love,
FlyBaby in VA

P. S. I’m a Dance Teacher/Choreographer that teaches Creative Movement, Artistic Development, Classical Ballet, Theatre Dance, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Hip-Hop, Ballroom and Lyrical. I have adapted “15 minutes” into my classes! It works sooo well! Thank you for turning not only my life around, but also my career!

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FlyLady Here: Can we agree that this is a Purple Puddle Moment?  The love in this young girl and her family is so beautiful and pure.  What a family!  I am so proud of these strong and courageous women!  They are truly FLYing!!!

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How Do I Tame the CHAOS Monster?

FlyLady TimerDearest FlyLady,

Greetings from Phoenix, Arizona. I became a FlyBaby back in August. While I feel I am learning to tame the Chaos Monster, he has come back with a vengeance. I have read your book, Sink Reflections, made my control journal, and look back towards my highlights in the book, and I am struggling.

I have rearranged the suggested schedule in your book to suit my own, and I am finding that I have NO time for myself and I am not getting my zone cleaning done. My weekly home blessing is taking me 4-6 hours on Saturday, which is supposed to be my family day. On Sundays, which I have tried to make my day of rest, I am feeling guilty about what I have not accomplished.

I’m pretty sure that I’m doing too much during that “hour.” I polish my furniture on all sides, and vacuum under everything. My decluttering sessions and 5 minute hot spot fire drills have all but stopped. I feel like I’m back to square one. I work on Tuesday and Wednesday as a nurse, and my 12 hour shifts end up keeping me away from home for 14 hours. Thus, I’m substituting Saturday and Sunday, my fun and rest day, for cleaning days. I want so badly to make Saturday a family fun day and Sunday a day of worship and rest.

Monday is my errand day, and Friday I babysit for my sister’s 5 month-old, who doesn’t let me put her down, which leaves Thursday. Thursday, I’m usually so exhausted from working in the intensive care unit. My job physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausts me. Please help! Only you can.

Frustrated and Failing in Phoenix.
Sincerely,
Anna

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Dear Anna,

You are putting too much pressure on yourself! You have to learn to say NO and let go of our perfectionism. You were right! You are trying to do too much for Weekly Home Blessing hour.

It seems to me that you are working two days a week. Many FlyBabies would love to have your schedule. I want you to look at how much sleep you are getting. If you are not resting well, it could be aggravating your fatigue.

You may need to tell your sister that you need to take care of yourself on Friday. I know this may seem harsh but if you don’t take care of you, WHO WILL?

To help keep up with your routines, read, read, READ the emails.  Everybody needs reminders and these emails are there to help keep you on track. Even though you may get the emails at a time when you can’t really do them due to work schedules, keep reading them – they will gradually invade your mind and give you the mindset you need to start adapting the system to your schedule.

Always remember to let go of your perfectionism and use a timer to avoid being overwhelmed. Pick a room and declutter 15 minutes at a time! Ready? Go!

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Do You Feel Like You are Drowning?

Dear Friends,

Do you ever feel like you are drowning? And you are going down for the last time and no one is there to save you! In fact the whirlpool is about to suck you into the dark abyss. This is how we all feel when we are living in CHAOS! The whirlpool is the vicious cycle we are living in and we don’t know how to stop it! You can’t even remember how you got into the dangerous waters in the first place!

I can tell you exactly why! Procrastination! You didn’t want to look at the problem so you put it off. You probably still don’t want to address the issues that are drowning you! But we do this every single day.

You see it is not one thing that is pulling you under it is all the things that got our homes in the shape they are in! Everything is connected and one thing starts getting sucked into the whirlpool the rest will follow! UNLESS you start to pull your own self out one bad habit at a time. I know you don’t believe me, but as strange as it may seem, FLYing can give you the life preservers when nothing else will!

We put off paying bills! We put off buying groceries! We put off planning menus! We put off doing our taxes! You name it we can find a way and an excuse for putting it off! We have to stop this right now! Just stopping one thing will keep your head above water.

Wednesday is always Anti-procrastination day, menu planning day and clean out the refrigerator day. Look at what taking care of these things will do for this whirlpool you have gotten yourself into. With the refrigerator cleaned out, you can see what food you need to buy, what you need to use up and what leftovers can be used in a pot of soup. Just the act of doing it starts your mind thinking about menus and a grocery list. While you are cleaning out the refrigerator, keep your grocery list handy so you can jot down a few ideas for next week’s meals.

