By Master Sgt. Jennifer Yancey, 3rd ID Public AffairsFebruary 9, 2011
FORT STEWART, Ga. - FlyLady, or Finally Loving Yourself, was created by author Marla Cilley in an effort to help people organize their busy lives.
Three things the FlyLady hopes for anyone wishing to rid their lives of clutter and chaos: peace of mind, pride in their home and a passion for living. The three-session classes, held here at Fort Stewart, address ways toward reaching these goals.
Each session contained a particular focus. The first session addressed topics as "crisis cleaning."
The second session encouraged participants to devise a weekly plan and keep a control journal. The third session stressed keeping spouses and Family Members involved in the process.
New Parent Support Program lead, Ellisha Smith, led Soldiers and Family Members through those sessions. One subject offered tips on de-cluttering the home: set a timer for 15 minutes, go through the house, grab 27 items you want to get rid of (ex. magazines, old mail). Once the bag is filled, either toss it or donate the items.
This routine can be applied to the vehicle as well. "There are probably 27 things I could get rid of out of my car - my mobile office," said Smith.
Contrary to popular belief, the class is not aimed at "messy" people. It's geared toward helping people organize their everyday routines, alleviating some of the stress that goes along with it.
For Staff Sgt. Eva Sanchez, 632nd Maintenance Company, 87th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, staying too organized consumes much of her personal time.
"My problem is that I clean too much," she said. "I could work all week, and then Saturdays it's just laundry and deep cleaning."
During the class, Staff Sgt. Sanchez picked up some tips to help her cut back on cleaning time.
"With this program," said Staff Sgt. Sanchez, "you don't have to deep clean because you're always touching things up."
She added, "Doing simple things go a long way."
Nedra Barnes-Larrieux, installation victim advocate at Army Community Service Fort Stewart, said she took the class to hone her organizational skills.
Barnes-Larrieux is no stranger to commuting in large cities. But now her commute from Hunter Army Airfield to Fort Stewart includes a baby boy.
"I have a seven-month-old," she said. "Since I came back to work, it's just been kind of tricky getting those organizational skills down pat."
Both she and her spouse, who is stationed at Hunter, stay pretty organized. But the challenge was to get their routines in sync with the baby.
"I'm a stickler about getting things done the night before," said Barnes-Larrieux. "My husband does things the morning of. If it's done the next morning, it throws me completely off my game plan.
"I have a routine Monday through Friday," she added. "I get dressed, then I wake the baby up. I used to feed him before the commute, but I don't now because it will throw the routine off with daycare."
Barnes-Larrieux said she and her husband managed to combine their routines to make the mornings go smoother.
"He does his best to get those bottles and the baby food ready the night before, and packs the baby's bag," she said.
In some homes, the kitchen can be a source of contention - particularly when it comes to the dishes.
Vandowyn Johnson, Family Action Plan specialist at Fort Stewart ACS, and her husband Derrick, a Hunter employee, needed to put a stop to dishes piling up in the sink, or staying in the dishwasher.
"You're tired after you get off work. You're tired after you eat. The last thing you want to do is get off that couch and do dishes," he added.
They've devised a plan to run the dishwasher at night, then empty it out in the morning - keeping dishes out of the sink.
Fortunately, this new routine became a daily ritual.
"After a couple of days of doing it," said Derrick, "(it was) like clockwork."
"Now when somebody comes over to your house, you don't have to worry about trying to hurry up and get the dishes out of the sink because they're already clean," he said.
But even those who are tasked with helping people on a daily basis can benefit from the class.
"Listening to everyone else in the class, I know that I'm not the only one experiencing this," said Barnes-Larrieux.
"It's important to know that your plan may not work every time," she said. "And that it's okay to ask for help."
For more information on the FlyLady, visit flylady.net.