April Habit #29 Joyful Little Two-Year-Old

Dear FlyLady,I have been enjoying my DS, who just turned two, announcing as soon as I walk into his room in the morning “I make my bed!”, then he does the rounds – “I make Caleb’s bed!”, then, “I make Yael’s bed!”

He is sooo very proud of himself! Even my father-in-law clearly understood his joyful little two-year-old announcement!

Thanks for putting a smile on my face!!

Blessings from PA

Posted in Habit of the Month

Family Fun Digging in the Dirt

Dear Friends,

Today is family fun day. Let get our family involved in starting a little garden. I know you have some pots hiding in the garage. All you need is a little patch of dirt.

I’ll bet many of you don’t know that I used to be a farmer. I loved the smell of tilled earth. Our farm was in the flat land of the Mississippi River flood plain in Kentucky Bend. After my step-father died, I ran a 1500 acre farm.

We can grow plants from seeds or from little plants that you can buy at the hardware store. You can buy a bundle of onion sets for very little money. All you really need to know is that the root end goes down. This can be a fun way grow some food for your family and make a few memories. Some of my favorite things to eat from the garden is radishes, green onions, and mustard greens or lettuce.

Today I am going to take some potatoes that have sprouted eyes and plant them in a pot on my front porch. Tiny new potatoes are so good in a mess of fresh green beans. I have two white potatoes and a few red ones. These will taste so good in a couple of months. Sweet potatoes are easy to grow too.

Cooking with herbs is a wonderful way to add flavor to your meals. I have one little seedling of basil that I am going to add to one of my front porch pots and then sprinkle seeds in the pot for a few more plants to transplant to other pots in a few weeks.

One of the things to remember about growing herbs it to pinch the top out of them to keep them from going to seed. This also keeps the plants from getting leggy. When you pinch the top out of a plant it helps to make more branches.

Squash is an easy plant to grow too. The more you pick the fruit of a squash; the more squash it will give you. We all love tomatoes (except my Sweet Darling). My favorite variety of tomato is a Roma. It is an oval tomato what is great for making sauces and salads. It is not a huge plant. Children love to plant and eat little grape tomatoes or Tommy toes ( small cherry tomatoes).

Strawberry plants grow quickly and produce fruit that children can pick. Put the plants in a strawberry pot or in a raised bed. They will make runners( more plants) and the plants will live for several years.

Go buy some seeds today! Don’t forget to get some sunflower seeds and marigold seeds. The birds love sunflower seeds. Marigolds are great companion plants for any garden. They help to keep bugs away.

Have fun today! Enjoy digging in the dirt. You will reap the fruits of your labor in no time.

FlyLady

Posted in Morning Musing Tagged , , ,

Make a Memory Not a Pile

Dear FlyLady,

My mom saves paper I swear if she could wash paper towels and reuse them she would. Papers are stacked up everyplace old bills just junk; if its flat it has papers on it. I have asked mom nice, I have even reminded her that if and when something happens to her we kids will be stuck clean up her dump of a house.

Now I take care of her she is 71. I do the house work and the yard work and all the other things that need to be done. She makes dinner and does the dishes and I do the rest. Now if I talk to her about it, then she goes off on me and my short comings and makes it all about me. I’m about ready to say screw it, I’ll move and come back when she is gone and will, burn it all in a ceremony.

FlyBaby C.

Dear Friends,

This is a huge problem for all of us. As for this person wanting to declutter their mother’s paper piles; this is wrong! You can’t declutter someone else’s paper. You have to take care of your piles and let their piles be. I love your idea of a burn ceremony.

Every flat surface in our homes is covered in paper. We have no clue what is in the piles. If our flat surfaces were cleared off, our homes would look clean.

I use my fireplace to burn our junk mail almost every day. What if you built a fire pit? This is a great way to clear clutter and make memories at the same time.

The main thing you need to remember is to contain the blaze to keep it from getting out of pit and catching the grass and woodland on fire. We all loved paying in fire as kids. Here are some think about.

  1. Make sure it is legal to burn in your area. Check with Fire Dept.
  2. You may need a permit to burn. Check with Fire Dept.
  3. Do not burn with high winds.
  4. A good time to burn is just after a rain.
  5. If you have trees in your yard; get kids to pick up fallen limbs.
  6. Lay in a supply of marshmallows, graham crackers, and Hershey Bars.
  7. Use bricks, concrete blocks, pavers, and gravel to build your pit.
  8. Have a water hose handy at burning times
  9. Get long handled poker to manage the fire. Rake or Hoe
  10. Get long handled marshmallow roasting sticks.
  11. In ground pits can be dangerous with children around.

Don’t burn papers that don’t belong to you. Be patient with your parents. You can clean them out after they are gone. Right now focus on your papers. Get your kids involved. They are going to love this and you will be the hero!

