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Has anyone successfully used Flylady to get their house/life in order?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
We are totally out of control here. I've waxed and waned with tidiness/organization, but the past 3 months (since DC#3 was born) has been an all time low. I think it would take me 2 weeks straight of nothing but decluttering and cleaning to get this house in order -- and unfortunately I only have three days to hide the worst of it before MIL comes for a week long visit.

Once MIL leaves, I think I need to get us on a system. While I've tried -- and failed -- at flylady before, I am thinking of going back to it. We used the Dave Ramsey method to get out of debt and turn our finances around with great success, so I know I can follow a baby step-type system, even if it seems impossible at the beginning. I guess I am just looking for some words of wisdom from anyone who has BTDT and finally now feels like their home is under control... and if you used FlyLady, or some other system, feel free to rave about it.

Thanks!!
post #2 of 51
FlyLady was too intense for me. I got the Motivated Moms planner last year and I really liked it - it helped me remember to do everything that I needed to do without feeling overwhelmed.
post #3 of 51
I can't say that I really follow the Flylady system, but I've been listening to the BlogTalkRadio call-in shows (and archives) for about a year now and I can say that it really has helped me to improve my home! I am so much better about the daily routines, esp. laundry, picking up the floor, keeping the bathroom not gross, and dishes. I've also made a lot of progress on decluttering in the last year. I have also really shifted on some marriage/family issues...for the better. My mother was always really resentful about doing domestic stuff that has not been a helpful legacy for me. I really like listening to the shows on my iPod while I'm doing housework -- it turns what could feel like drudgery into a life coaching session . What I like about Flylady isn't that she tells you what to do. I mean, I know that I should do the dishes . What I like is that she helps me with the problematic thinking that causes me to get overwhelmed or feel like I shouldn't have to do it. I think that the emails are really overwhelming for many, but you can easily follow her system by reading the Sink Reflections book and working developing habits and building them into routines.
post #4 of 51
Try Motivated Moms - totally doable and there is room to customize for your family.
post #5 of 51

I do the FlyLady thing

I don't get the emails. I don't even go to her site THAT often. But I really focus on decluttering. And it may take me another year - but I'm getting better getting rid of stuff.

I'll never make the Oprah show for hoarding, or anything - BUT I do have quite a bit of junk. I find it hard to sometimes get rid of stuff, but I'm getting MUCH better. Like, if I buy a new shirt or something, I throw out / rag an old one. Because if I felt the need to buy another, then the old one(s) must not be doing the job, KWIM?

Also, we just moved. And we have a dishwasher, thank God! And our new freezer (part of the fridge) is different - I just don't need so much Pyrex, now. So I'm getting rid of a couple of pieces. Also, I'm not in love with the round Pyrex anymore, I want to get the square / rectangular kind.

Flylady says that Suze Orman was an inspiration. I feel that she is, too. She says in her interviews / books "we are SO pretty". That means that we buy too much stuff to keep up with the Joneses, when maybe the stuff we have is just fine. Or maybe we should buy a little less, stuff, yk, make do. So I do a bit of make do, and a bit of loving myself - like really buying the xyz that I think will really make a difference, and unload the old.

"Progress not Perfection", a Flylady saying really helps me to clean up a corner, even if I can't clean the whole room, so she is really motivating.
post #6 of 51
I tried really hard to follow FlyLady, but was overwhelmed. The important thing I took from her was to make a control journal of daily chores. That is what saves me!
I am on a massive decluttering streak & it is helping. I just do a little bit (15-20 minutes) a day & can see results.
post #7 of 51
Flylady can be overwelming here is what worked for me:
1. Don't get her daily emails they are too much.
2.set up a night time and morning routine..this keeps my kitchen clean, laundry done, and basic pick up covered.
3. you can do anything for 15 min.
4. pick a day to clean and do it as fast as you can. My house is too big to really get it clean in the 1 hour she suggests but I can get it all done in about 90 min if I really hustle and don't have to deal with too much clutter or pick up.
5. I like the ZOne cleaning idea. Each day I spend 10 min. in a different area (my email only accepts these weekly emails from her) so my dinning room, master bed, kitchen etc. really get deep cleaned. Floor boards washing walls etc.

