FLYing Through Fog

Baby StepsGood Morning FlyLady!

Boy, typing those first two words (good morning) is a really big deal. I was writing to say thank you. I’m a three-month-old  FlyBaby and I found your site in a dark hour of desperation.

You see, I suffer from postpartum depression which, for me, includes insomnia (among other things). Because of this, I sometimes walk around my chaotic house in a foggy haze, not knowing what to do with myself or where to “start.”

I am under a doctor’s care, however, there’s no one to come home with me and hold my hand to help me complete even the simplest tasks, like getting dressed in the morning. Since I’ve been following your babysteps, it’s like you’re there holding my hand, and encouraging me along the way. You remind me not to beat myself up for the things I haven’t accomplished, and you praise me for small efforts that are becoming the foundation of my new routine.

Today was a really good morning for me! Thank you.

Nikki in California


FlyLady here: Depression is hard anytime and no sleep makes it worse. I have been there! Please continue to take babysteps and always remember there are FlyBabies everywhere taking those babysteps right along with you! I am so proud of you!

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Going to High School!

Entering high school accelerates the process of preparation for the real world.  The teachers practice tough love and hold their students accountable.  They don’t enjoy upsetting your child, but they expect students to be responsible for their own behavior and learning.  The job of a high school teacher is to prepare students for college and careers, not to make students happy and comfortable.  The job of a high school teacher is to help their students learn how to function independently while challenging them academically.

Part of preparing students for the real world is allowing them to make mistakes and figure out the solution – allowing them to fall flat on their faces, get up, brush off, and move on.  Part of growing up is learning that you don’t always get what you want – that things don’t always work out for you.  My favorite high school teacher says, “Let kids screw it up, get advice from parents and teachers, and try again.  Don’t swoop in and fix everything.”

Parents will notice that they get a lot less direct communication from teachers at the high school level.  This is partly because most high school teachers can have a hundred students or more on their class load, and partly because the teachers expect students to take the lead in communicating with them.  The teachers do not let parents know about everything that happens in school or everything that students need to do.  To be successful in high school and college, students have to be self-motivated and in charge of their own learning.  Parents cannot do it for them.

Parents are close to their children and want the very best for them, so they often lose perspective and end up panicking too soon.  Teachers often have a much clearer picture of a student’s strengths and weaknesses as compared to others of the same age, and that can be very helpful to parents.  As always, teachers and parents need to really listen to each other.

High school is your last chance to let your children try out their wings while you’re still there to help pick up the pieces if they fall.  Let them try things on their own, make mistakes, and figure out their own solutions.  Don’t jump in to make things perfect and protect them from their mistakes.  Independence is learned, and high school is the time to learn it.  It’s time to start letting your children go!  Let them fly.

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What is the “Do It Now” Principle?

Now is the TimeHello FlyLady,

What is the “Do It Now Principle” please? I must have missed that somewhere in your website. Thank you so much for all you do!

FlyBaby M


Dear FlyBaby M,

This is just plain old common sense. “Do It Now” means just that! Don’t wait and do it right that minute. No more procrastinating. Now, this doesn’t mean to get sidetracked from what you were doing. The rule is that the job can only take a couple of minutes. Instead of putting it off till later, do it now!

Here is an essay about Doing it now!

Procrastination Hurts You!

Dear Friends,

Today is Anti-Procrastination Day! What have you been putting off?

How many times a day do you allow your perfectionism to paralyze you! You know exactly what I am talking about. You hear that nasty little voice in your head all the time. I don’t have time right now. YOU DON’T HAVE TIME FOR WHAT? To do it RIGHT! To do it like your momma did!

We are not good judges of time! In our heads we think emptying the dishwasher will take hours when it only takes 3 minutes!

Our perfectionism/procrastination also hurts us in other ways. We keep putting off going to the doctor because we don’t have time! We don’t place an order for something we know will help us and then all of a sudden they are gone and we start to beat ourselves up over our procrastination again. Don’t wait to get your calendar. I know you have been trying to use a calendar with small boxes.

