/ 8.2.10 / 6 Comments / Organization
Keeping the House Clean..Watch Your Hot Spots!
I'm sure you are wondering...what is a Hot Spot? Unless you are a Flybaby you probably have not heard of this...but the concept is as universal as can be. lose your eyes and try to think. What is the one spot in your house that just seems to 'magically' collect clutter...like a magnet?!
I've moved 22 times in 23 years and I can tell you it only takes about 30 minutes to discover the HOT SPOTS in a new house! The worst one is usually right by the door of the main entrance into your home. Shoes collect in that spot. The papers usually collect somewhere else...the dining room table, coffee table, kitchen desk etc. Dishes pile up in the sink.
Pictured above is the work table in the sewing room that everyone passes on their way into the rest of our house (kitchen/dining/and livingroom). Guess where every book, bag, cat food bowl, and tool ends up? That's right on my nice long 8ft worktable. You know, it's VERY HARD to work on a 'work table' that is covered with clutter! I have to stand guard like a policeman when we come home from the grocery store to make sure the boys don't cover that table with groceries instead of bringing it all to the kitchen!! It is SO COVENIENT!
That is the most obvious feature of a hot spot--convenience.
Why does this matter? Well, when you are first trying to get control of your home and developing habits of orderliness, it is so much easier to focus on ONE SPOT than to try to keep the WHOLE HOUSE clean at the same time! FlyLady helped me break out of depression and a severe mess with just this one concept many years ago. That is why I have taught so many FlyLady workshops over the years. I love sharing great ideas that she has taught me.
What do you do with a HOT SPOT? Put it out..of course! I would like to challenge you this week to find one HOT SPOT in your house and make it your goal to keep that one spot clean. Don't worry about the whole house....just that one spot. FlyLady suggests that you start with the kitchen sink and I agree! But it's not easy!
Here's what you do. First clean the spot. It may take an hour or so if it's really buried, but get it clean. Then bring in the family and explain that this is a HOT SPOT. Tell them that your goal as a family this week, will be to keep that one spot perfectly, beautifully clean. I'm not talking about not USING that spot for it's rightful purpose.
My work table in the sewing room is meant to be used. So putting a computer or a basket of laundry on it is just fine. Laying out pattern pieces is fine. Pulling out model airplane pieces and arranging them on the table while you work on your plane is fine. What is NOT FINE...is to leave SHOES, GROCERIES, IPODS, BANANA PEELS, DOG LEASHES, AND COFFEE CUPS on the work table!!! And when your work is done...put your supplies away!
What you will do, if you take on my challenge, is to train your whole family to break the 'dropsy' habit. It will drive you all nuts for a week. But eventually, the family and yourself will begin to adjust to the idea of bringing things in from the car and putting them away where they belong instead in your HOT SPOT. Once you can keep that spot clean, move on to the next one...like the kitchen sink, or your desk.
Before I knew it, I was keeping the whole house much neater and more orderly. The goal is never to be more than 15 minutes of messy...away from CLEAN. That's why we can have drop by visitors now. The house never gets too bad. What is your HOT SPOT is and let me know if you are able to keep it clean. I want to encourage you.
Have Fun! PS. If you really like this tip and want to know more, you should read FlyLady's book "Sink Reflections". I love it!!!