October 20, 2017

The Baby Steps of Daily Organization: Clean Sink Habit


Clutter Countdown - Clean out the SINK!!

Yes, it’s like it’s January ’09 all over again. Over five years ago, I was working on organizational steps and I still am in process.  Somethings in life are just going to be constant struggles. You’ll have your ups and downs in a certain area, but acknowledge it, and work towards your goal.  I thought I would let you revisit a past post because it has everything to do with decluttering in the kitchen.

Five years ago, I took a baby step towards starting the day with a clean sink. That means, it needs to be empty every night before bed. I made great strides towards this for years and for the most part, have kept this up. The wonderful thing about training your children early with chores is that you can delegate jobs to them and this one, for the most part,  has now been turned over to our 15 year old daughter and she does a fantastic job (most of the time.)

Now that your counters are clean, this needs to be your next habit change. It makes all the difference!!  You will be so thankful once this becomes an easy habit, plus enjoy the bedlam moment I almost forgot about. 🙂  Also, don’t miss the comments. It’s from to read everyone’s challenges.


Our family will be carving out time this week to reflect on 2008, and looking ahead to the intentional steps we need to take in 2009.  Steps that allow us to make a difference in the lives of those around us, and in order for that to happen, it starts with my hubby and me.

Admittedly,  I have some major remodeling that needs to take place. No, not the house kind of remodel (well, that too), but the heart kind. I spent the last two months doggy paddling this stream of life, in hopes that I wouldn’t go under.

And since I was a competitive swimmer for 14 years….that is NOT a good thing, and it sure wasn’t the lazy river I had hoped it to be..I need to share all that I am learning, but I want to start off with one of my basics.

Reclaiming my organizational life!

Every blog is talking about getting rid of the clutter for the New Year, but for some of us, that is going to take longer than others.

Ladies, it’s all about BABY STEPS!

We’re in this for the LONG HAUL, and one week of an extreme home makeover isn’t going to cut it. I need to realign my priorities in this area, and we can do it together.

15 minutes of every day consistency will change our organizational life.

Sometimes when the house gets overwhelming, it’s impossible to find a starting point. I love the Flylady’s idea of beginning with Shining the Kitchen Sink.

Commit to having a shining, empty kitchen sink each and every evening.

It sounds so basic and elementary, but the contagious atmosphere that permeates my morning when I wake up to this is …sheer joy!  I am not just talking about an empty sink. I mean a shining sink.

Come on…let’s do it…..right now! Five simple steps will make all the difference.

  1. Empty the sink
  2. Fill it with hot water and bleach it
  3. Soak it, Rinse it
  4. Scrub it…hard. Scrub every little corner and rim with Baking Soda. It gets everything off and is a miracle worker. (Did you read my 50 uses for Baking Soda? Trust me. I love it.)
  5. Then, get the Windex out and shine away.

Can you see my reflection?

Then dry the sink out. Seriously, it makes the difference.
Now, if you’re really Type A, you can even polish it, but I will never be Type A, so I stopped, and was so happy.

If your sink already looks this way every day, then just pick one other area in your kitchen with which you will commit. The junk draw or counter? Your island?
Don’t laugh at us if you’re blessed with the gift of “everything has its place.”

We want to learn from you.

Remember, it’s just baby steps for you non-organized friends of mine.

And of course, there has to be some bedlam in this beauty of mine.

I want you to note the blue rubber band.

It’s a continuous reminder to to savor the little things,
and know that the days may be long, but the years are short!

You see, that rubber band was situated one early, cold morning, like this.
And when I had not even partaken of my coffee yet, it did THIS!!
All over me!

Yes, my boys got me good. The first time I laughed and acknowledged the humor.
The second time, I got ticked. I was not in a good mood to begin with, and after wards I had to apologize.
Because this mom wants to be remembered for living LIFE to its fullest, and not letting the little things get me down.
(Hello – Jen, it was just water, for goodness sake.)
But…I don’t think they’ll be doing that again anytime soon. 🙂
So go forth and shine the sink right now, my friends, and share with me your baby step for the day.
I will be updating mine as I go.(And yes, I have already started getting up earlier, exercising…ha – serious comedy routine, and have taken 6 bags of clothes to Goodwill).


  1. Imperfect says:

    Taking baby steps…it’s a good reminder a lot of us could use. I’m totally guilty of trying to tackle everything all at once. My most recent baby step was getting the office closet organized…now I just need to take a deep breath, put one foot in front of the other and tackle the overloaded bookshelf!


  2. ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage says:

    Loved the shiny sink! I’m inspired!


  3. Thanks for the reminder! We can’t do it all at once, we can do it one step at a time!

    Lisa Q


  4. Visiting from Imperfectly Beautiful. I just found the FlyLady….my sink is singing my praises. It’s funny how happy a clean sink made me!

