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Following FlyLady's BabySteps: Day 6

Updated on June 1, 2011


As each day goes by FlyLady is adding a step to our daily routine. Day Six is no different. Today FlyLady introduces Hot Spots and asks FlyBabies to spend 2 minutes working on one of our Hot Spots

“A Hot Spot is an area, when left unattended will gradually take over. My favorite analogy is of a hot spot in a forest fire, if left alone it will eventually get out of hand and burn up the whole forest. This is what happens in our homes. If left unattended, the hot spot will grow and take over the whole room as well as making the house look awful. When you walk into a room, the hot spot is the first thing you see. Your eyes are locked on it.” ~FlyLady

My Hot Spot Yes, I am a bit embarrased to show it off.
My Hot Spot Yes, I am a bit embarrased to show it off.

I personally have several Hot Spots in my home. They are out of control, each of them are well on their way to raging infernos. When I saw that she only wanted us to spend 2 minutes working on a Hot Spot, I scoffed and asked myself, what difference can 2 minutes make. Not much. Even if I spent 2 minutes a day on that Hot Spot, I wouldn’t make a dent because new things are added to the spot each day.

I decided to do a little experiment. I would do my 2 minutes that FlyLady asked me to do, and then I would do another 2 minutes, and then another, until I hit 10 minutes. I thought that this would give me an idea of what a Hot Spot would look like after 5 days, if and only if, no one added a thing to it in those 5 days. I made sure that I was hustling as I did my 2 minutes, and I actually put things in their place so I wouldn’t just be creating another Hot Spot.

Hot Spot after 2 minutes
Hot Spot after 2 minutes

As I expected, after the first 2 minutes, the difference was barely noticeable. A few items thrown away, a couple of toys brought into the playroom, and some papers added to a bigger pile that was already there. I understand that FlyLady wants us to take tiny steps in this adventure, but 2 minutes isn't much time to be able to feel even the smallest amount of satisfaction in a job well done. 

Hot Spot after 4 minutes
Hot Spot after 4 minutes

After the second 2 minutes the difference was noticeable, but it still wasn’t great. I had made a couple of piles of things that belonged in a different location…a pile for the basement and a pile for the playroom. I figured I could save myself some time if I only had to make one trip to a destination. I knew once I got rid of those piles it would be easier to see progress in my Hot Spot.

Hot Spot after 6 minutes
Hot Spot after 6 minutes

Once I got past the halfway point, the Hot Spot looked much better. I made a trip to the play room and the basement which made a significant difference. There was only a little bit of clutter left to tackle.  I was getting excited to be able to see the usually filthy corner.

By the 8 minute mark, the change was remarkable. Aside from the giant stack of paperwork that was on the counter, the Hot Spot was almost clean. A few stray dishes that were filled with change and small toys remained, and the counter top still needed to be wiped down.

Hot Spot after 8 minutes
Hot Spot after 8 minutes

In the last 2 minutes, I wiped the counter down and pulled out the books and notebooks that were in the massive stack on the counter.

In 10 minutes the counter looked great!

Hot Spot after 10 minutes
Hot Spot after 10 minutes

Although 2 minutes doesn’t seem like much, over time those 2 minute increments add up to success. Yes, it’s a Hot Spot, so things will continue to gravitate to it. It will be a never ending job, but I contend that once your Hot Spot is clean and organized 2 minutes of time should be plenty of time to keep the inferno at bay. Notice that I said “should”?…I realize that it is not positive self-talk. I carefully selected that word though, because I’m still not completely convinced.


My friend and I were getting in the habit of doing our morning rituals that FlyLady required each day. Getting dressed, shining the sink, checking BigTent, and checking our sticky note reminders were easy enough to accomplish each day. Although we both stumbled on Day Five, we were ready to start with our Hot Spots.

I had a difficult time deciding which of my many Hot Spots to work on. I was wavering between a spot where I thought I could make a noticeable different in 2 minutes and one that I felt needed the most work. I opted for the area that needed the most work, the corner of my breakfast bar. That area has been a constant breeding ground for clutter since the second we moved into the our house 5 years ago. It was the perfect catch all for everything, and it never stayed clean for long. I do have to admit, that I chose that spot because it is right next to my sink. I was beginning to believe that it was a shame to have such a shiny sink next to a cluttered chaotic mess. After the first 2 minutes spent on my Hot Spot, I decided to do my 10 minute experiment. I’m glad I did. It looks so much better.

Not only did my friend spend more than 2 minutes on her Hot Spot, but she also had help. Her beautiful daughter wanted to pitch in and pick a Hot Spot of her own to work on. So they worked on their spots together.

We are nearing the end of our first week of BabySteps, and I’m proud of both of us. I never would have thought that one simple task of shining a sink could lead to such big, but small, changes.





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