Where Do I Start?

It’s that time again. We are here to help you get stuff done.

Dear Friends

Here we are, the countdown has started! OH MY GOODNESS!! What am I to do now? Where do I start? Do you feel like your head is about to blast off from your body? Don’t fret! I am going to help you put your head back in place and plant your feet firmly on the ground. I promise you can do this. There is still plenty of time if you will not let the panic of the day turn into a manic Christmas Countdown. If you have finished your holiday preparations then you don’t have this pressure to deal with. You can sit back and enjoy the ride. Be thankful for the babysteps you used to get ready for the holiday celebrations. Now if you are feeling a bit queasy right now, I want you grab another cup of something warm and let’s do just a bit of planning before you run out into the day. This is only going to take a few minutes. We are not going to think this to death!

Here is the first thing I want you to do. Sit down with an old notebook that still has a few sheets of paper left in it. A little planning now is going to save you some money and time!

1. Who do you have left to buy for? Write down their names and then what you would like to get them and how much you would like to spend. If all else fails then think clutter free gifts like gift cards to their favorite stores or restaurants.

2. Are you cooking the holiday feast at your home or are you going to someone else’s home. Start a menu and a grocery list for this dinner. Keep it simple sweetie! Don’t try cooking things you have never fixed before; you will be setting yourself up for failure. We have a traditional turkey dinner and all its directions on our website in the holiday section. Pick a day to do your grocery shopping.

3. Are you attending any other parties that you will need to take a gift or a dish? Add them to your shopping lists.

4. Do you have enough wrapping paper, tape, bows, ribbon, gift cards, tissue paper or gift bags? When you are getting down to the final countdown, you may want to use the gift bag idea and tissue paper. This will save you a lot of time and help you to let go of your perfectionism or get the item wrapped when you purchase it. They always do a nice job but it may take time and extra money. Put the items you need on your list.

5. Do you have a holiday outfit to wear? Has it been picked up from the cleaners yet? Make sure you have hose and any other things you may need for your most festive occasion. Make sure the rest of the family has their clothing needs met.

6. Do you need a haircut, color or perm? Make your appointment today.

7. Have you put up any decorations yet? If not then don’t beat yourself up. Keep things simple again. Just the basic decorations; you don’t need to pull everything out of the closet. Pick an evening to do this right now. Put it on your calendar. Do it before you go shopping so you will have a place to put your packages under the tree.

8. Now you have to pick a day to do your power shopping. Believe it or not you can get this done in just a few hours if you will plan your route and not freeze up trying to think about what to buy and where to go next. Think about the stores you want to go to and list them in order of your stops. Think about it this way if you are headed to a mall or downtown. Watch your budget!

9. Are you traveling out of town for the holidays? Do you have laundry hanging over your head that is keeping you from packing? Start the laundry now and stay on top of it till it is time to leave. If you need help on what to pack then go to my website for a free Packing Control Journal.

10. Is your car ready to travel? Is it cleaned out and has it been serviced? You are going to need a clean car to put the packages in. Make an appointment today for this or get it done yourself.

I know you are feeling overwhelmed, but you can do this. It is up to you to set the tone for your home. Keep you sink clean and shiny and a smile on your face. Enjoy the process and don’t allow your perfectionism to ruin these wonderful memories you can be making with your family.

You can do this!

FlyLady

ONLY 4 MORE DAYS

rubbascrubbblackframeBetter get your Rubba Scrubbas; they are going fast. Don’t wait if you are planning on buying them for presents. Many people are buying them for stocking stuffers.

Here are all the uses for the Rubba Scrubba!

Posted in Morning Musing Tagged , , , ,

Spread My Wings and FLY

Gift of Love – Nov 30

Thank you for your morning musings.  Sometimes they really come at just the right moment in my life.  Yesterday, I read ‘Gift of Love’ while in the kitchen getting ready for the day and I actually stopped to set my timer for 2 minutes, drink water, stare out the window, and praise God, right in the middle of reading it! (‘Cus you said to!)  Then I finished it and finished getting ready for the day.

