One of my favourite things about Simple Savings is its wonderful members – of course I would say that because I am one – but they really are a caring bunch. That much is obvious from all the helpful comments in the discussion forum, but I have been amazed too at the lovely people who take the trouble to email me with tips to make my life easier when chaos strikes. I’ll admit, I have been feeling a bit negative lately; not about the money saving side of things (there’s no way I would let that slide now!) but the whole struggle with everyday household management really gets to me sometimes. I mean, if anyone’s house should be presentable it’s mine. I work from home, I’m there all day! So why does our abode so often resemble a disaster area? Even my Mum was taken aback at the sight of our lounge last week; you couldn’t see the floor at all, yet the family had only been in residence together for a total of three hours that day. I came to the conclusion that a good part of the problem is that I keep getting sidetracked. I really envy people who have the discipline to check their emails once a day – or even once a week! I’m dreadful, I check mine constantly – even on the way back from the loo I have to pass by my computer and think ‘ooh - I’ll just pop and check my emails’ and finally wrestle myself away from it half an hour later. Even the kids grumble at me and I’m ashamed to say I’ve actually fibbed to them in the past and said I’m working, when in fact I’m surfing eBay. Dreadful I know, I should really padlock the thing when not in working hours – it’s amazing how much more I get done around the place when there’s a power cut!
So I guess it’s my routine – or lack of it – that’s all wrong and luckily for me, two Simple Savings members have pointed it out in the nick of time. First, Meredith wrote to me and said it sounded as though I do an awful lot of cleaning and recommended I visit a website called Flylady (http://www.flylady.net) to help ease the load. The following day I received an email from Debbie Eustace – the Simple Savings ‘TV lady’ urging me to go and check out exactly the same site! I have to admit that I had heard about this website in the Vault and had visited it once before. I didn’t get too far along with it though, as at first glance I thought that you had to buy all these books and products to do it properly. Turned out I was wrong, joining the website is 100% free. Both Meredith and Debbie swear by the Flylady routine and wouldn’t be without it – high praise indeed! What appealed to me was the idea of ‘babysteps’ – changing or adding one small thing to your routine one day at a time. Even I could cope with that, I thought, so I joined up.
On my first day, I received an email telling me that my first mission was to ‘shine my sink’. That was it; that was all I had to do! I duly cleared, wiped down and shined my sink at the end of the day and I had to chuckle, because would you believe it felt great! It didn’t matter that the rest of the house was still in disarray and I was too tired to clean it up, my kitchen sink was spotless and shining – a single piece of perfection that I had achieved in my otherwise cluttered home. The next morning I got up and it felt really good to see my pristine sink shining back at me, just as Flylady said it would. I proudly shined my sink that day and have done so every day since, adding a new daily mission along the way. Noel thinks its hilarious when I harp on about my wonderful sink, but along with that and my other baby steps, I am gradually building up a manageable routine. It takes only a few minutes every day and by the time the boys are ready for school, not only is the house presentable, but so are we. It’s brilliant and I’m so grateful to Debbie and Meredith for encouraging me to give it a go. You do receive quite a few emails from Flylady (I condense all mine and just choose to receive them in one long email) but that's good because if you are the kind of person who needs Flylady, you need the reminders to make sure you get things done. I just wish I could find some kind of Flydog website now to get the pets in order. Ella is currently living in my office while she recovers from her operation and every time she shakes herself a cloud of white hair flies out and spreads itself across the wooden floor. As I type, Hubble has come along and curled up at my feet and it looks as though he has been rolling in donkey poo. Oh joy…
At least I am saving money and doing my bit for the environment when it comes to the kids’ lunchboxes lately. A friend recently invited me to a Tupperware party and while I couldn’t go I agreed to having a look at the catalogue. Eek – I couldn’t believe how expensive it was! As it was, there was nothing I really wanted or needed, but I realised that most of the things I liked actually had much cheaper counterparts in the local discount shops, so couldn’t be tempted to buy anything from the catalogue. However I did spot one item that I thought was a good idea and that was a little flip-top sandwich box. As much as I encourage the boys to bring home and recycle their zip-lock bags from their school lunches, they never do. I thought one of these boxes would be quite a good idea – a one-off cost compared to always having to buy plastic bags or cling film wrap and much better for the environment too! The two-pack in the catalogue was just what I wanted, but at almost $30 there was no way I could justify the cost. I decided to leave it, but couldn’t get these handy little boxes out of my head, so a couple of days later I decided to check the online auction sites to see if anyone was selling Tupperware on there. Wow – I couldn’t believe it! Hundreds of listings – including several sandwich boxes, which I merrily clicked on ‘Buy Now’ for just $5.00 for the pair! They work a treat too, packing lunches is faster and the boys love their funky sandwich holders. I wish I had got them years ago!