I live by the Do it Now Principle! When something needs to be done and if it is not done then you will feel bad; this is when I do it! Think about putting a fresh roll of toilet paper in the bathroom. We only think of it when we are in there. Guess who usually gets left with an empty roll. YOU! Your procrastination has hurt you again.

Our minds are going 90 miles an hour. We can think of more things to do in 5 minutes than we can do in a lifetime. Let’s channel some of that power into action by Doing It Now. When you find yourself using this principle more often you are going to surprise yourself! This is not getting sidetracked! It is staying focused and accomplishing something so we don’t have to beat ourselves up later!

Have you been putting something off: Paying bills, doing laundry, shining your sink or using our big calendar. One day we will run out of our calendars and there you will be begging for one and beating yourself up because of your procrastination. You do have time; if you will just do what needs to be done and don’t put it off another day! Just think, this will put an end to those nasty voices in your head!

There are many of you that are procrastinating about shining your sink! This is the habit that changed my life! Please give it a try! It won’t take that long! This month are new habit is making your bed. Every room has its own shiny sink. Your beautiful bed makes your room shine.

Set your timer and do something you have been putting off!


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Are You Sinking?

Dear Friends,

Do you ever feel like you are sinking? And you are going down for the last time and no one is there to save you! In fact the whirlpool is about to suck you into the dark abyss. This is how we all feel when we are living in CHAOS! The whirlpool is the vicious cycle we are living in and we don’t know how to stop it! You can’t even remember how you got into the dangerous waters in the first place!

I can tell you exactly why! Procrastination! You didn’t want to look at the problem so you put it off. You probably still don’t want to address the issues that are pulling your under! But we do this every single day.

You see it is not one thing that is pulling you down is all the things that got our homes in the shape they are in! Everything is connected and one thing starts getting sucked into the whirlpool the rest will follow! UNLESS you start to pull your own self out one bad habit at a time. I know you don’t believe me, but as strange as it may seem, FLYing can give you the life preservers when nothing else will!

We put off paying bills! We put off buying groceries! We put off planning menus! We put off doing our taxes! You name it we can find a way and an excuse for putting it off! We have to stop this right now! Just stopping one thing will keep your head above water.

Wednesday is always Anti-procrastination daymenu planning day and clean out the refrigerator day. Look at what taking care of these things will do for this whirlpool you have gotten yourself into. With the refrigerator cleaned out, you can see what food you need to buy, what you need to use up and what leftovers can be used in a pot of soup. Just the act of doing it starts your mind thinking about menus and a grocery list. While you are cleaning out the refrigerator, keep your grocery list handy so you can jot down a few ideas for next week’s meals.

Now after you have cleaned out the refrigerator, sit down with a cup of tea for 10 minutes and think about what you can cook next week. Having groceries in the house is half the battle to cooking. When you don’t have it on hand it is just much easier to call for pizza or takeout! Which is why you are gaining weight and losing money; could this be a reason you are in the whirlpool in the first place? Think about the life preserver of just cleaning out the refrigerator: could this be the key to not falling into the abyss!

You have it in your head that menu planning it going to take a long time, it is hard or that you have people that won’t eat what you cook. Your excuses are just another form of whining and procrastination. If the truth be told, menu planning only takes about seven minutes if you will do it. Eventually you will have several week’s worth of menus and grocery lists that you can recycle and not even have to go through this process except to clean out the refrigerator so you won’t forget to utilize some produce.

Cleaning out the refrigerator along with menu planning saves you money! This is money that can be used to pull yourself out of this whirlpool. You have to start someplace! So go clean out your refrigerator!2015_calendar_open

My hand is out; grab it and we will FLY together!


We have a great calendar with square large enough for your menu planning. Here is a picture of it on our refrigerator at the office.

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Is Clutter Your Legacy?

