We All Have Five Minutes; No Excuses

Dear Friends,

We all have 5 minutes to toss out a few items. I had a friend who went to her bathroom drawer the other day and tossed out hair bows that she had not worn in 20 years. It took her 4 minutes to toss out 20 years of clutter. We all have areas that we are immune to in our homes.

If you are not getting rid of your clutter at the same time you are establishing your routines then you are going to have a hard time FLYing.

Clutter weighs us down! You cannot organize clutter you can only get rid of it. Your routines are going to be more difficult with clutter standing in your way.

You joined our cyber-family looking for a way to gain control over the CHAOS in your home and the stress that comes with it. If you are not willing to use the tried and true, fun ways we have enjoyed for several years then you need to think about what you are doing here.

I have had many members who have confessed that they tried to do it their way and all they did was either crash and burn or become paralyzed by their perfectionism. I have told you to adapt your routines to fit your family but there are a few things that you can’t eliminate.

1. Shining your sink.
2. Lacing up your shoes; Getting dressed and fixing your face and hair.
3. Writing down your routines on paper.
4. Using your timer.
5. Going to bed at a decent hour.
6. Drinking your water.
7. Eating food that is good for your body.
8. Moving a little each day.
9. Taking Breaks
10. Stop whining and playing the martyr.
11. Decluttering a little each day!

When you found FlyLady.net you were searching for some way to get your home clean. Our messages are here for you.  If you are not willing to follow our babysteps then you are not ready. I promise we will be here when you are ready.

I want for you what I have; PEACE. This peace came from being willing to try something different; like being nice to me by taking babysteps and making it fun.  It all started with shining my sink!

If you have a testimonial about how you crashed and burned because you didn’t listen then please send it to me: FlyLady@flylady.net and put I’M FLYING NOW in the subject line.

Babysteps are going to change your life!


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How Can 15 Minutes Make a Difference?

FlyLady TimerDear FlyLady,

My home is filled with clutter, how can only doing 15 minutes a day of decluttering make a difference?

FlyBaby M.


Dear FlyBaby M,

Your home did not get dirty in a day and it is not going to get clean overnight. You will be shocked at how good your home will look after a month only 15 minutes a day of decluttering.

When you first joined our little cyber-family, all I asked you to do was go shine your sink, lay out your clothes for tomorrow, get up and get dressed to shoes, do a simple morning routine (swish and swipe is part of that), and declutter for 15 minutes a day.

You have been a collector of clutter for many years and now we have to establish a simple little habit to help us reduce that clutter in babysteps. If I told you to back a truck up to your home and start throwing stuff away, you would run as fast as you could to get away from this crazy woman. This is why we do it in babysteps. You don’t even realize you are getting rid of your clutter. We start with a very simple hot spot fire prevention. I still have to do this twice a day to keep my favorite hot spots from taking over my living room.  We have developed some fun ways to reduce our clutter in a painless way.

27 Fling Boogie
5 Minute Room Rescue
Out with the old when you bring something new home
Hot Spot Fire Drill
DrillDaily Mission

Over a period of about nine months of doing this every day, you won’t have too much to get rid of. I like to think of this as giving birth to a new you! With your habits combining into routines, you will find that house-cleaning is no longer something that you dread, but something that gives you pleasure because you are blessing your home, your family, and most of you blessing yourself. After all, you have to do this for you and no one else.  When you get rid of your perfectionism and try it the FLY way, you will see those ineffective habits FLY out of your door and new FLYing Routines come home to stay. Your CHAOS will become only a bad dream and your new life will have you shining like your kitchen sink!


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BabySteps Are The Only Way

Dear FlyLady,

I am writing to you in a state of semi-shock. For at least 10 years I believed myself to be a failed FlyBaby. I was just too SHE for any system to work. I would start out with the best of intentions — at least twice a year — and crash and burn within 2 days. Of course, I did not do what I was told because I did not need all that babystep stuff, I was mature and could just dive in to full fledged routines and zones, right? WRONG. About 10 days ago, well, exactly 10 days ago (and I know this because I am on Babystep 10), I was so desperate that it occurred to me that maybe if I would do it the way I was told, instead of what my impulsive, disorganized brain was telling me, the system would work. I had nothing to lose.

Tonight at 7pm, my Before Bed Routine alarm sounded, and I hopped up and went into the kitchen and finished loading the dishwasher and shined my sink. Unheard of, 10 days ago. Then I walked into my bedroom, looked at my calendar (on my iPhone, which works best for me) and put out my clothes for tomorrow, based on what I am doing tomorrow. Unheard of, 10 days ago. When I realized what I had done, I felt a little weird. A lot weird. Instead of feeling resentful, deprived, or bad, I felt good! I wanted that shiny sink. I wanted those clothes laid out. It was my choice, not something being imposed on me.

My temptation to jump into big lists of routines and cleaning dwindles. I am now a true believer that BabySteps are the only way I am going to get this, and even enjoy the process. I am following the 31 BabySteps carefully. If it says declutter for 2 minutes, I do not do 3. I shine my sink when I am supposed to. I am actually excited about slowly adding to my routines so that they become automatic and I do not have to look at lists as often.

