June Habit #22 A Couple Of Tricks

Dear FlyLady,

I am not fortunate enough to have one of the amazing water bottles everyone talks about so much, but it IS next on my list…I know it is time for me to have one, you see, because I am easily walking over a mile across my home and back, refilling my ice cube trays (in fact I had to buy three more to ensure enough ice) to my sink to fill my cup several times a day.

Like many other Flybabies have said, I wasn’t a big water fan, either. I grew up in California, on city water. We had a filter, and water from the fridge, but it still wasn’t a big draw for me. My mom made sun tea and lemonade a lot so I drank those frequently, plus a ton of Kool-Aid, sad to say. We ALWAYS had Kool-Aid packets in the house and we kids were allowed to “make it at will” lol…so we did.

I’ve learned a couple tricks, even only ten days into our new habit this month that I really want to share with other FlyBabies, if you are willing:

1) Water keeps you feeling good!! It really, really does. It keeps you feeling full, so you’re not feeling “snacky” as my 8 yr old flydaughter says She LOVES to keep her blue cup filled now that school is out here. I also have a 13 yr old daughter and 10 yr old son. They say they feel better when they drink water, like momma. So we are ALL drinking more water!

2) You can flavor your water healthfully (and cheaply!) with a simple sneaky trick…if you grow herbs, or know someone who does, get some mint from them Cut a cucumber, yes a cuke, and some chunks of melon (we like watermelon but I use what I can get marked down at our local store for a dollar). Put them in a pitcher, the mint, cuke rounds and melon chunks at NIGHT. Fill the pitcher with water and put it in the fridge. The water gets infused over night and it tastes fresher! We love to do this.

3) The first week of this month was a little hard for us…we love soda for a treat but I am determined to cut it out completely. I am 4′ 11″ and my doctor, who is also a FlyBaby, says I need to lose 120 pounds…I weighed 264 at one point, I am down to 221 now thanks to Leanne and Saving Dinner, Body Clutter (checked out from the library, I HAVE to get me a copy), and Jonathon Roche…you all are amazing!! I need, for my health, because of Type 2 diabetes and my frame, to get to around 120-140 for optimum health.. NOW, with that said, SELTZER!!! I love fizzy stuff, my kids too. Seltzer KILLS the soda craving for me!! I get plain and mix with juices that we always have, but I also get the neat flavors to sip plain sometimes.

4) Lastly, I am a master gardener volunteer for two counties here in Maine. I work outside in my own garden a lot, in the community gardens and school gardens with kids, and helping neighbors with their own gardens. A sweet lady, new neighbor and friend I met this week told me something her mom taught her back in the depression…FREEZE GRAPES. They go on sale in the summer a lot…wash them and freeze them and use them for ice cubes! They don’t dilute your iced tea or seltzer or whatever, you don’t have to worry about the ice cube tray, and when they thaw out a little they make an awesome snack!!

5) Oops, okay, so I forgot one: FREEZE MELON CUBES FOR AMAZING “shakes.” Just put some in the blender with either vanilla yogurt or even just a little water. Amazing and inexpensive treat!! You can use frozen berries, too, when they really come into season and are on sale a lot or you can pick em yourself. Thanks for ALL the help and support you give us in so many ways, FlyLady!! You give us SO much of yourself, I am amazed you have any of yourself left.. but you know what they say about love, right?

The more you give away, the more you have!

Flybaby Moira

Posted in Habit of the Month Tagged , , , ,

The Power is In Your Hands

Dear Friends,

In our Perfectionism, we don’t seem to grasp the simplicity of the timer. We automatically think that keeping a nice house takes lots of time out of our day and we have to do it all at once.We don’t need a solid block of time (a whole day to clean) to have a home that is hug-able. We just need 15 minutes.

One time I saw a book at the grocery store.  This author had taken 15 minutes and turned it into something awful. She called it the 15 minute frenzy. I’m sorry she just does not get it either. All our lives we have lived in a frenzy. It is time that we stopped running around like a chicken with our heads cut off and just focus.

This is all we are doing; setting our timers for 15 minutes and staying focused. We are NOT racing the clock trying to beat some world record. We just want to be consistent with our focus and take care of ourselves at the same time. Being in a frenzy is not healthy. We are looking for peace not panic.

The beauty of our timer is that we don’t have to finish what we are doing. When the timer goes off; we get to celebrate what we have done and rest. Try it sometime! It is so calming. The timer is not a race! It is a focus.