I like that she focuses on even a little bit of cleaning helps. So If I only get 1/3 of my floor mopped and then have to stop (kids, my pregnancy etc.) it is still better than it was. I started using it 4 years ago and my house is clean enough for company most of the time now and I have young children.
Good luck it is worth the work.
post #8 of 51
Yes, Flylady totally helped me get our house in order. It's far from perfect, but radically improved. Def get on the Daily Digest rather than individual emails. I kind of skim through, only reading what interests me. I don't follow her 100% but I'm all about progress, not perfection. I love her! I didn't like Motivated Moms because all the unchecked boxes bummed me out.

But OP, you have a new baby. You have gone from 2 kids to 3. Give yourself a break!
post #9 of 51
Thread Starter 
Thanks all! I really appreciate the input.

Thankfully my 2 older boys played together SO nicely today and my baby slept most of the day (that post-growth spurt slumber), so I got a lot done. There is still much more to do before MIL arrives on Thursday, but I think we're on the right track. The basement has become my dump zone, b/c I don't feel like arguing with DH about some of the stuff I want to purge right now. But at least the living areas are more streamlined and I can see the horizontal surfaces!

I'm wondering if anyone can share with me how they followed the babysteps and/or what their weekly routine is like now. The thing about FlyLady is I can't seem to grasp exactly what to do and when to do it. Some of the stuff seems so extraneous (dress to laces), that I can't seem to cut through to the core of what I should be doing.
post #10 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by completebeginnings View Post
Flylady can be overwelming here is what worked for me:
1. Don't get her daily emails they are too much.
2.set up a night time and morning routine..this keeps my kitchen clean, laundry done, and basic pick up covered.
3. you can do anything for 15 min.
4. pick a day to clean and do it as fast as you can. My house is too big to really get it clean in the 1 hour she suggests but I can get it all done in about 90 min if I really hustle and don't have to deal with too much clutter or pick up.
5. I like the ZOne cleaning idea. Each day I spend 10 min. in a different area (my email only accepts these weekly emails from her) so my dinning room, master bed, kitchen etc. really get deep cleaned. Floor boards washing walls etc.
Thank you -- this is super helpful! I have a few follow-up questions:

-- how do you know what constitutes "cleaning the house"? I know that sounds dumb, but I haven't cleaned my house top to bottom in forever -- probably b/c all the clutter takes so long to clear, that by the time that's done, I have lost motivation! But what I'm asking is, assuming you can just clean and not have to clear away, too, what tasks = cleaning your house?

-- how does 1 hour to clean your house (I assume that's her home blessing, right?) differ from zone cleaning? You do both in the same week? Does that not then eliminate the need to clean that particular room during your one-hour house clean?

-- care to share what your morning and evening routines are?
post #11 of 51
First of all, I wouldn't worry too much while your baby is so young. Seriously!

I never followed it religiously, but I got some great tips from her. I think it's worth checking out, and then if you're falling off the wagon, maybe stick to her daily or weekly or monthly messages. I like the zone idea. I think it might help depending on how much you need to get stuff in order.

I think decluttering is a huge thing when it comes to keeping things picked up and clean. With kids, you spend so much time picking up. It not only needs an organizational place to go, but there can't be too much to pick up.

