My House Didn’t Fall Apart

Dear Marla and Team:I’ve been an on-and-off FlyBaby for seven years now, right after my DD was born. The FLY routines have been a lifesaver for me, especially over the past three years, as I’ve been working and getting my master’s degree (and being a mom and wife!). Even though I didn’t always follow all the zone missions or there may have been weeks where out-at-dawn/back-at-midnight days meant little time for cleaning, keeping the morning and evening routines as often as possible means my house didn’t fall apart and I didn’t have to spend my precious one day off cleaning the house instead of with my family.

Now that I’m done with school, I can turn to getting my home back into ship-shape, and of course it started with really Shining My Sink!

Thanks for reminding me that it’s getting back on the wagon that’s admirable. I come from a long line of martyrs so being gentle with myself is sometimes hard and I’m grateful for this community to help me with that.

Warmly,
Devra Thomas
Efland, NC

P.S.: My DH was a help, too, with the “Load A Day” and with “Shine Your Sink.” Having his support with just those two routines made a huge difference in my sanity!

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Can They Clean Eyeglasses?

Dear FlyLady,

I will hopefully be purchasing your Rags in a Bag soon. I had a quick question. I was wondering if they do a good job of cleaning eyeglasses?

My husband dislikes the little rags they give for cleaning glasses because they get gross so quickly. I thought of your Rags in a Bag and thought that it was worth a try. Of course I want them for cleaning my house as well, but there are so many uses for them I’m sure.

Thank you!
Flybaby from Stella,NC

Allissa

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Dear Allissa,

I keep a purple rag tucked into the side cushion of my chair just for cleaning my glasses and my computer screen. I like to put a little water on the purple rag first then wipe my glasses. I think they do a great job.

They work on muddy doors, too with just plain water!

Check out this video I made with our dog Harley before he died. Take the dirty door or what ever is dirty challenge. Take a video of you cleaning it with your purple rag and post it on our Facebook page. Make it about 1 to 2 minutes. This could be fun.

If you don’t have a purple rag to take the challenge, get some to see what they can do at your home.

We also have our wonderful Rags in a Bag in SILVER. They do the same amazing job cleaning our surfaces as our purple rags.

FlyLady

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Impatience Causes Stress

Dear Friends,

One of the things that I do to take care of me is not ever getting in a hurry. I know that this does not seem like much, but slowing down keeps me calm.

Stress is one of causes chronic illness. When I take care of me and relieve stress by not getting in a hurry, I am on a road to wellness not illness. Little things like relieving stress, taking my vitamins, getting the proper rest, and drinking my water help keep me healthy.

Everything I do in my life brings me joy. If it doesn’t I discard it as if it were clutter. Clutter takes all forms! It invades our homes, our minds and our way of life. Learning how to weed out the clutter in our homes is just the beginning to finding our wings to FLY!

As the clutter leaves our homes, we find clear spaces. These open areas help us to slow down and enjoy the calm. Less clutter more peace!

We have a tendency to want it all fixed now. You joined our group looking for a way to get your home in order. The problem with wanting it now is that we are impatient. That means we are in a hurry. Hurry causes stress and stress produces more CHAOS and Clutter! Back on that vicious cycle; It is time for us to jump off of this not so Merry-go-round!

So how do we do this? I feel that the key to our new mode of transportation is taking care of ourselves. I know you don’t believe me when you first join, but please don’t get in a hurry. It takes time to give birth to a new life. I like to think that we are pregnant and in a few months we will have a newborn.

Your new life starts with nurturing yourself; eventually it will become a way of life. Start by practicing with us this week. You may find that you really enjoy it and when you take care of you; your home will almost take care of itself. I promise! This really does happen!

Are you ready to FLY?

FlyLady

HiddenTreasures
Hidden Treasures was a surprise Birthday present from my sister. Getting this book published was my gift to her. Thank you dear sister for giving our FlyBabies a new way to learn FLYing!

It has already helped many FlyBabies get excited about FLYing!

