Clean is Contagious

Dear FlyLady,

This morning on the way to school (where I teach music), I took time to swish and swipe in the bathroom and it looks really great now! It’s nice to do things a bit at a time. Before, I would have tried to block out an entire afternoon to do everything, but now it’s OK to do one thing in the five minutes it takes to
swish my mouthwash and to leave the rest for another time. Thank you!

I’ve also been listening to your CD for kids and have been telling the other teachers about it — the Clean Up song is wonderful! In addition, the lullabies at the end are moving. I can hardly wait to have children so that I can sing them these lullabies.

Last but not least: I have roommates and so I was hesitant to try to maintain a shiny sink until one day when I’d just had it with the mess. I cleaned and shone the sink and left a note telling everyone that I had joined “a support group for messy people” and that the first step was to shine the sink.  I cleaned out a basin and put it under the sink for dirty dishes. My roommate Patty, who is much more messy than I am, said, “YOU’ve joined a support group for messy people?” She couldn’t believe it, but that was OK. I know where my secret hot spots are; they’re just not out in the open like hers. I didn’t say anything.

Believe it or not, my roommates followed the clean sink guideline for the most part! Even my fiancee has been wiping off the sink when he’s finished using it. A couple of days ago, I came into the kitchen and saw that everyone had put dishes in the sink. (I go to bed earlier than my roommates and they often eat late at night, so there is no guarantee that the sink will remain clean after I clean it at night.) In the craziness of starting school, I didn’t want to take the time to do all their dishes to get the sink back to its nice, clean state. Besides, doing one’s roommate’s dishes on a regular basis is not a good idea because then they assume you will always do them.

My roommate Patty came home last night for a half hour before going out again. When I came downstairs, I saw that she had cleaned out the entire sink and that it looked beautiful. I looked under the sink and there were no dishes there! This is really quite remarkable — she’s never done this before. My sense is that everyone loved living with the shiny sink so much that they missed it.

I also have hope for my future marriage — my fiancee is notoriously messy and now is starting to pick up some of the habits I’ve been learning from you. It’s nice to be part of a team, both with him and with you!

Thanks so much,

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