by Marla Cilley (FlyLady)

"To take the first step in faith, you don’t have to see the whole staircase: just take the first step." – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Many of you are new and already feel behind. You are not behind! I don’t want you to try to catch up; I just want you to jump in where we are. O.K.?  Now listen very closely. There is no timetable for this system. We all advance at our own pace.

All we ask is that you do these things when you start:

1. Shine your sink! That means now! Not next week or never. This is your very first homework assignment. If you are going to ignore this, then you are not ready to try something different. We will still be here when you are willing to take this first step up the staircase to peace. I don’t care if you can’t see how shining your sink is going to help clean up your messy house. Just quit thinking and start doing! Step out in faith and do something for a change instead of arguing with the computer!

2. Lay out your clothes for tomorrow! What is so tough about this? I put them on a hook in the bathroom or folded up on the shelf. This keeps you from procrastinating about "what am I going to wear". You don’t even have to think.

3. Then when you get up in the morning; get dressed all the way to shoes as soon as your feet hit the floor. Now this does not mean you can go make coffee first. When you get into the kitchen, I want you fully dressed ready to greet your day and your shiny sink!

4. The only other thing we ask you to do is to declutter for 15 minutes a day. Yes we can do anything for 15 minutes. We have lots of fun ways to do this; 27 fling boogie, Hot spot fire drills, or just set a timer and start gathering up the junk mail and trash. This is not rocket science. Did you know that you can do anything for 15 minute? Oh you don’t have 15 minutes! Yes you do if you break it down into 5 minute segments. Keep in mind that you cannot organize clutter! All you can do is get rid of it. So start flinging it out your door. Remember one of our 11 commandments; Do not pull out more than you can put back in an hour.

These are your only requirements when you join our little cyber-family. As you start building your routines upon this foundation, you will be taking one step at a time toward the peace that we have found. You don’t have to see the top of the staircase to take the first step! Follow our lead and you will be FLYing before you know it. Oh and quit jumping three steps at a time. It took me nine months to establish a full routine. I felt that it was like giving birth to a new life. Your routines are always evolving too. Get a binder/notebook and write out a simple routine for your before bedtime and another simple one for your morning. Use a pencil! Put it in a sheet protector. As your routines grow, you will be building your control journal one sheet at a time. Do not obsess about this. It is just a binder to hold your routines.

So take those babysteps up our little staircase! It is so peaceful at the top! With each step you will be sprouting your wings. Are you ready to take the first step?