Elastic is Not Our Friend

Body ClutterDear Friends,

Clutter has a way of slipping into our world without us even noticing. It piles up on our hotspots, in our dresser drawers and on our backsides. Yes you know that very personal clutter that we collect because we over indulge. All clutter is a result of over indulging; too many clothes, too many shoes, too much stuff!

What do we do with our clutter? We try to disguise it; by putting it in pretty little boxes, baskets and plastic tubs. Just because we have contained it does not make it any less clutter. In fact if you need to find something those clutter containers throw up all over your home. In our haste to camouflage our clutter we don’t get rid of it we just cover it up.

We do this with our bodies too! Think of it this way! Let’s say our favorite jeans get a little too tight! Instead of eliminating those sodas and sweet treats for a week; we reach for our fat clothes. You know the ones that are hiding in your drawer for those bloated “that time of the month” days. The ones with drawstrings and elastic; has wearing these clothes become part of your daily routine.

Elastic is not our friend! It doesn’t bring our Body Clutter to our attention! That little uncomfortable feeling in our jeans should be just the call to action we need to take the babysteps to declutter. I am not talking about crash dieting either. Those don’t work any better than crisis cleaning. Oh yeah they will help you lose the weight to get into that wedding dress or bathing suit but after you accomplish your unrealistic goal; the weight will come back and more to boot! We don’t need any more weight in our boots.

Here is what we can do to address our Body Clutter.

1. Don’t wear clothes with elastic or drawstrings.

2. Weigh every day! This tells you how your body reacted to what you did yesterday!

3. Never crash diet!

4. Eat 3 meals a day and 3 snacks. Eat something good for You every two hours.

5. Babystep your way out of drinking sugar or diet sodas. Replace with water.

6. Do 15 minutes of loving movement each day!

7. Drink 8 glasses of water. This is so simple and it is the best beauty treatment you can do! Keep your water bottle filled up.


Body Clutter is not just the cellulite on our thighs, it is the negative thinking we have between our ears. When we look at our relationship with food, we will begin to eat and move to bless our bodies. We have been indulging our little princess for a long time! You would not allow your children to eat like you do or be sedentary! It is time to go out and play!


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How Do I Get Rid of the Funny Smell?

Dear FlyLady,

Help!!! My water bottle has developed a funny smell. I leave it at work on weekends and leave it closed. That’s problem, huh? Any suggestions on how to get rid of it?




Dear Lana,

I think you have sort of answered your own question. It is more than just leaving it at work all closed up. When we take a swig out of our water bottle, we all get a little back wash. I get grossed out by this, but facts are facts. Our mouths have bacteria and in order to kill germs, we have to wash our bottles daily.

This is why I made sure that our water bottles were dishwasher safe. I keep two bottles by my side all day long. Each time I run the dishwasher, they go in there. If you don’t have a dishwasher then a sink full of hot, soapy water will do just fine. I fill up fresh ones each morning to start my day.

Wash your bottle daily. This is just part of my routine. If you go to work, then bring your bottle home each night and wash it. Or wash it at work and leave it open to dry during the night. Either way you do it, having your water bottles clean and on your launch pad each morning will help keep you hydrated!


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I Love Thank You Notes

Don’t you love to get a thank you note? If you do, why not write one today, surely you owe someone a grateful comment. It’ll only take 5 minutes and you’ll feel so good and so will the recipient.  I got this thank you note (in the real mail) and had to share it with you because it made me laugh!

Dear Pam,

I had to write you and tell you what happened today! My five-year-old got into my stick it on the money stickers. (She’s not a get-into-stuff-type kid, but she was at my desk coloring in her color book and the sticker kit is in my correspondence drawer at my desk. Since the stickers are so playful and colorful, they attracted her attention. Well, Pam, she proceeded to use all the stickers in the kit, in her color book! And she was so proud of what she’d done! She actually put hats, mustaches and wigs on some the princesses and she was pleased with her cleverness.

Because those stickers are just like my post-it notes, I was able to put them all back in with the rest of the kit, but it made me think, what a fun activity for a child especially when I can still use the stickers for their real purpose which I also love!! We are taking a car trip (it’s spring break for my older kiddos) and I’m taking the stickers for them to play with in the car.

Thank you for such a wonderful product.


