We’re Making Progress

Dear FlyLady,

I haven’t been “FLYing” very long-maybe 4 weeks. Many months ago, we had a water leak, that went into both bathrooms and our son’s room. We had many rounds of people out-plumbers, water removal, insurance, asbestos removal (asbestos in the flooring), and when things weren’t done right, a repeat of all that. Then the quotes…finally my DH decided to paint and put in new floor himself.

We’ve lived with our son’s furniture in our living room and spare room for a long time now. I homeschool our son, and had many piles of books and papers to go through, many papers of all kinds piling up everywhere. And as time went on, it felt like we were camping here, and we all let things go. Finally, looking at many more months still of chaos-we need to do flooring in the rest of our house, need to fix our garage door and so move things out of there, etc.–I decided I just needed to take control of what I could, and make the best of what space we did have to live in.

I’d “done” FlyLady before, but not well enough to ever make routines or keep things up. This time, I decided I’d only do one habit at a time, till I really felt comfortable with it, and always remember these were routines to bless my family. I started with shining the sink, and did only that till all the papers were put away or thrown away, and all the major clutter cleared, about two weeks.

Now we have our kitchen table and school room (dining room table) back.  After a couple of weeks, I added in the July challenge of swish and swipe-a very good one for us. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to start the load of laundry a day, and we’re totally caught up with clothes and are enjoying clean sheets every week. I even made myself stop doing more than one load in a day, because I wanted this to be a habit, too, and to do other things with our time together.  I’ve even made time to re-start an old hobby of mine.

The other day, I decided to try your timer idea, and set a timer for 15 minutes to clean our living room sliding glass windows, not my favorite thing to do. I cleaned the windows inside, around the walls, some of the blinds, and was outside finishing up when the timer finally went off.  Wow! I’d given myself permission to do just a little, and had accomplished so much more than I thought I’d be able to.

There’s much to do in our home, and more habits I need to add in, but slowly, slowly we’re making progress. I noticed after a couple of weeks of having a nice kitchen, our son wanted to do science experiments in there and help me cook. Today, I had an early hair appointment-needed to leave the house by 7:30. I’d gotten up and done some of the routines-and caught myself thinking-oh, I have time to unload the dishwasher. It’s when I really realized it is becoming a habit.

At first, it was like the story of the new vase-everything around the vase looked dirty, so more and more things got cleaned. I’ve tried to honor that somewhat, but at the same time, keep in mind you saying–Don’t go up to change a lightbulb, then decide you need to paint the ceiling.

I’m trying to keep at least the basic routines going that I’ve started. With the worst of the clutter gone, I’m doing what zone cleaning makes sense to me in our home. It’s nice to rotate rooms-I know other things I want to do will get taken care of/I will make time for when it’s that zone’s turn again, but if I want to stay in a zone, I do. I’m expecting that when our son has his room back together, many of the toys and so on, that have been accumulating there for years will finally bless someone else.

I so appreciate your encouragement, and in my heart, keep your idea of my family deserving a nice home and hopefully one day, also, a nice place to entertain.

Every blessing,
Denise Westcott

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