Following FlyLady's BabySteps: The Final Week
When we started this FlyBaby Challenge a month ago my friend and I felt hopeless. We didn’t think we could tackle even the most simple tasks that needed to be done in our home. Both of us were overwhelmed by the chaos that unused in our houses, and we were searching for a method to help us regain control. We found it with FlyLady.
We were both skeptical when we started, and we felt like there was nothing that we could do to get us out of our house cleaning rut. I do have to say that after a month of following FlyLady’s BabySteps, one thing is certain. Her method does work. FlyLady’s simple routines when done consistently can make such a difference in your home. If you are seriously searching for a way to organize and clean your home, the FlyLady way is a great way.
Amazingly enough the time that is involved daily to complete her daily tasks is minimal.
Daily time involvement to do just the BabySteps
- 2 Hot Spot checks at 2 minutes each for a total of 4 minutes daily
- A 5 minute Room Rescue
- 15 minutes of de-cluttering and organizing
- A load of laundry. I estimate total working time for that at about 10 - 15 minutes. It really doesn’t take long to do a single load.
- Swish and Swipe of the main bathroom. This takes 1 maybe 2 minutes.
- Making the bed in the morning. This really only takes a minute or two.
- Kelly’s Mission for a maximum of 15 minutes, 5 days a week.
- Taking a minute or 2 to shine the sink every night.
So the grand total for the day….drum roll please….60 minutes. That’s only one hour. There are other small things that do have to be done as a part of FlyLady’s BabySteps routines, but the time involvement is so minuscule its not even worth mentioning. Besides, at some point in the day you were going to get dressed and ready to go. Hopefully a quick check of your calendar is already a part of your daily plan.
Now, to be honest, the daily duties involved in FlyLady’s BabySteps are not the only things that need to be done in your home. At some point your other bathrooms have to be cleaned. Somewhere along the line, you need to get out a vacuum and a mop. FlyLady does address all these other items on her website and encourages FlyBabies to do them as a part of their daily rituals. For my friend and I, we were ready to tackle them after seeing such great results in following her BabySteps.
For 31 days, my friend and I followed FlyLady’s BabySteps. FlyLady’s ideas and methods for home organization changed our lives. Even though our last week of following FlyLady’s BabySteps was uneventful, it reaffirmed the routines we had been establishing.
In the last week of her BabySteps, there was the addition of a few reading assignments, a daily quick wipe down of the main bathroom, a pampering mission and meal planning. My friend and I passed the test with FLYing colors. We had come such a long way from that very first day when we armed ourselves with bleach and cleaning tools to shine our sinks.
Each day we got excited at the little accomplishments we achieved, and seeing results pushed us to move on to the next BabyStep. It was a great feeling for both of us.
If you are thinking about starting FlyLady’s BabySteps, here are a few tips from my friend and I:
- Take it day by day - If you are truly overwhelmed by the state of your house, the last thing you need to do is sit down and read all of the BabySteps on the first day. I think if I would have done that I may have went into cardiac arrest. Why risk the chance of being even more overwhelmed before you even start? Instead of reading ahead, just read the next day’s BabyStep the night before.
- Plan on only doing the step for the day - My friend and I had many days when we did more that what was required by FlyLady for the day, but we both also had our days where we could only do the minimum. That’s ok. Even if it takes you three days to organize one closet, you are still making progress. That’s something to feel good about.
- Keep your family in the loop - There is no need to have the members of your family put the number to the looney bin on their speed dial because they can’t figure out why you have all of a sudden started obsessing about a shiny sink. Let them know what is going on, hopefully they can give you the support you need to be successful.
- Set yourself up for success - When you start doing 15 minutes of de-cluttering daily don’t pick the worst room in your house to work on. Pick something simple where you can see results. When you see changes in your home, it helps keep you motivated for the next day. My friend and I found that closets, cabinets, drawers and bookshelves are perfect small tasks to spend 15 minutes working on.
- Try to work in tangent with Kelly’s Missions - Kelly’s Missions are great simple tasks that focus on a specific area in your house each week. When Kelly’s Missions for the week are in the master bedroom, spend your 15 minutes of de-cluttering and your 5 minute Room Rescues in the master bedroom. By the end of the week, the room can be completely transformed.
- Invest in a timer - Ok, yes, you probably have a timer on your oven or microwave, but having a portable timer really does help. It can go anywhere with you, and you can glance at if quickly to see how much time you have remaining. I always check mine when doing my 15 minutes of de-cluttering so that I know approximately how much time is left. It gives me a heads up so that I don’t make more of a mess than I can possibly put back within a few minutes.
- Don’t skip any of the steps - Some of the BabySteps may seem dumb at first, but they work. If necessary, make adjustments to the steps to fit your lifestyle, but try to keep them in the spirit of FlyLady’s intent. My friend would get up at ungodly hours where there was still the chance she could fall back asleep. So instead of getting ready first thing, she decided to get partially ready and if she didn’t go back to sleep, finish at 7. She compromised. I couldn’t wear lace up shoes, so I wore boots. I compromised. What I am trying to say, is that the steps may not fit you or your life style completely, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. If you look for the idea behind of each BabyStep and make it your own, you can adapt, improvise, and overcome the hurdles you may have to guarantee success.
- Sign up for the Daily Digest for the e-mails - Unless you want to be bombarded with 8 -10 e-mails a day, getting the Daily Digest makes the FlyLady e-mails much more palatable. You can scan the summary for the e-mails you want to read, and it keeps you from feeling like you need to put FlyLady on your junk e-mail list.
Over a week has passed since we completed our last BabyStep, and my friend and I are still FLYing. We both love FlyLady’s method, and we intend to keep up with it. As a true testament to how well it works, my friend’s mother-in-law came to visit her this week. Instead of running around like a chicken with her head cut off trying to get everything company ready, she sat back, looked around and thought to herself…”Yep, I’m ready.” Wouldn’t you just love to have that feeling? If so, take the first step and go shine your sink.