Following FlyLady's BabySteps: Day 13 and 14

Looking back, its hard to believe 2 weeks have passed since my friend and I took our first FlyLady BabyStep. I approached that first task of cleaning my sink with complete trepidation. Armed with cleaning supplies, I laughed at myself for thinking cleaning the kitchen sink could possibly make a difference. Believe it or not, the difference it made was monumental. It made me smile, and I was proud of it. That sink gave me the courage to move on to the next BabyStep, and then the next, and here we are two weeks later. My sink has not been dirty once.

Ok, yes, I have to admit that I have become obsessed with my sink. So has my friend. We are sink fanatics. If I take nothing else away from this FlyLady journey, I will always have a clean sink. Why? There are many reasons I think, but the one that is first and foremost in my mind is the fact that looking at that sink gives me a reason to smile and motivates me to do more.

My husband pointed out to me yesterday that the clean sink has become contagious. I silently giggled as I wondered if he had been out on FlyLady’s website. He was right though. Once my sink was clean, I was ready to move on to the next part of the kitchen. So my first Hot Spot was right next to my shining sink. I wanted the counter to match the sink. As each day has passed my kitchen began looking better and better. I used to cringe when I walked in the door and saw the kitchen. Now I smile and feel a sense of peace and welcoming when I come home.

I’ve also realized over these past two weeks that my house wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. The problem was I had given up hope. You see, every time I took the time to clean it up my efforts were thwarted by my family. They would mess it up as fast as I could clean it. Toys, books, clothes and shoes were scattered everywhere. I think at some point I just said “forget it,” and gave up. Oh, I made little efforts here and there, but it was three against one. I couldn’t keep up. So, I figured why bother. Don’t get me wrong we weren’t living in squalor, but our stuff had taken over. As I’ve been de-cluttering, I’ve noticed that I’m not really disorganized…there is a place for everything. I just need to get it there, and I need to get in some routines of doing it…that is what these BabySteps have been able to help me do. Still, my house isn’t perfect, and I don’t want it to be. I want us to live here, love here, and play here. So many times I’ve seen the adage “Our house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy.” That is truly all I want.

DAY THIRTEEN - PICK ONE OF KELLY’S MISSIONS AND DO IT

When we read the task for Day 13 my friend and I weren’t sure if doing one of Kelly’s Missions was in addition to our 15 minutes of de-cluttering or in place of the de-cluttering. Kelly’s Missions are little tasks that take about 15 minutes. They are focused on the Zone of the week. My friend decided the night before that she would do both. I, being the slacker, told her I’d wait and see how I felt the next day.

Look at all that trash in my fridge...UGH!
Look at all that trash in my fridge...UGH!

I woke up the next morning, and did all the routines that FlyLady has had us establish, they were beginning to become second nature to me. I then went and read the missions again. I opted for spending 15 minutes cleaning my fridge. If I learned one thing from cleaning my fridge it was this: we had been eating out entirely to much. I think there were leftovers from at least 4 restaurants. I had to wonder if I had been taking the kids out just to keep my sink shiny. Nah, really that wasn’t the case. We’ve just been on the go a lot with all of the normal hustle and bustle of after school activities. Although, I do have to admit that there was one time that my daughter asked if we could go out to eat, and I glanced at my kitchen sink before I told her, “why not.”

My friends clean fridge
My friends clean fridge

Shortly after finishing my fridge, I got a text from my friend.

“I have a burning question. Was your fridge as awful as mine was?”

She followed up that text with a picture of her clean fridge. It looked great. 

My response was simple.

“My fridge was horrid. I filled up a whole 13 gallon trash bag.”

And I had. There was a lot of things I could just pitch. Thankfully, nothing was growing mold. Well, I can’t be sure about the restaurant leftovers. I just threw them directly into the trash.

We both agreed that it was a great feeling to clean our fridge. Even though we discovered that both of us had very little food, neither of us ran out to the grocery store. Why would we? The food would just clutter up our latest cleaning efforts.

My fridge is clean, but its missing one thing...FOOD!
My fridge is clean, but its missing one thing...FOOD!

After my success with Kelly’s Mission, I did decide to do 15 minutes of de-cluttering. The cabinet under our downstairs bathroom sink needed it, and I was glad that I made the effort.

My friends bookcase before.
My friends bookcase before.

DAY FOURTEEN - READ AN ESSAY THAT KELLY WROTE

We both knew we could stay on track on Day 14. Our task, in addition to our routines, was to read an essay about calendars. I am not very good at keeping a calendar myself. I just put appointments in my phone and wait for it to beep with a reminder of where I need to be. It works for me. Sort of. I have recently put in a few entries for the wrong time. Yikes! I even missed an appointment at my daughter’s school because of it. So the reading assignment was good for me.

My friend spent her 15 minutes of de-cluttering cleaning out a bookshelf. As a mom who home school’s her daughter, she has a lot of books. The bookcase looked fantastic after only 15 minutes. Each day, I am still amazed at the power of 15 minutes. Its so little time, but so much can be accomplished in it.

It makes me wonder what I can do in 30 minutes...

Or 45 minutes...

Oh my, what if I spent an hour.

Nah, thats a lofty goal. I'm pretty happy just sticking with my 15 minutes for the time being.  Besides FlyLady constantly reminds us not to do to much.  She warns us about being overwhelmed.  I've been overwhelmed for far to long, and I don't want to be again.  BUT...I still can't help but wonder.

Wow!  What a difference 15 minutes can make!
Wow! What a difference 15 minutes can make!
My cluttered closet.  Yes, there is a life jacket in there. No clue how that ended up in there.
My cluttered closet. Yes, there is a life jacket in there. No clue how that ended up in there.

I spent my 15 minutes of de-cluttering our coat closet. Winter was finally over, and it was time to put some order back into that mess. Plus, the coat closet is right next to the latest Hot Spot that I had extinguished. I’m telling you…cleaning is contagious. I wonder if there is anyway possible that I could get my kids to catch the bug.

My closet after 15 minutes.  Look, no life jacket...well almost no anything on top.
My closet after 15 minutes. Look, no life jacket...well almost no anything on top.

I didn’t think I could get it done in 15 minutes, but I was going to accomplish what I could in the allotted time. I was putting the last of the shoes away in the closet upstairs when the timer went off. So, it was the perfect amount of time. I did vacuum the closet after the timer went off. It was out, and I didn’t want to put it back into the clean closet until I got up all the dirt.

Our Kelly Mission was to wipe down our small appliances. We both took care of that with ease.

Day 13, Day 14 and a WHOLE two weeks….complete!

After two weeks, we are now to the point where we look forward to seeing how next BabyStep will challenge us. Instead of dread, we are feeling excitement to see what the FlyLady has in store for us next.

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