What is the “Do It Now” Principle?

Now is the TimeHello FlyLady,

What is the “Do It Now Principle” please? I must have missed that somewhere in your website. Thank you so much for all you do!

FlyBaby M


Dear FlyBaby M,

This is just plain old common sense. “Do It Now” means just that! Don’t wait and do it right that minute. No more procrastinating. Now, this doesn’t mean to get sidetracked from what you were doing. The rule is that the job can only take a couple of minutes. Instead of putting it off till later, do it now!

Here is an essay about Doing it now!

Procrastination Hurts You!

Dear Friends,

Today is Anti-Procrastination Day! What have you been putting off?

How many times a day do you allow your perfectionism to paralyze you! You know exactly what I am talking about. You hear that nasty little voice in your head all the time. I don’t have time right now. YOU DON’T HAVE TIME FOR WHAT? To do it RIGHT! To do it like your momma did!

We are not good judges of time! In our heads we think emptying the dishwasher will take hours when it only takes 3 minutes!

Our perfectionism/procrastination also hurts us in other ways. We keep putting off going to the doctor because we don’t have time! We don’t place an order for something we know will help us and then all of a sudden they are gone and we start to beat ourselves up over our procrastination again. Don’t wait to get your calendar. I know you have been trying to use a calendar with small boxes.

I live by the Do it Now Principle! When something needs to be done and if it is not done then you will feel bad; this is when I do it! Think about putting a fresh roll of toilet paper in the bathroom. We only think of it when we are in there. Guess who usually gets left with an empty roll. YOU! Your procrastination has hurt you again.

Our minds are going 90 miles an hour. We can think of more things to do in 5 minutes than we can do in a lifetime. Let’s channel some of that power into action by Doing It Now. When you find yourself using this principle more often you are going to surprise yourself! This is not getting sidetracked! It is staying focused and accomplishing something so we don’t have to beat ourselves up later!

Have you been putting something off: Paying bills, doing laundry, shining your sink or using our big calendar. One day we will run out of our calendars and there you will be begging for one and beating yourself up because of your procrastination. You do have time; if you will just do what needs to be done and don’t put it off another day! Just think, this will put an end to those nasty voices in your head!

There are many of you that are procrastinating about shining your sink! This is the habit that changed my life! Please give it a try! It won’t take that long! This month are new habit is making your bed. Every room has its own shiny sink. Your beautiful bed makes your room shine.

Set your timer and do something you have been putting off!


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Teacher Appreciation Day

“The dream begins, most of the time, with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you on to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth.”–Dan Rather

Teacher Appreciation Day is May 5th.  It’s a time to remember all the teachers who touched our lives and the lives of our children – the teachers who made a positive difference.

It was 1966 and I was a high school freshman.  In English 9, I had a young, idealistic teacher who ran her classroom with firm structure and discipline.  She was engaging and interesting, but she also expected her students to meet her high standards, both academic and behavioral.  Early in the year, she noticed that I was a bookworm who read indiscriminately.  I desperately needed guidance in selecting my reading material.  One day she called me up to her desk and handed me a book.  “I think you’ll like this.  Bring it back when you’re done and we’ll talk about it.”  The book was The Hobbit, and I eventually went on to read just about everything that Tolkien wrote.  And on it went – she fed me books, I read them, we talked about them, and my love of good literature was born.  Mrs. Harrie gave me a gift that has been one of the joys of my life.

When others write about teachers who are special to them – teachers who changed their lives – here are some of the words they use: discipline, respect, confidence, challenge, connection, passion, determination, inspiration.  These teachers are tough and they expect a lot, but they give a lot in return.

I personally have a big place in my heart for elementary school teachers.  They teach every subject, have almost no planning time, and are responsible for classes that include everyone from gifted kids to intellectually disabled kids.  On top of it all, they love and nurture children – tying shoes, giving hugs, wiping noses, helping with bathroom accidents, and opening milk cartons.  I originally wanted to be a first grade teacher, but I found that I just didn’t have the energy to do what they do every day!

At all levels of school, teachers love the unlovable, hug the dirty, and provide stability amid the chaos of many children’s lives.  Teachers buy children clothes and school supplies, teach manners at the lunch table, give out books at Christmas time, and celebrate birthdays at school when parents are too busy.

