Can I Use a Purple Rag for This?

Purple RagsDear FlyLady,

I’ve been considering 3 uses for purple rags, but I’ve never seen them mentioned, so I thought I should ask first. Can I use them to (1) wash my car exterior? (2) clean my computer screen? or (3) clean my tv screen?

Everything I’ve ordered is of exceptional quality, and I’m so pleased! My amazing water bottle has been a Godsend in this hot weather, and I CAN leave it in a hot, closed car for hours and still have cold water!

I’m anxiously awaiting the reappearance of the rubba sweepa…I just HAVE to have one!

Thank you for everything. My home looks better and I feel better.

a Maine Flybaby (yes, it does get hot in Maine)


Dear Maine FlyBaby,

I am very proud of you for staying hydrated during this hot weather! It is also important to drink your water in the winter time too. We love our water bottle! I am so happy for you since your home is looking better and you are feeling better.

Here is what I know about our FlyLady Purple Rags. They have been used on the exterior of a car. It took Yellow streak from another car in a parking lot off of a black car. They had tried everything. It had been on that car for two years.

I have used our Purple Rag on bugs while we were traveling. It worked to get them off our windshield and off the head lights. Yes you can use it to wash your car too!

As for your television screen. My son recommends using the FlyLady Detailed Duster for that and to only use it for the TV. His concern was that if you use it on other furniture that you could get sand in it and scratch the LED screen. He told Michele to get one and keep it in her entertainment center so she would not use it any place else.

I do clean my computer screen with our purple rag. I use it dry.

Just yesterday I read where one FlyBaby uses her purple rags to remove her make up.


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Do You Feel Bad in Your Bedroom?

Dear Friends,

I know how every one of you think, because I am one of you. I have been there and done that. When you do your stash and dash, all the bags of stuff you gather, end up camping out in your room. Under your bed, stashed in the closet, piled on the dresser and chest of drawers, and piled on your bed. Now listen to me.

YOUR BEDROOM IS NOT A GRAVEYARD FOR STUFF THAT HAS NO HOME! if you don’t stop this it is going to be your grave.

This is the room that is the heart of your family and your marriage. It should give you joy when you walk in there and fill your heart with peace. It is where your babies were conceived and you love your husband. If you are single, it is where you snuggle in for the evening with a good book to fall asleep. This is the room that you wake up in and go to sleep in. It is imperative that this room be the cleanest in the house. From this moment on, you are not allowed to pile stuff in this room. Do not fold clothes in this room. (we all know what happens there. We fold them but never put them away)

I have counseled many women about this room. I have found over the years that when this room gets clean the rest of the house falls right into place. It becomes a haven from the chaos in the home; Your hiding place. I have also found, that when this room is clean. I mean no clutter piled up, that most women rest better and have more energy.

I also feel that when we are sick, this room can promote healing or keep us sick. When all that clutter is everywhere, it is so hard to feel peace. Clutter puts guilt on our heads, we beat ourselves up about it, and we make ourselves sick with the stress it puts on our system. Get rid of the clutter and you will see the veil of stress and I believe sickness will leave your body. Guilt is a terrible shadow to live under.

I have a challenge for you. If you have a desk in your bedroom, I want you to find a new home for it. We know what our desks look like, stuff piled to the ceiling, stuff that needs to be done and is calling to us. I am not telling you to do this right this instant. I want you to think about this for a while and come up with a plan.

This week we are going to focus on making your bedroom a haven. Are you ready to FLY with a beautiful room to rest your precious head each night?


April’s Habit is Making Your Bed

We talked about April’s Habit on our radio show.

Get out your Declutter Kits and Timers! We are going in to find our bedrooms!

You can eliminate the need for a “catch all” desk when you utilize your Office in a Bag. 

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Free Chapter to The Mouth Trap: the but stops here!

I’d like you to have a free chapter from The Mouth Trap: the butt stops here! so you can see how revolutionary my ideas are for losing weight and having a healthy body! And I’ve made it so you can listen to the free chapter or read it!

