Monday, December 9, 2013

Operation Clean My House Starts... TODAY

I have always been messy.  I sprawl out.  Things easily become cluttered.  Papers... clothes... My laundry pile in my college dorm room fondly became known as "Mount Washmore."  And yes, that monument is still going strong on my side of David's and my room today.

(Ohh laundry, how you are my nemesis... I mean seriously, FIVE STEPS??!  Sort, wash, dry, fold, AND put away... I mean really, what is that.  Cause a one-step chore isn't hard enough already... and you HAVE to do each one in a timely--woah wait let me reign it in here...haha... insert Ellie telling Mommy to take a deep breath in her best "Mommy voice" here.) :p

Okay, back on track...

I should note that luckily David and I are perfectly matched in this area... (Or unluckily??)
He can accept me for my messiness cause he was also The Messy One amongst his housemates
back at good ol' B-IO-LA.  (I once heard of an incident of him leaving a KNIFE between the cushions of their couch after eating in the living room, lol.  ohhh my husband.  See, we're perfect for each other!)  So... you can imagine how we definitely egg each other on in pulling the "uhhhhh, we're too tired to tidy up, let's just go to sleep" move, or the "I'll sort through that later," mindset.  But with both of us being messy people of the disorderly nature, one of us still has to err on the more organized side, right?  As with many things in our marriage, I'd say we've probably flip-flopped this role a few times depending on whatever season we've been in (he was literally Husband of the Century when I was doing student teaching and then starting my first year as a teacher).  But currently, while I'm working from home, I'm trying to take on the majority of the household chores and "management."

And here's the thing... I can do sooooo great with making the bed, planning out meals and groceries, staying on top of laundry, cleaning up after Ellie and myself, and making meals and doing dishes--for like, a DAY.

And then one thing slides.  We're in a hurry to get out the door and I just don't have time to put the breakfast dishes away.  Or any zillion of other things that causes my perfectly organized and balanced schedule and plan to go whoosh (that's the gone sound, right?).

So all this to say.  I needa the haylp.

Enter... FLYLADY.  Dun da da duuuuun!!!!

Have you met FlyLady?  (she loves to go fly fishing.)  She is amazing.  She will change your life.  She has changed the way my mom and I (not to mention aunts, cousins, friends, etc.) have looked at house cleaning.  She lures you away from the temptations of procrastination and perfectionism and she inspires you to look at your daily routines as a way of BLESSING your family, your home, and even yourself.

FlyLady lovingly nudges you to: start with baby steps, build small habits into your day, create simple daily routines for yourself, break your home into manageable zones for monthly cleaning, set up a control journal to keep all these things organized (including baby steps to making this), and so so much more.  And it's FREE!  It really is glorious.  The Monica in me (Friends reference), hears angels singing when it comes to all things FlyLady.

You can start FLYing (Finally Loving Yourself hehe), here.  And if you want to join me, I'm starting her 31 BabySteps TODAY!  (The BabySteps link is under "Getting Started.")  Baby Step #1 is: Shine the Kitchen Sink!!!  This is where it all starts.  Comment below if you want to do today's baby step with me!  We can do this together! :)  Oh, and a word of warning--If you sign up for her emails (which I should say, can be really helpful), make sure to do the once a day option or your inbox will become quite full. :)

Here's what Marla (the FlyLady) has to say about Baby Step #1:


Day 1 – Shine Your Sink

Your very first BabyStep is to go shine your sink. Don’t listen to those voices that tell you that it is not going to help your messy house. This is exactly where I started, and this little habit has changed my life! Take this BabyStep in faith and go do it. Check out my step-by-step post on how to shine your sink!

After you do this, you will keep it shiny by drying it out after each time you use it and making sure when you go to bed that it is shining so it will make you smile in the morning. This is how I get to hug you each day! That shiny sink is a reflection of the love that you have for yourself.
Our FlyLady system is all about establishing little habits that string together into simple routines to help your day run on automatic pilot. You can do this!


Shiny Sink 101

Click here to see my Shiny Sink 101 post with step-by-step pictures and tips.

Note: Be sure to rinse well between each step!
And remember, You only follow this procedure the first time you shine your sink. You do NOT need to follow this method every day. Just keep up the shine with a little window cleaner.

1) Take all the dishes out of the sink.

2) Run some very hot water into the sink and fill it to the rim. If you have a two-sided sink, only do one side at a time. Then, pour a cup of household bleach into the hot water. Let it sit for one hour. Now, pull the plug with a pair of tongs. If you don’t have tongs, then scoop some of the water out of the sink into the other sink and use your hand to pull the plug. Make sure you wear gloves so the bleach doesn’t irritate your skin, and don’t get the bleach water on your clothes.

3) Rinse your sink well.

4) Use some powdered cleanser (Comet, Ajax, or baking soda) and scrub your sink. Be sure to rinse ALL of the cleanser from the sink.

5) Take a sharp edge, such as a butter knife, and clean around the rim of the sink, just like you would clean dirt out from under your fingernails.

6) Clean around the faucets. You may need an old toothbrush or dental floss.

7) Now, get out your window cleaner; I use Windex. Give it a good shine.

8) If you still don’t like the way it looks, then you can try some car wax. Just know in your heart that you have cleaned it very well now, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. Our perfectionism is what got us in this situation in the first place!

9) Every time you run water in your sink, take your clean dishtowel and dry it out (I lay out a clean one every night as part of my before-bed routine). Before you know it, you will be doing this every time you leave your kitchen! The rest of the family will, too. No more water spots. You will have a clean and shiny sink.

10) Don’t have a fit if someone doesn’t take as much pride in your sink as you do. It is very easy to fix. You have already done the hard part; you will never have to go through this process again. Daily maintenance will keep it looking this way all the time. Nasty, hurtful words are not as easy to repair. Just be sure and tell your family what you are trying to do. They will think you have gone crazy.

11) If you don’t have a dishwasher, don’t worry. A dishwasher is just a dirty dish disposal. Clean out a place under your sink and put a dishpan in there. Teach your family that instead of putting their dirty dishes and glasses in the sink, place them into the dish pan. Get into the habit of putting your dishes away as soon as they have been washed and are dry. No more leaving the dish-drying rack on the counter or in the sink. Put it away under the sink when you have finished. If your old one is nasty, you may want to soak it in the sink full of bleach water at the same time you soak the sink, or go buy a new set.

12) To insure that your family remembers this, put a note in the sink. It will get their attention and remind them where to put the dishes. Be patient! They have never been taught, either. It is going to take some practice.

Now if you have a stainless steel sink, I recommend all of the above directions with one extra instruction added: after you soak your sink, rinse well, and use SOS pads to scrub it. This will buff the finish. It will look like new.

If you still can’t get it to shine after the Windex, put a light coat of lemon oil or olive oil on it. I mean just a tiny bit on a cloth and rub it. This will make you smile. Some people have had very good results from Bar Keepers Friend.

Go Shine Your Sink!

Last note: Be sure you don’t mix cleansers like Comet with Windex (or other ammonia based cleaners); you can create dangerous gases! It is worth repeating: rinse well between each step!

1 comment:

  1. Bethany- I love this! it looks to be very manageable, and so rewarding! count me in:)