January Habit #9 All Because I Shined my Sink

Dear FlyLady,

When I first started the FlyLady system, I thought, “how can having a shiny sink help? How can it spread? Why does it matter?”

I can testify that it DOES spread! I didn’t think it would- or could- but it did!

I began by shining my sink. Every night I ran the dishwasher, and every morning I tried to empty it as soon as I could. I have a newborn baby, a toddler, and a kindergartener, so it didn’t always happen EXACTLY as planned- nothing does!- but it happened. Dirty dishes could go straight into the sink, and I could start cleaning up WHILE I cooked, instead of waiting until after, because there was room in the dishwasher. It was so easy! Why hadn’t I tried this earlier?

The next week we focused on the dining room. I decided to tackle the bookshelf that held the kids’ art supplies. Every time you took off a box of crayons, the entire shelf exploded into the cat food below. There must be an easier way! I bought an art supply cart and enlisted the help of my 6-year-old. We purged the excess and organized the supplies into a simple system my kids can keep up. What a difference! Now the kids can put away their art supplies on their own! One less thing for mom to do!

Cleaning up was getting so much easier! I turned my attention to a hot spot. That darn table that seemed to serve only one purpose: collect a pile of junk. Wait- that’s it! That IS it’s only purpose! I discussed with my husband. I bought a desk, and we donated the table. A functional work space! Amazing what a difference it makes!

Then I got the challenge. I tackled the pantry. Just the week before, I had yelled at my child for hiding in the pantry during hide-and-seek? because I was afraid cans would fall on her head! I tried to organize the overflowing disaster. It was a mess a week later? because you can’t organize clutter! I didn’t give up. I tried again, this time tossing the expired food and donating the food I didn’t think we’d eat. Better, but still too much food. I decided not to go grocery shopping, and just cook from the pantry to clean it out. I just purchased milk and fresh fruits and veggies for one week? then two weeks? the pantry is finally manageable as we approach the end of the second week, and I saved a lot of money on shopping this month.

Bonus! Eating what we had emptied the fridge too! My 6-year-old and I wiped down the fridge (easy to do when it’s empty!) and it looks amazing.

Now that I know what it in my pantry and can find it, and I know what is in my fridge? it seems so simple to plan a menu. Instead of buying a zillion things and then trying to figure out what to make, I can choose a menu based on what we have, buy only what we need to make the dishes, and cook for a week. Brilliant! I’m going to save so much money on groceries.

So now my pantry is clean? My hot spot is gone? I know what we’re having for dinner? I’m saving money at the store? My grocery list is ready? And it’s all because I SHINED MY SINK!

Michelle Flying Higher in Ohio!

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FlyLady here: When I got organized I started with shining my sink. I picked this one habit out of all the others because my husband asked me to keep one side of the sink open so he could get a drink of water and make coffee. I had no idea what an impact it would have on our home or the world.

The sink is a tool in the center of your kitchen. When that tool is ready to be used at a moment’s notice, we don’t feel behind. We are not overwhelmed by having to do yesterday’s dishes in order to put dinner on the table. My first habit was just to keep my sink clean and shiny. This one habit does spread to the rest of the house. Are you ready to FLY? Go shine your sink!

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