Thursday, September 15, 2005

When You Follow Those Baby Steps

So you're following FlyLady's Baby Steps for Beginners, and all she has for you to do on the first day is get dressed to shoes and shine your sink. That's all. Shouldn't you do something else? Well, let's see what you can do.

Let's start with the kitchen. We'll stick to the basics. You want to establish new good habits to replace those old ones that are keeping your house in CHAOS (can't have anyone over syndrome). Look at your sink and on your table and counters. Are there dirty dishes in there? Gather them up and wash them, especially if it's just the breakfast dishes. The new good habit that you need to learn is to wash the dishes after each meal. They're much easier to wash when they haven't sat all day or night and gotten crusty! Trust me: I've been there.

If your kitchen is overwhelming, set your timer for 15 minutes and do what you can in that time. Don't cheat - work! You'll probably be pleasantly surprised by how much you can get done in 15 minutes. Try it - you'll see! And you might find that it motivates you to do another 15 minutes - until you get it all done. On my worst days, it would take me about 1 1/2 hours to clean my kitchen, but I didn't understand that maintenance was the key to keeping it clean. After you do the dishes after each meal for a few days, you won't want to go back to CHAOS in your kitchen!

Ok, when you're done with the dishes (or with your 15 minutes), rinse your sink and dry it out with your dish towel. Wipe the handles and faucet and the rim of the sink too. That will keep your sink shiny. You do know that you don't have to do that major sink cleaning and shining every day that you did at the beginning, right?! That is to get your sink clean initially. From there on out, you should be able to rinse it and dry it during the day. I do use an all-purpose cleaner on mine after supper, especially if I've washed meat in the sink or washed something greasy, and then I spritz the handles and faucet and shine it up with a paper towel (I use Formula 409; I think FlyLady uses Windex). Now your sink is shining and ready for you tomorrow morning!

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