My book, The Mouth Trap: the butt stops here! is available in paperback, e-book, Kindle and as an audio book. If you’ve struggled with a weight problem, I pray this book will help you begin a lifestyle that’ll help you stop the roller coaster of losing and gaining, losing and gaining and restore your body to health.

Here’s an email I received from a very happy reader

Dear Pam,
I heard about your book from a friend I hadn’t seen in quite a while. I commented on how good she looked and she said, “Have you read The Mouth Trap?” She was excited! I’d never heard of it.
I got the audio version because I love to “listen while I work.” I am a seamstress and I take in alterations so I need my eyes to watch what I’m doing but so often my mind is free to learn or be entertained. Your voice is so easy to listen to. I’ve listened to the book at least three times because it’s very entertaining and your ideas are fresh and new. I’ve lost 8 pounds thanks to getting to know my inner child Melanie and following your rules and assignments. I’m so excited about this summer! My goal is to lose 16 pounds by June when my husband and I are going on a cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary! I’ll be a size 6! Thank you for sharing your weight loss journey.
Beth Ryder

I lost 35 pounds very gradually and I’ve kept it off for almost four years. I shared the ups and downs on my losing track and have hopefully inspired thousands to have fun losing weight and getting healthy.

I love Beth’s concept of listening while you work. I remember my BO (born organized) mom listened to the radio while she did her chores. It was before television. I truly think our homes have become messier because of television and the internet. Listening while we work can make the job easier and we can learn too, depending on what we’re listening to. Just think you could get your house clean and lose weight by listening while you work!

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You Have Changed My Life

Dear FlyLady,

This year, I am trying to make monthly resolutions instead of picking resolutions for the entire year.  I figure I can do anything for 30 days, and then if I want to continue, I can.

My January resolution was to follow your 31 Baby Steps.  I didn’t do a perfect job at it, but almost immediately could tell that I loved them and that they would make a huge difference in my life!  I could go on for ages, but will keep this relatively short and just say the most recent way you have helped.

I returned today from a 10 day vacation.  Usually, when I get back from a trip, it takes me about a WEEK to unpack.  For all that time, my suitcases are usually on my bedroom floor, with stuff including dirty clothes falling out.  I find myself waiting until “I feel like it” to do laundry and put the things away.  It goes without saying that my life feels chaotic and unsettled  until I finally get everything put away.

This morning, I got home and the first thing I did was throw all my clothes from the trip in the laundry!  Then I unpacked my suitcase and (gasp!) put it away in the attic where it belongs!  I am now about to go to sleep early, and my laundry is clean & folded, I made dinner and prepared breakfast for tomorrow, and my clothes for tomorrow are laid out.  I swept my apartment and did a “Swish and Swipe” after taking a shower tonight because they needed it after being away for so long (I live with a roommate, who was home while I was away).  Oh, and I dealt with all the mail that had accumulated when I was gone — deposited checks, wrote checks and put them in stamped envelopes, etc.  And yes, my sink is shining, too!!  I still think there is a bit more to do, BUT I am not going to let my perfectionism make me stay up all night and then be exhausted and burned out tomorrow morning. :)

Thanks to you and following your BabySteps, I no longer need to wait until “I feel like it” to clean up and get organized, deal with hot spots, etc.  I just know that those are things I need to do to take care of myself and make my living space a happy sanctuary.  I look forward to getting your emails as daily reminders to keep me on track.

Thank you so much for all the work you do!!

(A single 30 year old strength & conditioning coach with nontraditional working hours who thinks your babysteps and flight plans can work for anyone!


FlyLady here: I know exactly what she is talking about when it comes to getting unpacked after a long trip. I still have issues with unpacking but I just live by this adage, “Progress Not Perfection!” Sometimes I play a game with myself; and every hour I unpack one item. If you make it fun it will get done.

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A New Habit for April

Dear Friends,

I have a few questions for you.

