Conquer Your Clutter — Now!

An organization expert offers "baby step" tips and daily motivation for cleaning up your life, one pile at a time.

Mrs. Clean, Part 2

Tickling the brain cells

The e-mails are the most powerful part of the system," says Cilley. "The daily reminders use behavior modification to create routines. Eventually, merely reading them changes the way your brain reacts to them. Thinking is half the battle, because, with ADHD, we often forget to think. These e-mails tickle our brain cells."

While some of FlyLady's cleaning methods aren't new, the generous helpings of motivation are. Cilley recognizes the toll that messiness takes on a family and the role that encouragement plays in helping people dig out from their piles. FlyLady never forgets to congratulate her followers for the baby steps they have taken, and even reminds them to stop working and go to bed.

"We all know how to clean," says Cilley. "It's the motivation part — to get up and do it — that keeps us on our backsides." No reason to feel guilty about failing to be the perfect housekeeper, she says. "Housework, even done incorrectly, still blesses the family."


FlyLady Sampler

Dear Friends,

My foundations are baby steps and routines. It starts with our home — decluttering, then cooking, finances, weight issues, exercise, going back to school, starting a business, redecorating your home, having children, writing a book, but most of all finding who you really are and developing your God-given talents to bless the world.

Are you ready to FLY to a new level of understanding! As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "You don't have to see the top of the staircase to take the first step." There is no penalty for staying on a level too long. This is your staircase, not mine! Don't beat yourself up! This is not an obstacle course; this is your life!

-FlyLady

Morning Routine

  1. Rise and shine: Make the bed; shower and clean bathroom while you're there, swish the toilet; take a load of laundry when you leave your bedroom.

  2. Kitchen: If you did the bedtime routine, it's clean. Empty the dishwasher, feed the pets, feed the family.

  3. Think about your day: Check your calendar/to-do list, make a list of what you're going to do today; thaw something for dinner; balance your checkbook; put the wash into the dryer.

  4. Now think about yourself: Take vitamins and medications, eat breakfast; meditate or reflect, count your blessings; go check your e-mail.

Before-Bed Routine

You don't have to wait until bedtime to check your before-bed routine.

  1. Lay out your clothes for tomorrow. Have you taken your evening bubble bath?

  2. Do you know where your laundry is?

  3. Is your sink shining?

  4. Look around and put out your Hot Spots!

  5. Check your calendar for tomorrow's appointments.

  6. Now go to bed at a decent hour.

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