I feel sorry for people who try to make this harder than it is. But it really makes me mad when they take something as simple as a timer and hurt my Flybabies with my words when they don’t understand the whole concept.

The foundation for what we do is loving ourselves. This makes everything work. You are not loving yourself when you are running around in a frenzy! Slow and steady is what gets our home and our lives in order. One babystep at a time. You can do this.

Our timer says, You can do anything for 15 minutes. In our perfectionism we don’t think that 15 minutes will even make a dent in it. It will and you will be so surprised at what else will happen. It will give you confidence in your abilities. Some days I use my timer all day long. I work 15 minute on a project and 15 minutes on a musing and 15 minutes on the house; then I spend 15 minutes taking care of me. Because without those 15 minutes I start to feel tired. I have to refresh my batteries each hour; drink some water, get up and move a little, put on some different music and go smell the flowers in the garden. This is taking care of me!

Use your timer to get things done in a calm consistent fashion and to take care of you! It is a tool I could not live without! If you don’t have 15 minutes just do 2 minutes! There are no excuses! So quit whining that you don’t have time and get up and do 2 minutes.

Are you ready to FLY with your timer by your side?


We have other videos of me cleaning our back door for 2 minutes and our floors.



Our Cleaning System gives you the tools to get your home clean in an efficient way!

Posted in Morning Musing Tagged , , , ,

I Need Help with My Lunches

Dear FlyLady,

I’m relatively new to your routines, so you may have addressed this and I just haven’t noticed yet. I find that one of my routines that I struggle with is getting out the door in the morning with a decent lunch for myself. I guess I don’t manage my time well so I often just look for something to grab, that wasn’t thought out ahead of time.

Jo Ann

Dear Jo Ann,

The issue may not be a problem with your management of time in the morning. The problem is you are not planning for leftovers. When you plan your menus for the next week; think about an extra food that you can take for lunch or to put in freezer for nights you don’t want to cook.

There are some great Bento Boxes on Amazon that you can use to freeze whole meals of leftovers. You can also use these types of boxes to take a meal to a neighbor or for your lunch the next day.  Plan don’t pitch! Label your boxes and date them.

With these Bento Boxes, they fit in your tote bag! All you have to do is grab and go because you packed your lunch as you were cleaning up last night’s supper dishes. This makes your life easier. You save money, time, and the guilt of eating out.

I love eating our leftovers for lunch. They make me happy!

Here is an essay about Saving Money and Feeding Your Family.

Dear Friends,

We have been traveling for two weeks. It is always so wonderful to meet my precious FlyBabies. One of the main issues I have been hearing from them is that they are struggling with their finances. Health insurance premiums are hurting many people. There is not much I can do about reducing those health insurance premiums but I can teach you how to save some real money.

There was a wonderful speaker to came over to our booth, Mr. Andrew Pudewa. He asked me what I did. I explained to him that I help people get their homes in order so that they can teach their children. He suggested that we do a podcast together. He sees young parents who need help with their finances because they are spending a lot of money on prepackaged food.

Menu planning is the one way to save real money! Have you been skipping this step? Do you have a plan for this week or are you just winging it? There is nothing worse than hearing your babies asking you what’s for dinner at 6:00 pm.

Here are some tips for getting dinner on the table at a decent hour and saving money too.

  1. Clean out your refrigerator and freezer to see what needs to be cooked up.
  2. Check your calendar to see your busy schedule. Make your menu plan.
  3. Have a plan for leftovers: Rice, beans, chicken, roast, ham.
  4. Have a basic weekly plan for your meals. It makes planning easy.
  5. Use your crock pot, instant pot, bread machine, and oven.
  6. Wednesday is clean out the refrigerator day and plan for next week. Make soup.
  7. Practice using the basics; bagged rice, dried beans, whole chickens,
  8. Keep staples on hand; rice, pasta, beans, flour, corn meal, sugar, cheese, dried fruit.
  9. Use crockpot to precook hamburger meat for casseroles, spaghetti sauce, and sloppy joes.
  10. Take something out of the freezer to thaw as part of your Before Bed Routine.
  11. As part of your Morning Routine get dinner started.
  12. Don’t cook on high!
  13. Use leftovers for soups, stews, and casseroles.
  14. Set the table as part of your afternoon routine.
  15. Use your calendar to build your menu plan.

These are just a few tips to help you get dinner done on time and save money. I think I will focus on this all week to help you get a handle on your food budget. This is the only place to save real money. I need some of your testimonials. Send them to me. FlyLady@flylady.net with MEAL TIME TIP in the subject line.

