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Following FlyLady's BabySteps: Day 10

Updated on January 19, 2013

For today’s BabyStep we get to do 15 minutes of anything. When I think of doing ANYTHING, let me tell you that cleaning is not one the first things that comes to mind. FlyLady really needs to be more specific on her sticky notes…that, or I need to avoid the fine print under them.

The task for Day 10 was actually to spend 15 minutes walking around the house picking up all the trash and then putting it outside. Truth be told, I don’t have 15 minutes of trash laying around anywhere in my house. Except maybe in the basement, which I have already shared on Day 9 is not my domain. So instead of spending 15 minutes in search of non-existent trash I spent 15 minutes de-cluttering the living room.

Since I was being a rebel, I did at least decide that I would de-clutter the FlyLady way. FlyLady’s method of banishing clutter is similar to what I’ve seen on many organizing shows on tv. You take three boxes. One is for things you want to keep but don‘t belong in that room, one is for things you can throw away, and one is for things you can donate. FlyLady says to start in the entrance of the room and work your way around it clockwise. When I read that I had to wonder if the world would cave in if I went counter clockwise. I’ll never know, I was a good FlyBaby and went clockwise. She instructs that everything that doesn’t belong in that room must be placed in one of the three sacred boxes. Once a box is full, you deal with it now. So, when the box to donate gets full, tape it up and put it immediately in the car to take to charity.

The concept is simple enough., but how easy is it to decide if you should get rid of something? FlyLady says to get rid of everything in the room that doesn't make me smile. Does that give me permission to throw away all of my husbands "treasures"? Probably not.

What room in your house has the most clutter?

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Day 10 happened to be Mother’s May. Mother’s Day should have been a day for my friend and I to relax. I guess there is no rest for the wicked or FlyBabies. When we first started we had to set the timer for 2 minutes, then we added on another 5, another 2 in the evening, NOW we are adding on 15 minutes. For a grand total of…ok, its not that bad. I think anyone is able to handle 24 minutes of cleaning in a day. When you break it down, its only one minute for each hour of the day.

My friend, the constant over-achiever, sent me this note first thing in the morning:

"Yay!! slept till dressed, hair makeup, cute boots....checked my sink, 2 minute hotspot (new one…yay!), 15 minute cleaning, and 5 minute room rescue...I'm done with all the yucky stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

This is pretty typical of what the family room looks like on the weekend.  The corner on the right was in serious need of some de-cluttering.
This is pretty typical of what the family room looks like on the weekend. The corner on the right was in serious need of some de-cluttering.

Not wanting to be the slacker, although it seems like I always will be of our pair. I set to work on my 15 minutes of cleaning. I chose to work on our family room. Our family room is always in a state of disarray. My son brings his cars and toys in there to play, and my daughter hauls in her drawing supplies. Even when it gets clean, its usually not more than a couple of hours before it’s a mess again. Every weekend the room gets completely trashed because everyone is home and adding to the mess.

After only 15 minutes, it almost looks like a new room.  Even the corner is almost clutter free.
After only 15 minutes, it almost looks like a new room. Even the corner is almost clutter free.

Each corner of the room is filled with clutter…or should I say was filled with clutter. In my 15 minutes, I did get a chance to get one corner free of toys. The room looked so much better when I was done. Even my kids were impressed. When they got home they ran around the room and rolled on the floor.

Later in the day, I made my daughter come upstairs with me to do our 5 minute room rescues. She didn’t complain as much as the day before, so that was good.

Day 10 complete!

We are now a third of the way through the FlyLady BabySteps and my friend and I are proud of ourselves. I don’t think either of us thought we could do it when we started. Now we both are sure we can do it. We see little improvements each day and that keeps us motivated to move on to the next day. Our attitudes are changing dramatically as we slowly make our way to a cleaner and more clutter free house.


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