The very thing Rocky’s five-year-old did with my stickers, is exactly the thing that caused me to create them in the first place. I was forever messing up the beautiful models in make-up commercials in magazines by drawing a mustache, goatee, blacked out front teeth and crossed eyes on them. (I supposed I should see a psychiatrist about this?) When the portraits on US currency changed (except George Washington on the one-dollar bill) I was appalled and embarrassed by the new faces. Since I would never deface our money (I wouldn’t like prison) I created Post-It Note stickers that don’t harm the money, to disguise the faces for a fun way to give money as a gift for graduations, birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions where a gift is needed.

Since my kids were grown when I thought up the idea, I never thought about kids having fun with them too! I love it!

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Accidents Happen

Dear FlyLady,
I am a FlyBaby who has tried your system before and failed mostly because I skipped the babysteps and tried to do everything at once.  After several surprise visits from the in-laws where my house was definitely not “in-law” ready, I decided to start your system again.  I am determined not be embarrassed by the condition of my house again.This time, I’m following the babysteps and really putting thought into how I can turn the detail lists into my detail cleaning lists.  I’ve successfully cleared my hot spots and I’ve kept them clean.  I’ve got the first floor of house decluttered, and everyone in the family is enjoying the uncluttered clean environment.  I’m now tackling the 2nd floor of my home, 15 minutes at time.This morning, my nine year old spilled milk in the refrigerator.  The old me would have given her a stern lecture about making extra work for Mom.  That would have ruined her morning, and I would have felt guilty about overreacting.  The new FlyBaby me told her that accidents happen and Mommy needed to clean the refrigerator anyway.  The smile on her face made me so grateful that I am really using your system and applying it to my life daily.  Instead of cleaning the front of cabinets, I cleaned the fridge, and will do the cabinets another day.  Best of all, everyone is happy and enjoying their day.Thank you so much for all you do!

Flying high is South Carolina!!!

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FLYing Together

Dear FlyLady,

I am an 18 year old Homeschooler who is about to graduate in August. I love being a FlyBaby!!!

My DM (Dear Mom), who is a single parent that Homeschooled Me and my two older siblings, started trying to FLY in 1999, but with Fibromyalgia she has hit quite a few speed bumps. I love my DM very much and seeing that your system works for so many others, I decided to try and help her FLY.

Last Christmas, my 27 yr old DS (dear Sister) and I saved up and got her the control journal, CD,  Body clutter book timer, and the  towels. She loved everything, but even with all that, I could tell she was still struggling, (fatigue and chronic pain really get to her).

Here I come, FlyBaby Em…. I kicked my franny into gear and rose to the challenge! I’ve been using the timer like a crazy lady and the CD is what keeps me going.  I have a lot of difficulty waking up to an alarm in the morning ( I roll over turn it off and instantly fall back asleep ) so I put the CD in my CD player and put the remote on top of my alarm clock. When my alarm goes off, I now roll over, turn it off, click my CD player on and put it on track 3 ( my fav’s are # 2 & 3, although I love them all ). That CD has helped me to establish waking up at 9a on days I’m off and 6a on days I have to work!

Now, instead of getting up as late as 2 or 3p on days I’m off, I get up at 9a,make my bed, use the bathroom ( brush teeth, wash face, swish and swipe ), feed my kitten, get dressed ALL THE WAY TO MY SHOES!! I put out hot spots in the Kitchen & living room ( as well as do my chores ), make breakfast/coffee, check my reminder’s while I’m eating, clean up from breakfast, tackle my schoolwork ( three-15 minute blocks per subject!! ), clean up the zone & do a little decluttering.

Then I have the rest of the day to be as flexible as I love to be!!! I’m still trying to get my DS (dear Sister) to FLY, but I think that if I keep FLYing, she will hopefully follow.  Since I’ve been establishing my routines, my Mom has been a lot less stressed out and is able to have more *me time*….. We glide through zones together. She say’s I’m cute when I get into my “clean the zone” mood, lol, no whining here!!
Finally Love Yourself 02
I just want to say a HUGE THANK YOU for helping me, help my mom FLY and also, helping me to overcome the fear of turning 18 by giving me the confidence to take charge in cleaning and cooking, with a positive attitude.  I am really looking forward to having my own house and family when I get older and it’s not so intimidating now! Thanks again and again and again, lol…. I LOVE TO FLY!!!!!!!