1. When you walk past your bedroom do you avert your eyes?
2. Do you keep the door closed to hide your clutter?
3. Do you have problems getting your children to clean their room?
4. Does the feel of this room make you smile or cringe?
5. Are you tired of tripping over things in the middle of the night?
6. Do you have a bedspread you love?

Well I can’t imagine ever sleeping in a messy room again. This room should be the cleanest room in your home, not your dumping ground for your Stash and Dash way of cleaning.

It wasn’t until I found a quilt that I loved for a bedspread, that our room became a sanctuary. At that point, I started making my bed every morning. The “made bed”, became my SHINY SINK of our bedroom. From there, the order started to spread around the room. If you will try this, you will see the difference in the atmosphere of your bedroom.

Once your room is clean and peaceful; then you have the right to tell your children to clean their rooms. If you don’t practice what you preach, you don’t have credibility and are not a good example for your babies.

I have said it many times! Your bedroom should be the cleanest room in the house! I mean it too. Start getting rid of the clutter that you have piled against the wall, on the dresser and night stands.

Also I am not telling you to go out and buy a brand new bedspread. For now use what you have, you will still feel the change in your room if you just make your bed and toss some throw pillows on it. If you don’t like your bedspread, then you are going to be less inclined to make your bed. Keep searching for a spread that makes you smile. Use some of that money you are saving from making out your weekly shopping list and menus. Tell your family you have one picked out at the department store that you would love for a gift. Do you even know what you like? Look in catalogs to find out what your style is. This could be a fun way to window shop. Save your pennies. I found mine on sale; It was a king sized quilt and it just fit my Queen sized bed as a spread. I only paid $30.00.

It makes me happy every time I walk into our room. In fact it was the best $30.00 I ever spent and it took me 6 months to find it. So start yourself bedspread fund if you are not happy with your room. I want you to practice making your bed every morning when you get up and before you leave your room. Just the straightened covers will make your room feel wonderful. Don’t tell me that you can’t afford to even look at one, I have done a lot of window shopping in my life. If you want something bad enough, you will find a way to save your pennies and get it.

Anything is possible when you set a goal. I want you to FLY and keep in mind that you are worth something and deserve to have a bedroom that makes your heart sing!

Are you ready to Finally Love Your Bedroom?



Have you been using your calendar to chart your new habits? We will only be selling our FlyLady Calendar for a few more days. I love to see my calendar filled with happy faces and flowers.

Did you know you can practice a new habit all by yourself? Just pick something you have been wanting to establish. It could be daily loving movement, eating a salad or lifting some weights.

Use your calendar to chart your new habit! We love to get a sticker for our efforts. This is what makes it fun.

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Please Keep Them Coming


I am currently listening to you live on-line.

Please keep sending all of the emails.  I am a big girl and can decide what to read or not to read, please do NOT STOP sending out the emails.  I never know from day to day what I might need to read, so please keep them coming.

Your words are so inspirational.  You encourage us not to give up.

The testimonials give me hope and encouragement and affirmation that I am not the only woman in the world with the problems I have.

My sister and I were so excited to meet you in Fort Smith, Arkansas several months ago.

You have no idea how many people you have helped and given very needed emotional support for.  We all do not write to you, but please know we need you so much and please keep ALL of the emails coming.


Michelle in Arkansas

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High-Stakes Testing By: Alice Wellborn

High-stakes testing is currently one of the biggest issues in public education – for both parents and teachers.  Let’s take a look at the purpose of these tests, their intent, and their unintended consequences.

A high-stakes test is any test that is used to make significant decisions about students, teachers, and schools.  In public education, those decisions have to do with accountability for academic performance.

Schools and school systems are rewarded or punished based on the overall test performance of their students.  Results are published in the newspaper, schools are graded, sanctions are applied, resources are given or taken away.

Students are promoted or retained based on their test scores.  Students who do not pass high-stakes tests in high school have difficulty earning credits and may be barred from earning a high school diploma.  Failure to earn a high school diploma relegates a young person to a marginal economic existence as an adult.