I moved out of my “cocoon” yesterday.  It was my “post-separation/still-grieving-my-father/divorce-in-progress/solo-trip-to-Europe/quit-my-job/divorce-finalized/started-new-job/new-relationship/new-house” apartment. I had it for one year, Dec 2016-Nov 2017.  The stuff was already out and it had been cleaned, but yesterday I officially signed the papers and turned in the keys.

While inside, I took time to “bless” it — I prayed with thanksgiving, hope, admittance of being someone who hates taking a step without seeing the whole staircase, thanked it for being home for a bit, and bless it for the new person.

My current partner christened the place my “cocoon” because it wasn’t meant to be a forever home but a place to metamorphose.  Maybe I know what a caterpillar feels like while trying to change and grow and then come out all clumpy and wet (which is how I felt while moving things out over these past several weeks).  Now, as a butter”fly” I need to finally love myself and stretch those wings.

Using baby-steps, routines, and zone missions, I’m flying around a new home (and my partner appreciates you too!) with confidence!  Big weekend coming up, concerts we’re involved in, church, party for 15+ at my house (!), and I’m excited — not stressed!  My partner is a bit confused about the serving ware out on the dining room table with post-it note recipes on it already (“The party isn’t until Sunday, sweetie.”) but I know that those baby-steps will keep me cruising this weekend and throughout December.

I’m ready to FLY through a new month, new year, and beyond!!  THANK YOU!!

–Flybaby in Dover, DE (where not even an earthquake can shake me up!

Posted in testimonials Tagged , , , ,

A Couple of Lessons Learned

Dear FlyLady,

The janitorial personnel where I work tend to do the obvious quick cleaning chores but fail to do detail cleaning. So many of us have taken it upon ourselves to detail our work areas, when we have time.

1st lesson: That does not work. You have to have a routine.  One of my workstations is part of the main building reception area and I recently spotted cobwebs that needed immediate attention. A routine would not have allowed them to form. Since I have two work areas that include desks in two different locations, the main entrance of the building, a stock room for supplies (visible to the public) and the mailroom, I will be creating a workplace control journal with daily routines and zones to stay ahead of the cobwebs and dust bunnies.

2nd lesson: Digging through a collection of cleaning supplies I had acquired for something that would extend my reach, I found a kit for a Sw____r dusting wand with the disposable, slip on sleeves that are supposed to “pick up twice as much dust as a feather duster”. What a lesson in frustration! The sleeve does not slide on easily and does not stay on. For the work I had to do, I had to handle the dirty thing more than once to re-position it so the plastic wand did not scratch the beautiful woodwork. Then take a break to wash my hands when I was done.

Needless to say, I am saving my pennies out of the next few paychecks to put together my own office cleaning kit with reliable quality FlyLady tools, to include a mini chenille duster, a dusting mitt, rags in a bag, a rubba scrubba, and if I can find a place to keep it so it does not disappear, my absolute favorite – the FlyLady feather duster. Then off to the store to look for a “cleaning smock” to protect my office attire.

Thanks, FlyLady, for a system we can adapt to any part of our lives, and for quality products that absolutely spoil us by getting the job done the right way the first time, hassle free.

Smile, laugh, and have a great day!

Still Fluttering in Wisconsin
Carol

FlyLady here: This is such a cute idea for your work space. We even used to have a denim vest to use as a smock to cover up your clothes, but that has been sold out for 10 years. XL deluxe collage title 400

Putting together your own package of tools is a great idea for your home. Check out our package of tools and add a feather duster to it.

Use Coupon Code JOY15 to save an additional 15%.

