Chapter One Your First BabyStep-Where to Begin I was tempted to start by explaining why this book is different from all the other cleaning and organizing books that are now cluttering your bookshelves, being used to level the dining room table, or holding down a pile of clutter! But I won't; the FlyLady program is not about cleaning. It is about changing your life to make it more rewarding and leading to a more important goal, to FLY, or Finally Loving Yourself. This is a concept we will talk about throughout this book. I started helping others through mentoring on the Internet and that help evolved into the FlyLady system. I am an avid fly fisherman and instructor. When I first started going online I needed a name, so I chose FlyLady. Since then FlyLady has taken on so many different forms. People ask me, "Are you THE FlyLady?" Friends ask each other, "Do you do FlyLady?" and on the Internet there are groups of FlyBabies that gather and chat with each other. This book begins where anyone who becomes a member of FlyLady starts: with a BabyStep. We call this becoming a FlyBaby. And as you use this book, each of your BabySteps will add up. You will lose the feelings of guilt and failure that you've been nurturing. Your clutter will vanish and your life will change forever. I can hear you now, "What do I do first? Where do I start? My home is a total disaster and there is no way it is ever going to get clean!" Before you start, pencil in today's date on the inside of the back cover. This is the day you are beginning to FLY. You will know why soon enough. I know you are ready to get started, but hold your horses, because I don't want you to crash and burn. We ARE going to begin with a cleaning task. You just have to have faith that this is the best way to start. Your home did not get dirty in a day and it is not going to get clean overnight. With that warning to be kind to yourself, here is your very first assignment. It all starts with a shiny sink. First BabyStep: shine your sink I know that you don't understand why I want you to empty your sink of dirty dishes and clean and shine it when there is so much more to do. It is so simple. I want you to have a sense of accomplishment. You have struggled for years with a cluttered home and you are so beaten down. I just want to put a smile on your face. When you get up the next morning, your sink will greet you and a smile will come across your lovely face. I can't be there to give you a big hug, but I know how good it feels to see yourself reflected in your kitchen sink. So each morning this is my gift to you. Even though I can't be there to pat you on the back, I want you to know that I am very proud of you. This is how to shine your sink; we like to call it Shiny Sink 101:(Note: If you have a special colored or decorative sink, check on your warranty for specific cleaning instructions.) With ceramic sinks you may not be able to see your reflection, but your heart will be shining because it's clean! You will still smile! Do not complain or whine that you can't do this because it is full of dirty dishes and nasty water. I am not telling you to wash the dishes; all I want is for you to set the dirty dishes on the counter so you can get to the bottom of your sink. With an empty kitchen sink before you, I know you don't know what to do or where to start so I am going to give you specific instructions on this. You should also know that I have heard every excuse in the world when it comes to sinks, and I know that you may be a bit doubtful about this. Just trust. Even old sinks can look new again with a little elbow grease. BE SURE AND RINSE WELL BETWEEN EACH STEP since mixing chlorine-based products with household ammonia-based products can be toxic! 1. Take all the dishes out of your sink. 2. Then run some very hot water in the sink, to the rim. Pour a cup of hCilley, Marla is the author of 'Sink Reflections' with ISBN 9780553382174 and ISBN 0553382179.