Middle and high school teachers are mentors and cheerleaders for students, and sometimes even provide a safe haven in the middle of the night. I know several teachers who have taken students into their homes to live with them during a family crisis.  I know several adults from very troubled backgrounds who have college educations and good jobs because a teacher believed in them and backed it up with good advice and a kick in the tail when needed.

Teachers do get burned out and tired, and there are some bad apples, but for the most part they have the biggest hearts in the world.  If you want to do one thing that will make school better for your children, respect their teachers and give them your support.  Let your children know that you and the teachers are a team – a team that is working together to help them grow up to be confident and successful.

So here’s your homework for Teacher Appreciation Day!

Assignment 1: Teachers I have known and loved

In my school system, seniors who graduate with honors get to choose their Most Memorable Teacher, and these teachers are honored at the annual Scholar’s Night.  Who are your Most Memorable Teachers?

List your top five teachers of all time – teachers who either taught you or one of your children.

Next to the names, jot down a few words or phrases that illustrate why these teachers were so special (for example: “funny”, “gave me a book for Christmas”, “interesting”, “fair”, “turned me on to history”, “encouraged me to think about college”, “listened to me”, “believed in me”.)

Pick one or two of the teachers and write them a thank you note for a job well-done.  Give it to the school secretary, and ask to have the note put in the teacher’s mailbox.

Assignment 2: Great stuff from this year!

Think about the current school year, and jot down anything you’ve been particularly happy about or grateful for at school.  Maybe the art teacher took the time to give your child personal attention.  Perhaps the classroom teacher has followed the behavior plan perfectly.

Write thank you notes!  Send the notes to school with your child, or ask the secretary to put the notes in teachers’ mailboxes.

 “There is an old saying that the course of civilization is a race between catastrophe and education. In a democracy such as ours, we must make sure that education wins the race.”
–John F. Kennedy

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It Can Be Done!

Dear FlyLady,

Last Christmas I bought some of FlyLady’s products as a personal present to myself. They cost a lot because they were sent overseas, but I thought I deserved them. The best has been the mop. It is easy and fun to use and does collect immense amounts of cat hair. We have ceramic tile floors and I used to vacuum the whole house every weekend. It took me two hours and at the end of them I was exhausted and I hated everybody. But we have two cats and if I didn’t do it the hair did get everywhere.  Guess what? After working on the habit of mopping ten minutes around the house when I come home from work, last weekend I decided to vacuum, only to find out that it wasn’t necessary: the house was clean!

So it can be done! I do not need to do the hated vacuuming marathon anymore! Ok, I’ll do a little on the carpets (I only have two), and on those corners where the mop doesn’t go, but that’s it!  It was a aha moment!

Somewhere in the back of my mind I believed that to have the house clean I had to be a slave. It isn’t true. It can be done a few minutes at a time! And have fun at the same time too! (my DD aged nine does mop the house with the roller-skates). All you need is the right attitude. But the right tools do help a lot too (I can tell you my old broom did only push the hair around and made it fly into the air).

So thank you very much for your work. It does really help and make a difference!

Anna from Barcelona


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I Love What You Do

Hi FlyLady,

I’m a FlyBaby just getting started with all the cleaning zones and daily missions.  I am 25 years old and never really had a system of cleaning. I just moved to Hawaii away from all my family with a brand-new baby and became depressed.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, You live in Hawaii and you’re depressed?!  Well, yes, I am very much a family oriented person and moving that far away from all my friends and family that I grew up with took its toll and I stopped cleaning, cooking, and taking care of myself.  I was lucky enough to have my mom come out and visit for a couple weeks and she helped me get back into the swing of things and my whole outlook seem to have changed overnight.  I also found your website and decided it was time to have a routine for cleaning and I’ve been doing it everyday since!

I feel so much better about life and I’m enjoying my days like I should.  My baby seems happier too because mommy’s happy!  I just wanted to say that you’ve blessed my life because I can do these missions and feel accomplished!  It was the boost I needed to keep moving forward and enjoy my home and bless my family as well.

Thank you!!!

Brittany B.
(Honolulu, HI)

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Young@Heart: You Are The Teacher

Could you teach another person the best way to fall asleep? I don’t think so. I’m an expert at sleeping, but my procedure for drifting off is unique to only me. Terry says I fall asleep within four or five minutes from the moment I put my head on my pillow. If I tried to impose my falling asleep techniques on you I would be remiss.