FlyLady

There are lots of instructions online. Don’t get caught up in mission creep. Keep it simple. Always stay with the fire till it is out. As Smokey Bear taught us about campfires; pour water on the fire, stir, and pour more water on the fire.

MOVE15We have to clear out our warehouse. Take advantage of our MOVE15 Coupon Code.

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Guests For A Week

Dear FlyLady,

My guests left today after a lovely,  week long visit.  My kitchen stayed clean thanks to keeping up with my morning and evening routines, so when our guest offered to bake bread, I could hand him all the clean dishes and counter space he required.

 And instead of feeling badly for a few weeks about not having time, I used the “do it now” approach, so the guest room sheets and towels are already in the dryer. Tomorrow I’ll tidy up the guest bath and be ready for the next set of visitors.

 I’m now living in calm instead of chaos and it is wonderful. Thanks FlyLady!

 Chris from New Bern, NC

Posted in testimonials Tagged , ,

April Habit #28 I Would Struggle

Dear FlyLady,Making my bed every morning is a habit I’ve had my whole life, thanks to my mother, who expected it to be made every day. (Thank you, Mom!)

I remember when I was a teenager (maybe even younger), and I would struggle to make it. Then I invented a way to make it much easier for me to make my bed every day, and life became so much easier.

My problem was that I had a full-size bed and to have the covers (top sheet and blankets) centered and tucking them in on the far side of my bed was way too hard. I was just a little girl and that mattress was heavy! I hated doing it. Something had to change. Here’s what I figured out to do instead: I started putting the sheets and blankets on so that they only touched the wall but didn’t get tucked in. I tucked them all in on the outside edge where I got in.

In the morning, I would just throw the covers over so they met the wall, retucked in any parts that had come out, and I was done. I also had a bedspread, but most of the time it was folded and at the bottom of my bed, so I didn’t use it every day, which was fine with Mom.

Anyhow, it made such a big difference in my life that I thought I’d share it with others. (Now, if only I could find a way to make it easier for me to wear my shoes…I stubbed my toe really badly last night and am still limping today. Baby Steps.)

Thanks for your ongoing encouragement…
Karen

Posted in Habit of the Month Tagged , , , ,

Snapshot That Shows You The Truth

Dear Friends,

Have you been thinking about buying a new house because you are running out of room in your current home? There are lots of shows on television that are help people find a new place to live. There are even shows that remodel your home to put it on the market so you can sell it for the largest amount. What if you took some advice for staging a home to create a living space that works for your family.

Clutter takes over every cubic foot of space in your home. We bring stuff home every single day but we rarely take anything away. Our goal is to declutter like a professional real estate agent. Think about it this way.

You hire a real estate agent to sell your home. They are going to make 6% on the sell price of you precious home. This person walks into your home and starts telling you all the changes you need to make to put your home on the market. Most of this advice is to get rid of the clutter in each room.

Your assignment for today is to put on a Real Estate Agent’s hat and walk up to your house with a cell phone and a clipboard. Take a picture. This picture helps you to see things that you have become immune too. Here are some things you will see that need to be fixed.

  1. Remove dead plants.
  2. Sweep front porch
  3. Remove cobwebs from eves
  4. Get rid of too many pots and furniture on porch
  5. Wipe down the front door
  6. Shine the windows.

Do you recognize how nice your home can look from the outside if you will do these simple things?

We are going to look at every room in our home over the next few weeks.

Are you ready to stage your home for YOUR family?

FlyLady

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Posted in Morning Musing Tagged , , ,

Great Tip for a Clean Car

Dear Friends,

Over the next few weeks we are going to be using our cars to get the clutter out of our homes. Let’s get them cleaned out, so we have a place to put those boxes and bags to donate them at Good Will or your favorite charity thrift store.

You can’t organize clutter; you have to get it out of your house. Don’t save it for yard sales! This just causes more work, clutter, and guilt! Donate your clutter. Let it go! Get it out of your house. Fill up a box and immediately take it to the car. Do not stop at the front door! Keep going to the car. Do not stop in the garage! Put the box in the car. While you are out drop the boxes off.

Here is a great tip for getting the trash out of your car.

Dear FlyLady,

I just found your site about a month ago, and though I am not fully FLYing yet, my house is getting cleaner, I have delicious dinners on the table in the evenings, and my sink is shiny.  My Dear Husband and Dear Son have definitely noticed, and we all appreciate it!!

I had to reply to this messy car question post; I also struggled with car clutter.  It was CHAOS in my car.  I find that when I get home, my hands are usually too full with groceries, work, purses, lunch bags, etc, to grab my car garbage as well, and I rarely (ok never) feel like making another trip just to go back for it.  What I started to do instead was to grab a couple of pieces of garbage anytime I got out of my car anywhere else: the mall, the grocery store, my work..  They all have garbage cans outside, near the parking lot, and throwing out a couple of items every time really adds up quickly and painlessly to a clutter-free car.

