Just curious, was getting your house organized and in order one of your new year’s resolutions? Maybe not this year but at some point many of us made a vow to finally get things in order. We went out and bought a bunch of pretty organizing tools, maybe some baskets and bins or some great home organizing system. We were determined to make a grand change, get all of our belongings organized once and for all. Then life would be easier. Ah then the reality of sweeping change sets in. We either got overwhelmed and didn’t finish the task at all or we made it beautiful for about a month or a week and somehow all of the disorder found its way back out of place.
A few months ago, I interviewed an amazing lady who came up with a way to dig her way out of what she calls stacks of stuff that filled her house so that she had to walk through paths in her house. You may have guessed (since we’re talking the power of baby steps) that her transformation was not one big grand gesture but came about in baby steps. Not only did Marla Ciley aka the FlyLady permanently transform her own home but she has now helped countless others do the same. She started with one simple commitment – that she would keep her sink shiny. Every day she made sure that her sink was empty, clean and shining! During our interview, she talked about why her previous attempts to get her house in order had failed. Like many of us, she would make all of these plans and begin to implement them. She might even keep going for a few weeks but then it would all fall apart. She would miss a day or a step and she would give up. That’s what led her to adapt her own set of baby steps.
So how can we adopt and adapt our own baby steps to get and keep ourselves organized? We can start with a commitment to master one baby step at a time. In fact that’s what the Flylady teaches her new student referred to as flybabies to do. By the way, if you want to hear her story and learn more about her and her excellent methods, I’ll include the link to her interview and website in my show notes.
We want to remember to keep things as simple as possible and strive for progress not perfection. We can start with a shiny sink as Marla recommends or start with decluttering just 5 to 15 minutes a day. We can organize all day but organized junk is still junk in our way. So decluttering can be so freeing and can be much easier than we think if we keep it to a manageable baby step. So first, bring a couple of containers (maybe just bags – don’t make it complicated) into a room. Set a timer for 5 to 15 minutes, pick a closet or a desk or a room and start releasing things you don’t use. Put the things no one can use in one container and in the other container, place usable things that you no longer use. Keep going until the timer goes off. Then stop and take the container of usable things immediately to your car so that it can be dropped off at Salvation Army or the St. Vincent De Paul society or other charity as soon as the next drive. The other container needs to go out of the house too – straight into the garbage can. Let it go and take a deep breath. Pat yourself on the back, you’re done for the day. We can begin to tackle all of our jobs this way in small chunks of time. We want to give ourselves time to establish the new habit before trying to implement another one though. We’re making progress in baby steps. One thing at a time. Mastering one and building on it. Our houses didn’t become cluttered overnight. We want to give ourselves time to make decluttering second nature. Before we know it keeping our homes ordered will be no big deal. We could even welcome Martha Stewart for a visit. Our sinks will be shiny. Our homes decluttered and our bathrooms always company ready. We haven’t talked about the bathroom yet. The best for last I guess. Well the Flylady has a fantastic recommendation for bathrooms too and it only takes a minute or two. She calls it swish and swipe. After you finish your morning grooming and put your toothbrush, hairbrush, and toiletries away. Before you leave the bathroom, you swipe all the surfaces clean and give the toilet a quick swish with a toilet brush. And well, we’re in the bathroom more than once per day, so the next time we’re in there swipe a little section of the floor. The bathroom just stays clean almost effortlessly.
Tomorrow, we continue the power of baby steps. Still to come this week: baby steps to financial freedom, baby steps to a healthy lifestyle, and baby steps to success in careers and business. Tomorrow we also talk to Ellen McDowell, social media expert known as the Social Butterfly. Ellen did all of the steps she was told would save her job yet she was one of the first to go. But all of those steps and learning from all of the little things she observed growing with business owner parents prepared well. She created a thriving business almost without skipping a beat. You don’t want to miss her story and especially the tips, tools, and wisdom she shares with us.
Hope you are enjoying the power of baby steps. I’d love to know what you think, leave me a comment on rockinlife.co or a rating and review in iTunes. And I love to get email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for joining me today and I hope you’ll be back tomorrow and bring a friend. Have a great day and we’ll talk again tomorrow.