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They Want Your Attention!

Dear Pam,
Thank you for sharing your experiences in The GOOD Book. It has changed my attitude about budgeting, saving, spending and I now recognize what marketers have known all along. Advertising is out to get my inner child’s attention! What a difference it has made to know I’m in charge, not the advertisers and certainly not my seven-year-old inner child!

Blessings,
Linda

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Pam here: Shrek said, “Ogres are like onions; they have layers.” We aren’t ogres, but we have layers too. I uncovered one such layer while climbing out of the embarrassing and tortuous prison of credit card debt I ‘d got myself into and wrote about in The GOOD Book: Get Out Of Debt.

This layer I tapped into was more like a river of excitement. One time during the three years it took to write the book, Nelly (my inner child) insisted we have a whole new wardrobe for our annual vacation in Cancun (just so you know my husband paid for our vacations, but not my wardrobe). Since we were going with a couple who were walking billboards for Nordstrom, Nelly wanted expensive, new clothes.

The conversation with her went something like this:

“I want new summer clothes for Cancun.”

“It’s not in our budget and you know that.”

“It’s not in our budget and you know that,” Nelly mocked with a snotty tone.

“Don’t you sass me little one, I’m the one who controls the money now.”

“But, Janny and Will are gonna have beautiful new clothes and they’re not gonna go to Target to get ‘em.”

“Now you’re sounding like a snob.”

“Nuh uh, I’m not a snob. I’m not a snob! I want pretty clothes from Nordstrom and it’s not fair we have to wear all these dumb old clothes.”

While she was stomping around feeling sorry for herself, I thought for a minute and made a simple suggestion.

“Okay, what if we get a whole new wardrobe, but we don’t spend more than $75?”

The thought shut her up.

“Here’s what we’ll do. We’ll make a list of the clothes we want; shorts, tops and a bathing suit and in the next six weeks we’ll go once a week to Goodwill and find what we like. Our rule will be no prints or plaids, but solid colors and 100% silk, and cotton, no synthetics. We’ll even look for designer labels.

Those six weeks turned out to be the most exiting shopping sprees. Our beautiful collection of summer clothes (once they’d been through the cleaners) was a source of pride for my little Nelly and I was proud that we’d stayed within our budget.

When we can enlist the enthusiasm of the child within, we can have so much more fun in life. I was surprised how easily I turned around my attitude and came up with an adventure that brought my creativity and sense of competition into play with each other.

The GOOD Book will help you get in touch with your inner child in a fun-loving way. Once you know her you’ll begin to be aware of her thoughts before they turn into actions inspired by advertisers. After all, we get into debt by not thinking about consequences and that’s what children do.

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How Do I Turn Negative Thinking Into Positive Thinking?

Dear FlyLady and Crew,

I love your encouragement and wisdom (also your tools), so I figured you’d have an answer to the dilemma I find myself in.

I dislike doing housework and I hate, hate, hate washing dishes by hand (which I have to do because I don’t have a dishwasher).

I’ve been doing the babysteps, routines, and setting my timer but I still can’t shake the feeling of negativity that hangs over my head when I do these simple jobs.

Then it hit me! My aha moment!

Housework of any kind feels like punishment because that’s how my parents punished me and my sisters growing up. If we misbehaved, we’d have to “clean” and the more we disobeyed, the more “chores” (I hate that word) we’d be given that day.

And here’s the kicker and the reason hand-washing dishes is my least-favorite job (I’d rather clean the bathroom then wash-up a counter-full of dirty dishes)–”kitchen duty”, aka dishes, was the most common punishment doled-out (usually right after supper). If you got away from the table without the “dishes” punishment from Dad, you were free and subconsciously a “good girl”.

This sounds hokey, but after discussing this with my younger sister, she agrees that she struggles with the same negativity.

Therefore, I was wondering if you have any advice on how to turn the negativity of housework into a positive of Finally Loving Yourself?