In my new book CHAOS to Clean we discuss this. Every November we focus on this. My friend Leanne Ely from Saving Dinner has helped you. We have a Control Journal that helps you to build five weeks of menus. My favorite tip that we have received is to use post-it notes on your calendar and just move to the next month.

You can do this and save money too. Set your timer for 15 minutes and start your plan. Get your children to give their ideas. Use your calendar for your menu plan.

Are you ready to free up some money?



Posted in Ask FlyLady Tagged , , , ,

Extra Luggage

Dear Flylady Family

I have been fluttering (and occasionally flying) over the last 5+ years I’ve been a FlyBaby (I lost count).  It has really helped reduce my tendency toward perfectionism and appreciate progress more than the goal.  My habits were recently challenged dramatically by the passing of my mother.  I am the only surviving child so it has become my responsibility to clean out her house while maintaining my own.

When my father and sister passed away many years ago, my mother boxed their things and closed the closet doors.  So I am not only cleaning up one person’s things but three.

She lives in another state and I was trying to sort through things at her house to reduce the amount I needed to ship home.  It rapidly became clear that this would take me a very long time!  So we packed up half the house and shipped it to ours. My DH said “Where will we put all this?”  I said it would fit in our livingroom/dining room.  About half way through the first day DH said “It’s not going to fit”.  I said “no, look, it’s less than half the garage, it will fit in the living room”.  At the end of the day I looked and sighed “It’s not going to fit”.   I have attached the pictures of the furniture and packing boxes that went into my living room, dining room, and patio.  It was overwhelming.

It is now a month and I have almost finished sorting everything using the FlyLady system into “keep”, donate, or trash.  I have a small box labeled for each person when I find items my mother willed certain things to.   I do about 1 box a day after work.  Some things I have to put to the side because they will either take too long, are too precious, or too painful to go through right now…. but each day I make progress.  It’s like 15 minutes a day of decluttering…. but on steroids!  However, I have recovered my dining room and should have my living room back within the week.

In a few weeks from now we ship the other half of the house, but I know I can tackle it and make progress – and so does DH.  Thank you for helping me Fly even with “extra luggage”!


Woodland Hills, CA

Posted in testimonials Tagged , , , ,

June Habit #21 Water Brings Better Health

Dear FlyLady,

I’m a recurring FlyBaby (hoping this time it will “stick”), but I do have a water story.

I am the very lucky recipient of TWO kidney transplants, August 1988 and December 2001. I was on dialysis for approximately five years total while waiting for those two amazing gifts of life.

While on in-center hemodialysis, most patients have a water restriction of ONE QUART – yes, just one quart of water per day and that includes all liquids. We are urged to keep a one quart pitcher of water in the fridge and drink from that (a very small glass at a time) and to pour out the liquid equivalent of anything else we eat or drink in the course of the day. When the pitcher is empty, that’s it for the day!

Once you receive a transplant, that particular restriction is reversed completely! We are now urged to drink freely and liberally. Often, we have to relearn that the sensation of thirst should be quickly followed by some quenching liquid, and ice cold water still is best for us.

While being adequately hydrated is especially important in the summer, year-round it brings better health. Your skin is better, as is your digestion. It’s vital for many functions of the human body.

Enjoy your water and enjoy your life!


Posted in Habit of the Month Tagged , , , ,

Are You Always Putting out Fires?

Dear Friends,

Are you running around with your head cut off, putting out fires everywhere you go. Are you letting the house run you, instead of you taking control and running the house on your timetable.

This has got to stop. Your stress from just doing what is urgent is going to make you sick, give you headaches, and keep you in a constant state of fatigue.

I can hear you now! How do I stop? These things need to be done. Well here is how. Simple planning, with a little thought to the future, not just the next 10 minutes.

For instance, Running out of milk. You have to stop what you are doing and take 30 minutes to run to the grocery for milk. Have you noticed the expiration date has gotten longer, why not buy 2 or 3 gallons at a time.

If you have other fires you have to put out on a regular basis, Look at what you can DO NOW to prevent them from happening in the first place. How about matching socks, or certain clothes that are needed for school.

What are some of these fires? What is so urgent that you throw your whole routine out the window to deal with this priority??

