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Getting it together: Days 3 to 6

Just thought I’d check in and let you know how I’m doing.  The answer is, I’m doing great!  Here are my missions for the past 4 days:

  • Going to Big Tent and reading messages
  • Looking at our posted reminders in the kitchen and bathroom
  • Recognizing the negative voices and changing them so you can FLY!
  • Put out your Hot Spot for two minutes. Just pick one!

A couple of things.  I don’t do the post-it note thing.  And I didn’t really work on my “negative voices” that are apparently telling me that I don’t deserve a clean house, because my negative voices don’t tell me that.  I’m more of a “I don’t Feeeeeel like it.  You know what I do feel like doing?  STAR WARS, forevah!”  I do read the messages on Big Tent, and I have been picking away at my Hot Spots, known to me as “Scary Piles.”  This week’s “zone” is the kitchen, so I’ve been mainly concentrating on that, and trusting that I will get to the rest of the house in time.

The two biggest mental adjustments are the idea that you quickly get things done, without worrying if it is perfect, and also doing thing regularly *before* they need doing.  These two things are huge for me, and they go hand in hand.

Before this, my house would be messy and clean in cycles.  I would take a day each week, and clean the house from one end to the other.  I would be exhausted by the end, but the house would be clean!  For about 10 minutes.  Then it would slowly degrade, and go back to being messy.  And then I would clean again.

With this system, I don’t wait to clean until it’s messy.  I do a quick going over of an already clean thing, but I do it every day, so it never gets the chance to get messy.  I take an hour a day, instead of taking one day a week.

Let’s take shining the sink for an example.  Previously, I would only clean the sink when it was dirty.  Like, so filthy, I would feel weird about washing dishes in it.  Since it was so filthy, it would take some amount of effort, scrubbing away, trying to get it perfectly clean.  So the next time it got dirty, I would put off cleaning it until it really needed it because it was such an effort to clean.  Now that I’m getting into the habit of shining the sink every single night, whether it needs it or not, it takes seconds.  I can quickly give it a good shine, and not be too fussy over it, because it’s pretty much still shiny from the night before.  Because it IS so simple and easy, I am less likely to avoid it, or put it off.

And guys, my kitchen looks fabulous.  A far cry from what it looked like a week ago.  So far, so good.

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7 responses to “Getting it together: Days 3 to 6

  1. IfByYes

    Good for you! I tried this once and ended after day 1. After spending well nigh an hour or more on “shining my sink”, I ended up with a sink that looked exactly the same at the end of it, which was just filled with dirty dishes again the next day. I got pissed at the whole system and gave up. I should try again, but damnit, the “shine your sink” step is too bogus for me to attempt again.

  2. I read somewhere that she suggests you use your dishwasher for storing dirty dishes, and if you don’t have a dishwasher, you should store dirty dishes in a dish-pan under your sink, out of sight. I guess it makes sense, because as soon as you have a dirty dish, your kitchen becomes not clean any more, but I can see myself being inclined to ignore dishes out of sight until they became a problem.

    I admit, I haven’t followed her system to the letter, but my house is still maintained at a state of cleanliness that is acceptable to me. So even if the sink shining thing doesn’t work for you, you can glean some suggestions from her “how to” guides. I think what’s important is having a daily routine, maybe not the exact routines that she lays out for you.

    • IfByYes

      Hmm, the dirty dish depository *is* a good idea, although, like you, I do feel it’s a little too much of hiding the dirt rather than eradicating it…

  3. My legacy will be scary piles. Not sure that’s a good thing. I tried the Fly Lady for a while. I was a drop-out, but I am onto something to clear the scary pile clutter. I’ll post about it soon. Maybe it will be good for your piles, too!

    I’d totally forget that I’d put dirty dishes somewhere. Heck, I barely see them when they’re towering in my sink! 😉

  4. MaryP

    I use Fly Lady’s system in a casually systematic way, and it toally works. I am not a perfectionist, nor do I have self-esteem issues. I’m more like you, “I don’t feeeeel like it!” After using much (though not all) of her method for two or three years now, my house is consistently tidy, or a quick ten-minute flurry of activity from tidy! Not spotless, but tidy. Good enough!

    I use the roasting pan in the oven method to hide dirty dishes. I put things in there, and haul out the roasting pan two times a day. Three on a heavy baking/cooking day. The sink always looks tidy, and so far I’ve not preheated/melted my dirty dishes!

    • I think the most valuable thing I’ve gotten from Flylady is how to look at house work. Often I would look at what needed to be done, and think about how long it would take and decide that I didn’t have time to complete it, so it would get left undone. Now, when I have five minutes, I use it to tidy a bit which is better than not at all. And it’s surprising how much I can actually get done in those 5 minutes!

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