You Never Have to See Dirt Again

Dear Friends,

Our routines give us wings. Something as simple as a little habit can change your world if you will allow it.

I have heard of three dollar parts shutting down pumping operations that would bring in thousands of dollars a day. So is any part insignificant? I think every thought, word and deed plays a big part in our development.

What were the lessons we learned through osmosis as we were growing up. We are definitely not stupid and we do learn from our mistakes. We knew what to say and what not to say. We may have learned the hard way when we allowed a few simple words to come from our mouth in a no win situation.

Another lesson we learned came from the grades we made and the rooms we cleaned. If those things were not “perfect” we got scolded. With the rooms we were forced to redo them or worse yet your mother came in and did it after you because it was not good enough!

This taught us that we were not good enough unless we were performing to their standards. Why couldn’t we just be loved and not have that love tethered to whether we were doing a good job or not. The sad part is that we were forced to live up to those perfectionist standards and not given a chance to develop our own skills.

When I think back to my childhood I can see how perfectionism was subliminally pushed down my throat. The only time I was ever complimented was when I cleaned something to those perfectionistic standards. Our only bathroom would get so filthy and it was my job to clean it; especially if Granny was coming. I knew how to hyper-focus to get this done. When I grew up I hated to clean bathrooms because who was going to notice. When I did clean it; I would go searching for those compliments from my first husband. Why did I need them? That was how I was taught. Why could I not clean a little every single day? Why did I have to wait till it even disgusted me?

Deep down we still love to see our perfectionism in action. If we swish and swipe every day it never gets that dirty. In a minute the bathroom is sparkling. It becomes common place and not a “once in a blue moon” occurrence. Everyone assumes that it just happens and we are not complimented on it.

We don’t have to allow our perfectionism to play havoc with our lives another day. The simple habits we establish can help us to never see dirt again. We will not ever have to spend all day cleaning to get ready for company. We are living in our homes and loving each other and ourselves by using these three dollar tools to find the peace we so deserve. Just establishing one little habit is the first babystep on your journey of peace. As each habit becomes part of your auto-pilot, the stress of your home goes away and you can spread your wings to FLY! These habits are powerful tools. No habit is insignificant.

If you swish and swipe daily… never have to see dirt again! Are you ready to FLY?


Holiday Missions started today! Download your Free Holiday Control Journal and let’s get started on a peaceful holiday season.

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I No Longer Have to be Afraid

Dear FlyLady,I have been FLYing for two months.  My house is looking great!  We had company tonight for the first time in nine years.  We cooked a meal.  It was spontaneous company!  Uninvited company!  How nice to have a clean kitchen and bathrooms.  They caught me off guard…I was taking a nap.  I quickly made my bed.  I was already dressed.  The wife came back to my bedroom…which only six weeks ago was a cluttered mess.

Thanks to my FlyLady duster, I didn’t even have dust.  And if she snooped in the bathroom cabinets, they were good enough for company.  Thank you FlyLady!  I am now planning on having more company.  It used to scare me…but I no longer have to be afraid.

FlyBaby S. In the rural south

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Could Your Honeybee a Disaster?

I can’t remember the last time I bought a jar of honey. I’ve had no need to since I started raising my own backyard bees!

My honeybees amaze me every single day and every July, they provide me with all of the honey I could possibly need for the year (and some nice gifts for family too!).

This is way more than a hobby for me. It’s a statement. I feel a great connection to the food chain and the planet in general knowing my little guys in the hive are helping pollinate the world.

The US Department of Agriculture suggests that 1/3 of everything we eat is pollenated by honeybees.

A Cornell University study estimates that roughly $14 billion worth of crops and seeds in this country are pollinated by honeybees.

Without honeybees, 80% of our flowering crops in the country would be at risk. Everything from asparagus to nuts to blueberries and apples. A threatened honeybee population would also risk our livestock since they eat plants to survive.

Talk about an under-appreciated workforce!

Beekeepers across the world—Canada, the UK, France, Greece, Spain, and the list goes on—are reporting Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), which is also known as bee decline disease. The problem is not getting any better.

Many bee experts implicate Monsanto for their Roundup product and many other insecticides used in modern agriculture as one of the reasons for CCD.

The fact is if we lose the honeybees, our food supply is quite seriously in jeopardy.

