Set yourself up for success!

I am in a facebook group dedicated to followers of the Flylady. A woman posted this morning about one of her rooms, looked like a garage maybe. She said she felt way too overwhelmed to start. I know exactly how she felt. You take one look into that room and know you don’t have enough energy to make a dent in that large pile so you just walk away.

I had the same situation with our home office a year ago. I couldn’t deal with it. One day I made a pact with myself. I would walk away from the mess without feeling any guilt but I had to deal with 5 items in the room. Everyday. So everyday I would walk into the room and somedays I did actually feel like working on it but most days I didn’t. So most days I walked in picked up 5 items, put them in their rightful place (trash, donate bin or just put back in its correct spot) then walked away. I never felt overwhelmed because it was just 5 things and I was able to walk away feeling successful. It made me feel good and not like a failure like I so often did.

It allowed me to come back the next day, still feeling successful, and do the same thing. Before I knew it a week had passed and I had picked up 35 things and believe it or not I actually saw a dent! Then a month passed and two months and the room actually had a floor again!

Everyone has a number that works for them. FlyLady suggests 27 things. Thats crazy overwhelming for me. Some people set a timer and do 15 minutes, or 5 minutes. The point is pick a number that works for you. Of course the higher the number, the quicker you will see progress but don’t pick too high a number that you never want to do it. Pick a number that seems TOTALLY doable for you. Ideally that number is higher than 1 but if 1 is all you can handle, then that is certainly better than zero. So start with 1 and go for it. Maybe on some days instead of picking up 1 item, you go for 1 minute! One is better than none!

Coming home…

(our trip was cut short due to a sick child and it certainly was nice coming home to a clean house!)

We are going away this weekend. I love traveling. We haven’t been able to do it as much lately so its such a treat to get out of town and change up the routine every once in a while. Prior to most trips I’m usually in a fog, depressed or just stuck in whatever muck my brain is swimming in. We usually leave with the house a complete nightmare.

As I have been going thru my routines this past few days, our house is actually floating somewhere right below clean. If I dusted and fully cleaned the bathrooms and kitchen it would almost be completely clean. Wow.

It’s not just the routines that have gotten me to this point. A major part of it is all the decluttering I’ve been doing. When you have less stuff there is simply less of a mess to clean.

Back to my point. The best part of traveling….is coming home. Not only that but coming home to a CLEAN home. Coming home to a complete disaster isn’t nearly as fun. It occurred to me today that we leave in less than 48 hours. There is only so much my kids can tear apart in 48 hours. If I don’t bring down the toys with the small pieces, clean up will be even easier. Of course we have a tiny home. I did a 15 minute hot spot pickup this evening. I was able to pick up all the toys in the living room and dining room and get them back into the playroom. Are they put away? No. They are scattered about all over the playroom floor. But I let that go a long time ago. As long as I am not constantly tripping over their toys, I do not care how the playroom looks.

I’m very optimistic about this homecoming being a delightful one!

Getting Started Again

I feel like I have to rebuild myself all the time. One moment my house is fine and I blink and my house becomes a total disaster and I have absolutely no idea how I got there.

I’ve been researching and looking up “experts” on decluttering for probably a few years now. I started with FlyLady and I still really love her methodology but I just didn’t stick with it. I don’t ever stick with anything really. What I did love about FlyLady (found at FlyLady.net) was the idea of starting with your kitchen sink and keeping that clean. It’s something I’ve always been drawn to in regards of where to start the clean up process when my house is a disaster but it really made me happy to hear someone validate that starting point as the best possible place to get back your cleaning mojo.

This is our new kitchen sink, I think it was installed last spring, so maybe a little over a year ago now. Even before having this, having a clean, or shiny kitchen sink as FlyLady would put it, is very motivating. Having THIS particular kitchen sink clean is even more thrilling. I dreamt about this sink for a long time. A seamless sink. My soul breathes a sigh of relief every time I see it. No grout. No sink edges. Isn’t she beautiful?! It’s huge too. Makes cleaning large pots and pans so incredible easy.

