I’m sure you must read stories like mine all the time, but I thought, considering just how much you have opened my eyes and changed my life, I would share with mine with you. I became a FlyBaby last week. I was intrigued by a reference to you in a forum and investigated (yay for Google!). What I found seemed zany and somewhat crazy: exactly what I needed by that point.
My house was CHAOS and I tried staying away from it as much as possible, which wasn’t much as I’m a SAHM. So when I read Babystep number 1, I thought, “beats actually doing the dishes” and went to it. My sink was by no means a bio hazard, but it certainly wasn’t clean and far from shiny. All my adult life I’ve struggled with housework. The dishes aspect was really starting to get me down as my DH would get home from work and have to ‘find’ the kitchen bench before he could get dinner on (I found a man who enjoys cooking!); I was feeling guilty, an all too common feeling for me, and I was getting stressed whenever I tried to use the kitchen to prepare food for DS and generally I wasn’t eating as the thought of facing the kitchen was just too hard.
My shiny sink has transformed my kitchen. It made me want to be in there, and made me want to do the dishes. I’ve always been aware that if I did the dishes every day then it would be a quick, easy job, but I could never put this into action. However, since shining my sink I have had the bench completely clear of all dishes 7 out of 8 days, and on the one day I didn’t manage it I still shined my sink. The cleanliness is spreading along the bench as I declutter and put out my hot spots. My husband enjoys knowing he doesn’t have to wash all the things he needs to make dinner before he can start, and I’ve gotten into baking which is saving us money. My DH is also now rinsing dishes which I’ve been nagging him to do for years, and he is in awe of all I’ve achieved. I also no longer hate myself because I can’t do the dishes, because now I CAN and I DO! I’m still Baby-stepping through decluttering my home, but just the message of “only keep things around you that make you smile” is encouraging me to pass things on or throw things away.
The other day I put about 50 books into a goodwill pile. It broke my heart, but I knew I would soon feel better for it. All up I have gotten rid of about 30lbs of clutter, already, and I don’t even feel like I’ve really started the serious decluttering yet. There is one other major mental shift you have brought about in me in regards to housework. In one of your recent emails there was a comment about dusting being fun. I was like, “Whaaat?”. I’d looked at the dusters for sale on your site but due to shipping costs ended up just putting “a nice feather duster” on my shopping list (which I’ve started using as I FACE my finances).
Today I found a duster. It’s not feather, apparently they are way out of fashion here so no one sells them, and it’s not a plastic static one because I hate those. This one is wool. I’m a knitter. I love wool. Worth giving a go, right? Well, I got it home, fluffed it up, played with the extendable handle, and then dared to try it. Would you know it? Dusting IS fun! I had a ball whisking it around the place. It was amazing. It’s so light and soft it slips over and between (clutter) ornaments and the handle lets me reach the cobwebs. Now, instead of feeling like I’m trying to do the impossible in tackling the dusting often (rather than never), I believe I can do it most days, enjoy it, and while doing it remind myself that I am blessing my home.
Thank you FlyLady for teaching me that “housework” is not negative nor a waste of time. It is beautiful and satisfying and blesses your home and those around you.
Happy FlyBaby on day 9 of Babysteps.
Love, Briar in NZ