Now after you have cleaned out the refrigerator, sit down with a cup of tea for 10 minutes and think about what you can cook next week. Having groceries in the house is half the battle to cooking. When you don’t have it on hand it is just much easier to call for pizza or takeout! Which is why you are gaining weight and losing money; could this be a reason you are in the whirlpool in the first place? Think about the life preserver of just cleaning out the refrigerator: could this be the key to not falling into the abyss!

You have it in your head that menu planning it going to take a long time, it is hard or that you have people that won’t eat what you cook. Your excuses are just another form of whining and procrastination. If the truth be told, menu planning only takes about seven minutes if you will do it. Eventually you will have several week’s worth of menus and grocery lists that you can recycle and not even have to go through this process except to clean out the refrigerator so you won’t forget to utilize some produce.

Cleaning out the refrigerator along with menu planning saves you money! This is money that can be used to pull yourself out of this whirlpool. You have to start someplace! So go clean out your refrigerator!

My hand is out; grab it and we will FLY together!

FlyLady

I realize that the stress of the holidays could be weighing heavily on you right now. Please take some time for yourself.
Have you put your routines in your Control Journal. We have the instructions on our website. If you have allowed your perfectionism to take over and cause you to procrastinate about building your Control Journal then just get the one I made for you! I know how you are. My first Control Journal was way too heavy. My own perfectionism caused me to obsess. Don’t do this to yourself. It never hurts to have a zippered Office in a Bag to keep it in.

Digital Control Journal

Regular Control Journal

 

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Holiday Crisis Cleaning

Dear Friends, 

I can hear the panic in your voices. “In a few days, we have a ton of company coming, what am I to do?” If you want a crash marathon cleaning session, I can help you, but be warned, without the routines, your home will be trashed again in a day. So you have to listen closely.

1. GO GET DRESSED ALL THE WAY TO SHOES, HAIR FIXED AND FACE MOISTURIZED OR MAKEUP PUT ON. DON’T QUESTION ME ON THIS. JUST DO IT NOW. Put on some good working music. Not too fast, just slow
and steady. peppy, but not aerobic. Light a candle that has a good scent or put on some spices on to boil on a very low heat.

We are going to start in our kitchens. As the kitchen goes, so does the rest of the house.

2. Set a timer and spend 15 minutes in the kitchen. If your sink is not clean and shiny, then shine it first, then you can fill the sink up with hot soapy water and start to clear off the left and right counters. Empty the dishwasher, When the timer goes off. Stop what you are doing and go to the living room

3. Set the timer again and do 15 minutes cleaning off the coffee tables or picking up toys or newspapers. Concentrate on one thing. Not all of it. When the timer goes off, then go back to the kitchen. Get a laundry basket and put the things that don’t belong in the living room in the basket. Take a garbage bag with you too. Start throwing away the trash. Don’t get caught up in the guilt we have about recycling this stuff. Just bag it up for now. 20 pounds of
trash in a landfill is not going to kill you. So get over this perfectionism attitude. As you get your home in order there will beplenty of time to recycle. For now we are focusing on getting the home presentable. You can’t do this if you are hyper-focusing on sorting and recycling.

4. In the kitchen set the time for 15 more minutes, continue to work on clearing the counters. DO NOT GET SIDETRACKED AND WANT TO CLEAN OUT A CABINET. WE ARE DOING ONLY SURFACE CLEANING.

5. Now take a break and walk around and look at what you have accomplished in just 45 minutes. Set the timer for 15 minutes and drink a cup of tea or coffee or whatever you love and just relax. When the timer goes off. You are back in work mode for 15 more minutes.

6. This 15 minute session is in the bathroom. Do you have this! Clean the sink in here first, then pick up towel and dirty clothes and put them in the hamper. DO NOT GET SIDETRACKED AND START A LOAD OF LAUNDRY. I MEAN THIS. LAUNDRY WILL COME LATER!

7. When the timer goes off, you are back in the kitchen. For 15 more minutes. We can do anything in 15 minutes. Keep working till the timer goes off. Then you go to the Living room once again.

8. In the living room, continue to pick up and put away.

9. Every 45 minutes take a 15 minute break.

Adapt this schedule to fit your physical limitations and children’s needs. But you get the picture. Stay focused on one job for 15 minutes. You are going to be so surprised at how much you get done in a days time.

My timer is my best Friend.

You can do this.

Now turn off the computer and get to work!

Let’s FLY through this Crisis Cleaning, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy your guests,

FlyLady

P.S. Put this in your Control Journal for future reference, just in case a friend needs your help.

Don’t Procrastinate if you are wanting to purchase something from theFlyShop!

