This book turned out to be such a surprise for me. I’d read reviews on Amazon and some of them were so negative that I didn’t want to buy the book. I borrowed it for my Kindle using my Amazon Prime. I ended up listening to it on my Kindle in the car while I was driving back and forth from my daughter’s house. I’d spent a number of weeks there this summer after she was in a car accident, and I think getting out of my own house actually helped me see the problem that my house had become.
I think the best thing I learned from the book was the power of habits and the importance of really doing this a little bit at a time. Everytime I’d tried to do Pam and Peggy, every time I’d tried to do FlyLady I ended up crashing and burning because I tried to do too much at once.
I’ve been Flying for over two months now. I still don’t have many new habits: shiny sink, swish and swipe, make the bed, get dressed, do a load a day all the way to fold and put away, and oh yeah. Declutter. That’s the other thing I learned, you really can’t organize clutter. As I’ve cleared out drawers and cupboards and pared them down to what really needs to be there I’m finding such freedom. It’s freedom to be able to get dressed for church in a few minutes instead of having to spend time looking for underwear, panty hose without runs, and a shirt without wrinkles. It’s freedom to be able to unload the dishwasher quickly because the cupboards have room to put things in them. It’s freedom to be able to put all the clothes away because there’s space in the drawer and room on the clothes rack.
Now, I’m not going to pretend that Hidden Treasures is great literature (I have a BA in English, I’m a lit snob), but it is helpful in portraying the way that the whole FlyLady system really works. Sink Reflections is great, but Hidden Treasures fleshes the whole thing out in a way that nothing else had ever done for me.
I don’t know, maybe it was just the right resource at the right time. All I know is that I would no longer be embarassed to have someone come to my door and go through the main part of the house. I’d even be willing to let someone in my bedroom. There are still dungeons I’m cleaning out I(I took two bags of trash out of a closet today), but what I know now is that it’s not an impossible job. It just has to be tackled one bit at a time. My mess was bigger than the mess in Hidden Treasures because we’d been letting it build up for a lot more years.
I love the ultimate message of the book, that once you get the clutter gone and the routines in place you’re free to do the other things you want to do. You can do them without the guilty feeling that there’s cleaning that needs to be done, a messy house that can’t welcome people, and that you’re simply avoiding it with your busy life. Instead you can do them and still go home to a shiny sink, a made bed, a cleared off dining room table. Hidden Treasures real message is that Flying is freedom. You can use the tools from the Flyshop or use what you already have, because it isn’t the tools that free you, it’s the habits.