Right now, I have to say (out loud) to myself, “This isn’t a punishment. I’m doing this because I want to.” as I bless my house and family. It’s still hard.

Thank you for listening and helping me. Hopefully I’m not the only one in this situation and your words of wisdom and support with help others too.

Illinois FlyBaby not wanting to feel punished anymore

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Dear Illinois FlyBaby,

My heart goes out to you! You are not the first FlyBaby who found herself in tears while doing the dishes. I think it is a shame when a parent uses housecleaning for punishment. They are setting their children up for a lifetime sadness when it comes to having a home that blesses them.

You deserve to have a home that hugs you! We have to find a way to love that little child who was mistreated. So let’s come up with some fun ideas to turn chores into games. I am so proud of you for figuring this out. Knowing is half the battle! Now that you know you can redirect those negative feelings.

1. Put on some fun music! Uplifting and inspirational.

2. Put a collage of family pictures above your sink so that you see your loved ones when you are washing the dishes. With every dish you wash, say a little prayer for each member of your family.

3. Listen to an audio book while you wash the dishes. One that you can’t wait to listen to. And only listen to it while you do the dishes. This will help you drown out those negative voice that are berating you.
Love is a verb
4. You already know this! This is your home! You are not being punished. You are loving your life and home by having a home that is a present to you!

5. You can also say this over and over as if it were your mantra: I LOVE MYSELF! I LOVE MYSELF! I LOVE MYSELF! I LOVE MYSELF!I LOVE MYSELF! I LOVE MYSELF! I AM FLYING!

6. The next thing I want you to try is this: FLYLADY SAID, “I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!” SHE REALLY DOES LOVE ME! I can do this one babystep at a time! She is proud of me! Yippee!

7. I want you to know that you are loved! I want you to find peace in your life. Peace starts with replacing those negative words and actions with loving ones!

8. Set your timer for seven minutes and see how many dishes you can do in seven minutes.

9. Any time you start to feel bad when you are washing dishes, I want you to force yourself to SMILE! Fake it till you make it! Before you know it, you will be smiling all by yourself.

10. As you start to cook, fill your sink with hot soapy water. As you dirty up a dish, put it in the hot water and wash them up as you go. There will be fewer dishes and pots and pans to clean up.

11. Here is my favorite thing to think about when I do the dishes: I am giving myself a manicure. Your nails are clean and when you finish you can put lotion on your hands or paint your nails.

So you see, you can change your thinking if you will practice some of these techniques for loving yourself. These actions will speak louder than those negative voice.

I’ll love you till you can do it all by yourself! I know you can do this!

FlyLady

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I Don’t Have to Rush to Catch Up

Dear FlyLady,I cannot do much at the moment due to illness.

Your daily emails and flight plans are a godsend. They remind me that when things are better for me, I do not have to rush to catch up. I can return to the Babysteps and build things up again. When I have a good day, I still swish and swipe, and do a load of washing. I may not be ironing but at least my clothes are clean.

So all you FlyBabies out there. Take it steady and slowly and you will overtake the hare, and with less stress and more satisfaction.

Thank you!

Jackie
Devon, England

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Attitude of Gratitude Spiritual Message

Dear Friends,

The Midnight Editor has gotten me up this morning. This is the first time in a while that I have been compelled to get up and write like a crazy person. You know you have to write when you lay in bed and begin composing even after you have put a note on piece of paper in the bathroom. When I awoke at 4:30 am I could not put my hand on my bathroom note pad so I grabbed my pencil and wrote it on my calendar.

Ever since FlyLady started the God Breezes have always filled my sails and the words just poured out of me. Lately I have been struggling with my passion for writing. As it says in Ecclesiastes; there is nothing new under the sun. I love that!

This tells me that I need to get back to my own set of basics for my life’s mission. Those simple habits include: Shining my sink, getting dressed to lace up shoes, doing a small before bed routine and quick morning routine. I can turn each of these habits into an analogy that brings back the passion in my life.