Teacher evaluations are often based largely on test scores.  In some states, salaries are based on test scores.  The educational bureaucracy defines a good teacher as one whose students do well on the high-stakes tests.

What is the intent of the high-stakes testing program?  The intent is to increase the quality of public education by making schools and teachers accountable for educational results – that is, student learning.  This is a laudable goal!  Schools and teachers should be accountable for effective instruction and strong student growth.  We do need to have appropriately high expectations for all children.  But here are the underlying assumptions behind high-stakes testing:

  • All students are equally capable of learning, including kids who are disabled, English language learners, homeless, and/or living in poverty.
  • Test scores are an accurate measure of student learning and the quality of instruction.
  • Public education will improve if rewards and punishments are tied to test scores.
  • The defining factors in the quality of public education are the competence and motivation of the individual teachers (that is, when students don’t learn it’s because the teachers are lazy and incompetent).

These assumptions are largely incorrect.  Not all of us have the same strengths – the normal curve does exist!  For many children, one test score does not accurately show the results of a year of learning.  More than a decade of rewards and punishments, sanctions and humiliations, has not “fixed” public education.  The competence of classroom teachers is strongly tied to student achievement, but so are a lot of other factors.  In a typical American childhood, just 15% of a child’s waking hours (0-18) are spent in school (K-12)!  That other 85% is pretty important too.

There are many negative consequences connected to high-stakes testing.  Most of these come from the incentive structure that high-stakes testing places on schools, teachers, and students.  All the incentives are in the test score bucket!  What are the results?

  • Teaching to the test.  If learning is judged by test scores, then test scores drive instruction.
  • Narrowing the curriculum.  If it’s not on the test, it’s given short shrift in the curriculum.
  • Less instructional time.  All the testing and practice-testing eat up significant amounts of instructional time.
  • Cheating on the test. When test scores are what matters the most, cheating becomes a huge temptation – by teachers and administrators as well as by students.
  • Taking the fun out of learning.  High-stakes tests are extremely stressful for teachers and students.
  • Spending millions of dollars on tests rather than on instruction.  In a time of dwindling resources in public schools, substantial amounts of time and money are spent on testing instead of teaching.
  • Focusing instruction on a subset of the student population.  Schools need students to pass the test and show growth.  As a result, there is no incentive to spend much time and effort on those students who definitely will pass the test or those who definitely will not pass.
  • Making school a failure experience for children who struggle with learning.  Are you motivated by failure?  I’m not.

This is not what most teachers and parents want from public schools!

Providing a quality public education to all children should be our goal, but we can’t meet that goal by testing kids and punishing schools and teachers.  Teachers are not responsible for poverty, homelessness, substance abuse, abuse and neglect, and all the other environmental factors that significantly affect a child’s ability to learn in school.  High-stakes tests don’t change the reality of many children’s lives.

The political support for high-stakes testing seems to be eroding.  In some states, parents are able to opt-out of testing for their children.  In others, the legislature is revisiting the laws that require high-stakes testing.  Make your opinions known, whatever those might be!

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Does the Clog Cannon Work on a Toilet?

Dear FlyLady,

Does the clog cannon work on toilets?  I’ve read about sinks, utility sinks, etc. but nothing specific about toilets


Dottie In VA


Dear Dottie,

Yes it does work on toilets. We even have a video that shows you how to unclog your toilet. A video is worth much more than a 1000 words. Having a Clog Cannon handy can help you when your routines suffer from a clogged drain.

FlyLady How To Video Series; Clog Cannon Instructions
FlyLady How To Video Series; Clog Cannon Instructions
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What is FLYWashing?

Dear FlyLady, updd_2002

Please, I often hear this term ‘FlyWashing.’ What do you mean exactly by this – I’ve got a clue, but perhaps my ‘p’-word thing is still telling me it can be true and it can’t work like that.