About a month ago I found A Slob Comes Clean. I’ve seen that name floating around the blogosphere for awhile now but I discovered her Podcast finally and that is a medium that is perfect for her blog. Her words are so motivational to clean while you listen which is totally possible. I just turn it on, put my phone in my back pocket and get to cleaning. Sometimes I put in headphones if the kids aren’t around or are asleep. She doesn’t say she has ADHD but she must. She basically puts into words everything I have felt about house cleaning over the last 10 years. It is so amazing and motivational to hear about someone who has the same struggles I do and how they have found to manage it over time.

She does confess that this is not a struggle that will ever go away but it will get easier over time if you know where to start and what steps to take. It only took me 33 years to finally figure out how I need to manage my home in order to be a successful homemaker.

I’m seeing my struggle in a new light. I’m not really dreading the point where I fall on my face again because I know that is going to happen. I’m excited because the steps I’m taking in the mean time will allow me to rebuild myself a whole lot better and QUICKER than the time before. Marla from FlyLady and Dana from A Slob Comes Clean have really helped me to see that I’m not alone and I’m not a failure. I too, can do this.

Thank you Marla and Dana!

Erin Condren Review

After a year and a half without an Erin Condren Life Planner (ECLP for short), I gave into temptation and purchased the newest edition that was released on June 12th. The demand for these is through the roof right now. People who waited just a few days to order are finding they have to wait weeks just to see their ECLP status move to “printing”! This makes me super glad I ordered on June 12th. I had been using a Filofax but quite frankly it just wasn’t working for me. I really enjoyed using my Erin Condren in 2013 and with the adjustments the company has made, I thought it was worthwhile to try it again.

I filmed an unboxing video when I received it, which you can watch HERE.20140626-072632-26792873.jpg

I’ve finally put all the parts into place, in just the way I like them and I wanted to post a nice long detailed review.

20140630-173706-63426884.jpg

I went all out this time for the Foil Platinum planner. It comes with this pretty little elastic band to keep the planner together. I’m glad it comes automatically with the foil planners because I wasn’t about to shell out $6.95 for a set of 3 of these.

20140630-173707-63427249.jpg

Each planner comes with a pouch in the back. Erin Condren Design claims you can easily move the pouch to the front by removing the front and back covers and moving it to the front. I did not find this to be the case. Instead I took the cover from my old planner, cut each hole and placed it in my new planner. I think if I tugged at it hard enough, it would probably come out pretty easily but otherwise it works well. I also plan to make use of the ruler from my old ECLP in some way.

20140630-173707-63427600.jpg

The foil planners come with this first velum fly leaf page with the metallic party pops. It’s so simple but I just love this addition!

20140630-173707-63427913.jpg

This is the very first week in the planner. I’m a minimalist when it comes to my planner although I did decorate a bit for the Fourth of July.

20140630-173708-63428404.jpg

Since this weekly spread was already scribbled on, I wanted to show an untouched weekly spread.

20140630-173709-63429168.jpg

Also, here is an untouched monthly spread. Honestly, I very rarely use these spreads, I’m trying to think of a way to make better use of them! Perhaps I’ll utilize it for my workouts, etc.

20140630-173709-63429602.jpg

 

20140630-173709-63429989.jpg

One of the additions EC made that I’m really excited about, is putting a tab on the Notes section. Last time I had to make my own with post-it flags. I am using this section for bill pay records, FlyLady schedules and other things.

20140630-173710-63430808.jpg

The Keep It Together pocket was improved upon also, they increased the height of the side that attaches to the coil to keep the pocket intact longer.

20140630-173710-63430326.jpg

Of course, here, at the end is the plastic pouch thats included with the planner. I plan to take these stickers out and use it for miscellaneous notes and business cards.

20140626-072647-26807201.jpg

I discovered thru an Erin Condren group on Facebook that Target carries a Merona purse that will hold the ECLP perfectly! When I was in Target the other day I ended up picking it up in gray. You can find the purse HERE.

If you’d like to purchase a life planner, or anything else from Erin Condren, use THIS link and get $10 off.