I asked a friend of mine about decluttering and organizing my apartment and she directed me to FlyLady. I signed up right away and have been reading for a few days. Yesterday I chose to implement and start doing. I did a 15 minute decluttering in my kitchen (I think that’s the zone we are in right now) and made sure to shine my sink before bed. I’ve never done this before. Perhaps it’s the stereotype of being a guy that told me sinks should be clean anyway, you’re cleaning things in them all the time. Regardless, I shined the sink and woke up this morning and seeing it, smiled. I knew I accomplished something. It may not have been earth shattering, but it was a beginning.
I look forward to following along this journey to a clean space to live in.
My Shiny Sink Story (say that 10x fast!) is more about what is UNDER my shiny sink. Since I’ve been flywashing, I’ve been able to do the ‘Under Sink Boogie’ on a regular basis. When I noticed that our under sink recycle bag was getting soggy on the bottom, I was able to quickly diagnose a leak in our pipes this morning. So instead of spending the day scrubbing gunk from the bottoms of the cupboards first, I can quickly move to the drippy project at hand. (Hurray for small victories!)
I want for you, the joy I feel every morning when I walk into my front room and kitchen. Even after many years of this area being clean, I still marvel and smile each time I enter this room. Words are inadequate to express this uplifting feeling.
If you have had the pleasure of this emotion, you know what I am talking about. But if you have not shared in our joy, I want you to look at some of the reasons why you have not felt this yet.
1. You are still waiting for someone else to clean it up.(not going to happen)
2. You didn’t mess it up so why should you clean it up. (so you can feel what we feel if for no other reason.)
3. You just don’t know were to start. (I have told you to start with your kitchen sink) It really works. Many will testify to it. Clean and shiny.
4. Your husband and children are the messy ones. (You teach by example) Also have a family meeting and explain what you want to accomplish. This will work.
5. You have too much to do, therefore you don’t have time to police the hotspots and do your routines. (If you do your routines you will have more guilt free time to do more things.) I promise.
6. FlyLady’s routines are too long. Not if you take baby steps and establish the habits that will start you on your journey. 3 simple habits. Get up and get dressed to shoes, keep your kitchen clean and sink shiny, and lay out your clothes for tomorrow.
7. You don’t feel like doing anything. Put on your lace up shoes and this will help you to get things done. If you wear shoes in the house then get a pair that you only wear in the house! This is going to change everything! Shoes tell your head that it is time to do something.
8. My routine takes too long. Your routine is too big. Break it down to the main components and try a simplified version. My takes 20 minutes tops unless I need to shower in the morning(I usually take a bubble bath at night.)Then I take 30 minutes. The best part is, if I have done my before bed routine, the morning is a breeze.
9. You don’t have the energy to do the routines. (are you getting enough sleep?) Are you going to bed at a decent hour and getting up rested.
10. You still don’t feel well. Even getting enough rest and eating properly. Well I suggest you have a physical, check your thyroid levels, other chemical levels in your blood. You deserve to feel well. I want you to be on top of the world. I am. Promise me that you will get a doctor’s appointment and get this checked out. Even low average thyroid levels can cause fatigue.
11. You don’t have time, because you are spending too much time on the computer and Facebook. Well I spend a whole lot more than most of you on the computer. My house is clean enough for company all the time and I have no guilt about being on the computer, because I got my work done first. Well make a rule that you will not check your email until your routine is done in the morning. and that you will get off line at a decent hour to start your before bed routine. You can do this. Even if you have to set a timer.
You have made the first step, by joining this group.
I have had great success decluttering our home. For some reason I keep procrastinating about cleaning out my car. I still can’t seem to gain control over that mess. Clutter is always falling out. Please give me some motivation to get my car clean and keep it that way.
Ashamed of my Vehicle!
You don’t have to feel ashamed another day. We have a basic weekly plan to help you establish a day to clean out your car. Here is an essay I wrote to help us tackle this final frontier. Your perfectionism is why you don’t clean out your car. You don’t think you have time to do it right.
Don’t procrastinate another day!
The Final Frontier
UFOs are Un-tethered Flying Objects in your car! Yes you know the ones I am talking about! Our cars are usually the last frontier when it comes to getting organized. When I was a small child I was hurt by bottle in our car. I still have the scar to show for it. Think of it this way when you are riding in a car going 55 mph if you have to stop abruptly everything in the car becomes a missile. Think about being hit by a baseball or a bottle that was thrown at that speed.
Here is the worst thing about UFOs in your car! You are embarrassed for anyone to ride with you. I know because I am just like you! My car has been clear of clutter on the inside for almost two years. There is no telling how many accidents have occurred because a bottle rolled out from under the seat. Then it got under our foot or brake and we reached down to get it.
So how do we stop from cluttering up our cars? We have to establish simple habits that will keep the clutter eliminated.
