FlyLady’s three questions

I’ve been listening to a FlyLady CD in my car this week. It’s from a talk she gave to Ohio farm women about ten years ago, where she explains the FlyLady system and how (and why) to implement it.

I was particularly struck by one section, where she indicates the three questions to ask every item in your home:

Do I love you?

We should not have anything we do not love in our homes. I started decluttering this morning with this in mind. It turns out that I have quite a few things that I just “like,” and a few more that I’m not fond of at all! Those went quickly into the Goodwill box and will be donated tomorrow.

Do you make me smile?

Ah, this one is tougher. There are certain things that I keep because I love them, but when I see them, it is not love I feel, but disappointment (in the item, or in myself for keeping it) or anger (because I spent so much money on it and have never used it) or even, perhaps, sadness (because it reminds me of a loss of some sort). But FlyLady points out that life is too short to beat yourself up and feel guilty. If something has bad emotional ties, you can cut them. Just pass the item on or throw it away.

Do I have a place for you?

And… here’s the clincher. Quite frankly, I have WAY more stuff than I have space… and I have quite a bit of space. I need to pick up each thing that is out of place and find it a home, if it doesn’t have one already. No home? No room? Adios!

I’ve let go of some interesting things today – some clothes, many greeting cards, stacks of magazines – and made a pretty good dent in the pile of stuff beside my bed. I’ll take a break from it for Easter, but I’ll be back to decluttering on Monday! Go, me!

Do you have a place for everything? Do you have everything in its place? Do you put things where they belong right away, or do piles of “stuff I need to put away” develop all over your home as they do in mine?

2 thoughts on “FlyLady’s three questions

  1. I used to put everything in its place, and everything had a place. I was so proud of me. Then I never moved, as you know, from my starter home, and kept accumulating stuff, as you know. I’m not so proud of me anymore. I have no idea where to stash all my sogenannte treasures.


    1. I hear you. I have been trying to redefine the word “treasure,” but it is hard. Everything I have ever let through the front door of my home has “value” to me. The worst is when Quinland throws stuff away and I pick choice items out of the trash to save. (Truly, one person’s trash is another person’s sogenannte treasure.)


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