Monday, October 1, 2007


These two books changed my life.... Well sort of.

I checked both of these books out from the library a few years ago and then later was lucky enough to find them at a library book discard sale. They are two of my favorite reference books.

Working away from home and dreaming of being a homemaker requires some planning and organization to do it all, or to make a good attempt at doing it all.

So since cleaning and de-cluttering are a big part of homemaking, but not the fun part, I’ve tried to do it as quickly and efficiently as possible.

I’m sure anyone reading this has heard of Flylady. Her website and book are wonderful and I use a lot of her ideas all the time. But before I even heard of Flylady or "baby steps", I was a fan of Emilie Barnes. Her motto is “It only takes 15 minutes a day and you’ll be on your way to becoming a creative home organizer.”

This 15 minutes a day concept changed my outlook on housework. Suppose you have a job that you really don’t want to do. Well, its not so bad to just do 15 minutes, if you know ahead of time that is all you have to do. Do 15 minutes a day and after a week, you’ve spent 1 hour and 45 minutes and may have finished that job or make a big dent in it!

I’ve even applied the 15 minutes a day concept to fun things. As much as I love to sew and quilt, sometimes after a day at work, I’m just too tired. I was hand quilting a quilt once that was just sitting there in the quilting frame with no progress. I committed to quilting just 15 minutes a day and before I knew it, it was done!

This book by Emilie Barnes is loaded with so much great information on being organized, cleaning, and raising families. Emilie Barnes is one of my all time favorite christian authors. I highly recommend her books to you.

Now for the speed cleaning book. Speed cleaning may seem to be the opposite of my other favorite cleaning concept of 15 minutes a day or as Flylady would call it, “Baby Steps”, but on Saturday morning or during that 15 minutes a day, there are quicker and better ways to clean. The faster I get through with the house cleaning, the sooner I can start sewing, yard saleing, gardening or cooking, the fun homemaking stuff.

I don’t follow the Speed Cleaning Book word for word, but I have taken from it many, many things that work for me in the cleaning area. I don’t remember really being taught how to clean. I just started cleaning when I was old enough. I was doing many things the hard way or the wrong way. It goes against every fiber of my being to do unnecessary work. I want to do a job well, but I hate to do it the hard way or drag it out over a long period of time. I just want to do it, do it well, and move on.

I have also come to realize that I only need a small number of cleaning products. I have a few standbys and the rest are just clutter. I also realize that I need to use natural earth friendly cleaners. I haven't really explored this concept too much yet, but its on the mental list!!!

These are a few of “The Clean Team Rules” from the book: Make every move count; Use the right tools; Work from top to bottom; If it isn’t dirty, don’t clean it; Don’t keep working after its clean.

I don't know about you, but I just don't have time for unnecessary work!

Have a great Tuesday!


Littlepenpen said...

I have GOT to read those books. I subscribed to the Flylady one time, but the emails were overwhelming. I thought she had great ideas. I will look in the library for Emily Barnes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Debbie,
I love tools. I got 2 new cleaning tools this week end that sure makes my cleaning easier.

Anonymous said...

Hi Debbie,
I was reading your to do list for this week and was wondering what you do different for stocking your pantry for fall and winter?


CONNIE W said...

I too love Emily Barnes' books but am not familiar with Flylady. Emily's books helped me be a better organizer.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was funny that you wrote this post today. I also work outside of the home and hate to spend my weekends cleaning and organizing. I have also started something similar this week. I am organizing one or two drawers or cabinets each night,hoping this will cut down on some of the weekend work and keep me on top of being orgainzed. You mentioned in your post that some nights you are to tired to get much work done. I am always amazed at what all you DO get done! :)


Kelleigh said...

I'm a fan of Flylady and the 15 minute concept too. Your post has re-motivated me to start applying the principles again! They work so well.

Great post!

Anonymous said...

I love Emily Barnes and I have read a lot of her books but I haven't read this one. I will need to check it out. I think you have a lovely very neat blog.

(first time visitor)

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