December 19th is the last day to order so that it will get shipped.

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Young@Heart: Twas The Aftermath of Christmas

I wrote this poem to help you remember what the holidays are really all about. I think if you read the whole thing and then take the three minutes and twenty-five seconds to watch the YouTube video; it’ll help lift your spirits. Oh, and you just might need a tissue.

‘Twas the Aftermath of Christmas

‘Twas post Christmas morning when all through the place
The family was reeling from the Christmas rat race

The stockings were gutted, the gifts all unwrapped
There was chaos, confusion and energy sapped

Mom was in her jammies with unruly hair
The kids full of candy, there was smoke in the air

From the thunderous fire, Dad’s cramming, The Cause
Of paper and boxes from his arsonist claws

And out of the chimney and up on the roof
Hot chunks of packaging fiery proof

That Christmas was over and so was the fun
The only thing left was to dial 911

Outside were the sirens the fire truck arrived
They hosed off the roof and the house did survive

But inside the home as dry as a thistle
The Christmas tree threatened to launch like a missile

While mom made a pile of stuff to return
Dad kept on adding to the fireplace burn

The kids with their soon-to-be discarded stuff
Hadn’t a clue when enough was enough

“Get’em to want it so much that they buy
Stuff they don’t need and never ask why,”

The result of this brainwashing marketing trap?
Shelf-sagging, drawer-bulging, closet-jamming crap

Toys in containers no one can get into
Not with scissors, a crowbar, a blow torch or Ginsu

So how in the world can this chaos be nipped?
No one wants his Christmas wings nipped.

Here’s the solution all tied up in a bow
The secret of Christmas in a song you may know

I chose Julie Andrews rendition so fair
Three minutes, twenty-five seconds she’ll share

And when you get stuck in the world of stuff
This song will remind you, enough IS enough

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How Do I Clean my Wood Floors?

Dear FlyLady,

I’m trying to find information about what’s best to use to clean wood floors, but there is so much conflicting info on internet. Do you have a preferred cleaning product? Or just vinegar and water?

Thanks,

Carolyn

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Dear Carolyn,

I am right there with you on trying to find out the “Perfect” way to clean wood floors. Our home has them everywhere. What I have found that works best is just plain water! I know you don’t believe me, but the secret to the plain water is the microfiber pad I use with it.

This is what comes with our FlyLady Mop. If you still think you need to use some kind of cleaner; you can spray a little Windex on the floor. Mostly I just use water. Those microfiber pads pick up so much dirt and grime.

Have fun mopping! Our mops work well for dust mopping too. Have you seen how fast I can do my floors.

All you have to do is make it fun! So you will do it!

FlyLady

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I Did it for Me

FlyLady Ultimate TimerDear FlyLady,

I am a SAHM FlyMom with 3 kids (9,6,4) who has been fluttering for over 3 yrs. with your system.  I am nowhere close to perfect (and never will be), but I have come SO far in these many years.

Anyway, I have to tell you about a recent phenomenon.   My in-laws came to stay with us for 4 nights.  Although I was happy to see them and to give up our bed for them, I was not looking forward to the disruption to my routines.  I did my weekly blessing and some decluttering every day until they came.  However, I still saw stuff everywhere and felt overwhelmed by it all.  The martyr in me was whining “No one is helping me”, “I am doing the best I can with everything else on my plate”…etc.

Two days after they left, my oldest DS was going off to sleepover with a classmate.  My Mom took the younger kids to sleepover at her house.  I did MORE in the hour before I went to drop off the kids than in the “four days of preparation” for my in-laws.  I wandered around the house with a bin and got all the small toys and dumped them in the toy box, went under all the kid’s beds and got all the toys and clothes.  I vacuumed the upstairs including under the kid’s beds.

I realized later it was because I did it FOR MYSELF.  I wanted to relax and have a super long date night with DH.  I did not want to spend my free time a) cleaning or b) feeling guilty.  Notice what the right motivation (FOR ME) and a deadline (A TIMER) can do.  You have to do this stuff for yourself and the rest of it will happen naturally.

Thank you FlyLady and all the wonderful crew.  You have changed my life and I tell my kids “Everyone makes mistakes”, “It doesn’t have to be perfect” all the time.  What a great legacy!!

ATL area FLyBaby

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Help I have Kids

Dear FlyLady,

I have two questions:

1) How do you fit morning routine in when you have little children. I have a 4 month old and two year old thank G-d and usually eat breakfast myself around 2:00 pm after my sons are both napping if I’m lucky. I get dressed as soon as I get them both up but usually wear crocs and not laces. This is what I find comfortable. Ok so back to my question how do you fit routine into your morning when you jump out of bed to two crying kids?

