By the Flylady

Let' start when our feet hit the floor. No, No Lets back up to the night before, just prior to bedtime.

I. Before Bed Routine

 A.  Lay out your clothes and Have children do so.
 B. Do a 5 or 10 minute pick-up on the house.
 C. Put everything in its place.
 D.  Run the dishwasher.
 E.  Check tomorrow's cards
 F. Check day planner for appointments.
 G. Go to bed at a decent hour. Preferable at the same time daily

 The beauty of this BEFORE BED ROUTINE is that, you are one step ahead on the day. It only takes a few minutes once you get started.  Checking the cards and calendar last, keeps it fresh in your mind for morning. When you wake up you know what has to be done.

 Now Dawn has broken: There is nothing better than to stay in bed half the morning! I don't think so. Remember how guilty you feel when you do. Most of us are forced into a not-so-good-Morning. We do this to ourselves, by not getting enough rest.  As a result we wake up grumpy and dragging. Our happiness depends on getting proper rest.

II. Good Morning Routine

 A. Get up 15 minutes before everyone else
 B. Get Dressed
  1. Shower
  2. Fix hair (it is not fun to scare yourself when you look in     the mirror)
  3. Put on make-up(It make us feel better when we look good)
  4. Dress
  5. Put on your shoes. (It is so hard to go back to bed with     shoes on your feet.)

 C. Go directly to the kitchen, Do not stop in any other room.
   (We tend to get sidetracked so easily, So focus on getting your day started productively.)
By now you think I have lost my mind. This is what works for me. When I do it. Here lately I have been in the box and doing well.  When my child was growing up I did most of these things daily, especially the getting up 15 minutes before the rest of the family.

 Let's talk about the kitchen for a while. If my kitchen is clean, the rest of the house stays clean too. In other words, As the kitchen goes, so goes the rest of the house.  My DH gave me an analogy about broken windows in a city. If a broken window is left unrepaired, the neighborhood goes down the drain. Crime rates go up and other building fall apart., but if these windows are fixed immediately, the neighborhood is not affected. Or shall we say infected. A dirty kitchen infects the remaining rooms. Strive to keep the kitchen tidy.

III. Kitchen Helps

 A. Empty Dishwasher first thing upon entering the kitchen. (This    way you always have a place for dirty dishes.)
 B. Always keep the sink spotless and shining. (If the sink is clean    you are less likely to put a dirty dish in it.)
 C. Use a clean Dish Cloth and Dish rag every day.
 D.  Get in the habit of drying your sink after every use. (With the    clean dish towel.)
 E. Fill sink with hot soapy water when you start to cook.
  (This helps to clean as you go. My Granny taught me this. When   I don't, the dishes pile up! Swish them good and put them in the    Dishwasher) The counter stays clear and when you are through    cooking all you have to do is load the dishwasher with the china.
 F. Throw trash and recyclables away as you empty the container.
 G. Shut the cabinet doors.
 H. Keep a grocery list on your refrigerator, with a hilighter. (this is a list of everything you buy for the home. You can compile it in categories, alphabetically, or how your grocery store is laid out.  What ever works for you. I like categories such as fresh veggies & fruits, canned veggies & other, meat, milk products.) When you are running low just mark it on your list, then take the list to the grocery on your shopping day.
 I.  Keep a can of Comet, bottle of Windex, and cleaning towels handy.  (For those little spritz that keep things shiny)
 J. Clean the Refrigerator out the day before you go grocery shopping. ( This gives you a neat place to put your food, besides it's easier to clean when the refrigerator is empty.)

 K.  Put groceries away as you bring them in the house.
  (This keeps the counters clear and you do not feel overwhelmed by all those groceries that need to be put away.) It goes without saying, bring the meat and refrigerator stuff in first.
 L. Menu planning (This is tough for me, try this: Take a calendar and list every meal you cook for a month as you cook it. At the    end of a month you will have a journal of what to fix.) From this journal you can make out menu cards and grocery list. Also list    what you ate at the restaurant, that is a menu too. Once you    have  the food in the house to cook, you are more apt to cook.  Knowing what is planned for the day, helps to keep you on track.   Our biggest problem is that if we have to think about what to cook, we will probably go out.

 By now you have decided that I am crazy. I can't help it. These are things that have worked for me. Some for many years and others only a few weeks. I am always looking for ways to stay focused.

Now it is time to talk about the rest of the house.