Dear Friends,

The sad part is that clutter is what we were given by our ancestors. This attitude of “we might need this someday”, so we had better hang on to this. So you see how we have been affected by the past. Do you intend to do this to your family too?

This one member that was afraid of leaving clutter as her legacy, was looking a the physical mess that was in her home and others having to come in afterwards and sort through it all. Yes that is a problem too, any of you that have had to do this know how tough it is. I am not talking about this, even though it is a subject we need to face.

My thoughts have to do with what we teach our children. Yes we were given the legacy of hoarding, but now that we know that this is a serious problem for our homes, health and families, it is time to let go of the things that are hurting us.

You cannot help how you were raised, but you can refuse to allow your children to be saddled with these feeling of “we might need this someday”. This attitude was developed because of going though hard times. We can all plot our family trees by this, a mother or father, grandmother or grandfather. These folks have given you this legacy.

Do you want your children to have to deal with all of this clutter in their homes. The worst part is the clutter in their heads. It is time to put an end to this once and for all. The last time I looked, there were no storage units at the cemetery. We can’t take it with us. It is the attitude that I want to help you release.

This attitude keeps us from being able to clean and organize our homes. With all of this stuff, we no longer have any place to put another thing, so it gets piled in our basements, on our floors, filling all of our closets and drawers.

Yes it would be awful to leave our families with all of our clutter. It is such a burden for them, but if we start now, we can change our homes and train our families in the art of Less is More, and give them the overall feeling of prosperity and faith. As they see us releasing our the clutter that has clogged our lives, they will see a new way of living Free. Free from the clutter and the CHAOS that came with it.

Are your ready to release this clutter from your lives and create an atmosphere of Peace that will transcend generations as your legacy to the ones you love.

It’s time to FLY,


Decluttering a little every day will help you keep clutter at bay. What have you decluttered today? It can be one item or a box full.  Please tell me what you have declutter!  Send your email to with I GOT RID OF THIS in the subject line.

If you need another Testimonial/Musing to motivate you then read this one!

The Legacy You Leave

Here is the the speech, I gave in Las Vegas about Your Legacy!

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How Do I Clean Wood Floors?

FlyLady Mop PackageDear FlyLady,

I’m trying to find information about what’s best to use to clean wood floors, but there is so much conflicting info on the internet. Do you have a preferred cleaning product? Or just vinegar and water?



Dear Carolyn,

I am right there with you on trying to find out the “Perfect” way to clean wood floors. Our home has them everywhere. What I have found that works best is just plain water! I know you don’t believe me, but the secret to the plain water is the microfiber pad I use with it.

This is what comes with our FlyLady Mop. If you still think you need to use some kind of cleaner, you can spray a little Windex on the floor. Mostly, I just use water. Those microfiber pads pick up so much dirt and grime.

Have fun mopping! Our mops work well for dust mopping too. All you have to do is make it fun!


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I Love my Routines!

CelebrateDear FlyLady,

Thank you so much for helping me fly.  I was blessed to learn about your site from a magazine in 2001.  The routines have helped me so much. My mom is BO and she didn’t understand why I didn’t clean the way she did.  Hopefully I can set a good example for my daughter.

I love my routines and I can do them in 15 min. That is such a blessing.  If I don’t need something I throw it away.  I love reading testimonials on Facebook. You are so blessed and have helped many people clean there homes.

I love my timer it tells me when to stop and take a break.  I love the detail zone cleaning for each room.  My DH has supported me by telling me how wonderful our place looks and keeping our sink shiny.  I want to thank you for changing my life and teaching me how to be organized.

The calendar is amazing . The spaces are big enough to write my 3Dks activities. When we go on a vacation or to a water park I use the packing list. its wonderful.  Also when we moved in 2011 I used the moving list.

You have helped me so much in so many ways.  May God always bless you and your wonderful crew.


Flying in Illinois


FlyLady here: I am so proud of you! You did all the work! You created this peaceful home! The tools are on our website! All you have to do is use them.

