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Friday, 19 April 2013 08:31

Ok, Fly Lady... I'm Back.

I was still in high school and living in the basement suite in my parents house the first time I discovered the Fly Lady website. This was in the early days of the internets, so she's been an online presence for a long time... 

Anyway, I was looking for a method for keeping my apartment clean and that night I shined my sink. It looked beautiful when I was done. It was years before I looked at the website again...

Fast forward to about five or six years later, I was married and living in my own apartment when I stumbled across her site yet again. I shined another sink until it was beautiful and spotless. I abandoned the house-cleaning project again after only one day...

The past few months have given me a bit more determination to keep my house clean. I have learned about the consequences of not properly taking care of a home and had to spend a lot of extra money on our recent bathroom renovation after not paying attention to the mold problem until it had taken over. 

So anyway, Fly Lady... I'm back.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Fly Lady, it is a cleaning website - www.flylady.net  - that gives you step by step (baby step) instructions to getting your house decluttered and spotless by spending a small amount of time cleaning and decluttering each day.

This time, I skipped the sink shining and dove in to the project. I broke a number of the 'rules' and instead of spending 31 days doing the 'baby steps', I did all of them in only a few days to get myself started. So far everything is working out fine for me, and I think that my personality dictates that I need to see a larger change than just a shiny sink in order to give myself the proper amount of motivation to actually continue.

Fly Lady's 31 'beginner baby steps' include things like 'Getting dressed to shoes', 'Lay out your clothes for tomorrow' and 'Keep your sink shining'.  Each day you are supposed to read one 'Beginner Baby Step' and by the end of the 31 days you should have a basic schedule set up to keep your house clean. 

Some of these items, like 'Getting dressed to shoes' I don't do - I don't wear shoes in my house, period. I think the idea behind it is to be 'ready for business', so I make sure that I'm completely dressed as much as I ever am at home. 

The most valuable thing I have taken from the Fly Lady so far is the 'Control Journal' concept, which I had already started a few weeks ago, when I was starting to really formulate an organizational plan. Specifically, the house cleaning lists are what I have found most valuable.  I have a 'Morning Routine' list which includes getting dressed, making the bed, emptying the dishwasher, feeding the cat and emptying the litter box, and wiping down the bathroom every morning when I am in it, as well as a few other things.  My evening routine includes checking the calendar and supper plans for the next few days, spending 15 minutes tidying the floor, clearing the kitchen counter and sink, etc.  The Fly Lady includes a great list, and I have added and modified this list to be appropriate for me and my house specifically.  I don't always get everything on this list done, and most days it takes me until after the girls are having their afternoon naps to finish my morning tasks, but every day is a new day and I am almost always starting over with a clean kitchen sink (which means no dirty dishes lying around to be dealt with!). 

One of the interesting side effects of joining the Fly Lady email list is the attrocious number of emails you will get from the Fly Lady website. For the first few days, I became increasingly irritated by the hourly emails and considered taking myself off of the list. However, after those few days I realized that the constant emails - which come directly to me on my smart phone - were keeping my house cleaning mission on my brain. I am not very good at routine, and have a tendency to get excited about a project and then abandon it when the novelty wears off, and the incessant emails are keeping me from forgetting about this one. So, I will leave myself on the mailing list and read the occasional email that looks interesting and delete the rest. 

It's only been a few days, but it's been exciting to have my husband come home each day and go 'Wow! The house looks even better than yesterday!' each day. I still have a loooong way to go, but my motivation is increasing rather than decreasing, and I'm loving what parts of my house look like too! 

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