The absolute best thing we can do as stewards of the planet, is to raise our own backyard bees. That being said, I am fully aware that this is not an option for a lot of  people!

However, all of us with yards can feed the bees by planting a bee garden to help provide the honeybees with good healthy nectar so they can do their part continuing to pollinate our food.

Bee love nectar rich perennial plants in your yard like hellebores, sedums and campanulas. When you plant different types of perennials, you have different plants flowering through the seasons, so the bees have a steady diet. And perennials show up year after year, more glorious than the year before giving you a continual show.

Bees also love shrubs like Japanese quince and winter-flowering honeysuckle.

Try to plant your bee garden in full sun and in a place sheltered from wind. A birdbath with a rock for resting will provide visiting bees with a place to stop and grab a little water. Believe it or not, they prefer dirty water over clean!

Oh, and bees love lavender! My bees have 4 bushes of lavender to choose from and last year’s honey was lovely and fragranted by that lavender.

This should go without saying, but Crayola green lawns obtained by herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides will kill off bees. I had someone admiring my grass awhile back and asked me how I did it without the aforementioned chemicals. My answer? When the grass is mowed, grass and weeds look the same. We don’t have to golf course lawns y’all! :-)

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Why Is Wearing Shoes So Hard?

Shoes Empower YouDear FlyLady,

Why do SHE’s have such a hard time getting dressed to lace-up shoes? I haven’t been working for you very long, but this habit and this babystep are the HARDEST for them from what I’ve observed.



Nikki and I were talking in IM one afternoon when she asked me this question. I told her that I thought it was because for half of our FlyBabies, they don’t feel like there is any need to get dressed because they are not going any place and the only people who will see them are their children.

Then I asked Nikki, “What do you think the answer is?” as a FlyLady yourself. (This means Nikki is required to be dressed to shoes each day)!

Nikki said, “Well, I think it’s our inner brat. It seems like everything really is kind of difficult, but we see results right away, being told to put our shoes on doesn’t show quite the ‘super fast’ result. It takes about a week to realize the benefits, I think, it did me, so our inner brat is like, hey I can do all the other stuff why do I need shoes! So let me hold onto one thing I am in control of. Shoes EMPOWER US! They did me!”

I agree with Nikki. We rebel because we don’t like being told what do to. This being said, we didn’t force anyone to join our group. We show you what has worked for us and hundreds of thousands of others. If you are rebelling lacing up your shoes then take the challenge to try it for one week. Wearing shoes is about being kind to you and your feet!

As for those of you who refuse to wear shoes in your home and require everyone to remove their shoes when they come into your home, I want you to get or clean-up a pair of shoes that you just wear in your home. Do not go outside with them. They are just to wear inside.

Shoes tell our head it is time to do something. They keep us from making excuses. We tell you to tie your shoes to your feet so you won’t lose them. LOL

Getting dressed to Lace-up shoes is going to change your life! Just step out in faith for once in your life; you may be pleasantly surprised! Your feet are going to become soft and beautiful. You will not believe the difference wearing your shoes is going to make.

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FLYing With 5 Little Ones

Dear FlyLady,I’ve been getting your emails for about 5 years and it has been a slow process for me to take everything on board. I found you when I was pregnant with my third child and living in a house that was being stripped back to bare brick for re-wiring and so on. Needless to say it was a tip, and I was losing it….We now have five children aged 8 and under. I am constantly cooking, cleaning, you name it and frequently I have very low days. But the thing that gets me through are your little phrases popping into my head. ‘just do it’, ‘bless your family’, ‘you can do anything for fifteen minutes‘ and so on. Through a long battle with low mood, your “can do” attitude and insistence that we are not behind, and to be kind to oneself, have kept me going through many dark patches.

My husband is fantastic and supports me with everything, but you are always there too, like an encouraging voice in my ear. This year I have finally set up my control journal, which on bad days I can just use as an autopilot to plow through the basics of what has to be done. On good days it is a pleasure to whizz through the list and see my home looking… well…not too bad considering how many young kids are in it.

My 8yo daughter now has your student control journal and loves doing her bedtime routine. She totally gets the babysteps thing and is working up to adding in other routines. The girls often make their beds, lay out outfits etc.