1. Don’t eat in your car. If you do, then bag up the trash as soon as everyone is finished. The bag the fast food came in is a great bag to hold the trash. When you get out of the car, find a trash can.
2. Every time you get home empty the car of things you put in it before you left. Not only will this keep your family safe from UFOs but it will deter thieves. When there is nothing in the car there is no temptation to break a window. My purse was stolen from my car once when I went into a funeral home to pay my respects.
3. While you are filling your car up with gas; play a game with the children to pick up the trash in your car. Then throw it away. They can hand it to you through the car window after you have filled up.
4. Keep things in your trunk, confined in zippered bags or under a cargo net in your van or SUV.
5. Establish a day for blessing your car. Fill it up, Clean it out and Shine it up! We do it on Fridays. We have some simple tools for this: Rubba Scrubba. Rubba Scubba sweeps the floor and seats. Our purple rags get the windows sparkling.
Don’t put your family’s safety in jeopardy because you don’t think you have time. Think of it as Swish and Swipe for your car. Daily maintenance takes less time than a whole day clean up to get ready to go somewhere with strangers in your car. Be sure and keep UFOs contained in the trunk or glove box.
It’s Friday time to Clean Out Your Car Day!
Our Rubba Scrubbas have 101 uses. I keep one in every room of our home and in the car.
I just read the testimonial, “Does your household hate Flylady”. It made me sad as well. I have been reading your emails for years and find them a great comfort. I fight depression, anxiety, learning disabilities and perfectionism everyday. Your system and emails have helped me so much. As a matter of fact, on my real low days when the negativity sets in and I say, “Why bother”, I now learned to say, “Anything is better than nothing”, thanks to you! For some of us it just takes a long time to get it because we are so “caught up in our old ways”. My DH thought you were an excellent psychologist until I told him otherwise, lol. Keep up the good work and the encouragement coming because I for one need you to help me keep my days brightened!
I work full time with 3 kids and yesterday I came home at 6 and carried on working after dinner till 9pm . my DH didn’t put the Dishwasher on. At first I thought I would leave it till morning . But after sitting down for a bit and procrastinating on my phone, I got up and shone that sink filled the dishwasher and went to bed having also swish and swiped the worktop.
I just opened my email to find a short testimonial about our calendar. It was an eye opener for me. I know one reason why more people don’t buy the calendar. They just don’t get it! They think, “One calendar is as good as another. What’s the big deal?” I know this because this is what I thought too. Until I tried it, out of curiosity. Then one year I tried to go back to a cheaper calendar to save money. I don’t think I lasted more than a month, if that, before I came begging, “Please, do you have any FlyLady calendars left?” I learned my lesson.Calendar-challenged in Virginia
Our routines don’t come naturally to us but we are smart and we can learn anything put in front of us if we want to! You come to FlyLady trying to find a way to get your home clean. You heard that we teach you how to clean, well that is not exactly the truth. Most of us have been taught how to clean by forced labor of trial and error when we were children. You know the drill; if you don’t clean it right then you are going to have to redo it! There is another order yelled at us and we were just children; GO CLEAN YOUR ROOM. The sad part was that we didn’t know where to start. We were told to do it, yet no one ever took the time to teach us how to do it.
Now let me take up for our parents. If they were messy like us then they were not taught either and if they were Born Organized they didn’t know how to teach us because it is second nature to them. So you see we missed out on both counts. We have had to learn how to clean all by ourselves. Cleaning is the easy part. It is the routines that are the part that Born Organized folks couldn’t teach us. If you watch a Born Organized person they putter around all day. They always have something to do. They actually see things to do. We are immune to many of those things until the mess gets so bad that we can’t stand it another day and then we hear our Momma’s voice coming out of our mouths, “GO CLEAN YOUR ROOM!”
What we teach you is to relieve the stress of life by establishing simple habits and string them into a peaceful dance to help you glide through your day. Doesn’t that just sound sweet. These little habits become automatic like our Born Organized family’s habits. The difference is we have made a conscious effort to build these habits. We CAN learn new tricks when the student is ready and it is your idea. The secret is making it fun for you.
All we have ever wanted to do is just go out and play. Our routines free us to FLY! Our routines get things done so we can have more fun and enjoy our home and our families.
We have developed tools to help you to have fun and get things done but the best part is that we teach you how to establish habits. Without the habits the tools don’t get used. If you don’t use something to me it is just more clutter. If you don’t use your duster it is going to fall apart because of the dust mites eat it. This is why we teach you how to use your calendar. If you are not going to use it then I don’t want you to buy it!
Let me tell you how much of a SHE I am. When I first started developing my calendar habit I tried every day planner, wall calendar and desk calendar I could get my hands on. I spend hundreds maybe even a thousand dollars over the years searching for the perfect calendar. What I learned is that they are all good if you learn to use them. They are all bad if you don’t establish a habit of looking at your calendar before you go to bed and first thing when you get up in the morning. Many an appointment has been missed because we forgot to recheck the calendar in the morning. This is just half of the routine.