Only you can figure out the best way to fall asleep. Sure I could give you some suggestions like, don’t have a television set in your room, turn off the lights and don’t have any electronically glowing digits announcing the exact time, but as far as the ritual that will put you to sleep, it has to be yours alone.

I can’t fall asleep in the nude (I’ve tried it and every time, I’ve ended up putting pajamas on). Mind you I didn’t say nightgown. I can’t sleep in nightgowns because the thought that it will end up all bunched up around my sweaty armpits by morning keeps me awake. I have to have pajamas on and the waist can’t be too tight and I don’t like button up tops because the buttons get between my breasts and bug me.

On the rare occasion I can’t sleep (which is usually when I’m sick) I have an extreme exercise I execute. I get out from under the covers and lay with my head at the foot of the bed, leaving the pillow where it’s supposed to be. (Yes, I put my feet on my pillow.) The discomfort of being pillowless and uncovered creates thoughts of how nice it would be to get back under the warm covers with my head on my luscious down-filled pillow. Before I know it, I am totally consumed with the thought of turning around. It works every time for me. Once I get back under the covers I’m so grateful that I’m asleep before I know it.

Each of my three children had their own personal way to comfort themselves to sleep. Peggy Ann had to have one of her hands above her head (sort of the way Mighty Mouse flew around). (Peggy was born “sunny-side-up or “face first” and her little fist was ahead of her face.) Michael had a teddy bear (about the size of a sparrow) that had to be tucked under his chin after he’d chewed on the arm for about a minute. Joanna loved my hair and as long as it was there when it was bedtime or naptime she’d conk.

I’ve come to understand we, as teachers, must encourage our students to find their own way to success. FlyLady is a perfect example (sorry I had to use the “P” word in the context with FlyLady). She tried to use the Sidetracked Home Executive 3×5 cardfile system my sister and I developed, with household chores on 3×5 cards. But she over-goaled, and ended up with hundreds of cards and overwhelmed herself. She had to find her own way, and each of you does too.

                             Impatience is nothing more than failing
             to recognize what is supposed to be happening right now.

In the SHE book my sister and I told our readers: “Customize this system to your own personal story.” We also said, “Before you organized anything, know that you are just fine in spite of the mess you’re in.” When you start from a place of acceptance, you will have positioned yourself for success. Accept what is right now, where you live, who you live with, how old you are, what you weigh and how you feel. You are exactly where you’re supposed to be. Impatience is nothing more than failing to recognize what is supposed to be happening right now.

Once you accept your circumstances as being alright, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong to want to change them. One of the joys in life is knowing you can change for the better. The urge to change something for the better is why you subscribe to my emails and read my books. Be grateful you have the ability to change. Be grateful for your circumstances and know that as you change them you’ll learn more about YOU. You’ll grow in self-respect and love for the awesome woman you are. Just like my gratitude for the comfort of being back under the covers, once you’re organized, you’ll look back on the way you were and it’ll make being organized so much sweeter. Sweet dreams!

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Clothes are Everywhere

Dear FlyLady,

I have so much clutter I don’t know what to do. My daughter and her three kids live with my husband and I. While we love their company they bring added clutter to ours already cluttered place. What can I do to get control over the clothes. I feel I am washing clothes every day and getting nowhere. I need a flight plan! I am not an organized person and have spent my life wishing I was. Your swish and swipe plan was great for me and my bathroom smells wonderful at last. Thanks for the tip! Please enlighten me on how to get control of this problems. Note, she has lots of shoes and clothes; short of throwing them away what other options do I have.

Surround by clothes
in Alabama


Dear Surrounded by Clothes,

Laundry and clothing are a big part of our clutter. Our August Habit is laundry, but we don’t have to wait till then to get started. We practice doing a load a day!

I want you to sit down with your daughter and babies and have a family meeting. Keep in mind that this is your home and you all have to figure out how live together in peace and harmony in a clutter free environment. It is your home and your grandchildren, but doing their laundry should not be your responsibility. You are welcome to help her but she needs you set some rules.