Many thanks,
Barbs - trying to buzz

Dear Barbs,

I know that we have all had to deal with negative thinking that attacks us at our every wrong move. Yesterday I started this line of thought. Now I think I have to address the ones that we hear most often and come up with ways to delete them from our minds. I have told you many times that our group is not just about house cleaning. We serve to build you up and so you can learn to FLY on your own. The process of building starts with a bit of excavation. We have to get rid of the old undesirable habits and replace them with new uplifting behaviors so you will feel the freedom to FLY farther than you ever dreamed.

Just like getting rid of the clutter in our homes, we have to toss out the clutter in our heads. This clutter comes from years of being beaten down. We have heard these words from caring people in our lives. They meant well, but they just didn’t know how to say things without pulling you down in the process. We have also heard these words from people that wanted to hurt us; Husbands that said we were lazy, stupid or just plain crazy. Friends, teachers and parents, all in the name of love, have discouraged us. Their words hurt us more than we ever dreamed. After a while, we begin to believe the negative message that they were sending. They told us we were less than perfect and that was not acceptable. So you were rejected in heart and dejected spirit. How sad that we have been treated this way, by caring people and by not so caring people.

Now you want to know how you can change this stinking thinking. It is very simple. Now that you know what nasty things you say to yourself, you can stop saying them. In the 1980s, I listen to some cassette tapes by Rita Davenport. She was the first person to bring this to my attention that I reinforce negative behavior with negative affirmations. Oh, I so lazy or stupid. What she taught me was that every time I had one of the nasty negative thoughts that I was to say cancel and replace it with a positive affirmation.

So when you hear those words come into your brain. Stop and say cancel: and turn the thought around to replace it with positive words. To replace, “you are just stupid” say I am a wise woman and I can find the answer. To replace lazy thoughts, say I have had my break and I am ready to get to work.

Don’t berate yourself when things go wrong. Learn through self-talk to build yourself up. If you have ways of inspiring yourself with words of self-praise, please share them with me so I can pass them along. It is time that we all put the negative words out to pasture. One other thing you will find that when you don’t allow yourself to say nasty things in your head, you are less likely to take it from other people. Rita also taught me that when someone is telling you about your faults, that when they are finished to remind them that now you need to hear something good, so that you can feel better about yourself. This in effect is what we are doing when we cancel the bad messages and replace them with good ones.

There is one other benefit to changing your negative way of thinking toward yourself, you will be less likely to say the same things that have been said to you, to your babies. In other words, you are breaking the cycle of mental abuse.

As we learn new ways of thinking we will change our way of doing. This will make a difference your life and the lives of those around you. Many of you have called our messages, testimonials and reminders a form of brainwashing. I like to think of them as FLYwashing. If you hear it enough then eventually it will sink in. You know how you feel about your Shiny Sink! Just wait till you have FLYwashed your mind and spirit.

Are you ready to FLY? This is why we have recorded our books and music. I wanted do give you the tools to FlyWash yourself, like I did in the 80s. Hearing someone else’s voice can replace the negativity that is hurting you. You will feel empowered!


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I Am Free to FLY!

Finally Love YourselfDear FlyLady and Crew,

OMGosh – where do I begin??? I’m sitting here eating the best Salmon Gazpacho soup (from LeAnne’s menu mailer) which I made (in less than 15 min) and I have to write you. A transformation has happened in my life – in less than 2 weeks and it’s all because of you!!!! I’m so excited I can hardly contain myself. How can a life get soooo turned around in less than 14 days? FlyLady and LeAnne, that’s how.

I have been a member, a FlyBaby, since April 2007. I have fluttered since then. I bought so many of your items, and nothing did “it”. Don’t get me wrong – they are fantastic – you truly have been blessed with the team and the knowledge of how to make great items and offer them to us. But still, nothing did “it”. I’ve had really good days and I’ve had moments of joy – but in the last 2 weeks, well, now I’m FLYing (Finally Loving Myself) – I’ve found the secret, and it’s no secret. You tell us EVERYDAY – but I didn’t believe it, and therefore didn’t do it (“it” being following the suggestions of the emails).

