Sink Reflections

Sink Reflections

by Marla Cilley, FlyLady


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Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley, FlyLady

Fly Out of CHAOS
(Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome)
Into Order—One BabyStep at a Time

With her special blend of housecleaning tips, humor, and musings about daily life, Marla Cilley, a.k.a. The FlyLady, shows you how to manage clutter and chaos and get your home—and your life—in order. Drawn from the lessons and tools used in her popular mentoring program, the FlyLady system helps you create doable housekeeping routines and break down overwhelming chores into manageable missions that will restore peace to your home—and your psyche. Soon you’ll be able to greet guests without fear, find your keys, locate your kids, and, most of all, learn how to FLY: Finally Love Yourself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553382174
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/01/2002
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 154,359
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.58(d)

About the Author

Marla Cilley is a wife, mother, flyfishing instructor, county comissioner, and mentor to thousands across the world. Marla started her internet mentoring system in 1999, to help people get out of the CHAOS in their lives that she too had once suffered from. In March 2002, she self-published her first book, Sink Reflections. She lives with her husband and their Blue-Tick hounddog and orange tomcat in Brevard, N.C.

Read an Excerpt

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 household bleach (e.g. Clorox) in the hot water. Let it sit for 1 hour. Wear gloves and don't get it on your clothes.

3. Rinse your sink well.

4. Get some cleanser: Comet, Ajax, or Baking Soda and scrub your sink. Do not use ammonia-based products such as Windex with these.

5. Take a sharp edge and clean around the rim of the sink, just like you would clean dirt out from under your fingernails.

6. Clean around the faucets too. You may need an old toothbrush or dental floss.

7. Now get out your window cleaner (I use Windex) and give it a good shine.

8. If you still don't like the way it looks, then you could try some car wax. Just know in your heart that you have cleaned it very well and know it doesn't have to be perfect. Our perfectionism is what got us in this situation.

9. Every time you run water in your sink take your clean dishtowel and dry it. I lay out a clean one every night with my bedtime routine. Before you know it you will be doing this every time you leave your kitchen. The rest of the family will too. No more water spots. You will have a clean and shiny sink.

10. Don't be upset if someone doesn't take as much pride in your sink as you do. You have done the hard part. You will never have to go through this process again. Daily maintenance will keep it looking this way. Just be sure and tell your family what you are doing, otherwise they will think you have gone crazy. Your family cannot read your mind!

11. If you don't have a dishwasher, don't worry. A dishwasher is just a dirty dish disposal. Clean out a place under your sink and put a dishpan in there. Teach your family that instead of putting their dirty dishes and glasses in the sink, to place them in the dishpan. Get into the habit of putting your dishes away as soon as they have been washed and dried. No more leaving the dish drying rack on the counter or in the sink. Put it away under the sink when you have finished. If your old ones are nasty, you may want to soak them in the sink full of bleach water at the same time you soak the sink, or go buy yourself a new set. You deserve it as a reward for shining your sink. You are worth a couple of bucks.

12. To ensure that your family remembers this, put a note in the sink. It will get their attention and remind them where to put the dishes. Be patient! They have never been taught either. It is going to take some practice.

Now, if you have a stainless steel sink, I recommend all of the above directions with one added. After you soak it, rinse well and use a steel wool pad to scrub it. This will buff the finish. It will look like new. If you still can't get it to shine after the Windex, then put a light coat of wax, lemon oil, or olive oil on it. I mean just a tiny bit on a cloth and rub it. This will make you smile. Some people have had very good results from cleaning solutions used to keep bar tops clean.

This is your very first BabyStep-to keep your sink clean and shiny on a continual basis.