I loved the "clean one room a day" idea I got from her somewhere online. With kids I feel like that is only 1/3 of the stuff I do. I seem to do a lot of picking up after them (they can only help so much there). I keep up with laundry and clean up the kitchen after meals. And then lastly, clean. I mostly clean in bits and pieces (floors, bathrooms, kitchen esp.), and then when I really need to catch up, just do so by going one room at a time, day by day, or day by three. For some reason I had never thought of that obvious idea. I was always trying to do too much, or mop the whole house (impossible, drove me crazy) or do one chore throughout the house. It's easier for me to focus on a room, be thorough, and then let it go and chill til the next room. Now, cleaning is actually pretty fast, if I've kept up with picking up.
post #12 of 51
Because of your new baby, I wouldn't even waste time with the babysteps, putting together a notebook, etc. Just get the Daily Digest email, see today's mission, and if you feel like it, do it. Like this week is the master bath. I'm already doing a daily swish 'n swipe, so my bathroom is pretty clean. If I feel like doing one of her missions--I think one is clean out the cabinet--I'll do it, otherwise I'll just look around and give the bath some extra attention this week. If you do that, in a couple of months your house will be noticeably cleaner, because you'll be hitting each room once a month and it'll start to add up (snowball, even!). I totally wouldn't get bogged down about starting out perfectly or whatever, just jump in and do what you feel like.

If I were you, I'd focus on decluttering and as far as routines go, just the ones that will give you bang for your buck, like a load of laundry a day, swishing the bathroom, keeping dishes out of your sink, making your bed. When I had a new nursling, those tasks would take a whole freaking day, forget about cleaning out a bathroom cabinet!
post #13 of 51
Thread Starter 
Thanks, you guys! That makes a lot of sense. It helps for someone to spell it out. I think my brain is cluttered, too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by newbymom05 View Post
If I were you, I'd focus on decluttering and as far as routines go, just the ones that will give you bang for your buck, like a load of laundry a day, swishing the bathroom, keeping dishes out of your sink, making your bed. When I had a new nursling, those tasks would take a whole freaking day, forget about cleaning out a bathroom cabinet!
Thanks for the advice on routines. I doubt I'll ever be a bed-maker, but the rest of it is definitely doable and I see how it would make a big difference. Much as I hate to clean up after dinner, it is really crucial. Tonight, as I dragged myself back to the kitchen, I reminded myself that I can do anything for 15 minutes!
post #14 of 51
Most important daily flylady routines are:
  • use a wall calendar and check it daily
  • figure out what's for dinner in the morning or the night before
  • do a load of laundry a day and put it away
  • keep on top of dishes all day and put away clean dishes ASAP
  • swish and swipe the bathroom (this really makes a difference -- see flylady.net for instructions)
  • pick up toys a couple of times a day
  • sweep or vacuum floors if you have messy small children
  • declutter at least 15 minutes a day
  • if you have a lot of clutter, don't do any detailed cleaning until the clutter is under control
Adding any of these routines if you are not doing them already will make a huge difference.
post #15 of 51
Wellllll.... I used her off and on for along time.

I could never really stick to it. I always figured I was too rebellous, I didn;t want to wear shoes in my house. And her cleaning style just felt so counter-intuitive to me. But I liked alot of her ideas.

So I sat down and thought about what her core message was and what I could use.

In the end I kept the idea of a cleaning routine. Here is what I came up with:

Monday:
-Dust
-Vacuum
-Do laundry
-Clean glass doors
-Take out trash (all)

Tuesday:
-Mop
-Plan Menus (every other week)
-Do filing

Wednesday:
-Vacuum
-Clean door jams
-Clean upstairs bathrooms
-Water plants

Thursday:
-Change sheets
-Do laundry

Friday:
-Dust
-Vacuum
-Clean downstairs restroom
-Clean out fridge
-Take out trash (all)

Everyday:
-Dishes
-Make beds
-Pick up toys

When I stick to this and actually do it, it only takes about an hour or two to do it all, so I'm done with the actual cleaning before lunch. That leaves me the afternoon to work on any special projects.
But the truth is that I too have a 3 month old, and an almost three year old, and a 9 year old, and a 14 year old. Oh yeah and my husband is gone right now.... Sooooooo I just do the bare minimum these days. Barefoot.
post #16 of 51
I've never been able to get into Fly-Lady. She's just so INTENSE.

