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Shining Your Fill-in-the-Blank

Shining your sink
Image by scalespeeder

Ah, Flylady--that venerable icon of hope to the cluttered and disorganized masses. I owe a lot to this woman, I really do. She has a good thing going and she's sharing her good thing with thousands (millions?) of others.

But I do have a few beefs with Flylady. (Is that OK?) I wrote the other day in my post about dressing well, that I rebel at the mandate of wearing lace up shoes in my home each day. I feel confident that I can manage my home well in my slip-on shoes, or even (*gasp*) barefoot.

I digress.

My biggest beef with Flylady is this: Shining my sink does nothing for me.

I know, I know! It's near sacrilege to say such a thing! I fear, however, that were the truth known, we would discover many, many women who feel likewise. (Speak up, girls, if you feel likewise!)

But here's the thing: I've come to the conclusion that the sink is a principle rather than a dogmatic rule. We've all got things that motivate us in interesting ways. For some it's that gleaming sink that pushes them to new heights in organization. For others, it's something else that has the power to propel them to further action.

The key here is figuring out, "What is my sink?"

How to discover what your sink is:

1. Ask yourself if there is some task, when completed, that gives you satisfaction and motivates you to do just a little bit more in your home.

Personally, I actually have two things that fit in this category. The first is a bed that's made. I believe it's Flylady herself who points out that a bed takes up about 80% of the room. If I take sixty seconds to make my bed, I've just improved the look of my room by at least 80%. It definitely motivates me to pick up the surrounding stuff.

The second is clear kitchen counters. A kitchen with cleared off counters is such a launchpad for me! For some reason, my brain interprets a clear kitchen counter as a sign of a well-ordered home, and it is so much easier for me to get on top of other things if I see those wide open spaces.

2. Ask yourself if there is some task, when left undone, that leaves you feeling debilitated.

This might sound like it's the same question, just asked in a different way. But I find that there are a couple of things that don't necessarily propel me to greater motivation when they are completed, but they definitely make me feel frozen when they aren't.

Let me explain.

Seeing an empty laundry basket does not make me feel motivated to move on to the other things on my to-do list. But piles of laundry that will take seven loads to catch up? Ugh. I cannot even begin to express how horrible this makes me feel. If I have laundry piled up, I can feel my gears churning to a complete stop.

The other thing that can debilitate me is a stack of dirty dishes that has been piling up for a few days. This is connected to my clear counters, but it's a little different again. Having cluttered counters doesn't disable me like stacks of dirty dishes.

So, I actually have a few "sinks". I find that if I make my bed, clear my counters, keep up with laundry and dishes that I'm in good shape! Managing these "sinks" works for me. For some reason, these rather small tasks are the keys to good home management for me--they are the things that keep me on track. I really believe that each person has at least one thing that makes or breaks the general health of their home management.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? What are your "sinks"?

By the way, don't forget to enter the Marie-Madeline apron giveaway, if you haven't already!


barefootbeauty said...

Hey, I was just thinking about this very thing last night! A clean sink just doesn't mean that much to me, but clean counters do. I don't mind when there are a few things waiting in my sink to be taken care of, but I go batty when my counters are cluttered.

Jenn @ Beautiful Calling said...

Well, I don't wear shoes in my house - I wear very cool fuzzy flip-floppy slippers most of the time. I know - I am stylin!

I am with you on the shiny sink. I really don't care if it has water spots or if it is shiny - actually it is surprisinly scratched up given that it is only a few years old.

Anyway, what a fabulous 'insight' and just what I needed to go tackle the kitchen. I'm sending this post to my neighbor and my sister right now! I have more 'sinks' in my house than I thought :)

Danielle said...

I totally agree. Slippers in the winter and barefeet/sandles in summer!

I also don't find much joy in shining my sink! But you are right we each need to find our own "sink".

Jerralea said...

I like to shine my sink, but like you, I feel there are several "sinks" to do each day to make me feel my home is organized. I personally feel every room has a "sink" in it. Definitely in the bedroom, it's making your bed. (I'm sorry, I just cannot understand anyone who does not make their bed ...) Something that debilitates me whe it is left undone, is an overflowing laundry hamper. As long as I can shut the lid on the thing, I'm ok. When too much laundry pushes the lid up, I must do something right then!

Such The Spot said...

My sinks are pretty much the same as yours. Cluttered counters drive me batty. As will any crumbs left on uncluttered counters. My family knows this well. :)

Erin said...

great post Brianna!
i *like* a clean sink, but i've got to admit i never did understand Flylady's obsession with it ;)
clean counters are a biggie for me too. i will have to think on what my other "triggers" are. Good food for thought!
:) Erin

Brianna @ Heart(h) Management said...

See! I *knew* it. I knew there were other closet Flylady critics out there. ;)

It looks like clear counter tops are ranking pretty high here, huh?

Lori@EnjoyThe Process said...

I totally agree! A shiny sink doesn't do squat for me, but an empty dish drainer and clear counters....now that feels like progress. Up to date laundry and ironing again make me feel at peace.

But probably the biggee - the mailbox. I have to clear out each day's pile of mail and give each piece a home before I have peace. I think this comes from my dislike for paper...it's everywhere - have you noticed???

Thanks for sharing - it really gave me something to think about today.

Talya said...

Ok Brianna, I am so with you on your Fly Lady thoughts! I've tried - more than once - to get excited about a vinegar-scrubbed sink, but just haven't gotten it. But I definitely have to have a bed that has been made and an uncluttered kitchen (it doesn't have to be perfect, but no piles of dishes or random junk scattered about). Another must is for toys to stay in the playroom, where they belong - not all over the house.

And as for lace up shoes first thing in the morning, no way.

Ali said...

Oh I totally agree! I love LOVE Flylady, have a couple posts myself, but I too have more than one "sink" (sink being included, just something about getting out the nasty rust stains from our iron-water lol). Plus I can't do lace up shoes because then it would be a huge pain in the you-know-where to change to my boots to go out to the barn, work in the garden, etc multiple times a day - and no WAY am I wearing nasty muddy tennis shoes into the house lol! (I know she doesn't expect that, but the thought it quite amusing!).

Thanks for stopping by earlier, I will definitely be putting a shut off valve on the sprayer when we get the bathroom remodeled! Don't care WHAT hubby says then lol!

sunnymama said...

I agree about the shoes and the sink :) Although a little less washing up constantly waiting next to our sink would be nice.

Amie said...

I tried the sink thing but then I find myself obsessing over having the towel to dry the sink so that there are no water spots. Then my husband washes his hands and leaves spots too! I gave up on the sink! Who has time for that? As for the shoes, I've never understood that! I do believe in the control journal and I have a morning, afternoon, and nightime routine which need to be revamped since the baby came!

barefootbeauty said...

Ok, so I used to _always_ make my bed, but then, I read an article similar to this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4181629.stm Now, I never make it. It just doesn't seem worth it anymore.

Anonymous said...

Hello Brianna,

You make some very good points! Making my bed is definately a big one for me.

Take Care,


Kathleen said...

Thank GOODNESS! Finally someone who agrees with me about the shoes! ;)

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