Thanks for everything!
-A Happy FlyBaby

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I Renamed My Routines

Hi!

I’m a very new FlyBaby, but I had to write. I discovered your website when I bought a new planner a couple of weeks ago and began to watch YouTube videos on planner organization. A couple of the posters mentioned you, and I was instantly hooked!

I’m still working on building my routines, and taking Babysteps, but I’m starting to see progress. It’s like losing the first few pounds at the start of a diet: seeing a difference in my house is so encouraging!

What I wanted to share (other than my gratitude) was how I write my reminder note in my new planner to do my morning and before bed routines. I don’t call them that. I call them “First Flutter” and “Nightly Nesting”! It just makes me smile.

Thank you for making this seem manageable and reminding me that I CAN.

Thank You, A grateful Flybaby in Tennessee

Posted in testimonials Tagged , , , ,

April Habit #27 Procrastination and Perfectionism

Dear FlyLady,I use to make my bed every day for years.

Then after some hard times in my life I quit doing it. After a couple of major surgeries in 2012, I spent a lot of time in bed.

I haven’t used the walker for a couple of weeks. I think that it fits in the category of things that don’t belong in the bedroom. However, if I do need it I can’t get to the basement to retrieve it. So I will let it stay put for a couple more weeks. I did remove the other things that don’t belong in there.

I had a laundry basket in there that I put my comforter and pillows with shams. Now that I make my bed everyday that can go! Because I couldn’t get around to the far side of my bed with the walker. My clothes were piled on my bed. When I made my bed, I could leave my door open, and I enjoyed looking in at the beautiful comforter DD bought me for Christmas 2011.

I could also open my shades, and enjoy the sunshine. We don’t get a lot of that in the winter in Michigan. Well of course with the door open, the shoes had to go in the closet. The dirty clothes were not going to stay on the floor. I can’t turn my mattress alone, so I decided to sleep on the other side of the bed. I have been really looking forward to cleaning my bedroom this week.

Oh my what I found this morning on the other side of my little bedroom!! Cobwebs floor to ceiling. I had to move my dresser out and I rubba swept out the mess. What an awesome tool. I could extend the handle all the way and reach all the way to the corner of the room and up to the ceiling.

Well, I has having so much FUN cleaning out my bedroom I attacked the floor of my closet and dust moped the whole floor. I certainly had no idea what was lurking on the other side of the bed. But I will sleep better tonight.

All it took was 2 – 15 minute sessions. I can’t thank you enough for your routines, products and inspiration. I suffered from the 2Ps, procrastination and perfectionism. Thank you for giving me a place to START and letting me know I was not behind.

Terri New flybaby in Michigan

Posted in Habit of the Month Tagged , , , ,

From Super-Sized to Down-Sized

Dear Friends,

We have been living a supersized lifestyle for a very long time. We have homes with lots of closets, big garages and spacious basements. We even drive big cars that bring home more stuff. To make room for more precious things those SUVs have to haul the old unloved stuff to storage units. Our supersized lifestyle needs a supersized paycheck to fund our supersized debt.

As the kids grow up and have lives of their own; all their stuff that you have saved is just waiting for them to come and get it. You think you are holding their stuff hostage so you can see them occasionally, but if the truth be known they don’t want it. So now my question is, why have we held on to things that have no value for our children.

If we don’t downsize our supersized lifestyles, our children will be forced to do it for us after we are gone. We can’t leave them with that burden like our parents did to us. We can’t use our parent’s excuse of living through the great depression. We have the ability to let go of our clutter once and for all time.

I have a fun way to do this. We are going to pretend to move into a new house half the size of the one we are in now. Now don’t panic! You are not all your stuff! In fact all that stuff has been keeping you from having fun. You have spent years organizing it! Now it is time to release your clutter to new homes so that you can find yours.

When you think about moving do not get overwhelmed. We have a systematic way of deciding what we can’t live without. Get out your Give Away, Put Away and Throw Away boxes. Set your timer and just ask a few questions of the clutter. Pick up one item and make a decision.

Have I used you in the last year?
Do I have a place for you in my new home?
Do you make me smile?
Do you have any bad memories for me?
Do I have two of you?

Each week focus on a new room. Spend 15 minutes each day downsizing one little area. Don’t look at the big picture. It has taken years to accumulate all your baggage. The process of moving only the things you love and use will make your current house feel like a brand new home. Then when it comes time to retire to your cabin on the lake, you will be ready to load the truck. Packing will be a breeze!

FlyLady

Let’s pretend to move!

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Posted in Morning Musing Tagged , , , , , ,

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