Unless it is a true emergency, sick family member, or an accident. Most everything else can be planned for. When a true emergency happens, by all means your routine should go out the window. The key here is to be ready for anything. Could you walk out the door in 3 minutes to meet your husband if he called and said, I need you. Being able to answer these kind of calls as well as the little voice that says, Momma will you play with me, or read me a story. You can do this when you are not having to put out those urgent fire calls. Guess what!!! There is no guilt involved either.

Your homework assignment is to make a list of the fire calls you have been making. Don’t worry about how to fix them just yet. All I want you to do is list them. If you don’t know, then keep a journal this week, when you are rushing to get something done. Running to the store to get something you are out of. Paying a bill that you forgot. What about being late for an appointment? Running out of Gas!

If we would apply the Do It Now Principle to our life, we would be much better off. When we do this, procrastination is no longer a word in our vocabulary. If you look close at your list, you will find that the fire got out of hand because you said. I can do that later.

Stop thinking about what you can put off to the future and take care of some of these issues NOW. The future will be the present before you know it. Why not make it a pleasant one? You hold the Key in your hot little hand. Why put off till tomorrow what you can do today and save yourself some precious time in the process. As well as your health!!!

Are your ready to FLY with me?


Sometime we procrastinate because we think a job will take longer than it really will. Time yourself. You will see. Think of Wednesday as a planning day for next week. This is not Rocket Science. You don’t have to spend all day either. Start with 15-minutes. Take baby steps. A little planning now, could save a lot of steps, time and peace of mind next week. You are going to be so surprised at how freeing these few minutes can be. This is a start to finding the peace that you want.

2018_calendar_open2018 Calendars are available! Get yours today! This is the best wall calendar available to help you keep your family a priority and keep track of their comings and goings.

This is a large, spiral- bound calendar (Size: 14 by 21 inches when open) with large squares (Squares 1.75″ x 3.125″) that make it very easy to see, even from across the room.

Posted in Morning Musing Tagged , ,

What Do You Recommend for Floors?

Dear FlyLady,

Thank you for helping me change my life. I have worked/schooled double duty for my entire adult life (mid 30s now, and almost with a Ph.D. in hand). My husband and I married almost two years ago. We have a nice-sized house (not huge, but roomy) that I have had a really hard time keeping clean enough for guests to “pop in.” CHAOS!!! I found your website by a fluke chance back in December and have been FLYing ever since.

I feel such pride that the house is manageable now, and I don’t get carried away with perfectionism or feel bad about myself if I don’t get every mission accomplished every day. I do keep my sink shined…I am amazed by this one little trick and how it makes me feel great all the time. (Did you hypnotize me about sink shining? Just kidding.) Now I am even dressing to shoes, those this has been the most difficult routine for me as I love being barefoot. I am trying it out because your philosophy has not failed me yet. I absolutely LOVE your system. I LOVE how you present routines, I LOVE your philosophy, I LOVE that this is a wonderful, encouraging community of FLYbabies. So thank you so very much for sharing yourself.

I recently purchased the Purple Rags and the Feather Duster and have been having too much fun using them. Thanks for providing such great and fun products, and for making cleaning time fun in general.

Beyond shouting your praises (which you so very mush deserve), I do have a cleaning question. My house has this old linoleum kitchen floor and some fancy brick flooring in the entrance. I am about to move to a house that has linoleum and wood floors. I currently use some “spic and span” floor cleaner that does an “ok” job on the linoleum and brick. But I was wondering what YOU would recommend with your low/no chemical philosophy for my floors? Do you use anything besides water on your floors? I hate using chemicals unnecessarily.

I have so much more to say to you FlyLady, but perhaps will save it for future emails. Just know that you have changed yet another life with your system. And you are one special lady. Keep going!

Dori in Michigan


Dear Dori,

Thank you so much for all your praises but always keep in mind that you did all this! YOU made your house a home! We just give you the tools to make it happen. We shine a little light on the simple things and show you how to not obsess. I am so proud of you.

I am with you when it comes to chemicals. That is one of the reasons we found a micro-fiber mop. We saw how great our purple rags were on windows and just about everything else; why wouldn’t they work on floors!

So with just simple water you can clean your floors. If they are extra dirty then you can use a little window cleaner or vinegar. No streaks! The micro-fiber cloths do all the work for you. You can use them wet or dry!

You know what I always say, “Housework done incorrectly still blesses your family!” The same goes for your floors. Have fun and don’t obsess! Put on some fast paced music and mop a floor! There is more than one way to do it.

Get your children involved! Put water down and some shaving cream or baby shampoo. Let them slide around on the floor with old towels. You will be so surprised at how clean a floor can get with just a little play.