We also need a routine for when we come home and when our children come home. Because a calendar is not going to do you any good if you don’t ever put stuff on it. A calendar is there for you not to have to try to remember everything.
We need a daily routine for checking the calendar; Morning and Night.
We need a “get home routine” or an Afternoon Routine for making sure everything has been put on the calendar after a busy day at work and school. This is when things get pulled out of the back packs and purses.
We need a weekly routine of syncing everyone’s schedule to this week’s family schedule on the wall calendar so that everyone in the household can see it in the kitchen. Everyone knows where everyone else is. This helps to reduce the stress of our busy lives. Do this at a weekly family meeting. Robert and I sync our schedules at dinner on Sunday night. Each night before we go to bed we tell each other what is on our plates for tomorrow.
See how simple this is! The best part is that your children learn how to use a calendar because they have been a part of the process.
Don’t be afraid you are going to mess up the calendar. I know this feeling. This is perfectionism. This is why we use stickers. Not only are they fun on the calendar but they cover up scribbles and mistakes. I like to use small address labels to put things on the calendar. I color code them. My color code for interviews is red. I can look up on the calendar and if I see red, I know I have an interview or radio show.
You can use a different color for each child. Sharpies bleed through the paper so this is why I put it on an address label first. Some people use colored pencils. The secret to keeping up with the colored pens, markers and pencils is to tape dental floss or string to them and hang them from the calendar. I use a magic marker to color code the labels and stick them in the calendar so I don’t have to do this every time.
You can use any calendar but you are going to have a hard time finding one that has instructions on how to incorporate it into your lives. Most calendars are built by Born Organized people; they think calendars are self-explanatory. The instructions are not included with the calendar but you get those from our emails and on our website.
We want you to go from Calendar Challenged to Calendar Successful. We want you to teach your children this calendar habit too. Calendar Successful is a stress free way to live. Our calendars give you enough room to post all of your busy schedule. They become the milestones of your life. I even use mine to post my number from the scale each morning. Some people post their dinner menu on their calendar.
This is your family calendar! Use it! Love it! Many people can’t live without it! Developing the Calendar habits are going to change your life!
Are you ready to FLY with this tool guiding you through your day!
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
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 pray 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 drowned out those negative voice that are berating you.
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. The Bible teaches us to love our neighbors as ourselves. In order to love your family and your neighbors you have to love yourself. You can also say this over and over to yourself; 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.
Recently, I was shopping with my adult daughter who hates to shop, and she said the most profound FlyLady thing. I was waffling over a pretty sweater, but wondering where I would wear it when she looked at me and said, “Only buy it if you can see yourself wanting to pull it out of the closet every day to wear it.” I put it back on the rack!
My first thought was, “that is such a FlyLady thought and she doesn’t even know it.” Her words have stuck with me through cleaning out all sorts of things while preparing to move. If I don’t see myself wanting to use something all the time, I let it go. Some things you need to keep for special purposes, but you use the same things over and over. It has made me clean out things that I use and don’t like for the things I love.
I am also back in my closet with those words in my brain. Out went several pairs of shoes for special occasions because they hurt and I don’t love them! Out are going clothes I thought I had gone through but realize that I don’t want to wear them. I finally got the message you send about loving your things! Tell everyone that sometimes it takes awhile for things to sink in. I have been with you a long time and I finally got this one!
First–THANK YOU! I have been FLYing for about five years now, though it seems that I am “jumping in where I am” more often than I’m sticking to my routines.
Even with that, my home is beautiful compared to five years ago.
I have to admit to being a sink-shining rebel. The kitchen is my “husband’s job,” and in my stinkin’ thinkin’ head I had decided I was NOT going to do HIS work!
But today I relented, realizing after five years of FlyLady (am I a slow learner or WHAT?) and even more years of CHAOS that my way was not working.
After dh left for work, I moved the dishes from my 1950 white sink to the counter and scrubbed it, a task which took about 10 minutes because the sink was speckled with dried-on soup and whatever-else-that-was. I instantly realized how much easier it would have been to KEEP it clean than to GET it clean. After whitening my sink, I shined it’s new brushed-nickel faucets, dried the entire area and hung a clean towel.
Mind you, my kitchen was still a mess: 16 tubes of paint on the counter from a painting project I did last week with my 3 dds, cookbooks and paper clutter (I’m working on that!) on another counter, sacks of stuff on the floor that hasn’t been swept for two days, a remote for our living room stereo (what is THAT doing in there???)…you get the idea.
But a funny thing happened. My friend stopped in unexpectedly and, after getting a glass of water in the kitchen said, “Wow! Your kitchen is really clean.”
WHAT??? I am now a REFORMED sink rebel and a true believer in the power of a shiny sink.
Thank you FlyLady!
A Kansas sink-shining FlyBaby
Our Rubba Scrubbas have 101 uses. I keep one in every room of our home and in the car.