    What a nice blog…I’ll be visiting again soon!


  5. Carolina Mama says:

    We’re huge FlyLady shiny sink fans. You know Carolina’s own!


  6. I wish I could have taken your clothes 🙂 Wow… and I have read people talk about the fly lady and everything about it scares me. I would feel so bad all the time. Especially living in the middle of a dirty city. My house ALWAYS has a layer of dust on it even after I have dusted… it is annoying.


  7. I’ve been recieving e-mails from Flylady for a few years now. Off and on I do it. 🙂
    Lately, I’ve been off… tee hee.

    I absolutly DO want to be much more organized so I will start right now. Back to shining my sink, which right now.. looks like crap. 😉

    Thanks for the kick start!
    (p.s. I got a good laugh at the kids and the water incident. They sound like my kinda kids… )


  8. HeathahLee says:

    My husband just asked me what my evil laugh was for, and I had to tell him about the sprayer. Ours doesn’t work like that, or I would NEVER have told him or my Kiddo! It’s bad enough when either one of them “forget” to turn the shower off in the bathtub!

    Thank you for this reminder. I have so much to get done in my house…lots of decluttering and cleaning. I feel VERY overwhelmed so the perfectionist in me doesn’t do anything. I do love FlyLady, but I quit subscribing to her because I wasn’t doing what she was telling me to do! Even the 15 minutes a day thing.

    Okay, I’m off to clean my sink! Good thing the dishwasher’s empty, ’cause it’s about to get full up!


  9. I love a clean sink…I just get a little picky about people using it after I have it all nice and sparkley!!!
    Relax I tell myself, Just relax:)!
    You are right…A New Year is a great time to get rid of the old!


  10. Miss(es) Canadian Pie says:

    I love a shiny sink. I don’t feel like my kitchen or dishes are truly clean – or the job isn’t complete – until the sink is CUHHUHLEAN. I smiled reading your post today.


  11. stephanie says:

    Your post has made me feel better. I always feel like if I’m not moving fast, not multi-tasking at all times, and have a to do list with only a few things checked off, then I had an unproductive day…or in better terms “I failed”…So, thanks for the reminder that it is all about baby steps and to quote Patti LaBelle “A New Attitude”!!!


  12. southerninspiration says:

    Isn’t it true? When you accomplish one thing and get it down pat, it seems to encourage you to make that extra little effort to do the NEXT thing. Life is just full of next things, right? Especially the ones we dread……just do the next thing. Thanks for the encouragement!
    Ahem, funny about the sprayer, but I’m not sure I would have laughed the first time, much less the second!! Aaaauuugggghhh….


  13. And give Him the glory, Great things He has done! I’m singing along with you. I love to worship through music. My first time here. Enjoyed it! I’m happy to report I cleaned out my kitchen junk drawer this week! My sink? That could use a good shine. Maybe tonight.
    I continue on this day with a new song in my heart.
    Thank You!


  14. Thanks Jen,

    I needed this inspiration. I haven’t even felt like cleaning the house lately and I am so ashamed. I think after dinner tonight, I’ll work on something.

    Loved the sprayer story! That was well thought out. LOL!


  15. Hey Jen! I actually, finally cleaned the downstairs this week….most rooms! A clean house is such a nice thing. But, even nicer when someone else does it! (NOT that I have that pleasure unfortunately)

    Check out this video of my guys playing that trick on their sister. Fast forward to 2:54 and then it's pretty funny. I'm just glad they didn't do it (again) to me and film it! Mom blackmail for sure!


  16. Jen, I love flylady! Right now I am faced with an overwhelming “craft room”/”spare room” and it is tooo much! I need to break it down into baby steps! Thanks for the reminder. Kelly


  17. "Just Me - NC Beth" says:

    Well, I always have good intentions of getting rid of old stuff and being more organized…..did you notice I said “good intentions”? I just can’t seem to follow through!! I know…baby steps!! ~sigh~



  18. Sandy Toes says:

    Wow..baby steps are good…you are on your way..look at all you have accomplished already! Great!
    Happy Saturday!
    -sandy toe


  19. I must be doing some cleaning of the head as well as my life. This past week I cut the hair for an actual do and I cleaned my counter. At least I found my counter, for about 6 months it looks like the junk drawer but on top! We also got the carpets cleaned which made me clean a whole lot of stuff in our house. It sure feels good.


  20. Baby steps – that’s what I need. Organization does not come easy to me. 🙂



  21. Good for you. You’ve inspired me to at least think about it.
    I love that FlyLady – she’s got a great plan, I just haven’t done it yet. My sink however is empty if not completely shiny.