Thank you so much for all you have done for me. I couldn’t have made this household a home without your help. (I never learned anything about cleaning as a child and didn’t even know you had to clean the toilets!) and I certainly couldn’t have made it through years of low mood either without your encouragement to just keep at it.


PS: I have several of your wonderful tools and the lovely calendar that helps me stay focused.

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Pamper Mission 10/19/14

PamperDear Friends,

Welcome to a brand new Zone and a brand new Pamper Mission! Today, we have a back to basics mission that I absolutely need to do myself lol. Time to shave our legs! With cooler weather moving in for lots of us right now, this is the one time of year that we tend to let our shaving habits take a bit of a break. What better way to pamper ourselves than with some soft smooth legs all day? I don’t mean go shave for your hubby! I want us to shave just for us! We deserve the luxury of soft smooth legs too don’t we?

Who cares that it will grow back seemingly magically overnight! Live in the moment and enjoy today!!

You deserve it!


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Favorite Holiday Words


Dear Friends,

The other day I was asked by a magazine editor if I could give one tip for having a good holiday season what would that be? The answer came so quick that I even surprised myself.

Let go of your perfectionism!

If I can talk you into letting go of your perfectionism then you can cruise through the holidays without all the stress that being a perfectionist puts on you!

I know you are looking for that perfect picture post card feeling, but let’s face it! That only happens in paintings or in the movies. I want you to allow yourself the freedom to celebrate the holiday without this undue stress.

Let’s look at how your perfectionism ruins your holidays!!!

1. You procrastinate till the last minute to do anything because you just don’t seem to have enough time to do it right or you don’t think you do! Then it really isn’t done to suit you are anyone else because it is just thrown together willie nilly! I DON’T HAVE TIME! This phrase is whiny!

2. Shopping is put off till the last minute because we have not planned our purchases and then we hit the malls looking for anything and spending what ever to get something to give. You settle because of that phrase again. I DON’T HAVE TIME!! Yes you do if you started a few weeks ago!

3. Do you see a pattern here; waiting till the last minute? Do you know the meaning of the word Deadline? It is the point at which you have no more time. In other words; you practically kill yourself doing it, when a little each day would have helped you process things without the stress. NOW YOU REALLY DON’T HAVE TIME! But watch you put on your super woman costume and kill yourself along with the rest of the family trying to save face! This is what makes the holidays miserable!

4. Because you have waited till the last minute again to purchase items; you are faced with a marathon wrapping session. No one likes to do this and it is hard on your back. Be kind to you and do a little at a time as you come in the door. If you hear yourself say, “I DON’T HAVE TIME RIGHT NOW! Then just do one little package!

5. Now let’s look at decorating your home. You hear your children begging to do things and then these words come out of your mouth!! I DON’T HAVE TIME RIGHT NOW!!! They are usually said in an unkind tone because you are mad at yourself over this procrastination pressure. Do you want to know why you don’t think you have time? It is because of your perfectionism! You don’t think you have time to do it right! Decorating your home does not have to be done all at once. Break it down into smaller pieces; take babysteps to decorate your home and enjoy establishing new traditions.

When you hear those nasty words come out of your mouth: I DON’T HAVE TIME!!! I want you to set your timer for 15 minutes and do something! You do have time! We all have the same amount of time in a day and it is how we choose to use it that makes the difference. When your perfectionism clouds your thinking you forget to do just a little to make things better.

Holidays celebrated incorrectly still blesses your family! Let go of your perfectionism and the whiny excuse of I DON’T HAVE TIME and enjoy this year.

Are you ready to Cruise through the Holidays?


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The Joy Book

Dear Pam,

Thanks for your prompt reply to my question about getting my husband to share in the housework. As I told you, I work 50 hours a week and he works about the same and he wasn’t helping and we’ve got two little kids that require a lot of work. Your idea to write down facts really got him to listen. When he saw the numbers, and the list of household jobs, he got it! I’m in the process of setting up the card system in your book and I know it’s going to work!

Helped at Last!

Cynthia G.


Pam here: Cynthia is referring to my latest book, The Joy of Being Disorganized. The system is so simple; you can have it up and running in an hour. I explained to Cynthia that men do better with numbers than they do with an emotional woman, begging for help. I also suggested she read the blog on my website explaining my strategies for winning arguments with men.