 

Posted in testimonials Tagged , ,

December Habit #14 Anti-Martyr Christmas Tree

Dear FlyLady,

I am very good about buying pamper stuff to put in my cabinet and to give to others. This year as I was pulling out some of those items to wrap to give away, I decided to GIVE a few of  THEM TO ME INSTEAD! Notably, a Bath and Body works scented wall plug in…I was going to give to my sister. I decided to just PLUG IT IN MY OWN BEDROOM and enjoy the scent of Freesia for myself as I am getting ready for her to come visit! When she comes I can plug it in her bedroom as I know she likes that scent! I have enjoyed it as I am getting ready to bless others. (This I got last year half price after Christmas. Pampering ourselves we can do on a budget if we shop wisely.)

Another thing I have done over the past 3 years is to take note of things at nice hotels that I love. I pinpointed 3 things. The hair dryer on the wall, the magnifying mirror on the wall , and the nice towels. I purchased these 3 things for my own home…outlet stores and discount stores sell them if you hunt enough. I wash my towels and just rehang them when they dry. I don’t need a stack of them! I only bought the bath  towel, I didnt need a set to feel pampered.

I did these things because you taught us to be good to ourselves and FLY! I enjoy them everyday! Also good quality sheets are now quite affordable. I would rather have one set of good sheets than a linen closet full of scratchy ones. Enough is enough!

Also we bought some fire logs (also half price at the end of the season in the mark down section of the grocery store) and have decided anytime we want the fun of a fire we can just use them, not save them for company or special events. We also are leaving out the Chinese checkers board all the time  and playing a quick game on a regular basis. It is on the end table so its easy to use. (This mostly also keeps the end table from ever becoming a hotspot!) On anti-procrastination day I finally spray varnished the board to protect it. My Papa made it years ago and I have meant to give it a protective coating for years! I thank you each time we play!

I put out a pretty tray of different hot chocolates with a platter of mugs. Nearly everyday one or a few of us stir up some hot chocolate. No need to wait for company to come to treat the family. There are some diet versions and some rich gourmet ones. My son likes ones with marshmallows. Having a variety makes us feel like we are at a Bed and Breakfast! ”

I had bought some pretty Christmas pillows to give away  (yes at the after Christmas sale!) They have been in my attic waiting for the right person at the right time. I brought them down to send to my SIL and realized that they perfectly match my new couch! So now my own family is enjoying them…and I know they wouldn’t match her couch very well at all!

My best pamper I did for myself last Christmas.

I bought myself a small Christmas tree.

It had become a big Long lasting Martyr Moment to get the tree, set it up, and decorate without the help or enthusiasm I wanted from my family.

Taking it down was worse.

I bought the small tree because I do the work. My DH said “I don’t know if I am ready for a small tree!’…I said, well when you become the person doing all the Christmas Decorating and taking down and putting away, you can get the kind you want to put up and decorate! and take down and put away! I love this tree and it is JUST RIGHT !” It is on a cedar chest so it is still standing tall! I can set it up and decorate it without being frustrated about the help I need and am not getting!

It’s my ANTI-MARTYR CHRISTMAS TREE! They like it too!

Thank you FlyLady for making the HOLIDAYS and ALL DAYS so much improved as we make this journey!

We love to FLY!
FlyBaby L.

FlyLady Rebecca here: If you have Pampered yourself this month, send us an email to inspire other FlyBabies! Send an email to flylady@flylady.net with PAMPERED in the subject line. I will post it in the December Habit so keep a lookout for your testimonial!

Posted in Habit of the Month Tagged , ,

New Use for Silver Rags

Dear FlyLady,

My DH requested that I get him some of your rags for Christmas today. He has been using mine for miscellaneous jobs and has been really impressed with them. He specifically wants a set to use for gun cleaning. Before I make the purchase I thought I should ask about how they would hold up for use with oil based cleaners, like Hoppes No. 9, 3 in 1, WD40, etc.  Do you have any recommendations?  I am hoping to get my order in before the Dec. 19th deadline and surprise him with the awesome BOGO!

Happy Holidays!

FlyBaby Victoria

Dear Victoria, silverragsbogo

My son and grandson are avid hunters and fishermen.When I talked with my son today; he said that the only thing he uses to clean his guns is our rags. He uses all three color of our rags for his guns. They work great!