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What To Do With Paper Clutter

FlyLady LoveDear FlyLady,

I’m going to try to send you this email again! I tried yesterday, but I don’t think that I was successful because you seem to give a speedy response and I haven’t seen one yet! Forgive me if you receive this email twice. I am not that good on the computer, yet!!!

This is what I want to say to you and to ALL of the FlyBabies out there. It is my turn to say “THANK-YOU” FlyLady for all that you do to help us, FlyBabies!! I have been an on and off again FlyBaby since last August. Now that I’m on again, I want to work at being a more dedicated and consistent FlyBaby this time. This time around I decided that I would actually “Shine My Sink” and doing this is REALLY contagious.

Shining my sink made me want to clean and clear off my counter tops and I have thrown out some old worn-out plastic-ware as well.

I finally see why you suggest that we (FlyBabies) should begin our quest to becoming clutter-free with shining our sink first. This gets us focused and inspires us to do more cleaning in our kitchen as I have cleaned my refrigerator and I’m starting on my cabinets doing a little (15 minutes) at a time! :) See! I’m learning at last!!

But now that I have my counter tops cleaned and cleared off, what do I do with the pile of paper clutter that has mounted up? What papers should I keep and for how long? How long should I deal with this clutter in minutes, hours, or days at a time, because I know that this will take some time to do!!

Also, how can I maintain this paper clutter once I get it in control? Can you please help me, because this has always been a problem for me. I guess I’m asking for help with “ROUTINES” to maintain paper clutter like you so generously came up with for maintaining home clutter on a daily basis.

I hope that I’m not asking too much!!! I truly want to fix this problem once and for all! This paper clutter has gotten in my way many of the times and has kept me from being the BEST FlyBaby that I can possibly BE!!!

Because I didn’t mention all of the other places that I have paper clutter, like on my dining room table, my nightstand by my bed, and I have some in boxes in the corner of my dining room. And I know that it isn’t necessary to keep ALL of this paper and I just need a do-able plan to get it in control! Please HELP me because I know that you CAN!!!!!


Mail sick in Georgia


Dear Mail Sick,

There is a very simple answer to this. I know you won’t believe me but here goes!

Deal with the mail when it comes in the house and quit piling it up in your hotspots!

95% of the paper on your hotspots is trash! Recycle, shred, open up bills and throw away the trash when you bring it in the house. It is just that simple. Quit piling on and purge the trash first. Those piles are you saying I don’t have time!

Take 2 minutes and deal with it! Set your timer and go attack a hotspot right now!

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Dancing on The FLY

Dear Friends,

I can tell you exactly why I put together a Control Journal! I was tired of building “To Do” Lists! Every day I would put the same thing on the list and every day I would check things off. Was I lazy! NO I call it resourceful.

We love to make lists. It doesn’t take long until those lists become boring. Maybe I was just bored with the same thing and I needed a little creativity to make it fun again.

Now listen closely! My Control Journal took shape over several months. I did not build it on my fateful New Years Day that I decided to get organized. It was on that day in 1999 that I made the biggest list of all and promptly decided that it was mean to expect me to do it all in the beginning. That is when I came to the conclusion that it would be much kinder to just practice one habit at a time. That is exactly what I did! I kept my sink clean and shiny for the whole month of January. It was my only requirement and because I didn’t pile on with that huge list I could just do what I wanted. I was FLYing from start because I was loving myself enough not to push too hard. Everything I did was fun because I was not under the gun of my perfectionism.

As my habits were established I began to think of them as dance steps. I put them together into logical flow to start my day. One, two, three! One, two, three! One, two, three! Dancing on the FLY!