2) it’s true my house would be cleaner if I did only one task at a time but is that realistic I am usually doing ten things at once.

I am cooking dinner serving lunch to kids nursing the baby and switching laundry etc etc all at once. Would I actually be able to accomplish everything I need while Doing only one thing at a time? Does this mean also preparing only one dish at a time too?

Thank you for all your inspiration!

Toe

Dear Toe,

It is up to you to stop this vicious cycle. It starts with going to bed at a decent hour and sleeping. The secret to keeping up with children is to get up 15 minutes before the children wake up. This gives you time to get dressed to LACE UP SHOES, fix your hair and face, and eat some breakfast. It is unacceptable for you to put off eating till 2pm. You are not treating yourself well. If you don’t take care of you; you can’t take care of your family.

The truth is when you try to do ten things at once; nothing ever gets finished. When you are nursing the baby. You need to be focused on that and drinking your water. This is your quiet time. You could actually use this time to read your two year old a story.

You are the parent! You are the person in control. You are going to have to slow down and enjoy the process instead of rushing through everything. Your children are feeling your stress. Slowing down by using the nursing time to change the pace of your day.

Yes I do cook one item at a time. I clean up after myself. Then I start with the next thing. If you are trying to cook and do laundry and take care of children while being in several different places at one time. You are lying to yourself. You can’t be in more than one place at a time. Stay focused on one thing at a time. You will be happier, you won’t burn food, and your children will be safer.

You can have your two year old close by with books or pots and pans. While you are sitting nursing the baby; use this time to come up with simple routines. It is these routines that are going to put your back in charge of your home.

A fun game to keep you focused is our FlyLady Bingo. Here is how you play this game. Make a numbered list of six things that you need to accomplish. You can also make a list for your two year old to do right along side of you. Get out your timer. You can write the numbers on popcicle sticks, pieces of paper, or use a dice. Pull out a number, set your timer for ten minutes or fifteen minutes and do that one thing.

Here is a list of six items for your two year old.

1. Fold wash cloths
2. Pick up toys and put in basket.
3. Carry a few dirty clothes to washing machine.
4. Throw papers in the trash or recycling
5. Make the bed. Yes they can if you let go of your perfectionism
6. Sweep the floor. It is not going to be perfect but it will be fun.

Here is your list.

1. Fold Laundry
2. Clear off a hot spot
3. Put a load of laundry in the washer
4. Empty trash can
5. Make your bed
6. Wipe down kitchen counters.

If you have a FlyLady Rubba Sweepa, the handle will reduce to fit your two year old’s hand. Your babies want to help you. Make it where they can. If you let go of your perfectionism and you can have a lot more fun with your children.

We need your testimonials and pictures of your children helping you. Please sent them to me; FlyLady@flylady.net with MY LITTLE HELPERS in the subject line.

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Food For Thought: 5 Ways to Enjoy Squash for Dinner

Hello Friends,

You can tell by the bright yellow or orange flesh of winter squash (well, depending on the variety), that this fall harvest fruit is good for you. (Yes, squash is a fruit!) Winter squash, like acorn and butternut, are the more substantial varieties. And I’m sure you already knew it, but zucchini is considered a summer squash.

If you’re looking for some ideas about how to get more of this delicious fruit that’s easy to find, easy to cook and easy on the budget, I happen to have some fab suggestions for you. ;)

The following are five ways you can prepare squash to enjoy with your dinner this evening:

Roasted with root vegetables. If you’re roasting beets, parsnips or carrots, toss in some squash. You can also make it even easier and simply slice your squash in half, remove the seeds (save them to roast later), and roast in its skin at 375 for about 30–40 minutes, depending on the squash and its size. When dinner’s ready, scoop out the flesh of the squash and enjoy with some butter.

Mashed or puréed. You can steam your squash and mash it, just like you would with potatoes. I personally don’t care for this method as it’s not nearly as flavorful as roasting, but it’s a good way to bulk up a serving of mashed vegetables. Puréed squash also looks very pretty on a plate.

Souped up. Make a simple soup from your squash, and serve it as an appetizer. Or, bulk it up with more veggies and serve it as a main course.

Stuffed. You can stuff and roast just about any squash you would like. Imagine a beautiful spaghetti squash, sliced in half and stuffed with tomato sauce and meatballs. Or an acorn squash sliced and stuffed with sausage and apples. Use your imagination (and Google—you can find endless ideas for roasting squash.)