Three children have lots of clothes that do not fit. This is why there is so much laundry. Clothing that don’t fit get tossed into the dirty clothes basket. The first thing you and your daughter need to do is clear out one drawer for each member of the family. This will make putting things away much easier.

Then you are going to have to figure out what fits each child. Children don’t need tons of clothing. A fun way to decide what to keep and what to give away is to have a fashion show. Since I don’t know how old each child is then this could be easier with older children. Put on some model runway music and show them how to prance around the floor showing off their cute clothes. This is also a good idea to put together outfits for school!

Next is establishing a routine for laundry. Once you declutter the clothing, laundry will be more efficient because unwanted clothing will be out of the pile. Laundry has five parts: Sort, wash, dry, fold and PUT AWAY! The Sort step and the Put Away Step are responsible for making your home look messy!

When clothing is piled on chairs, dressers and thrown in the floor our rooms look like clothes basket blew up. Eventually the clean clothes and dirty clothes get all mixed up and your laundry has doubled.

Here is a quick solution! Gather up all the clothes and sort them into wash piles. Bag them up in trash bags or pillow cases. Then take them to a Laundromat and get them all done at once. Stagger them in the washers and dryers so they don’t all get done at once. Take plenty of baskets and hangers so you can fold and put them in each person’s basket. Have one bag for give-away clothes. Place them in the bag as you are folding! Then drop them off as you head home. As soon as you get in the door put all the clothes away.

Once you have decluttered the clothes that are too small or too large and you only have clothes that you wear; you can establish that routine of one load a day. That is start to finish. Some members put a in load as part of their before bed routine and then as part of their morning routine, they place it in the dryer.

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Waiting to Get Started?

Dear Friends,

In many of your messages I have noticed that you can’t wait to get our calendar, duster, book, and timer so you can get started. If you are ordering this stuff because you think that this is the magic pill you need to take to get you started then you have not understood anything I have been telling you. Here is why.

You already have every magic potion known to man sitting in your cupboards. Cleaning supplies just don’t do the trick. It is not about the right chemical for the job. It is about actually getting up and doing something instead of waiting till you have all your magic pills. If the truth be told I use very little cleaners anymore; just a little window cleaner and soap. This means I have very little cleaning clutter in my cabinets.

Now let’s look at the shelf of “get organized” books you already have. What good did they do you? You bought them, you may have even read them, but here they sit staring back at you. Now you have gone out and purchased yet another book that is going to be the magic spell to get your home organized.

When I wrote Sink Reflections, it was for those folks who don’t have access to the internet. It was to put the system into a simple little book. I never dreamed that my online members would buy it for themselves. I thought you might buy it for a friend and share this message with your non-computer neighbors. You were already reaching out to help people and needed a tool to get the message across. It was because of your continuous requests for permission to pass this on and share with your Sunday school classes and women’s groups that my book came to life. If you have internet access and email, you can get every bit of this information for free. It will always be free or Robert and I will shut down the website. We are committed to having a website that is kind of like a text book. If you have not checked out the information on our pages, please do.

The emails are also an important part of helping you to establish your routines. They are the behavior modification and attitude adjusting essays that you need to change your life; One email at a time. The whole system is there, just for your convenience. We also use Facebook as a place for you to share your accomplishments with others as we play games to get things done.

We have put together some wonderful tools for you to use, but that is all they are! They are not the magic spell, wand or potion that is going to get your home in order. They are tools to help motivate you and make blessing your home fun!

Over the years I have purchased every planner and calendar ever printed to help keep me from missing appointments. Nothing ever worked until I established a routine for actually looking at the calendar and using it. The same thing goes for the feather duster. It will just stay in the closet until it rots if you don’t take the duster out and use it. We all have timers on our ovens and microwaves. We may even have egg timers stuck in some drawer someplace. Any timer will work, you just have to set it and get into the habit of using it.

So you see if you are waiting till you get your FlyLady order to get started, you have missed the point. You have the power in you right now. These tools are not going to be that magic solution to your CHAOS. If you are planning on purchasing one of our tools for this reason, then please wait till you have your routines established to go along with it. Then you can purchase them as a reward. The tools will not help you to do this. They will only be more clutter if you don’t actually use them. I don’t want them to make you feel guilty because you have purchased yet another magic pill to get rid of the CHAOS. It is up to you to follow our messages and begin with babysteps to build your routines. Your home did not get dirty overnight and it is not going to get clean in a day. One other thing to remember if you are waiting for your FlyLady Order to come before you get started, then this is just another excuse to procrastinate. It is that ugly old perfectionism once again, telling you that you can’t get started until you have all the right stuff! Well the right stuff inside of you. Now go shine your sink!