Basic Steps to my Daily Dance

1. Get up 2. Make bed 3. Go to the bathroom

1. Weigh 2. Check calendar 3. Shower

1. Get Dressed 2. Fix Hair and face 3. Swish and Swipe

1. Take vitamins 2. Turn on computer 3. Put on shoes,

1. Check Laundry 2. Fix coffee 3. Dust Mop the floors

1. Empty dishwasher 2. What’s for Dinner 3. Eat breakfast.

1. Fill water bottles 2. Start my music 3. Sit down to work at the computer.

Do you see how it all flows or shall I say FLYs by! One, Two, Three! This takes me about 20 minutes from start to finish because I have done my before bed routine and I am not trying to function in clutter.

My Control Journal became a place to hold my routines. I still had to be reminded when I was in the bathroom what the steps were. I am still a SHE and I will always be a SHE! This is why I love Post-It Notes. I don’t beat myself up because I need them. I have a morning one and a before bed one in my bathroom. This is where I start my day and end my day. I even keep my calendar in my bathroom. I use it to chart my weight and put appointments in red to remind me. I am just starting to list my menu planning on it. This is because I have been cooking more.

Your Control Journal is just a place to keep your routines. It also helps others to see exactly what has to be done in a home. When you keep your routines in a sheet protector, you don’t have to rewrite them every day or print them out from our Flight Plan. Use your Control Journal as your Check List for Take Off!

Are you ready to FLY with your Control Journal as your Personal Flight Plan!


If your perfectionism has gotten in the way of you building your Control Journal; I have a solution for you. I made you one to fill in the blanks.

Get your Ready to go Control Journal with an Office in a Bag by Clicking here!

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I’ve Been FlyWashed

 Dear FlyLady,

I have spent the last 2 weeks helping a girlfriend move.  She closed on the purchase of a townhouse mid June and had to be out of her apartment the end of July.  She was moving about 10 miles. Single person from a one bedroom apartment to a 3 bedroom townhome should be easy peasy.

Well Murphy’s law went into effect.  The evening after closing she got sick. A month later and 3 rounds of antibiotics, (while still trying to work) I found out her work had decided she had to have carpel tunnel surgery two weeks before she had to be out of apartment. She had done some packing but there was a lot left to pack and the apartment to clean.

Well, I assessed the mess and could see that the FlyLady moving plan would have been nice but had become not an option.  I had her start in the kitchen and we packed up everything.  Two car loads later her kitchen was moved and unpacked. We had two large boxes for a future garage sale and 3 garbage bags in the dumpster.  Glasses were now available at both locations.  Timers were set for every 15 minutes telling us to pause and take a drink of water and every 45 minutes to sit for 15 with our feet up.

Her 5 brothers showed up the 3rd day and moved all the furniture and boxes that had been packed.  Her and I spent the next week while she was off work from the surgery packing and cleaning.  In 15 minute increments and with us both encouraging the other we got it done.

I had taken over two of my purple rags in a bag and cleaned windows, cleaned mirrors, wiped out cupboards, cleaned appliances, cleaned ceiling fans and wiped down walls with them.  I like my vinegar water and it was my main cleaning solution.  They still look brand new and I had been using them for more than a year.  She is getting all of her cleaning deposit back.

She kept trying to give me one of her rags to clean with, but after a couple of hours could see I was able to get twice as much cleaned as she could with out the effort. She thought she would pick up a microfiber cloth at the dollar store but I let her know it would not work as well as my purple rag.  She is sold and will be ordering her own soon.

She is also exploring your site to get a deeper understanding of FLYing.  I was FlyWashing her as we went along with a move box, garage sale box and a garbage bag.  I let her do the garage sale box as I am going to add them to the estate auction we are having in September and it is all in baby steps.  I also got her to mark all her boxes with “moved July 2014″.  With a much bigger place, she should be able to find a place for everything that deserves a home, but if she has not unpacked it within a year, does she really love it, need it or even want it?

I could not have been the help to her I was without FlyLady.  Staying focused 15 minutes at a time, drinking my water, resting every hour for 15, my purple rags and having my own routines at home so my house stayed presentable.


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