I feel like the universe sort of smacked me upside the head with a 2×4, in a nice way, and said, “Listen to these people who have what you want, and you can have it, too!” Thank you, dear FlyLady, for what you are doing for us SHEs.


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Stopping the Merry-Go-Round

Dear Friends,

The month of September is slowing winding down. We have all had a lot going on.  Our routines have kept us going when all else seemed so chaotic. That is the beauty of our simple babystep routines; we “can do” without having to think about what to do. We have some sort of direction and we are on automatic pilot.

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to figure out what to do first. With FLYing you really don’t have to do the hardest part. We can plan and plot; but we are never able to get up and do. FLYing is doing; not just thinking about doing.

We all live such cluttered lives. We think that we do our best work under pressure. That is not and will never be true! This is just one of those lies we tell ourselves because we don’t know how to stop the merry-go-round.

Have you been trying to juggle all those commitments in your head? We think we are so good at this! Why do we put ourselves through this day in and day out! We can learn how to handle our cluttered schedules by just looking at them on your calendar.

Oh you don’t use a calendar because you are good at keeping all this information in your head. Or if you have one, you don’t want to use it because you are afraid you will mess it up. This is our perfectionism reaching out to make the merry-go-round go even faster so we can’t get off and take a break.

Seeing what is on our calendar is the first babystep to realizing that we have over-scheduled ourselves and our family. The second step is to learn and practice saying, “NO”!

I have a couple of tips when it comes to not being afraid of using your calendar.

1. Use colored pencils to write in your activities.

2. Use small address labels to write your activities on and then put that sticker on your calendar.

3. Use the same address labels to cover up any boo-boos or changes in your schedule.

4. Keep Post-It Notes handy to transfer information to your calendar.

5. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. More problems come from an activity not calendared than from one written down in a messy way!

Have you been procrastinating about purchasing your new calendar? Why are you waiting? You can help to stop the spinning Merry-go-round by seeing exactly what you have scheduled for yourself.

I promise as each little habit becomes part of your routine; then you will begin to slow that chaotic ride down. It just takes a willingness to let go and grab for the golden ring of peace and quit whining that you don’t have time!

Are your ready to FLY with your calendar helping you?


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Pamper Mission 9/21/14

Beauty PamperFall is almost here! And so are the cooler temperatures in many parts of the world. For me, that means it’s time for a “warm yourself up” Pamper Mission. A nice hot bath sounds great right about now! Set aside some time for yourself- remember you are Finally Loving Yourself and you deserve it- and run a nice warm tub of water. Add your favorite bubble bath or a yummy smelling oil and spend some time relaxing that hard working body of yours. I’m going to be adding a half cup of lemon juice to my tub.

Lemon juice added to your bath water has been said to help tighten and tone unwanted wrinkles, fight against blackheads and bumps, and help with uneven skin tone. Not only that, but it also smells great and rejuvenates your mind and body.

Go pamper yourself! You deserve it!

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Swishing, Swiping, and Scrubbing

Swish and SwipeDear FlyLady,

My shower stall is a mess! It’s covered in mildew and icky orange stuff. How is the best way to clean it up?

Thanks a million.



Dear Debbie,

If you want to stop mildew and mold from growing in your shower, you need to get the air circulating. I was taught by a nurse that mold will not grow in moving air. To get the air moving, get a small fan and set it outside your bathroom to blow air into the room. Also, open the shower door or pull back the shower curtain. This will help the shower to dry. After the walls dry, you will need to close the shower curtain for it to dry.

I like to bless my sweet DH by cleaning his shower for him once a month. Since we got the Rubba Swishas in the FlyShop, I like to use one on corners around the floor. I don’t use the same one that I use on his toilet. That would just gross me out! Robert is really good about keeping his shower door open to allow it to dry.

You can clean your shower just a little each time you are in it. While the conditioner is on your hair, you can scrub a little area in your shower. After about a week of doing just a little every day, your shower will be clean and shiny.

Kathy uses our FlyLady Mop on her showers and bathtubs. Our FlyLady Mop has an adjustable handle. She sets the handle in its shortest position and uses it wet to scrub the walls or dry to soak up the moisture.

I also keep a Rubba Scrubba in my tub. I rarely take a shower since I love my bath time. My Rubba Scrubba helps me keep my tub jets clean. It hangs on a hook to the right of my tub. You can also use your purple rag to get rid of the soap film that is left behind. It works well. My sister-in-law could not believe what a great job it did on her shower doors.

To help eliminate mold and mildew I like to use a very mild solution of bleach water in a spray bottle. The recipe is 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. This will help to keep the mold and mildew from growing.

With my Rubba ToolsPurple Rags, and our FlyLady Mop, we keep our showers clean! My bathroom is always company ready and I love how my clean bathroom blesses me.

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I Can Always Jump Right Back In

Good Morning, Mama FlyLady!!

