Well, here you are. You’ve decided that the Diva Path is the right one for you. You want to live life joyously, with abundance, and quite possibly with so much verve that people whisper “She didn’t use to be like that” but you’re not exactly sure how to start.
Well, congratulations, Diva! You’ve done the hard part!
Really, it’s so hard to convince ourselves that we’re worth taking good care of that just making that decision deserves celebration. Honestly – when’s the last time you used the good china for your dinner at home? When you put the pretty guest towels in the bathroom you use? Bought yourself flowers? Well, honeylamb – today’s the day! We’re quite good at treating others well – and that’s important; no doubt about it – but we tend to forget that we’re worth taking care of, too.
Now, if you’re at all like me, one of the barriers to treating yourself is that nearly-useless emotion of guilt. “No,” guilt tells you, “you can’t treat yourself like company! Look at this house – it’s a mess!”
OK, it probably isn’t – few of us are actually hoarders; we just have kids, and jobs, and an awful lot of stuff. We’ll deal with that aspect of things later. So we’re going to slay that monster right now. At the end of the next hour, the house won’t be spotless, but it’ll be pretty darned good and (big plus) you won’t be exhausted from trying to make it the cover of House Beautiful. (They use stylists, anyway.)
What you’re going to do is what the FlyLady calls a “round clean.” This is important – you’re not going to worry about the corners. You’re going to do 7 things and each one will take no more than ten minutes. Switch around the order of the tasks if you want to – there’s nothing magic in there. Set the kitchen timer, put on some upbeat music and get moving – when the timer goes =ding,= move on to the next thing. Seriously. Just move on. The goal here is NOT to be perfect, but to be better than before. That’s it. There will still be messy places and there will still be dust on the baseboards. Doesn’t matter – getting started DOES matter.
First, strip the bed and throw the sheets in the washer. Don’t worry about re-making the bed just yet – it won’t hurt anything to let it air for a little while. If you have it, mix a few drops of lavender oil in with some water in a spray bottle and give the mattress pad a few spritzes.
Second, sort through magazines. If ti’s been there a month and you haven’t read it, no, you’re not going to. Keep what you want and make a stack of the rest. Take that stack to the car to drop off at the hospital – they always need new things to read there.
Third, empty the trash. Grab the trash cans in the bathroom, bedrooms, kitchen, etc. and take it all outside. If you’re like me, you’ve got a slew of those slippery, thin plastic grocery bags – I stash four or five of them at the bottom of each small trash can so it’s super-simple to put in a clean one when I take out the full one.
Fourth, pick up the furniture polish and a dustrag (or feather duster – they’re fun to use and they pick up a LOT of dust!) and flit through the house, hitting the major surfaces – tables, dresser tops, bookshelves, etc. (Note – do NOT stop to straighten the shelves! Just knock off the dust.) Switch the sheets over to the dryer – they’re probably done by now.
Fifth, grab a mop (I Swiffer on a round clean, myself) and quickly clean the kitchen and bathroom floors. Quickly – if you’re spending more than ten minutes (and that’s on ALL of them put together!), you’re doing too much. Just get the heavy traffic areas; don’t worry about the corners! Look at you – you’re more than halfway through!
Sixth, vacuum the carpeted rooms. Again, do this quickly and don’t worry about getting it “perfect.” Ten minutes and you’re done.
Seventh, grab the glass cleaner and a rag. (Oddly enough, coffee filters work well for this – no lint!) Quickly clean all the mirrors in the house – get off those splatters of water and toothpaste that accumulate on the bathroom mirrors! Also clean the windows in the doors that lead to the outside.
Last, re-make the bed. Use your “company sheets” if you have those, or wait til the sheets in the dryer are done and make the bed with that wonderful luxury of warm-from-the-dryer sheets.
Look around – in just about an hour, you’ve straightened the major parts of the house. Surely that deserves a round of applause – and some time to yourself!
That’s the next post.
Well done, Diva!