As noodles. You may already know that you can roast a spaghetti squash and scoop out its noodly flesh to eat as you would any traditional noodle. But if you have a vegetable spiralizer, you can also make noodles out of other types of squash like acorn or butternut, and gently steam them to serve for dinner. (You can find veggie spiralizers on Amazon.) The accord squash “noodles” are wonderful!

I hope I’ve inspired you to add squash to your menu this evening. :)

Love,
Leanne Ely, Your Dinner Diva

PS–We’ve created a special page just for our FlyBabies!  Click here to get FR*EE menus and exclusive deals on our most popular products!

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Weekly Home Blessing With Children

Dear Friends,

This week we are look at our homes with a focus on encouraging our children to help. In order to get their full participation, it has to be fun and there needs to be a reward afterwards.

Let’s look at our Weekly Home Blessing Hour.

We have 7 items on our list to do:

1. Empty Trash(all over the house)
2. Dust
3. Vacuum
4. Mop
5. Cull old magazines
6. Change Sheets
7. Polish mirrors and door.

Now how can we get the family involved? By making a game out of it.

Save the jobs that are the hardest for you. If you are going to be picky about the way they do it, then don’t play this game; it won’t be fun for you or them.
KEEP THIS RULE IN MIND!

HOUSEWORK DONE INCORRECTLY, STILL BLESSES YOUR FAMILY!

Have fun!

Decide on a good reward for getting the home blessing done without complaints, fussing or fighting. Go to the park. Take in a matinee or rent a movie and pop popcorn. You know what your children love to do.

Take the list of items and write them on slips of paper. Fold the papers and place them in a bowl or bag to have your child/children draw from. Do not hold the children to your standards; this is supposed to be fun, not perfect. Do you understand this? Set a timer for 10 minutes and go to have some fun. After the buzzer goes off; draw another assignment. Afterwards go have fun. You can hold your older children to a little higher standards, but not perfection. I don’t even hold you to that tough goal. Baby Steps, the more they do this, the better they will get at it. Another way is to get the children to work along side of you.

For instance if you are dusting, give them the feather duster and teach them how to use it without knocking things over. You take a dust cloth. Together you can dust the furniture top to bottom. Remember children are short and can get the lower spots easily.

Have them help you vacuum. Put a basket in the middle of the room and have them put everything in it before you run the vacuum cleaner. You could even aim for the basket, if you allow tossing in the house. LOL Then let them push the vacuum around the room. Remember just the middles, we are not doing under the couches just yet.

Now for mopping, you sweep the kitchen floor while the children get on their bathing suits. LOL This is from one of our members. Put some wet towels on the floor with a little more water, and let them scoot around on the floor on the their frannies. Have a spray bottle filled with plain water to add to the excitement. You could also put a tiny bit of baby shampoo on the floor for soap. Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect, just fun. You get the floor clean and they get to be silly. They will love it. You can let them play as long as they are having fun. Then toss the dirty towel and swim suits in the washer. Oh you can do the bathroom this way too, then put the children in the tub and let them play, but they have to be cleaning in there too.

It isn’t the type of cleaner that gets things clean, it is the act of doing the cleaning that accomplishes the task. We don’t have a magic potion. A little shampoo on a wash cloth will remove a bathtub ring. As of culling magazines; you can turn this into a learning event. Have them look for magazine with last month’s date on them. Changing Sheets is not that hard, one of my fondest memories is when my father taught me to make hospital corners. Every time I put clean sheets on our bed I think about him. You can set a timer for this too and race to see who get them in the laundry room first. Each bed needs two sets of sheets, so you don’t have to wait to put the fresh sheets on the bed.

Polishing mirrors and door doesn’t have to be perfect either. Just a little spray of your favorite cleaner on a paper towel or clothe and let them get the worst of it off. You will be surprised at how good the doors will look without dog nose prints and hand prints on them.

As for gathering up all the trash in the house; teach them that emptying the trash means putting a new bag in the trashcan. Keep extra bags in the bottom of each can then they don’t have to go searching for them. Blow your whistle have them run to their rooms and gather up trash.

You can also put on their favorite music. You can stand anything for an hour! It is Weekly Home Blessing Hour! Let them know this is the way you get in the mood to clean; you have to set the stage for fun. This goes for you too. Create a fun time for blessing your home with the children helping. You can do this. Ask the children for suggestions and have fun.

Home Blessing with FLYing Children Power,

FlyLady

Children love sweeping, dusting, swishing and swiping, mopping and using a Rubba Scrubba.

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