What happened to make it ALL “FLY”  together was – I ordered the menu mailer. Not only have I lost 5.5 pounds in 8 days (no big deal, I have 100 to go, but I could not lose weight before last week) and I’ve ALSO walked everyday (some days TWICE!), drank my water, made my bedshined my sink, done my zones, my Weekly Home Blessing, I filled in the Control Journal, I’ve used my DUSTER and my TIMER; and it’s all been fantastically working!!! I have more time than I have ever had, I am happier than ever, I’m losing weight, dinner is on time (OR EARLY! can you imagine that!?!)! Everything those testimonials say is true and has come true for me. All because of the menu mailer!!

Just a few details – I was cluttered in my mind before last week. CLUTTERED, CLUTTERED, CLUTTERED! I didn’t have time to read those testimonials, but I refused to be one of those complainers that doesn’t know how to delete! I knew the answer was in there somewhere (along with your notes at the bottom of them, and your email notes to us, too). So, I kept reading them. But as I read them, my mind cluttered up and worst of all – my house cluttered up as well. Then, I bought the menu mailers. And I refused to let it be like the duster, the timer and the CJ – something I bought and didn’t use. So, after a couple days, everything, every single thing fell into place. I focused on the grocery list, the menu and made dinner. That freed me up to make my control journal (I love your CJ, BTW) and routines fit my home, which led to extra time and so I walked, which led to the water, which led to the next and the next and the next. All of the sudden in 2 weeks – I know the secret. It’s get up and do it! It’s routines, routines, routines.

It’s organize by decluttering – and the first thing I had to do was declutter my mind. But I couldn’t without DOING your emails, from the first one in the morning to the last one at night. I understand everything now and it’s all so simple – it’s right there in the black and white of your emails – and now I am free!!!

I’ve written you before, on good days – and I’ve told you a lot about myself and my DH (who is very sick) and now, I understand. I have seen the light! Isn’t that corny? But it’s true . . . and now, for the first time, I can truly love myself – I wasn’t a loser, I wasn’t incapable, I wasn’t a failure, I wasn’t different or unique – the truth is I wasn’t doing what you suggested!!

That menu mailer is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Somehow, for some reason, that was MY answer. Getting control over what we would eat (what we eat is very important for my DH’s disease) and then DOING it by buying it and cooking it was so powerful, as far as giving me a handle on things – I was able to implement all the other SIMPLE suggestions you send us each day. I was just cleaning some cilantro for the soup and I realized – I have used everything I bought at the grocery store these past 2 weeks – no waste and SUCH HEALTHY, YUMMY, EASY MENU’S – my husband doesn’t know what’s come over me – but he is loving this divine food I’m serving him!! Not to mention spending a lot less money NOT buying things I WON’T USE, or
too much, etc. (I used to have to hide the food I threw away, it was SO much).

You could charge hundred’s of dollars for your service and so could LeAnne. God bless you for giving it away. God bless her for the INEXPENSIVE mailers she offers – Of course, I could write a whole ‘nother email on her menu’s – the
selection, and variety, and simplicity, yet “fancy” meals – I feel like we’re eating in a restaurant every night and yet I’M COOKING THE MEALS!

What a gift you’ve given me . . . I know what purple puddles are now. Feelings like this usually can’t be given, but you’ve found a way to give them to us. This feeling is similar to feeling reborn – or I would imagine how it feels to get out of prison. I told my 82 yr old dad, “today I feel as if I’ve just been let out of prison . . .”

God bless you, FlyLady, and God bless you, too, LeAnne. I think you are divinely inspired and led, and that’s not a joke.

Flybaby Robin
PUSH (Pray Until Something Happens)
ASAP  (Always Say A Prayer)

P.S. I’m sorry this was so long


FlyLady here:  I am so proud of FlyBaby Robin!  She figured it out – you can have all the tools in the world but you have to USE them.

The timerthe control journal, and the calendar will change your life but you have to use them to make that change – owning them will not make it happen!

Step out with Faith and add these tools and habits to your life.  With tools and routines you will soar!

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