FlyBaby in VA

P. S. I’m a Dance Teacher/Choreographer that teaches Creative Movement, Artistic Development, Classical Ballet, Theatre Dance, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Hip-Hop, Ballroom and Lyrical. I have adapted “15 minutes” into my classes! It works sooo well! Thank you for turning not only my life around, but also my career!


FlyLady Here: Can we agree that this is a Purple Puddle Moment?  The love in this young girl and her family is so beautiful and pure.  What a family!  I am so proud of these strong and courageous women!  They are truly FLYing!!!

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Preparing for the End of the School Year

The 2014/15 school year is almost over – many of us have just two or three weeks left in the school year.  What is on your list to get done as the school year closes out?

Are there personal items at school that need to come home?  What needs to go on your calendar?  Do you know what to do to prepare for next year?  Have you worked on teacher selection for next year, if that is possible at your child’s school?  Let’s all make a list and start checking off the items, easing our way to a relaxing summer and a well-prepared start to school in the Fall.

By the end of the school year, students have accumulated lots of materials and personal belongings at school.  Left-over school supplies (including calculators and such for older students) should come home for use next year.  School supplies are expensive – reuse and recyle!

Middle and high school students usually have P.E. clothes and shoes stuffed in a locker – send a plastic bag to school for these and head straight to the washing machine when you get them home!  Younger elementary school students often have extra changes of clothing at school, just in case they have a toileting accident or a disagreement with a mud puddle on the playground at school.  Don’t forget to bring those items home.

If your child takes medication at school, be sure to retrieve the left-over medication.  Some children keep an extra pair of glasses in their desk at school – make sure they get home with those.

If your child has any work on display, remember to pick it up before the teacher dismantles her classroom.  Special projects and art work are often posted on walls and bulletin boards, and may even be posted outside of the classroom in halls and in the office, so look around.

It’s always a good idea to make one last check through the Lost and Found for stray jackets and sweatshirts.  Children frequently leave these on the playground in the Spring, when the mornings are cool and the weather turns warm in the afternoon.

If your child has lunch charges or lost library books, you will not be able to get the report card until those charges are settled, so take care of it now.  If you have an extra set of textbooks at home, remember to get them back to school and checked in.

There are a number of different procedures for sending out the final report card and statewide test results to parents.  Make sure that you know the procedure at your child’s school.  Do you need to leave a self-addressed stamped envelope at the school?  Send it in immediately and cross it off your list.

If your family is moving over the summer, be sure to have copies of everything the new school will need: birth certificate, immunization record, report cards, test scores, 504 plans, and/or IEP paperwork.  Schools send out the official school documents to the new school when children transfer, but it can be a slow, frustrating process – particularly if your child has special needs or if your family is moving to a different state.  The receiving school has to request the paperwork, and the previous school has to get it sent out.  It’s remarkable how long that can take!  If your child receives special services in school, you will be saving everyone a lot of headaches if you bring the complete special education record to the new school.  The special education staff will copy what they need to start a new IEP folder.  Your child can start receiving services with just a copy of a current IEP, but the new school needs the evaluation and placement information as soon as possible.

And speaking of special services, do you need to have a final IEP meeting or 504 meeting before school is out?  If it is a transition year for your child, be sure to meet the new special education teacher and discuss how your child can best be served in the new school situation – and amend the IEP if need be.  If your child gets anxious in new situations, arrange to visit the new school several times during the summer.

Ask your child’s current teacher to suggest some books and activities for the summer that would benefit your child.  Many times there is a list of recommended books available, and teachers often have old math workbooks that you can have for summer practice.  Even if the teacher doesn’t have any concerns about your child’s readiness for the next grade, it’s still important to have a strong summer reading program – either through the public library or on your own.  And don’t forget to include some math enrichment activities – money, calendar, mileage, time, and measurement all have natural applications at home.

If you plan to send a letter to the principal and/or superintendent this year, it’s time to think about what you want to say and get it written down.  Make as many positive statements about particular school staff members as you can, but be honest and include any concerns as well.  And if you want to send thank you notes to your children’s teachers this year, sit down and get it done.  Thank you notes are a treasure to teachers, and well worth your time.