I want for you what I have; Peace and this peace came for letting go of the perfect fix for my problems and getting down to the basis of my CHAOS; My lack of getting up and moving. We all know how to clean; I don’t have to tell any of you how to do it. We just need to be motivated. This is my job as I see it; to teach you to build your routines and do your babysteps.

Are you ready to FLY now that you don’t need the magic pill to get you started?



We have put together a Weekly Home Blessing Package to help you with your Weekly Home Blessing. When you buy this package we are also sending you a surprise gift. I have been giving you hints for several days. LOL

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Food For Thought: Red Onions

Hello Friends,

I always have at least one red onion on the counter at all times. I adore these purple orbs with their richly colored skins. They look so fabulous sliced on to a green salad, and the great thing about red onions is that you can just slice ‘em and eat ‘em raw, which you don’t generally do with other varieties of onions.

But onions are more than just a pretty salad decoration!

There’s also quite a bit of health-promoting goodness inside the deep purple skins of red onions. Red onions contain nutrients that can fight fungi and bacteria, protect against cancer, reduce high blood pressure, and promote good cardiovascular health.

So today, let’s sing the nutritional praises of red onions!

Chromium. Chromium is a trace mineral found in red onions that helps to control glucose levels. It is believed that a severe chromium deficiency could make it more difficult to lose weight! If the scale is stuck, slice some red onions into your next meal!

Quercetin. Onions (specifically red and yellow onions) are very high sources of a bioflavonoid called quercetin which is an antioxidant, very good at ridding the body of free radicals. Quercetin is being studied for its potential cancer fighting properties. It’s also an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agent.

Allicin. Red onions contain allicin which is a compound shown to promote good cardiovascular health while preventing cancer and reducing high blood pressure. Allicin is also rich in anti-fungal properties. Adding more red onions to your diet might even help cure a dandruff problem from the inside out!

In addition to these nutritional properties, red onions also contain vitamin C and Vitamin B6.

If raw red onions are a little sharp for your liking, try this tip. Soak your sliced onions in a bowl of water for ten minutes or so. This helps to tame the bite a little bit!


PS–FlyBabies, click here to get a FR*EE Trial of Premium Menu-Mailer, our exciting new menu planning program!

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Pamper Mission 05/04/2015

pampermissionpencilDear Friends,

Summer temps are here and it’s a great time to check your lingerie drawer to see if you have the appropriate undergarments for summer clothing.

Do you need a strapless bra to wear with your strapless summer outfits? Perhaps a racerback bra to wear with your sleeveless shirts? Maybe some beige undergarments to wear with your white fashions?

Remember, there is no special sainthood for the woman with the most “holey” undergarments! Treat yourself with the same dignity that you give to your family. Replace worn out undergarments, even if you are the only person who sees them. You won’t believe how much better you will feel once you have comfortable, supportive, and attractive

You will feel so pampered once you have these important foundation pieces of your wardrobe replaced! You deserve it!

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The Magic Secret

declutter Dear FlyLady,

I finally understand the “magic” behind routines.  When you do something regularly, and get into the habit, there’s always more time.  If you decide to spend 2 minutes clearing your nightstand (and you know from experience after learning from FlyLady that it only takes 2 minutes), you find things like your best hair clip that you might have been searching for the next day, and you have time to go put them away.  If you try to clear that same nightstand under pressure, when guests are coming over or when you’re missing that particular hair clip, you not only don’t (think you) have time (2 minutes) to figure out what’s there and where to put it, that collection of objects there becomes kind of hardened — you look at it less and less because it’s clutter, and seems more and more overwhelming.

I also finally get the urgency of decluttering!  I am always decluttering, but what it really has been is organizing things into different bags and different piles and then running out of time and leaving them there, in every hallway and doorway and closet.  So I think I’m always decluttering, but not enough is leaving the house.  I need to JUST GET RID OF STUFF!  I’m finally going to do the 27-thing-fling every day.

Your fan,


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