Overwhelmed? Get Started Using FlyLady's Baby Steps to a Beautiful Home

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Overwhelmed? Get Started Using FlyLady's Baby Steps to a Beautiful Home

Some of you who read my post last week about working in a beautiful home, may have felt a little overwhelmed at the thought of tackling the mess in your home. Or you may have no idea how to even get started! I sure don't want to leave you hanging like that! There was a time when I was completely buried and had gotten so discouraged that I had given up trying to get on top of things.

That was eight years ago, when my oldest was still a senior and I was homeschooling five kids.  We had also moved to the largest home I had ever lived in and I was still trying to clean the whole house, top to bottom, in one day. Honestly, it just wasn't possible! And we had so much stuff! Add some teenager/parent conflict to the mix and I was as close to burnout as I had ever been in my life.

Basically, I was just depressed..period. I don't remember feeling any hope at all.  We had TEN black bags of giveaway clothes that a good friend had given me with the prerequisite that I promise to pass the bags on to another friend rather than put them in the Goodwill pile. We had to climb over the bags, just to get to the bed. But I couldn't just get rid of the bags...like I really wanted to do.

I remember the day I finally read one of FlyLady's email and instead of deleting the email reminder, I actually decided to DO the job. My normal response after signing up with FlyLady was to delete all the emails after arguing with them. "Where are my shoes?" FlyLady would ask. And I would sarcastically reply, "Not on my feet Lady! I like going barefoot!". Yep, I was pretty depressed.  It's hard to believe now, after teaching so many FlyLady workshops, that I was ever in such a down state.

That first time that I actually did one of her email tasks, I had made a bargain with the Lord, that I would do the very next email task that popped up. I was feeling so guilty that I knew I had to do something--anything to get going on life again!  So with fear and trepidation, I got up my email client. I will never forget that task. 

"You are special. Take some time today to pamper yourself. Take a bubble bath. Do a pedicure!"  
I was thinking, "Lord, are you sure THIS is the task you wanted me to do?"  He was.  I did the job. I felt so special!  I decided to do the next one and it's one of my favorites....

It read..."Re-boot Your Laundry".  Where is your laundry? Crumpled in the dryer, molding in the washer? Take a few minutes to start a load of laundry. I remember being amazed! How did she know exactly where my laundry was? 

The answer to both questions was a resounding YES! So I got up and re-washed the sour load, and stuck a damp clean towel in the crumpled load and got it going. So I only did one load. That was more than I was doing at the moment. I celebrated the progress! Hurrah! I got up from my chair that was parked in front of the computer and finally did SOMETHING!  For the next week, I started doing the tasks mentioned in her email reminders. Not all of them, but whatever I thought I could handle.

If you are in a similar state, why not just start where FlyLady suggested...the kitchen sink. The beauty of this approach is not only that having clean dishes is the bare minimum functioning of a happy home, but learning to keep two by four feet of house clean..."all the time'..will teach you self-discipline in a small bite.  Before you know it, you'll be keeping the whole house clean! It took me a good month or two to start being more disciplined but it was the beginning of a happier life for me and for my whole family.  I learned how to clean in baby steps instead of trying to do the whole thing at once, which was just too overwhelming. It got me moving! And that is the main idea.

Photo of House after Taking Care of My Father This January

If you are bogged down and discouraged by the state of your home, just know that you are not alone. There are lots of other ladies going through the same thing and many of us have been in your shoes. Just because you are having trouble doing cleaning tasks, and perhaps struggling with wanting to do projects and fun instead, doesn't make you a bad person! You just need to learn some discipline. We all need to do that regardless of the area of life we may be struggling with.  Click here for a link to 30 days of Baby Steps at the FlyLady website.

Let me know if you decide to work on keeping your kitchen sink clean this week. I'll be praying for each of you. If you are struggling with some other area, pop me an email at homemaking@eastex.net. I'd love to be there for you!

Happy Homemaking!


Trudy said...

Great post, Donna!


Jill said...

This is a great post! I always try to do everything, every day and it's exhausting. Everyone is always telling me to slow down, but I feel I really can't or I will get so far behind! LOL

Hills N Valleys said...

I think you might be talking to ME. I keep hoping the flylady herself will come move in for a month to train me. ;) I have been doing really well the last couple months with the dishes and sink...not perfect but rarily a night goes by that the dishes are not done. It helps that my daughter started doing the evening dishes. (and I do the daytime)

GlorV1 said...

Oh yes, great ideas as usual. Lately I haven't been doing much housework and will more than likely have a lot to do when hubbers goes back to work in 3 weeks. Thanks for all the great ideas Donna. Take care.

Bonnie @ See How She Runs said...

thank you for this post today, I think it is very well timed. Go ahead and put me on your prayer list.

There is a giveaway on my blog if you would like to enter.

thanks again for the encouragement through your post.

Ky said...

The kitchen sink is my greatest challenge. I, therefore, need your prayers dear Donna. I try for awhile and then slip back into my lazy ways...and I even have a dishwasher. Pathetic, I know.
I'll be checking out Flylady. Thanks for the tip. xx

Anonymous said...

How is it you write these posts just when my house is in shambles and I'm overwhelmed?

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster

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