But...I did try "Sidetracked Home Executives" (Flylady actually mentions them on her site)....it is a pretty old book.

I love it. I'm not following everything yet but my house's cleanliness has improved.
post #17 of 51

Daily I

do laundry (and put it away). And dishes. I also try to declutter. Right now I'm decluttering clothing (mine, DDs and DSs), bags and DDs stuff. I ask her what she wants / doesn't want. Luckily she is good at letting things go - we've been doing it for years.

I don't always get to 27, but I have a bag in the closet that I fill with giveaway stuff. I take them every weekend to a sidewalk tag sale (people selling their stuff for some pocket money). I rarely ever buy anything, but do buy an occasional gem. I'm always decluttering, and the bag gets donated every 1-2 weeks.

Once a week I detail the bathroom, entryway, sweep / mop /vacuum entire house (with a WHOLE LOT of help from DH). He has a rehearsal at the house almost every week. Now that DD is back from camp, she helps me put away her toddler brother's toys. I do a Kelly's mission maybe once a month, when I feel like it.
post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by maryjane View Post
Thank you -- this is super helpful! I have a few follow-up questions:

-- how do you know what constitutes "cleaning the house"? I know that sounds dumb, but I haven't cleaned my house top to bottom in forever -- probably b/c all the clutter takes so long to clear, that by the time that's done, I have lost motivation! But what I'm asking is, assuming you can just clean and not have to clear away, too, what tasks = cleaning your house?

-- how does 1 hour to clean your house (I assume that's her home blessing, right?) differ from zone cleaning? You do both in the same week? Does that not then eliminate the need to clean that particular room during your one-hour house clean?

-- care to share what your morning and evening routines are?
Morning routine-put wet clothes into dryer and carry basket of dry clothes from dryer(I sort from dryer to a basket for each room) to bedrooms. My kids are dressed (as am I) before we leave our bedrooms. DS who is 4 unloads the dishwasher and sets the table while I make breakfast. The after breakfast I do my daily 15 min. of zone cleaning.

Nighttime routine- 15 minutes of toy and clutter clean up. Dishes done and counters clean. Things laid out to go to car for errands the next day. Dinner and meal ideas for the next day..get out meat to defrost etc. I put a load of laundry in the wash and set the timer to wash in 8 hours..then in the am I transfer the wet wash to the dryer. Paper dealt with in the office.

home blessing for me-clean all bathrooms(3 total) about 5 min per bathroom my kids help me, dust, 10 min my kids put on socks and dust the floor boards, mirrors and french door glass-5 min, garbage- my 2 year old collects the small cans and places them by the front door for me to dump then puts the cans away,sweep/vac. this takes the most time about 30 min(3400 sf house) I always do the main room(1100 sf of hard wood) and the boys bedroom and the play room. The other rooms only get vac. when I am up to it. Mopping-20 min.

The zone cleaning keeps the rest of the house clean enough(kitchen decluttered, cabinets wiped down, walls washed etc.)

Make sense??
post #19 of 51
I just started fly lady. I'm on Day 22 of the Baby Steps and so far I love it. DH has even noticed the difference and he NEVER notices anything

Many times I had looked at the website and found it overwhelming, even cluttered !

I think it's key to remember that it's not so much about cleaning your house as establishing the good habit it takes to keep a clean, orderly house.

I definitely recommend it but you must start slow and don't try to race ahead and do too much. Start with just the baby steps.

Good Luck!
post #20 of 51
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much! You are awesome! And so inspiring!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ksenia View Post
Adding any of these routines if you are not doing them already will make a huge difference.
I like that -- even one "small" thing can make a big difference!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsteapot View Post
So I sat down and thought about what her core message was and what I could use.
That is such good advice. I've tried cleaning schedules before, and I spent more time making up the schedule than I ever did cleaning. Clearly writing it down isn't my problem... doing it is! Maybe for me, the core message really is baby steps, since the whole routine just doesn't happen (if I am being honest with myself).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Savoir Faire View Post
I've never been able to get into Fly-Lady. She's just so INTENSE.

