No, no, I'm not referencing "In Living Color;" I'm referring to the best website I've ever come across: FLYLady.com. I've always been one of those pack-rat, clutter-ruled people whose room (or house) was never clean, even after I'd "cleaned" it. As FlyLady puts it, I was ruled by CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) because my place was always a disaster. Lots of procrastinating, lots of mess, lots of "hot spots" (those places in your home where clutter seems to accumulate the fastest because it's a handy place to put stuff until you've decided what to do with it, which you never actually do). But last weekend I was at a women's retreat with our church, and at dinner one night someone mentioned this website and how wonderful it was. When I got home I popped on over there, and I was an instant fan. It's full of quick and easy fifteen minute tasks like the 27 Fling Boogie (grab a bag, go around the house and throw out 27 things, then immediately put the bag in the trash), Zone cleaning (every week they target a different zone of the house, and you only work on it about 15 minutes a day--this week is the front entrance and front living space), and also has morning, afternoon, and evening routines already mapped out for you to help you keep track of things like meal prep and laundry. Throughout the day you get email reminders about the next task for the day, so if you're like me and you live on your email, you never have an excuse for forgetting what needed to be done for the day.
One of the best features of the site, especially at this time of year, is her Holiday Cruise Program. Her approach: pretend you're going on a cruise Dec. 1 and you have to have all your holiday stuff done by then. Every day she sends out another task like "get all your gift-wrapping tools together and put them in one place" or "write down the dishes you'll need to make for holiday get togethers" (again, nice bite-sized tasks that take short amounts of time, not your entire afternoon) and if you follow along with them, you're ready to go as of the beginning of December! Seeing as our December is going to be rather crazy and unpredictable, this is totally helping me to make sure that month is relaxed from the get-go.
I'm off to take my shower and start my morning routine (before attending baby shower #8 of the year). For once I'm actually looking forward to cleaning!