Houselove: Flylady

So if you’ve hung out with me and/or been to my house in the last few weeks, chances are you’ve heard me mention the Flylady. Since a few of you have mentioned you’d like me to share, here goes.

Maybe a month or two ago, a friend posted about the Flylady and I just sort of ignored because she was posting from the perspective of having really fallen behind in her home and being totally swamped. I thought, my house is usually pretty clean. I mean, I keep everything tidy; I usually manage to vacuum once a week; sometimes I even mop (sometimes). I didn’t think about it for a while, but then two weeks ago, out of idle curiosity, I clicked over.

First things first, do not let the website put you off. The UI was, I believe, put together by a gila monster and the graphic design team was a squad of spider monkeys, but despite the ugly graphics and confusing navigation, the methods in here are pure gold.

The basis for the system is increments. Increments and scheduling. The two bases for the system are increments, scheduling, and a knowledge that it doesn’t all have to get done at once. The three bases for the system… ahem. Anyways. Increments. Tasks are never done in big chunks, you don’t spend a whole day turning your house upside to declutter or exhaust yourself trying to deep clean a room all at once, but do everything in short, timed increments: ten minutes of decluttering here, fifteen minutes of detailed cleaning there, two minutes of tidying there.

Since the website has the information scattered all over the place, I spent a day or so conglomerating everything for myself and typed up my own schedule. Here are the pieces of the puzzle for your viewing pleasure:

  • Have a morning and evening routine that includes:
    • Morning: Getting dressed and making your bed
    • Morning: Quickly wiping down your bathroom
    • Morning: Emptying the dishwasher and moving the laundry forward a step
    • Evening: Shining your sink
    • Evening: Setting out your clothes and whatever is needed for tomorrow
    • Evening: Going to bed at a reasonable hour
  • Having a daytime routine that includes:
    • 15 minutes of exercise (I use the 7-Minute Workout App)
    • 15 minutes of decluttering or detail cleaning
    • Drinking water every day (I love that she includes self-care in the home-care routine)
  • Having a weekly routine (I do most of these on days other than what she suggests because it fits my life better) that includes:
  • Having a monthly routine that involves focusing on decluttering/detail cleaning a different area of your home each week:
    • Zone 1: Entrance, front porch, dining room (for me this is entrance, porches, hall office)
    • Zone 2: Kitchen
    • Zone 3: Main bathroom/extra bedroom/kids’ rooms/craft room (for me this is bathroom, hall, and boy’s room)
    • Zone 4: Master bed/bathroom & closet (for me this is master bedroom/closets and office)
    • Zone 5: Living room/den/TV room (for me this is living room & basement)
  • Following Flylady’s daily missions for the week’s Zone in addition to doing that 15 minutes of cleaning/decluttering there.
Finally, if you haven’t been all linked out, here’s a link to the pdf of my schedule based on this. If you need a reason to sift through this rather complicated system, here it is: two weeks, mother of two kids under three, part-time work from home, and I have time to clean out closets and work out and clean parts of my house that have never been cleaned before and get all my regular housework done. I’ve been doing this for two weeks and my house is gleaming like a silver spoon.

Houselove: Brick Walkway

After digging a moat around the house in order to waterproof the basement, our yard is basically just a mudpit right now. But someday we’ll grade and seed it and when that happens we will once again need walkways that aren’t made of muddy two-by-fours. This is nice and visually impactful and a big step up from patio stones. And I often see free brick offered on Kijiji…