  22. Kathy Butryn says:

    Loved the adventure of exploring your blog tonight…my first time dropping in! I so enjoyed reading some of your posts…and am inspired to go and “buff” my kitchen sink!!!! Thanks for your “realness.” Especially loved the quote from your former worship pastor…an excellent reminder! Drop by and visit me sometime too!


  23. Baby steps…

    You just gave me an idea of how I’m going to get through tomorrow!




  24. Well, you’re 6 bags of clothes and a few exercise routines ahead of me! I so agree with the baby steps, big change can be so overwhelming.
    AND, thanks for the sink sprayer idea! Shhh…


  25. Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful says:

    You are a better woman than me. I doubt I would have laughed off the kitchen sprayer incident! So glad my boys haven’t figured that one out yet…I’m waiting! Right now my baby step is keeping my room clutter free. Somehow it has become the dumping ground for everyone’s extra stuff. My once tidy and extremely organized scrapbook desk has become a pit of despair. I am proud to say that it is clutter free today, and hopefully will stay that way tomorrow! Thanks for the inspiration! I’m off to scrub and shine the kitchen sink!!!

    xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo ~ Amanda


  26. I’m going to have to try this! I love a clean sink. Listened to your worship, you sing the same *part* that I did when I used to sing on w. team. Always the harmony.
    Happy Sunday!


  27. Hmm, I just keep bringing things HOME from Goodwill. Seriously, my local Goodwill is amazing. Every time I go I find some hidden treasure. Yesterday I found 2 Gail Pittman bowls and a tall candleholder from Southern Living At Home, all for less than $5.00. Good for you for de-cluttering!


  28. Love this Friend! I’m with you in joining FlyLady. Today I went to CHURCH in a BAD MOOD! YIKES!!! All bc our house was a disaster. My sweet family (after my apologies) all pitched in to put things away (including Christmas decor) and now that things are tidy… tomorrow I CLEAN!!! Babysteps…


  29. cityfarmer says:

    hey, I just bleached my sink right before I read this….honest truth….I am the fussiest avout my kitchen….if it’s clean I can accomplish anything.
    I go through 2x a week with what i call the tornado….fast and furious clean job.

    don’t miss all the fun and the sounthern slang thang over at cityfarmer


  30. LuLu & Co. says:

    Great post. Thanks for the reminder to start with baby steps,


  31. I too do the Flylady shine the sink thing … it’s life changing! I found your blog through the homeschool-form-share email loop. I’m glad I did … your blog is great. I’ll keep checking back.


  32. Pretty Organizer says:

    Ahh… we’re sisters again! My boys do the same thing all the time… EXCEPT they use scotch tape! I can’t see the darn stuff and I fall for it every time! Turkeys. They’re good.

    I got them back by putting Alumn on their toothbrushes! HAHAHA!


  33. Kitty Scraps says:

    I totally agree, it's so important to start with baby steps and do the things that make you feel good about your progress. I chose my word for the year "Simplify" then promptly got busy with work and haven't made a single enroad into my own clutter. But that will change, thank you for the reminder about how good it feels to have a clean & shiny sink. *smiles*


  34. Michakewa Lady says:

    Hi, Jen, Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. I read your post and found it interesting that you are following Flylady. I’ve been limping along with her for about 3 yrs. now, but the one thing I couldn’t get was the shiny sink. Now that it is her “Habit” for January, I have actually been doing it. And I did the Monday Home Blessing Hour for the first time last week. Hopefully I can get those 2 things down pat this year.

    I also noticed that you use a “classical” approach to homeschooling. I do also. Along with unit studies. My son just started teaching at a Christian school that is converting to a Classical School. He majored in English with a minor in Classical Studies and loves kids. So all my work homeschooling him has paid off. Woo hoo. Have a great day. And I have found out that Mondays come whether we are ready for them or not! ; )


  35. Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality says:

    Funny you mention the kitchen sink, it's one of my kitchen things that I really hate. I have a white sink & it really shows pot marks & dirt TOO much & constantly looks dirty. Oh, and I have a white faucet too…hate it all. One of my wishes is to replace the sink, fauct & countertop in one fell swoop! Saving my pennies for that one!


  36. Busy Bee Suz says:

    I love this. I really do love it when my sink is clean and SHINY!!!
    The water sprayer….that is just too funny. Funnier? you will have to come up w/ some way to pay back the joke. 🙂
    take care,


  37. Melissa Lester says:

    I am organizationally challenged, so I’m trying to take baby steps too. I did take a few minutes to pick up our family room this morning so we’ll enter a cleaner space the rest of the day. So here’s hoping we’ll all feel welcomed into our homes this year!


  38. Buzzings of a Queen Bee! says:

    This is a good post. I have never tried Flylady, but I have heard of her trick about the kitchen sink. Your photos are making me want to go shine mine! Thanks Jen! 🙂


  39. i don’t do flylady all the time, but i always feel good when i shine my sink – which isn’t very often… great pics, btw!