Make sure that your calendar includes school activities that occur over the summer and right when school starts: work-outs and “camps” for Fall sports and marching band, driver’s education sessions, Open House, first day of school, and the school schedule for first semester.  Go ahead and look up the schedule for children’s activities at the public library and the local recreation department, and get those on your calendar as well.

Teacher requests are best made at the end of the school year or early in the summer, when the principal is assigning children to their classes.  We’ve previously discussed teacher selection at length.  Here’s a link to an article about the characteristics of a great teacher: http://www.greatschools.org/improvement/quality-teaching/79-what-makes-a-great-teacher.gs

Wow – lots of stuff to get done!!  Make a list and make sure you get through it before the teachers leave for the summer.  This year has really gone by quickly – it will be over before we know it.  Have a happy, relaxing summer and enjoy your children!

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Where Do You Store Your Rubba Swisha?

Dear FlyLady,

Where do you store the Rubba Swisha? I have toilet brushes that sit in a stand…don’t know what I’d do with a dripping, dirty toilet brush. I have both the Rubba Sweepa and the original Rubba Scrubba and love them both.

FlyBaby A


My Dear Friends,

Swishing and swiping is one of our foundation habits that keep our bathrooms always company ready. We love to see things in pairs; Peanut Butter and Jelly, Cake and Ice Cream, Ham and Eggs, Jack and Jill, and Swish and Swipe!

We already have a great pair for our Swish and Swipe; our Purple Rags in a Bag and our purple Rubba Swisha. As for a holder to put it in, we decided against it. We all have clutter hanging around that will keep your brush from dripping on the floor. In 5 minutes, I ran through my house and found 7 or 8 things that would hold the Rubba Swisha.

For many years I have suggested that an efficient way to keep your toilet clean is to get a vase from underneath your sink and place your toilet bowl brush in that. I also recommended to keep a solution of one part shampoo, bubble bath, soap, or body wash that you don’t like in the container with one part water. This is just enough soap to give your toilet a good swish. It is the act of swishing that keeps stuff from growing in there.

Now let me ask you this question. Why would we want to add to the weight of shipping this great tool, not to mention the price of it? For $8.95 you get a great tool and don’t have to purchase more clutter. You also get to recycle something that has been gathering dust (your old vase from under the sink).
Swish and Swipe Package
For years I have used a crock that you put your kitchen utensils in. This holds just enough soapy water to cover the brush. The soapy solution will not allow mold to grow in the container.

In my 5 minute search, I found a flower pot with no hole in the bottom, a fish bowl, another utensil holder, an empty sugar container, Clorox Wipe container, a piece of pottery and a beautiful vase my sister gave me for Christmas. I’ll bet you can find many more things than that. My son said his old holder fit the newRubba Swisha.

So let go of your paired perfectionism and go green in a purple kind of way! Find something hiding in your clutter to turn into your Rubba Swisha holder. You are creative! Check under your kitchen sink!


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Procrastination is Not a Thief of Time

Dear Friends,

This week we are thinking about procrastination. We have all heard that procrastination is the thief of time. I don’t think that is entirely the case. Time is constant; we all have the same hours in every single day, it is how we choose to use those hours that steals the time. We all seem to think that things will take longer than they really will, so we talk ourselves out of doing them. Just what have you been procrastinating about lately: Laundry, getting the car washed or is it something much deeper than household chores?

Have you gotten in a rut? Not a bad rut; but let’s say a comfortable rut. You know the same ole same ole! You go through your day without any thought about your passion. Passion: What is that anyway?

When procrastination gets in the way of your passion; it becomes an excuse to not follow your dreams. We have all said it in some form or fashion, “I don’t have time to go back to school and finish my degree”. This “I don’t have time” attitude gives us the excuse to not be or do what we were put on Earth to do with our lives. You are robbing yourself of you! Not to mention what you are robbing the world of: YOU!

When your heart is not in what you are doing then nothing will ever make you happy! It doesn’t matter if you make all the money in the world, if it doesn’t make you happy, it means nothing. Happiness comes from within. This is what FLYing is all about. Finally Loving Yourself enough to know that for some reason you are not happy. You thought getting the house clean was all it would take to make you happy.