I have done my my own video while having fun mopping my floors. I would love to see yours. Make a video of you or your children having fun doing the floors. Post it to Youtube and tag FLYLADY in it. Then send a link to me; FlyLady@flylady.net with FUN FLOORS in the subject line.


Posted in Ask FlyLady Tagged , , ,

Good News

Dear FlyLady,

Not long ago–a week or three–I emailed about how the visit of a friend inspired me to clean up my front room.  Then I mentioned that I had to deal with my kitchen because my son and his family were visiting the next week or so.  Well, I DID deal with the kitchen, shiny sink and all!  I wouldn’t call it spotless but close to it!  Now here is the GOOD news.  My son has been gone for 10 days or so and the kitchen is still in its near perfect condition, and SO is the living room!  I still have more to do but it encourages me to see that I really CAN do this AND that I have brought so much peace to my life.  I love sitting in the front room and I LOVE that there are NO dirty dishes and all counters are devoid of WAY TOO MUCH extraneous junk–I believe you would call it clutter!!!

I appreciate the tireless effort you expend on helping someone like me that is only now learning to just carry out the trash–with ALL those dreadful piles of catalogs, boxes and all those worthless whatchamacallits!  Thank you SO much!


Happy from Michigan

Posted in testimonials Tagged , , ,

June Habit #20 I’ve Been Dehydrated

Dear FlyLady,

I’ve discovered something amazing! For years I have been addicted to chapstick – I have a tube or tub of carmex in every purse, every pocket, & every drawer so I can always find one because I’m always losing them and I need them about once an hour.

I always figured it’s because I’m living in such a dry climate and, of course, I’m getting older.  UNTIL I started filling four 16-oz bottles at bed time to drink the next day – I keep them in the frig and as I empty each one I set it next to the water dispenser to fill up at the end of the day.

So I’ve been doing this for several weeks now, and for the last week or two I haven’t needed lip balm any more!!! I’ve been dehydrated for YEARS and had no idea until I started “making” myself drink 64 oz of water a day whether I was “thirsty” or not.

This is the best “FlyLady” habit yet! No more a slave to lip balm! Thanks!!!!

Jennifer fluttering in Colorado

Posted in Habit of the Month Tagged , , , ,

FlyLady’s Calendar Tips

Dear Friends,

I have been brainstorming on how to help you enjoy using your calendar. I have put together a list of 11 Tips to make your calendar work for you!

1. Color Code your calendar. Use a high lighter for each member of your family, a dot or some color to help you recognize who has something when you look across the room at your calendar.

2. Use blank address labels to cover up mistakes or changes in your calendar.

3. Don’t procrastinate about putting appointment on your calendar. Do it now! You’re your calendar working for you! This way you don’t have to try to remember everything.

4. Look ahead so that you can plan for special events or doctor’s appointments. Do you need to fast, how about that suit that needs cleaned or a new dress for the wedding?

5. Check the family calendar morning, afternoon and evening. This habit is the Shiny Sink of your brain.

6. Put your calendar in a place that is in front of the family. After all out of sight is out of mind for us.

7. Allow your family to help you use the calendar. This is teaching them the calendar habit. Using a calendar as a tool is giving your children wings.

8. Each week have a family meeting to synchronize your schedules and put them on the family calendar. This is about communicating with each other and having all the information in one place.

9. When you walk in your door, THINK! Do we have something to post on the calendar? Put up a note to remind you. Having that PTA or church bulletin in your purse, the sports schedule in the backpack or that invitation in back of the calendar is not going to get it posted to your family calendar. This habit will keep things from slipping up on you! Don’t wait to do it later. Later will be that frantic phone call!

10. Make it your family calendar fun! Use sticker, stars and smiley faces to decorate as well as celebrate accomplishments.

11. Use your calendar to chart your family’s milestones. Your calendar will become your family history! Yes you can save your calendars. They will help you to scrapbook.

These 11 tips will help you to use your calendar instead of just buying it and allowing yet another calendar to become clutter in your home. Our calendar is big enough to hold your family’s appointments.

Are you ready to FLY with a calendar that helps you stay on your flight path?


2018_calendar_open2018 Calendars are available! Get yours today! This is the best wall calendar available to help you keep your family a priority and keep track of their comings and goings. 

This is a large, spiral- bound calendar (Size: 14 by 21 inches when open) with large squares (Squares 1.75″ x 3.125″) that make it very easy to see, even from across the room.

Posted in testimonials Tagged , , ,

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