One Bite at a Time
by The FlyLady, Marla Cilley
It is so much easier to clean in a room without clutter.
Don't get overwhelmed by all the clutter; it only takes 15 minutes a day over what you do in your routines. I know you don't think this is going to work, but I promise that those 15 minutes of concentrated decluttering every day will make a difference in your home and your attitude. It is the consistency of eating the elephant one bite at a time that will slowly make the whole elephant disappear.
I have a story to tell you about my Sweet Darling. He is the king of the one-bite rule. Several years ago he had a British sports car, an MG. In fact, the car was always being worked on. After a minor car accident, the MG was totaled. So he bought a second car the same model for parts. He is pretty good at fixing anything. It took both cars to keep just one running. He was left with only the stripped-down parts car.
Over an entire summer, he systematically cut that car (with a hack saw) into dinner-plate-sized parts and sent it to the landfill one plate at a time. It was his goal to do something to dismantle this car each day. At the end of the summer he was finished. It was almost therapy for my sweetie: the car had betrayed him. That car was a pain and he got rid of it one bite at a time. Beware of the anger of a patient man.
The reason I mentioned this story, is because in our impatience to see our homes clean, we overdo. Then we get overwhelmed and we QUIT.
I want you to do a little every day and not crash and burn. BabySteps, 15 minutes of decluttering and consistency will be the keys to your clean home and your peace. If you are not being consistent with your routines, even small ones, then you are not going to have your goal of a clean and peaceful home.
This hit-and-miss attitude is what got your home in a mess to start with. You clean like a banshee for two days because of guests, and then when they leave, you let things go to pot because you are worn to a frazzle.
This has got to stop. I want you to enjoy your home, your family and your guests. You can't do this if you are exhausted. I want your pledge to stop "crisis cleaning"; that you will commit to doing your routines DAILY, and that you will spend 15 minutes decluttering each day.
I am not the drill sergeant that many of you think I am. I don't spend all day cleaning. Even when I was decluttering I only did 15 minutes a day. I used the 27 Fling Boogie to declutter our home. It was almost as if I didn't clean at all. After three months of decluttering every day and doing my routines, our home became a paradise, instead of the pig sty that is was.
Every morning I walk into a clean and shining home and it is still a big shock and a GO ME moment for me. I walk into my clean kitchen and just smile. Some of you know what I am talking about. It is a pleasure to not be greeted by mystery water and yesterday's dirty dishes that make you feel like you are behind before you even make your coffee.
I want you to smile when you walk into your kitchen each morning. Visualize your clean and peaceful home. Let go of your perfectionism and impatience and take babysteps. You can do this if you will just eat this elephant one bite at a time.
For more help getting rid of your CHAOS, check out her website and join her free mentoring group at http://www.flylady.net/ or her book, Sink Reflections published by Bantam and her New York Times Best Selling book, Body Clutter published by Fireside. Copyright 2010 Marla Cilley