Part of Marla "FlyLady" Cilley’s charm lies in the fact that, while her routines are in place today, she remembers all too well what it was like to live in CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome). She's been there! “I was miserable,” she recalls. “I wanted to be a good housekeeper but had no clue where to start.”
Cilley says it was her perfectionism that was so destructive in her life. She wanted her home and her routines to be in place immediately. Sound familiar? “Our all or nothing thinking keeps us trapped in our perfectionism,” she explains. “We try to do too much, too fast, and as a result, we crash and burn.” Another failed attempt produces a more defeated mentality, and as Cilley notes, “We just give up!” Cilley had to force herself to take things slowly, learning new habits and putting routines in place, one “baby step” at a time. This was how she made the leap from wanting to be organized to actually being organized.
Shine Your Sink. Cilley started with her kitchen sink. Every night before she went to bed she made sure her sink was empty and sparkling, not merely serving as a holding and storage area for dirty dishes. What she found was that a shiny sink not only lifted her spirits, it was contagious and spread from the sink to her counters, stove, and refrigerator! Shining her sink became part of Cilley’s evening routine.
Get dressed to the shoes. Many stay-at-home and homeschooling moms can benefit from Cilley’s advice to get up, get going, and get dressed to the shoes before doing anything else. When she put this new habit in place, it was empowering. “Just getting dressed when I first got up in the morning set me on a positive note for the whole day,” she explains. “I was not ashamed to answer my door. I could run outside at a moment's notice.”
Make your bed. While your home is your family’s haven, your bedroom is your sanctuary. It is a gift to yourself and your spouse when you keep it clean and decluttered. Start with making your bed. Don’t get sidetracked and go overboard thinking you need new linens, paint, and wallpaper! Just make your bed.
A peaceful home serves as a witness to your first ministry, your family. It also serves as salt and light in your community when you are able to open its doors and reach out to others. Cilley believes that new routines can be accomplished fifteen minutes at a time. Consider those fifteen-minute increments a gift to yourself. Take that time to do something that will make you smile when it’s been accomplished. When you think of your routines as a way to worship God, bless your family, and serve others, you’ll find in every shiny sink a reflection of His love.
Posts in this series:
- Do Your Routines Work for You and Your Family?
- Three Steps That Will Take You from Wanting to Be Organized to Actually BEING Organized
- Simple Routines for Kids (That Really Work!)
- How Perfectionism and Procrastination Affect Your Relationship with Jesus
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