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Has anyone successfully used Flylady to get their house/life in order? - Page 2

post #21 of 51
[QUOTE=

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?

My night time and morning routines take me about 20 min if not far less. I was spending far more time "trying" to keep my house clean before. My 4 year old can unload the dishwasher since I changed how I do my kitchen. All of my plates etc go in the bottom cabinetes where my children can easily reach then(I have break resistant) to put them away and set the table. The only thing they leave on the counter for me to put away are non plastic glass ware. My boys 4 and 2 actually fight over putting away the dishes they think it is fun. They also set the table and often help load the dishwasher. The kitchen is clean(dishes done and counters clean) before bed every night so it is not included in the homeblessing.

The biggest difference has just been getting rid of extra stuff. Only enough dishes to last 2 meals so I have to wash them. Enough kids clothes to last 7-10 days so I have to keep up on laundry. Only enough toys that the entire playroom can be clean in 15 min. I have a place for everything. I do not keep toys in my kids bedrooms so they stay pretty clean. I am lucky to have a large house with a lot of space but it wasn't always that way. Before this house we lived in a 1000 sf house and I had almost 3 times the stuff I do now. For me getting dressed first thing and my kids being dressed makes a huge difference in my day. no last minute shuffle to try to get the kids dressed while heading out the door. They know if they want breakfast they get dressed. My 2 year old even does it. Having someone to help you declutter and work on big cleaning projects helps. I have a good friend and we switch off one day a week and spend a few hours helping eachother.
post #22 of 51
Oh and give yourself a break. Your baby is still so little. My dh was just joking that the house is always so clean when I'm pregnant( I have slight pregnancy induced OCD...I am not like this AT ALL when not pregnant) and that it is never clean for 6 months after the baby is born.
post #23 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by completebeginnings View Post
Having someone to help you declutter and work on big cleaning projects helps. I have a good friend and we switch off one day a week and spend a few hours helping each other.
Where do you live? Want another friend to switch off with? That sounds wonderful! I love reading your posts -- it all sounds so possible when you say it! It's funny how cleaning and clearing my house these last two days has now made me feel like it's possible to tackle decluttering. It was such a cluttery mess (and seriously dirty, too -- how embarrassing!) that I felt suffocated... and just shut down. Like, why bother doing the dishes when the whole house looked like it threw up on itself.

I hear you on the give-myself-a-break thing with my newborn, but I can.not.stand living like this anymore. And fortunately I have a pretty easy baby, and when she's not, I just stick her in the sling and she's good. Today I even vacuumed with her in the sling! The real challenge isn't her, actually, it's my WAH job, which takes so many hours. But your posts make me think that with just 20 or 30 minutes a day, I can have a functioning home -- and you're right, I have been spending a lot more than that "trying" to clean.
post #24 of 51
We've incorporated some of the things I read in her book. For example, the "5 minute room rescue" is a big hit in this house. The rest of the family can't really grumble too much about tidying up for a mere 5 minutes, and it's always impressive how much of a difference it makes. It often gets to where there's still time left, but nothing left to tidy, so then it's a race to get something dusted or scrubbed.
post #25 of 51
Pssst, OP, I really think you should encourage your MIL to help you around the house while she's there, by looking after all of her own laundry, meals etc. With a newborn, you don't have time to entertain,. lol!!! And once she's done those things present her with a list of simple things she can do to contribute.

I like the Flylady mantra "Progress not perfection". Take baby steps. Expect it all to fall apart when someone's sick. Each day presents new challenges when a babe is small, and you have two other kidlets. I really feel strongly that in addition to wanting a tidy, functional home, I want my kids to recall an available mama when they are grown, and not just a mama who spent her time cleaning the house. (My mom was like that, had zero time for me, and I know I carry that legacy the other way in my home life, where I probably tidy and declutter too infrequently, so I can live life *with* my kids.) There's always something!
post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by completebeginnings View Post
Oh and give yourself a break. Your baby is still so little. My dh was just joking that the house is always so clean when I'm pregnant( I have slight pregnancy induced OCD...I am not like this AT ALL when not pregnant) and that it is never clean for 6 months after the baby is born.
I have been lurking on this thread but had to laugh at this! This is me to a T. I get a little neurotic about things. I don't quite have the schedule worked out that you do but a bit neurotic here. And mopping the whole house on your hands and knees when 6months pregnant is fun

I don't have any new tips but like everyone else keeping up with the house is sooooo much easier than letting it go and cleaning everyfew days. With kids that does mean several little clean-ups during the day- for us- it is before lunch- before dad gets home and bedtime. I spend way less time doing this am less stressed and have a cleaner house!
post #27 of 51
I started flylady when DD1 was about 15 mos old. IT was a godsend. But I will be the first to admit, after dd2 was born, it took a good 6 mos to get back to what I had accomplished because I had a nursing preemie and a 3 yr old to contend with.