It all starts with shining your sink. For many of us shining our sink has become so automatic that we hardly realize we are even doing it. For me and my passion for helping each of you; my sink is my attitude for gratitude. Being able to recognize that blessings abound and that when I am grateful the words flow; this was the thought that got me out of my warm bed this morning.

Blessings come in many forms. Sometimes they are just too much drama, other times they are unanswered prayers, and the hardest ones are the most painful; changes that are forced on us.

None of us like change. This is why we rebel. If we will learn to go with the flow instead of fight the rip tide; we will be survivors. Drama is one of those unnatural attributes that pull us away from our purpose. I hate drama! When drama appears in my life I am learning to recognize it for what it really is; a direction change. It is God giving me a sign that I am headed in the wrong direction. I am so thankful for all the drama that has been in my life the last few months.

Every trial and trouble is God’s way of giving my life a new direction. When I am thankful for even the tough times, the God Breezes blow me the right direction. Even before FlyLady started every job I ever had prepared me for my life’s work. I had always felt so lost because I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was good at anything I set my mind to do. I just never had a clear view of the what my passion was till God gave me you!

Flybabies are who I live for! Helping you to find peace through your own routines is my life’s mission. I thank God every day for each of you. This past week I went through my boxes of newspaper clippings and magazine articles. Each article I picked up reminded me of the FlyBaby who sparked the story: From Time Magazine to Woman’s Day. The most important part of the boxes of memorabilia were the personal letters from you in your hand writing. I could see your face as I held the letter. Some of them were several pages long. This got me to thinking. I miss seeing you in person.

So part of the Midnight Editor Epiphany was that I needed to hand it over to you. What I wrote on the top of my calendar in the dark was “Call Out FlyBabies”.

On Thursday Michele and I visited the National Shrine of Saint Therese in Illinois on our way to Fort McCoy. I prayed for all of the FlyBabies. I asked for prayers to protect you from the impatience that comes with perfectionism. I will have more on this when I get home from our pilgrimage. I can’t wait to write about our experience. A precious lady name Fran gave me her Rosary. Needless to say the God Breezes were blowing.

My personal goal is to travel at least once a month to an event some place to see you. My purpose in doing this is to help more people find the peace that I have found. It is because of you that every story in those boxes was written. All I need to do is listen to the Midnight Editor and Call Out the FlyBabies.

So here I go. Please help me to get my message out into the world. Tell a friend. If you know of some group that needs a speaker for an event then share my website with them. Submit an idea for a story to your favorite magazine, talk show, or blog. I know that 2015 is going to be the best year ever for releasing the stress in the lives of FlyBabies around the world. Thank you so much for being my go to friend. Send an email to  MEDIA-Requests@flylady.net. Please put MEDIA INQUIRY in the subject line if you have an event that you would love for me to be a part of.

I Love You All!

FlyLady

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Surprise! Not One, Not Two, But Three!

Dear House Fairy,
I just wanted to thank you for not only leaving surprises for my sons, James five and Connor seven, but for giving Connor ideas for being kind and surprising me. I wanted to share with you what happened. Your addition to our home has brought great fun and joy!

Their room has been consistently neat for several months and you have been making inspections about once a week. I’m sharing one of your notes so other moms can see what happens when you leave this kind of idea {wink wink}. It’s so funny how kids love to do something for another person and if I had told him to do these chores he wouldn’t have been as thrilled.

Dear Connor,

Your room is very neat. I love that you put your clothes out that you will wear to school tomorrow! You didn’t leave a single toy or book out and even your closet is nice. Good job!

I have one request of you: I want you to do one of these things to surprise your mom tomorrow. Set the table while she’s fixing dinner, fold the basket of towels and wash clothes in the laundry room and put them away or empty the waste baskets in the bathrooms into the trash can. I want it to be a surprise for your mom, so pick one and surprise her.

Hugs,
House Fairy

The next day, he did all three chores and he was really sneaky about doing them while I wasn’t looking! I got to act shocked and excited about the surprises too. I think next time you’ll leave a note that asks him to get James involved with the chores (James can’t read).