Customer Reviews

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Sink Reflections 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 63 reviews.
Beckmark More than 1 year ago
I signed up with the FlyLady's website, and really liked the system for getting my house clean and organized, along with organizing my life and creating PEACE where there was chaos. This book is a must read for any woman who has ever been exasperated and desperately wanted to have it "together" but had no clue where to start. FlyLady's euphamisms are a little folksy, but she makes you feel good about yourself, and is so encouraging- you really can get organized. Not overnight, not even in a month, but if you stick with it, you'll figure out your routines and all of the sudden, you'll look around and think, "Is this MY house?" That is a good feeling.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Marla has it down pat. The best way to get ahead is with Baby-steps: One 15-minute interval at a time. As a SHE with a disabled dh, 3 ds, 2 dd, 2 dogs, and a cat, my life (and house) are total CHAOS. I am a FLY-er who previously gave up, but recently came home to FLY-ing. Through all the clutter and chaos, I will survive! Thanks to Marla and her system!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book! This book helped me organize my home and life! I've read just about everybook on the subject, but this one is a keeper, just a few minutes a day and my house has STAYED clean, with three kids and two dogs I thought it was impossible to always be caught up on laundry and dishes but it is possible! Everyone with children needs this book! Also, check out the website!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love books that make a real impact - a REAL difference in my life. Sink Reflections has done just that. I'm not the best at following through on plans and while this book has helped me to get through the mess, I think it will also help me to stay on track. That's what I'm talking about!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is wonderful! It has become my 'bible' for showing me the way to organize my home. The author's approach is one of encouragement, hope, and simple routines to getting one's home and life to be managable. In a few short months, my home is so much better and I am 'FLYing!' (Finally Loving Yourself.) The book gives practical things you can do for only 15 minutes a day that will get you started on the adventure of a lifetime. It emphasizes the individuality of each person, encouraging the concept of 'babysteps', starting out slowly and emphasizing that you are not behind, and how you adapt this approach to your own family and home. Whether you are married, single, a stay-at-home mom or working at a job outside the home, this book is for you. It doesn't matter whether you live in a small apartment or a mansion, you will get everything you need from 'Sink Reflections.' This book has changed my life in more ways than I can say! Marla Cilley knows what it is like to live in C.H.A.O.S.(Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome), so she immediately understands where the reader is coming from. She has shown me the path out of my own C.H.A.O.S. and I can't praise her or this book enough. 'You can do this!' is one of her sayings...this is real and it works. Thank you, Marla!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have also signed on with Marla Cilley's website and have followed the techniques outlined in the book. The difference between her techniques vs. all the others you will read is the difference between real wisdom vs. theoretical ideas. Her approach is an integrated, complete approach toward a constantly clean, organized house that is a haven of peace to live in. Things progressively become more organized and they stay that way, while routines maintain clean baths, dishes, clothes, etc. Pretty soon your house will be company ready all the time, and you'll find an surprising array of pleasant side effects with yourself, your family, friends, and your time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this realistic system is presented in easy-to-understand language with checklists and directives. If you follow the directions, your house will be cleaner and your days more organized. I've not done Spring Cleaning in 3 years, and my house is always clean (and usually tidy). This works for me!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I stumbled upon Martha's website on a friend's recommendation, and was hooked. As a born SHE who never finished a project, became easily overwhelmed during marathon cleaning projects, and couldn't get a grip, this lady spoke to my heart. I have begun implementing the process, and more importantly, the thoughts behind the process. I can't wait for more from her!