As you learn the FlyLady way of breaking things down into babysteps; you will find the right path that is going to lead you to true happiness. This happiness starts by letting go of procrastination and perfectionism.

I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. For years I was a bookkeeper, then I taught Fly Fishing. I was not fulfilling my destiny because I still had an empty hole to fill. Nothing would fill up this hole; spending money, relationships, food or anything else I used to keep me in my rut.

You see; ruts keep you in a path that is not your choosing. Because it is so hard to get out of the rut, it is just easier to continue on this sidetracked journey. I can hear you now, “but I did choose my path!” Did you really or did circumstances just put you in this position.

Some people never get out of their ruts of procrastination. It involves too much change. When we allow our routines to take over the maintenance of our home and we are on automatic pilot then we are freed up to follow our dreams one babystep at a time.

I knew someone who always wanted to be an attorney. He let his dreams slip away. He thought that following his dreams was taking from his family. He had no clue that he would giving them a whole human being who was not bitter. As a result of putting off going back to school or not moving closer to a law school he became a martyr. These words would come out of his mouth, “Just look what I gave up for you!” Well no one loves a martyr; not even the martyr!

Procrastination is a thief, but not the thief of time! It is a thief of self-esteem. Sometimes we cannot see what it is we are missing until we get rid of the things we have been procrastinating about. As long as we allow ourselves the opportunity for self-loathing we will never fill our voids. Why should we, we are not worthy; when we beat ourselves up on a daily basis for the little things in life; we can’t even think about our purpose for living! We have brainwashed ourselves into believing that this is all there is, so why want more passion or joy!

It was only after I got rid of my clutter and found my routines that my purpose for living was revealed to me. Open up your hearts by taking care of the things you have been putting off till later. Later is a lie that never happens unless you set your mind to clearing out your mind clutter! That is all procrastination really is!

Are you ready to FLY with anti-procrastination being the stepping stones out of your rut?


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Club Organized

Ten to One You Are Disorganized

Okay, this ratio is not scientific, but in the 40 years I’ve been helping disorganized women, I’m pretty sure it’s very close – maybe 11 to one. I believe for every BO (Born Organized) there are at least ten SHEs and I know the reason why God did this. If it weren’t for us SHEs, the BOs of the world wouldn’t have much to do and they’d get depressed and start re-washing stuff.

I’m smack in the middle of starting an exclusive, new club for the disorganized (no BOs allowed) and I’m calling it CLUB ORGANIZED. (Well, actually, I’m just changing the name of my website from www.makeitfunanditwillgetdone.com to www.cluborganized.com but in the excitement of being able to get this perfect name for my website, I started thinking about having a real club for us!)


If you subscribe to my blog, you’ll get to be one of my charter members! Of course we won’t have meetings (we’re all too busy) and there won’t be dues or uniforms or secret handshakes, but we’ll all know we belong. We’ll be a sisterhood of SLOBS (remember SLOB stands for Spontaneous, Lighthearted, Optimistic and Beloved so don’t go getting a kink in your hanky because I called you a SLOB). Oh and I just might start planning for an annual retreat and you can join me in Woodland, Washington!

The thought of starting this club for us, catapulted me out of bed this morning before the sun came up, mainly because I wanted to figure out what it is that brings us together. Now it doesn’t take a Steven Hawking to know that what binds two or more of us disorganized women together is more than our love for food; it’s our need for girlfriends who love, appreciate, understand and accept us in spite of our disorder. That’s when I came up with the idea of a test for you to see if you’re eligible to be in the club. I did say it’s exclusive and BOs would NEVER let the items on this exam happen to them.


Because I’ve been playing with SLOBs for 40 years, “I’ve heard everything.” So, within five minutes, of remembering some of your stories and some of my own (okay most are my own) I came up with too many scenarios to keep in my head for the test and that’s how I ended up here at my desk before the robins started their serenade at dawn (which has been extra loud this year at our house).

Next week, I’ll give you the test, so be sure to watch for it. I’ll want two things from you when you take it. I’ll want you to tally the number of yes answers and then, if you can, come up with a few personal scenarios I haven’t thought of and email me at pam@pamyoung.org so I can add them to the list.

Until next week, have a wonderful spontaneous, lighthearted, optimistic and beloved day you adorable SLOB!

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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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