Monday, November 9, 2009

Flylady, in practice

So Flylady has this whole routine, morning, afternoon, and evening. If her views on cleaning resonate with you, it's worth a look into her routine. But she's just really sharing what works for HER, and really encourages you to do what works for YOU. After much trial and error with different parts of her system, I've settled into something that works pretty well for me.

I posted my daily cleaning routine a few months ago, in THIS post. As you can see, it's pretty simple. Nothing compared to Flylady's. I would cry if I was facing that routine every day! But these are the parts of my daily routine that were inspired by Flylady.

* Having a cleaning routine. This is one thing that has helped me to stop seeing the house as a huge undone list of chores. When I start stressing out about a messy cabinet in the bathroom, I just stop, and make a note to tackle that job on Wednesday (my day to deep-clean bathrooms). I know that I'll get there, I'll do that room. It doesn't have to be now. Just knowing that it will happen on Wednesday if I don't get to it sooner calms me down immediately. It also helps me feel productive. Can I ever check "Clean Kitchen" off my mental list? No, it is perpetually messy and getting messier throughout the day every day. But I can cross off "15 minutes in Kitchen" and feel like I actually accomplished the task at hand, and it will still be done at the end of the day.

* Getting dressed to the shoes. This is a must for me, every single day. I can't get anything done when I'm in my pajamas, and I just feel better when I look in the mirror, like I can take on more of my life. And I like being able to walk out the door for an impromptu lunch date or trip to the park with friends.

* A load of laundry a day. This is one of the absolutes of my cleaning routine. It's very do-able, and everyone has clothes when they need them, without piles of laundry all over.

* A shiny kitchen sink when I go to bed. And I'll add to this, the sound of the dishwasher running. I love going to bed knowing I have a clean kitchen, and I love waking up to a clean kitchen.

* Fifteen minutes of cleaning. Flylady is all about 15-minute cleaning sessions. If you've never tried it, you would be AMAZED at what you can accomplish in 15 minutes. In fact, once when I asked my mom what she wished she'd known as a young mother, she said, "The power of fifteen minutes of cleaning." Try it, seriously. Go into the room that bugs you the most, set a timer, and start with the job that bugs you the most.

* The idea of "zones." In my routine, I spend (in theory) 15 minutes a day deep cleaning or decluttering one zone of my house. Monday is Master Bedroom, Tuesday is Kitchen, Wednesday is Bathrooms, Thursday is Kids' Rooms, Friday is Living Room/Hall, and Saturday is Yard/Garage. I would LOVE to get to a point where I did my "regular" chores more, well, regularly, and I could really use this time to focus on the deep-cleaning and decluttering. I'll get there. I'm trying.

I'm slightly embarrassed by how emotionally high-strung I seem to be reading over these Flylady posts. I hope I'm not coming off that way. I actually consider myself a pretty mellow person. It's just that there's a lot of baggage that goes along with keeping a house clean, so much that it seems like it represents about you as a wife and mother. I admit my transition to a stay-at-home-mom was a rocky one. I chose my profession because I loved it and I was great at it. Staying home and raising kids and keeping my house clean.... I do it because I feel like it's the right thing for our family right now, but I do NOT feel particularly talented in this arena, and that's been hard for me. The thoughts and theories of Flylady have really helped me in this area, and hopefully all my blathering about my soul-searching can help someone else as well.

But enough about me. Have you ever tried Flylady? Did anything about the routine stick? What do you like and dislike?

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Kerry said...

Thanks for sharing your success story. I hope to "jump in again" and eliminate the stress I feel about my house. Especially as the holidays approach.

leannewitney said...

I was just telling my DH that I needed to get back onto a routine. That is the only thing that works for me. I am totally overwhelmed right now with my house and 3 kids... Thanks for this post!