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a book that you want to purchase as soon as you finish reading this review. One of the best pieces of advice in it is that "you cannot organize clutter," you simply have to get rid of it. Marla Cilly's recommendations on how to "declutter" our lives are user-friendly, ready-to-apply-immediately lifesavers! Her "27 Fling Boogies" and "5 Minute Room Rescues" are the best!! Who doesn't have 15 MINUTES PER DAY (and she means just that!) to implement these suggestions? Applying them has changed my life and brought peace and blessings to my home. Using a timer or some type of clock, set for 15 minutes, is highly recommended in the book. When the bell rings, on to the next thing! This is one of the best investments you will ever make in your life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has really produced a change in my life. Though the focus would seem to be on being organized and keeping a warm home for your family, its message touches upon every aspect of life. It has taught me to take everything a little bit less seriously and to be able to more appropriatly estimate the true size of tasks by breaking them down into "baby steps". It drives home the point of self love. It is written by someone who understands chaos, has been there, and has been blessed with a path out that she ever so graciously has chosen to share with us all. A must read for those suffering from the stress of perfectionism and over doing everything.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutely the last self-help book you will ever buy or feel the need to buy! I am still a FlyBaby but I am making progress each and every day. Her suggestions and reminders through out the day are workable and fit into anyone's busy schedule. Marla is a true gift to all of us SHE's (Side-tracked Home Executives) and living in CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) is fast becoming something that isn't in my vocabulary any more.
hopemccormick on LibraryThing 7 days ago
While I'm too lazy to follow through with all the book's suggestions, the advice has helped me change a few routines. The results make a huge difference to me. Just being able to find my keys and shoes saves me probably 30 minutes daily. I can't fault the book for my house not being clean. I just have a really high tolerance for clutter. I also have ADD, and my job places such high demands on my organizing and juggling skills that I have little mental energy left for home. Still, the book has helped, which is more than I can say for the handful of others on the topic that I've read.
BeckyVanNoort on LibraryThing 7 days ago
Insightful, witty, good common sense stated in a way to get you to believe in yourself.
bethlea on LibraryThing 7 days ago
A great start to getting your house, and your life, in order.Maria Cilley has been there - she understands how you can get behind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've only implemented a few things in my daily life from this book so far as I just finished reading it. My life is already changed for the better! Sign up for her free emails and read them. This book has changed my life and given happiness to me and my family already. How much more so after more time passes and I take more babysteps. I might even learn to fly!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SnohomishbuyerFr55 More than 1 year ago
This book make me laugh but also rethink on how to reorganize my live for having a clean and nice home.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
dolphyn1076 More than 1 year ago
I love this book and plan to keep it as a reference! This book is great for all Flybabies and everyone else who may have never heard of Flylady before. Once you start the babysteps to FLYing you will never want to stop! Great book and tool for all of us SHEs!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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CasualUnclutterer More than 1 year ago
Marla Cilley, the FlyLady,, has nurtured a millions-strong online community of people who share organizing tips and tools, motivation, and comradeship.  They support and empower each other in countless ways.  Ms. Cilley is the bedrock of that community, who over the course of her own struggle with chronic disorganization developed a very simple, very gradual, very gentle step-by-step program for the problems of keeping an organized life which can and should be used by many many many people.  Her ideas are summarized by the book’s title – just clean your sink.  Make it shine.   It’s a “BabyStep,” the start of it all.  And wear your shoes.  And pick out your clothes for the next day.  And then, next day when you are ready, clean your sink, wear your shoes and pick out your clothes for the next day.  And then one day, clean your sink, wear your shoes, pick out your clothes for the next day and…  another chore.  And it builds from there: Ms. Cilley and her organizing companions offer tips on what to focus on when, why and how. Sink Reflections is the summary of Ms. Cilley’s on-line teachings.  It, by itself, provides a wonderful foundation for people to work themselves out of disorganization.  It is also a great introduction to her on-line community, which can help you decide whether to join the on-line network.   But I have a confession about this book.  I find it VERY annoying.  Ms. Cilley is a WONDERFUL woman, kind, generous, gentle, and good-humored. She is FIERCELY dedicated to motivating her community.  She is also devotedly, admirably religious, and her spiritual and faithful orientation is a strong part of her writing and teaching.  I am non-observant and agnostic, and so, sadly, I find this book difficult to enjoy as completely as I wished.  I add this opinion only because it may be true for other people as well.  Lauren Williams, Casual Uncluttering LLC, Woodinville,  WA  USA
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MaryR6 More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing ! If you aren't someone who gets side tracked this book may not be for you, but reviews with no comment, low stars and Anonymous shouldn't be allowed!!! It brings the rating down and is probably from a competing author.