If you’d like to get more help from your family, you’ll learn the art of delegating in the book. I’ve interviewed many BOPs (Born Organized People) and discovered their natural ability to delegate can be learned. Click Here to purchase The Joy of Being Disorganized.

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11 Steps to Cruise Stress Free through the Holidays

Dear Friends,

Every year we declare that this year we will be ready for the holidays and every single year we find ourselves wrapping gifts or running to the grocery at the last minute. Do you want to have a stress free holiday? I can see you affirming this with your head nods! Well it is not going to happen if you just sit and wish things could be different. It is going to take a little action on your part for you to have a peaceful Cruise through the Holiday. Are you ready to look at some simple ways to keep your life calm during the holidays?

1. Crisis Clean your home with our podcast! Clear your clutter to get ready for more stuff to come into your home and keep your home maintained with your routines.

2. Pick up after yourself and follow our Holiday Cruising Missions.

3. Keep up with your holiday spending on: Food, decorations, food and travel. We have a FREE Holiday Control Journal for you to print out!

4. Stop the holiday WHINE! Commit to doing one thing each day to prepare for the holidays.

5. Have a family meeting to discuss what traditions each member of your family loves and hates. Please listen!

6. Decorate in babysteps! Let go of your perfectionism of getting it all done at one time. Make a pleasant nightly ritual of putting one ornament on the tree or putting up one decoration.

7. Let go of the guilt and last minute stress of making “Homemade” gifts. Start now and keep it simple.

8. Plan your holiday menus now and start buying your groceries with each visit to the grocery store. This means for your holiday baking too! Cookies, cakes, breads and rolls.

9. Make a gift list of all you want to buy for. Establish an amount that you want to spend and stick to it. Start shopping now. Also think about “Clutter Free” Gifts. Gifts of time.

10. Set up a gift wrapping station. This consists of one roll of paper, tape, scissors, ribbon and a tag. Less is more.

11. Your family can’t read your mind, help them and help yourself by letting go of the Holiday Martyr. Write down what you would like for a gift and give them your list. We ask our children to do this so that we at least have some idea. All they want to do is please you.

We start our Holiday Cruising Missions tomorrow. Our goal is to be ready for the holidays by December 1st. We are pretending that we are going on a Holiday Cruise that is going to last for three weeks. If we were really going on a cruise we would have to have everything ready for our departure. By getting everything done by December 1st we are free to have fun and not be stressed out by the holidays.

Are you ready to enjoy the holidays for the first time ever?


FlyLady here; Holiday Cruising Mission start on October 21st. Go download your free Holiday Control Journal.

We have a Red Office in a Bag for your Holiday Control Journal

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I Notice Progress Instead of Perfection

Dear FlyLady,I am a new babystepper  (day 13) who was trained how to clean house very well by my mother. People didn’t like to come over in fear of messing something up it was so clean.  As kids, we sat, and often slept, on the floor because messing something up created serious conflict.   In her defense, she grew up very poor and hungry.  She never had anything new until she married and had a strong compulsion to take care of things.  But as a result of her overcompensation, we did not feel welcome in our home.

When my children grew past the toddler stage, I discovered I that I was a good house cleaner, but lousy housekeeper.  As the kids grew, so did the chaos.  I tried many systems without success.  Thank you for the simplicity of this plan.  I shined my sink and just started in the zone you focused on which happened to be the Main Bath.  My extra room was the kitchen.  So, besides routines, I spent 15 minutes a day in each room.

As everyone else comments,  I was surprised at the difference from Monday to Friday.  But what amazed me the most was that for the first time (I’m 54 now), I noticed the progress I had made instead of the areas that were not yet cleaned to the standard I had been trained.  I have made progress in previous attempts, but would begin to be impatient with my family when they didn’t keep it up and then I would stop so that my family wouldn’t have the kind of memories I did.  As it turns out, my kids have memories of a messy home.

I knew there had to be a happy medium, and tried many times, but never seemed to find it.  But for the first time, I feel a change in me.  I see hope instead of failure even though my bedrooms are still in chaos (though my Master BR looks much better than it did last Sunday).  My sink is shining AND I’m not whining.  I can’t even being to express my gratitude.

A New FlyBaby

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