Right now we have our Silver Rags on a BOGO. Buy one pack and you will get another pack FREE. So for $13.95, you will get six silver rags.

We also have the Rubba Scrubba and Rubba Swisha on a BOGO.

Use Coupon Code JOY15 to save an additional 15%. Only 5 more days to order before we leave for Christmas vacation.

Posted in testimonials

Reducing Stress

Dear Friends,

One of the things that I do to take care of me is not ever getting in a hurry. I know that this does not seem like much, but slowing down keeps me calm.

Stress is one of causes chronic illness. When I take care of me and relieve stress by not getting in a hurry, I am on a road to wellness not illness. Little things like relieving stress, taking my vitamins, getting the proper rest and drinking my water help keep me healthy.

Everything I do in my life brings me joy. If it doesn’t I discard it as if it were clutter. Clutter takes all forms! It invades our homes, our minds and our way of life. Learning how to weed out the clutter in our homes is just the beginning to finding our wings to FLY!

As the clutter leaves our homes, we find clear spaces. These open areas help us to slow down and enjoy the calm. Less clutter more peace!

We have a tendency to want it all fixed now. You joined our group looking for a way to get your home in order. The problem with wanting it now is that we are impatient. That means we are in a hurry. Hurry causes stress and stress produces more CHAOS and Clutter! Back on that vicious cycle; It is time for us to jump off of this not so Merry-go-round!

So how do we do this? I feel that the key to our new mode of transportation is taking care of ourselves. I know you don’t believe me when you first join, but please don’t get in a hurry. It takes time to give birth to a new life. I like to think that we are pregnant and in a few months we will have a newborn.

Your new life starts with nurturing yourself; eventually it will become a way of life. Start by practicing with us this week. You may find that you really enjoy it and when you take care of you; your home will almost take care of itself. I promise! This really does happen!

Are you ready to FLY?

FlyLady

Next week we are throwing a Fondue Party for our Grandchildren. This was Robert’s idea! The groceries have been purchased, the house is ready, tables are arranged, menu is planned, serving dishes are ready, and the fondue pots are on the table. I am taking my sweet time. In other words, I am taking babysteps to pull this party together.

I don’t like to get in a hurry! Slow and steady is how we do things around our home. When it’s time for the party; I will be stress-free!

It is a good thing that I am taking it slow and steady. We had a sad tragedy this week. We had to put down our huge dog Chief. He had cancer on his leg and it was not good. We had to get a horse trailer to get him to the vet. It has been really sad this week. Please keep our critters and the whole FlyCrew in your thoughts and prayers.

Chief used to be tChief121217he office dog after we unofficially adopted him when his former owner moved away and left him. We even painted the office walls to match him. He had free run of the office, but we still could not claim him because his former owner would not give him to us. Only after someone reported him to Animal Control could we officially adopt him. We gladly took him home with us. He became part of our family. We will miss him!

Click the picture and you can see how big he is in my Carpet Sweepa Video. He was such a good boy at 155 pounds. He walked right up into the horse trailer and Robert road with him to the vet! I followed in my truck. God bless him. RIP Big Guy! We will always remember you!

FYI Please keep Eric Dodge and his family, my dear friends from Utah in your prayers too. His 11 year old Yellow Lab Anna died this week too. We have been consoling each other.

 

Posted in Morning Musing Tagged , , ,

What Do I Do with Homeless Items

Dear FlyLady,

What do I do with “HOMELESS” items when I declutter? I am desperately trying to follow your decluttering instructions, but I end up with a bin of “HOMELESS” rather than “Put Away”. My problem is that their home either doesn’t exist yet OR is full of OTHER items that need de-cluttering. What do I do??

Frustrated FlyBaby in Frisco

********************

Dear Frustrated FlyBaby in Frisco,

My Born Organized Granny always said, Everything has a place and everything in it’s place. Do you have a place for everything?