I suppose this is a testimonial email (that’s the closest tag I could find in the list to what I wanted to contact you about today); But it’s more of a thank-you/testimonial. :)

First, I wanted to THANK YOU for sending the Getting Happy FlyLady Email out to EVERYONE yesterday, and then giving us a chance to unsubscribe if we want to. I had read your awesome/inspirational emails just recently about your battling depression & discussing the new ‘Getting Happy’ newsletter, and I had MEANT to sign up before Sept. 1; But – as you have probably surmised – I never did get around to signing up this weekend. I was SO pleased to open my email and see your ‘Getting Happy’ newsletter in spite of my forgetfulness!!  I think this new newsletter is a wonderful idea; The previous one already made me get out and walk after work for 7min (out & back) outside last week twice! :)  Thank you for already giving me some helpful advice even before the first newsletter!  And thank you for including everyone in ‘Getting Happy’.

I have been a FlyBaby going on about 6 years now. I have started & stopped your BabySteps so many times, because life sometimes just leads you astray from your best intentions. But I have always felt (b/c YOU’VE made me feel that way through your philosophy) that I could jump back in at any time and one of these times, the habits are going to STICK. This past Labor Day weekend, I cleaned & shined my kitchen sink YET again (and it’s so pretty!!) – ready to try to get on the band wagon again!!  And it is because of your positive encouragement every day that “you are NOT behind” that I can still maintain the hope of starting again. It’s all about the hope, I think – - as long as you have that, and don’t give up, you ALWAYS have the possibility of changing your life in a meaningful way for the better!

Thank you for giving that hope in a world that seems so hopeless most of the time!  You’re a good person and this is a good thing!

Hugs & Much Love,

FlyBaby-P in Baton Rouge

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What Do You Use Dishtowels For?

Dish TowelsDear FlyLady,

This may sound strange, but I really do not have any idea what you do with a dish towel. Well, of course I keep one hanging on the bar on the dishwasher to wipe my wet hands or to dry dishes I have hand washed. But other than that, my mother always used paper towels or sponges in the kitchen. Could you explain exactly what you use your dish towels for? It occurs to me that you have other uses for them or you would not need a different one for every day of the week. I am open to suggestions if it means less paper towels!!!

Thanks for your help!

Fort Worth FlyBaby


Dear Fort Worth FlyBaby,

We love our dish towels! There is nothing worse than a stinky dishtowel or dish rag which is why our towels come in a pack of 7 (one for each day of the week). When you start FLYing, the first habit you practice is shining your sink. After you shine your sink the first time, you may never have to do it again. All you ever really have to do is wipe out your sink with your dish towel.

To get us in the habit of changing our dish towels out as part of our evening routines, we made them with the days of the week embroidered on them.

Our dish towels are made of 100% cotton. The FlyCrew and I searched for a long time until we found dish towels that were good enough for you. If Kathy, Michele and I didn’t like them, they went away. We are the toughest judges of dish towels. They have to be absorbent and easy to keep white.
sink 04
Here is a list of things to do with your FlyLady Dish Towels.

1. Shine your sink
2. Wipe your hands
3. Wipe down your counters
4. Dirty dish towels can be used to wipe up messy spots on floor
5. Dish towels can be used to cover rising bread dough
6. Folded dish towel can be a hot pad for hot pots and pans
7. Dish towels can be used as a drying rack for washed dishes
8. Dish towels can be napkins for messy meals: ribs, shrimp or crabs
9. Dish towels can be used to dry dishes
10. Dish towels can be used for a facial
11. Dish towels are good for wiping your sweat when exercising
12. Dish towels can be used as bibs
13. Dish towels can be wrapped around an ice pack
14. Dish towels can be used to polish silver

For those tougher jobs, our Purple Rags are the best!

Now go shine your sink!


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Chapter One Changed My Life

Dear Pam, The Mouth Trap: the butt stops here!

I was a little offended by the title of your book [], but I do have a healthy sense of humor and I love your writing style so I wasn’t about to let a word come between your work and me. Wow, wow, wow! After listening to the first chapter, I don’t think I need to listen to anymore of the book! You have totally changed my life with THAT chapter! What an eye-opening! Thank you for putting me on a new adventure with your insight and humor. With that chapter, you really didn’t have to write anymore! (Well I haven’t listened to anymore of it, because I want to really focus on what you said for now.) Actually the title is true and the cover picture did make me laugh.

Rachael J.


Pam here:
If you purchase the audio book or any of the other ways to buy The Mouth Trap: the butt stops here! I suggest you finish the whole book and then go back to the start and start using the assignments at the end of each chapter. I have to admit chapter one will really change your thinking and your awareness of what you are doing with every bite of food you take. The book is available in paperback and also as an e-book for your Nook or Kindle.

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Surprise Honey!

Dear FlyLady,

Last night, as my husband was getting ready for work, he put on his last set of work clothes and asked if I could be sure to do his wash. “Sure will” was my reply.

This evening my husband gets up and after he looks on the bed, the floor, and the dirty laundry basket, he finally asks if his clothes are in the dryer. Surprise honey! They are washed, dried, folded, and in your drawers! Imagine that! I did it and received a big kiss for my reward. A load a day keeps Mt. Washmore away!

Thank you for the motivation you give us all to keep CHAOS away!

Angie Shelton

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