But...I did try "Sidetracked Home Executives" (Flylady actually mentions them on her site)....it is a pretty old book.
No kidding about being intense! Is SHE the system with file cards?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tessamami View Post
I do laundry (and put it away). And dishes. I also try to declutter. Right now I'm decluttering clothing (mine, DDs and DSs), bags and DDs stuff.

...

Once a week I detail the bathroom, entryway, sweep / mop /vacuum entire house (with a WHOLE LOT of help from DH). He has a rehearsal at the house almost every week. Now that DD is back from camp, she helps me put away her toddler brother's toys. I do a Kelly's mission maybe once a month, when I feel like it.
Thanks -- it's helpful to hear what others see as the main emphasis. I agree that laundry and dishes/kitchen have to happen daily. They weren't, which made simple self-care tasks seem completely overwhelming, too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by completebeginnings View Post
Morning routine-put wet clothes into dryer and carry basket of dry clothes from dryer(I sort from dryer to a basket for each room) to bedrooms. My kids are dressed (as am I) before we leave our bedrooms. DS who is 4 unloads the dishwasher and sets the table while I make breakfast. The after breakfast I do my daily 15 min. of zone cleaning.

Nighttime routine- 15 minutes of toy and clutter clean up. Dishes done and counters clean. Things laid out to go to car for errands the next day. Dinner and meal ideas for the next day..get out meat to defrost etc. I put a load of laundry in the wash and set the timer to wash in 8 hours..then in the am I transfer the wet wash to the dryer. Paper dealt with in the office.

home blessing for me-clean all bathrooms(3 total) about 5 min per bathroom my kids help me, dust, 10 min my kids put on socks and dust the floor boards, mirrors and french door glass-5 min, garbage- my 2 year old collects the small cans and places them by the front door for me to dump then puts the cans away,sweep/vac. this takes the most time about 30 min(3400 sf house) I always do the main room(1100 sf of hard wood) and the boys bedroom and the play room. The other rooms only get vac. when I am up to it. Mopping-20 min.

The zone cleaning keeps the rest of the house clean enough(kitchen decluttered, cabinets wiped down, walls washed etc.)

Make sense??
Yes, totally makes sense! It sound exhausting, but I guess once you're in the habit, it isn't so bad? I can't believe you do that all with three little ones and another on the way. How exactly does your 4 yo unload the dishwasher? Does s/he put the stuff on the counter and then you put it in the cupboards later? I am impressed! Also, I see that you don't include the kitchen in your home blessing. So, does that just get done through daily maintenance and zone cleaning?


Quote:
Originally Posted by BaBaBa View Post
I just started fly lady. I'm on Day 22 of the Baby Steps and so far I love it. DH has even noticed the difference and he NEVER notices anything

Many times I had looked at the website and found it overwhelming, even cluttered !

I think it's key to remember that it's not so much about cleaning your house as establishing the good habit it takes to keep a clean, orderly house.

I definitely recommend it but you must start slow and don't try to race ahead and do too much. Start with just the baby steps.

Good Luck!
Thanks for the encouragement! I'm glad to hear from another newbie who really feels like it's a worthwhile system.

I think I've gone about this somewhat backwards, b/c I haven't stopped cleaning/clearing for the last two days. But with MIL coming tomorrow (Aaaahhhhh!), I didn't have a choice. The house was horrifying. And goodness knows, I have plenty still left to do (for example, all the "decluttered stuff" has been dumped into the basement for further sorting. And I didn't even touch my dresser or closet, other than to just shove the clothes away.) But at least I feel like I can breathe in my house again, which is a HUGE accomplishment these days. Now that I've done that, I think I'm going to go back to the beginning with the baby steps.

Phew! You all have been amazingly inspiring and I really appreciate your input. I will definitely refer to this thread often in the coming days and weeks!
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