Do your piles begin to grow because you cannot make a decision on where to put STUFF. I want you to evaluate your piles and decide where to put everything. Even if you have to put post-it notes on the inside of the drawers and doors.

Find a place for everything. If you don’t have room, then it is time to EVICT the junk to make room for the good stuff.

I know it is hard for Flybabies to make decision on where to place an item. Look at the item and think about where you use it most often. Then go put it there. If there is no room in the Inn; then throw away or give-away something that you no longer need or want that is in that spot.

I am not telling you to do this all at once; just one pile at a time, one item at a time. As you run across something that does not have a home; find it one. Your stuff will be much happier when it has a home. It has been homeless for a long time. You will know where things belong. Then you can PUT THEM AWAY WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED WITH THEM!

These are two of our biggest problems. Finding a home for things and putting them away when we have finished using them.

You will find that when you just begin to do these things, your home will start looking good all the time.

Are you ready to FLY with your stuff having a home.

FlyLady

Only 6 More Days to Place an Order before we go on Christmas Vacation.

Do you have a home for your bills? Or are they hiding all over the house. Do you have to search for your bills so you can pay them? This is why we designed our Office in a Bag.

Posted in Ask FlyLady Tagged , , ,

Build Me Up With Email

Dear Marla,

When I started fluttering 4 years ago, I had been looking for a system to help me with housework and everything else on my to-do list. And boy did I get hooked into simply obsessing and making new lists and not really getting off my franny as you’d say! I carefully made a sweet neat Flylady to-do list, plus a crisis cleaning one. You know what? I can’t recall looking at those particular lists and taking action.

It took a lot of FlyWashing to get me to this point, it really is about making it work for you. Flylady done imperfectly still blesses us! I know you have been looking for a wide variety of testimonials, I can tick a few boxes now and looking back: payroll SHE, breadwinner, diagnosed recurring anxiety & depression, completed 3 courses of therapy, shift worker, university student, attention issues (I’m a big daydreamer), caring for a furbaby and a partner with similar mental health struggles to mine, recurring back pain, millennial (in my early 20s), living independently and several hours from family.

Due to various factors involved in the above situations I have often felt lonely irrespective of how alone I actually was. Your video which you finish by saying “I will love you until you love yourselves” with such care and emotion in your voice…I can replay and hear you in my mind saying that whenever I need a little boost. I struggle to keep a p*****t shiny sink but my laid out clothes when I’m tired in the morning and my welcoming made bed in the evening are a big hug from you (and myself) that makes me smile and feel very close to truly FLYing.

Your teachings on paralysis by perfectionism really resonate with me now, before I truly began fluttering I would agonize too much over superficial things that didn’t matter, or wasting time checking and rechecking things because I didn’t trust myself! Writing about doing things instead of DOING IT NOW which would take the same time. I know paper works for many Flybabies but having made your system my own I find setting phone reminders helps me immensely. If I feel icky at lunch time I can have my phone remind me to wash my hair after I’ve got home and relaxed for 15 minutes that night.

I feel that if it weren’t for your building me up email by email these past few years I would find my current situation extremely difficult, but right now I feel empowered. Due to a child at risk in the family (and his mother struggling to cope alone) I decided I must help now. I didn’t obsess and was not a perfectionist with others so I could communicate kindly, honestly but firmly. My house was in fine shape and I could easily pack clean outfits for several days, I was able to book and make the several hour trip less that 24 hours after telling my supportive boss that I was taking indefinite compassionate leave.

I worried about angering people and causing rifts in the family, but when it came to it I felt strong enough to be assertive and honest, making a phone call to emergency services to give the family (especially the child) some much-needed support. I have been thanked by everyone for doing this and told I was very brave and did the right thing, but beforehand i had said to myself that it does not matter if i do not have a perfect relationship with my family, I was ready to give up everyone and be cut off if it meant I do right by the child above all else. If my perfectionism had been allowed in, who knows what could have happened! I may be in purple puddles but it is relief and joy despite all we have been through.

God bless you and yours Marla, thank you so much for all you’ve done and here’s giving you a big hug across the miles.