Sincerely,
Paula a surprised mom!

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Pam here:
Paula is right about kids being more eager to oblige someone besides the parent! I guess because we’re always asking them to do stuff. But when the request comes from the House Fairy, what kid could resist? Great idea Paula, thank you for sharing.

To bring the House Fairy into your home and watch the fun begin, for just $14.95 your kids will be able to watch all the videos of the House Fairy teaching, inspiring and motivating them to have fun, be good and be kind and keep their rooms neat and tidy. Your kids will be able to have their clean room in the House Fairy’s Hall of Clean Rooms with more than a thousand other neat and clean rooms.

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I Can See Clearly Now!

Dear Friends,

This morning I started playing iTunes Roulette. I love when a song reminds me of an essay.

Do you remember the song that has this verse? I can see clearly now the rain is gone; all obstacles that were in my way. I don’t know the exact words, I will look them up later.

Your clutter is standing in your way. When you take the time to eliminate it, you will find that the brain fog that has been clouding your vision will slowly begin to lift and you will start to think clearly. You don’t believe me. How can my clutter be clouding my brain!

Well let me tell you! Clutter has a life of its own! And it changes shapes too! We have the physical clutter! We all know and have it hiding. Then there is the mental clutter: WORRY! My granny calls it “studying on it” Worry takes you away from the here and now and puts you in that “Ole poor me” mode in the future! I am here to tell you, if you think about it, you are going to bring it about!

Then there is GUILT! Oh this one eats us alive! It takes you away from the present and puts you in the past! No wonder you can’t get anything accomplished, you are stuck in some time warp and you can’t get out! I want you to jump out of this black hole and deal with the now! What can you do right this minute that would make you feel better? Is it balance your check book, look at your bills and pay them, or is it shining your sink or just spending 15 minutes clearing off your desk so you can think when you are sitting there!

Financial clutter is baggage that just gets heavier if you don’t sit down and deal with it. As hard as it is; opening up those bills and putting them down on paper is going to help you see through the fog. It is the not knowing and not dealing with it that keeps us blinded. Then you can see who you need to call and talk to. You can make a plan if you know. If you don’t face this with courage and at least 15 minutes at a time, you are going to get stranded not knowing and the fear, worry, and guilt is going to keep you paralyzed in your blindness!

This kind of clutter makes your other clutter get worse! Not to mention your hips! We stuff our feelings and eat, putting more clutter on our bodies which put more guilt on you! This vicious cycle has got to stop!

I would not be able to do what I do surrounded by clutter! It was only after I faced my fears of letting go of stuff, money problems, and guilt that I was able to see that my life had a purpose! Your well being is precious to me! I want you to take care of yourself!

Are you ready to FLY?

FlyLady

 

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Accidents Happen

Dear FlyLady,I am a FlyBaby who has tried your system before and failed mostly because I skipped the babysteps and tried to do everything at once.  After several surprise visits from the in-laws where my house was definitely not “in-law” ready, I decided to start your system again.  I am determined not be embarrassed by the condition of my house again.

This time, I’m following the babysteps and really putting thought into how I can turn the detail lists into my detail cleaning lists.  I’ve successfully cleared my hot spots and I’ve kept them clean.  I’ve got the first floor of house decluttered, and everyone in the family is enjoying the uncluttered clean environment.  I’m now tackling the 2nd floor of my home, 15 minutes at time.

This morning, my nine year old spilled milk in the refrigerator.  The old me would have given her a stern lecture about making extra work for Mom.  That would have ruined her morning, and I would have felt guilty about overreacting.  The new FlyBaby me told her that accidents happen and Mommy needed to clean the refrigerator anyway.  The smile on her face made me so grateful that I am really using your system and applying it to my life daily.  Instead of cleaning the front of cabinets, I cleaned the fridge, and will do the cabinets another day.  Best of all, everyone is happy and enjoying their day.

Thank you so much for all you do!

Flying high is South Carolina!!!

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