  40. Mrs. Trixi says:

    You go girl. I too love fly lady but can’t stand all the emails. So I just read her stuff on the sight. You have a great start going. I don’t need to do a lot of reorganizing, as we have moved so much in the last 19 years but I do have a little to do.


  41. Truth4thejourney says:

    Hi Jen,
    Loved the prank that the boys played, multiple times! LOL!!

    Well, I went to the gym today with a girlfriend, only we talked until we ran out of time to exercise!!LOL!! Maybe next time we’ll actually exercise another muscle besides our mouths! LOL



  42. Kim Layton says:

    I have all the Flylady stuff! I used to keep my kitchen sink spotless, but now I’ve moved to a house without a dishwasher (Well, there’s me!). It’s a whole different thing now! I like her system…just not the shoe part! LOL!
    Baby steps really work!


  43. Susie Harris says:

    I was nose’in around your blog to see what I had been missing. You know what? I will never eat another Mc D’s hamburger again. Well at least until after Blissdom. I went shopping today for a few things for my trip. Lets just say I only found a pair of pj’s and ….I ate a salad. Ugh! Will Bliss ever come!


  44. Katie @ 3 Blondes and a Redhead says:

    Your sink is BEEEE-utiful!!! And your boys are hilarious. I love that you have a spirit of fun in your home, sweet Jen!


  45. Ahhh . . . I’m a big fan of the FlyLady myself! And baby steps are definately the only way to go! Perfectionism is a terrible thing and I’m totally guilty 100%.

    I came upon a quote the other day that I just had to post on my own blog, in reference to cleaning my cluttered dining room . . .

    “Victory is not won in miles, but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more.” ~ Louis L’Amore

    In keeping this little thought in mind, my dining room is now clean! One baby step (or inch) at a time.

    Thanks so much for the inspiration and the wonderful post!


  46. Our Complete Family says:

    You’re making me want to go shine my sink! I love it when my kitchen is clean!
    Your baby steps….good reminder!
    Happy day wishes~ Les


  47. I just joined FlyLady and recently completed my first sink shining (my photo is proudly posted on my blog too!). However, I’ve not been good at shining it every night. But I’ve been emptying and cleaning it each night, which is a huge improvement! 🙂


  48. I KNEW you were a FLYBABY!! Woohoo! Isn’t she great? I too have to get back on the flywagon!! I suppose that means getting off the computer??? naaaaaaa!! hehehe


  49. Melissa @ The Inspired Room says:

    Oh, yeah, love the shiny sinks!
    And so funny about the sprayer. I have done that to MYSELF a few times. And there is no one to get mad at but me. Hate when that happens!

    I am really looking forward to meeting you too!

    thanks for the mention 🙂



  50. Just stopping in from Melissa’s and wanted to say I will be back. I am doing Fly Lady and budgeting, etc and I can tell I will enjoy reading your posts. Just added you to my reader. Thanks, Jen!

    You can find me at bonsblogbydesign.blogspot.com


  51. Miss Sandy says:

    I too have been thinking in terms of baby steps in this process of making changes in my heart and life. Oh would it not be great to suddenly have the messy areas of our heart and lives under control? Since this won’t magically happen, I’ll be taking one baby step at a time. Thanks for this beautiful post! Have wonderful weekend!


  52. Great words to live by- {got a little smile from blue rubber band adventure- I have four boys so I understand :}


  53. I so agree about baby steps. A lot of baby steps goes a long ways! I love flylady and that’s what helped me feel balanced this week. I worked extra hours and knew I needed to stay on top of the house. I didn’t even feel bad when I saw our neighbor’s cleaning lady show up at her house. I felt good about my house!



  54. My son goes through this stage every once in a while and will do this..mostly on vaca. He ends up getting one of us real good then lays off for a while


  55. Okay, I love the blue rubber band! That’s just genius. Smart little guys you’ve got there 😉


  56. Love your blog! Great ideas!


  57. Oh goodness. I adore a nice, clean, shiny sink sooooo much. My husband doesn’t seem to share that same appreciation…or my children either, lol. I’m trying to be patient and take baby steps…otherwise they’re prone to take the “well if you’re just going to come in after me, why bother” stance, lol.


  58. Cheryl Young says:

    I would love to see more of these racks for insire my pantry. I need then in different widths and depths so that they will fit the shelves already there. I also need the shelves to hold 5 lb bags of bread flour, all purpose flour and sugar., etc. I also like the smake wood shelves that fit on the insides of the cabinet doors. Thery are 3 tiers tall and have a bar to keep things from falling off the sheplce.


Share Your Thoughts