Flybaby Z

Posted in testimonials Tagged , , , , ,

December Habit #13 Actions Speak Louder than Words

Dear FlyLady,

Many thanks for all you do.

I was just reading your morning musing about actions speaking louder than words.  I have come to realize lately that when I do housework that is actually a way of both loving and pampering myself. (No, I haven’t fallen on my head or gone nuts.)

*I* like the house tidy and smelling nice. *I* like the kitchen clean and neat. *I* like the bedrooms to be welcoming, the bathroom fresh. Over the last couple months when I have to clean the kitchen after a meal or whatever and feel resentful and want the good fairy to do the job for me and I start the “Why am I the one who has to do this?” thinking I realize that I’m really doing it for ME.

I am so much happier when I’ve done it.

My inner princess feels good when our home is nice and clean.She is all safe and happy and comfortable. What can be better than that?

It’s okay to tell myself that it’s for all of us, that I’m the one home all day etc but it doesn’t always help much. Admitting it’s for me feels good and makes me want to do just that little bit extra.

My personal value is no longer based on what I do or how I do it, I just like how it feels when things are nicer.

Thank you for the gift of loving myself enough to finally realize that I do show love to myself in many ways that I was unaware of before.

Sheila
a UK Flybaby

FlyLady Rebecca here: If you have Pampered yourself this month, send us an email to inspire other FlyBabies! Send an email to flylady@flylady.net with PAMPERED in the subject line. I will post it in the December Habit so keep a lookout for your testimonial!

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged , ,

A Spoon for Thought

Dear Friends,

Snow always puts me in a cooking mood. Since I might be needed to shovel later I decided that a nice bowl of oats would be a great start to my day. I grab our box of Quaker oatmeal and read the directions. It had been a while since I had made any. I measured out the last of that box, noticed that I had a fresh box in the pantry. That means I need to put oats on our grocery list. I hate to run out of things. It is so nice to have a backup. That really isn’t what I wanted to talk to you about. It was when I reached into our utensil drawer and pulled out a spoon that got me to thinking about things.

The old silver plate spoon that we use for cooking has been in Robert’s family a very long time. He came by it when his Aunt Mary went into assisted living and he was helping to clean out the house. He needed a spoon, this one had no value at all except memories. It is the first spoon that each of us reaches for when we start to cook.

As I stirred my oats I thought of all the people who had stirred a similar pot of oatmeal to start their day. I could tell that it has been used by a right handed person because the bottom of the spoon was worn down. If this spoon could talk, it would tell us of the many bowls of oats it had served up or the gravy it had made to feed a hungry family. What it told me was, that it was a spoon that was loved because it was used. The consistency of daily use had gently but lovingly molded it through the generations. My husband had appreciated its imperfections and brought it home to be loved by our family.

When we got married Aunt Mary told me a story about the day she was born. Her father had given her mother six serving spoons to match the family Chantilly silver. They were engraved with a “C” for Cilley. This was the silver that was only used on special occasions. That day Aunt Mary gave us one of those Chantilly serving spoons. That spoon is used every Thanksgiving at our home. It holds a special place in our hearts and in our silver chest but it is not loved the way that everyday cooking spoon is.

Once a day that old worn out old spoon blesses us! It stirs up something warm and wonderful in our home! It reminds me that consistency molds our lives with good habits. Those habits keep us healthy and create peace in our homes. When you string those simple habits into life changing routines you are free to FLY! Finally Loving Yourself is the spoon that serves up wonderful things in your life.

Are you ready to spread your wings and FLY?

FlyLady

There are only 7 more shopping days on our website. The last day to order is December 19th. We will fill those orders on the 20th and go home to celebrate Christmas. Barring more bad weather and shipping issues; we hope your package will get to you before Christmas.

Get your calendar ordered now because we will not be back to the office till January 2nd.

Use Coupon Code JOY15 to save 15%.

Posted in Morning Musing Tagged , , , , ,

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