IV. Paper pile ups.

 A. Go through the mail as soon as you bring it in the house.
  1.  Only open it with your calendar and cards and garbage     can at your side. ( this cuts down on handling it twice.)
  2. Have one place for bills. And put them there.
   Also have a day for paying them and stick to it.
   I do it on the 1st and 15th.
  3. Reconcile your bank statement the day you get it.
  4. Put sale papers and catalogs by your chair, so you can look at them when you deserve a break. Do not let them pile up. look at them the next time you sit down and have your scissors and grocery list handy.

 Mail has always been my biggest pile up problem. My DH has taught me this method of handling it promptly. It works! He calls it his "DO IT NOW PRINCIPLE". It works for most everything. I have other paper pile up issues now. These have to do with the various committees that I am on. The minute I walk through the door from one of these meetings I file it in a milk crate filing system I customized for me. I can actually find things now. Life is much easier.

V. Laundry

 A.  Sorting. If we have to sort the dirty clothes it may take longer to put a  load in the washer. We might not decide not to do it at all. I know these things.  My DH taught me this method. Have three baskets in the closet or where ever you keep dirty clothes. One for whites, colored, and one for good clothes you    don't want to wash with other things. As  you undress place the dirty clothes in the proper basket. Then hang up the items that can be worn again. The "Do it now principle", kicks in. Even little children can be taught this.

 B. Washing.  Only do a load if you have time to do everything: wash, dry, fold, and put away.
 C. Drying.  Always take them out of the dryer the minute you hear    the buzzer. This saves you from ironing.

 D.  Folding.  Fold them up as soon as you get them from the dryer.
  I like to fold in the room where they belong.

 E. Put away. No one likes to live out of a laundry basket. Have a place for everything. Even if you have to label the drawers for awhile until you get used to putting them in their own place.

 F. Heading off a problem before it starts
  A.  Buy low maintenance clothing
  B. Buy DH several pair of socks at the same time and same color. They will match easier. You and kids too.
  C. When you take off socks make sure they are right side out. This is the most amazing trait that my DH has. I am so thankful.

VI. Bathrooms

 A. Keep a toilet bowl brush beside the commode

B. Keep Windex bottle, paper towels and Comet handy. This    means one for each bathroom, so you can clean without even  thinking about it.

 C. Polish sink daily, The same principle holds in the bathroom as in   the kitchen.

VII. Bedrooms

 A.  Get in the habit of making up the bed as soon as possible. The minute DH gets up.  This also keeps you from going back to bed. Guess what you can make it up half way before you get out by pulling the covers up to you chin and sliding out.  DS taught me this when he was a child. Can you tell he was born organized?

 B. Feather Dust daily, I have not done this yet, cause I just thought of it.  I want to keep a feather duster hanging in the closet. This will keep things looking less dusty between polishings.

 C. Lint roller. For those of us that have a pet that sheds. If you pick it up daily, it will not become so unsightly.

VIII. Living room / Dining room / Family room

 A.  Throw newspaper away daily.

 B.  Feather dust  daily.

 C. Straighten Cushions on the couch.

 D.  Put things away when you finish with them.

 E. Don't take your shoes off in the livingroom.

 F.  Make table clearing everyone's job. Have each person take their   own plate to the kitchen.  They  rake scrapes in compost bin and   put in the dishwasher. This is something else children can do.

IX. The Car

 A. Keep it empty.  This is the hardest job for me. When I got my truck, I had to promise not to leave anything in it that did not belong. This means unload it every time you get out.
 B. Don't eat in the car. This way you don't have trash to throw away.

 C. Always fill up with gas. It saves time in the long run.

 D. Check oil weekly.

X. Craft projects.

 A. Only drag out enough to finish in the time allotted. Unless you    have a room just for that purpose. Then put things away in a    neat fashion.

 B. Put it away as soon as you finish.

XI. Staying in the box

 A.  Establish a goal and work toward it. Set a timer if you have to.
 B. Establish a routine to your daily chores. By the time you get to the kitchen, half of your work may be done. The routine keeps    you from having to think about what to do next.

 C. Establish a new habit each month. It takes 21 day to form a habit.

Guilt is our enemy. It eats away at our health and happiness.

When we establish these habits, we free ourselves of the guilt that overcomes us when our homes are a mess. My prayer for all my fellow SHEs is that each finds happiness and pride in ourselves and our accomplishments. That we raise our children to be good, productive, and happy people. And that we light up a room with our smile.

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This page last updated on January 6, 2000
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