I started decluttering in Sept when dd1 was 15 mos old. I called our local charity that does pickups and scheduled the appt. I told them 3 boxes and a bag. Well once I got going, I had 10 boxes and 2 large bags!! That was a great motivator because I knew when the pick up was and worked towards that.

I noticed the stuff we got rid of was 90% gifted to us over a course of 6 years. That year, I started a new rule. No more holiday gift exchanging. I noticed I would spend time and money getting gifts for exchange and I didnt recall seeing the gifts much after that. This means my stuff was also shoved in various relatives and friends closets as well. Its been 5 years since and the only holdout is my SIL married to my brother. Everyone else agrees and if they have to give us a gift, its a consumable gift they know we or they would enjoy.

Over the weeks after that original purge, I started going thru closets, drawers, shelves everywhere and anywhere- even the garage since my DH caught the bug as well. I started the 500 item declutter challenge here and the thread we figured that month decluttered 10,000 items everyone together. I remember people balking at the 500 items and within days, some people hit it!!

I realized how much it paid off when several months later I was hosting a playdate and the first mom friend who came over asked me if we put on addition to the house. It seemed so big all of a sudden.

Things I took and use everyday:

If we buy something, such as a cute pair of black boots on sale. I need to make sure I donate or throw out the other pair in my closet. Or return the new ones since I dont need them anyhow.

I do the same with the fridge and pantry. I will start or join the pantry challenge here or just not shop for a few extra days and use what we have before it spoils and we have to toss anyhow.

Plan out meals and day.

Spend 10-30 minutes daily straightening, cleaning and tidying. Usually its around 5pm so it dosent get messed up again until tomorrow. Also i makes for a happier mealtime when DH gets home and we can all just visit and not worry about the house being upside down.
post #28 of 51
[QUOTE=Amys1st;14261856]

I noticed the stuff we got rid of was 90% gifted to us over a course of 6 years. That year, I started a new rule. No more holiday gift exchanging. I noticed I would spend time and money getting gifts for exchange and I didnt recall seeing the gifts much after that. This means my stuff was also shoved in various relatives and friends closets as well. Its been 5 years since and the only holdout is my SIL married to my brother. Everyone else agrees and if they have to give us a gift, its a consumable gift they know we or they would enjoy.



Yes gift clutter has been huge for us too. I have just learned to say no..to people like my mother who lives near by and garage sales a lot and brings over a ton of stuff we don't need. Also not keeping something just because I "should" be attached to it. My dad died 8 years ago and people starting giving me old stuff of his...a broken microscope from when he was a child, a pair of shoes that were his that he handed down to someone so they gave them back. Weird stuff like that and I saved it for years but it didn't remind me of my dad just irritated me so I have saved a few items (his 2 favorite books and a pocket knife) and tossed or gave away...I know gasp...the rest. He was a simple living person and would have been happier with me living with out out his stuff.
Kids gift stuff has been the same. At my kids bday parties we don't do gifts. I don't need all that crap. Inlaws ask for very specific gift lists which they stick to. At Christmas we also keep it low key. DH and I make each other our gifts and spend $20 stuffing each others stockings. Kids from mom and dad get 3 gifts(like the 3 wisemen) 1 homemade(aprons, capes, blankets, scrapbooks etc.),1 practical (usually new underwear, socks or pj's), and one fun thing (usually what they really want with strong encouragement by mom). Not only has this been cheaper but it really cuts down on the stuff.
post #29 of 51
I have never been able to get into Flylady, but I completely believe in the Master Cleaning Schedule, and having daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual frequency items. I have been trying to develop a MCS for my house for several months now, but I keep losing the motivation. Recently I had a sort of personal A Ha moment, and I am focusing more on having a happy and healthy life and not let things control me and affect my mood so much. Big on that is getting a handle on the house stuff. I am going to spend a couple of hours this weekend decluttering and then writing my MCS. I've been on a tear recently and our place is really starting to look good. I really want it to stay like this.

As for the earlier question, of what does "cleaning the house" mean? I think at the beginning it should just mean getting everything decent enough that you can walk through the house. Then when you get a handle on that, step it up to decent enough that a very close friend could walk through. Then decent enough that your MIL can walk through.
post #30 of 51
FlyLady helped me get my life in order in August of 2006. In May of that year, a miscarriage ended our first pregnancy, after a year of trying to conceive, and that summer was such a difficult time. FlyLady was one of the things, one of the MAIN things, actually, that pulled me out.

I did it pretty intensely at first. I mean, I did all the babysteps, but I mean I just tried to do everything that was recommended whether I liked it or not. I tried to suspend judgment for a while, because I was desperate.

Eventually, it all sunk in, and it changed my behavior permanently. I think one of the things I really needed was the positive reinforcement. FlyLady actually does a lot of mothering and cheerleading, as far as I'm concerned. I appreciated the feeling that, even though she didn't know me personally, SOMEONE was proud of the tiny tiny changes I was making in my daily life. Who else would want to pat me on the back for doing the basics, like getting the dishes done, or putting away my clothes? I would have been embarrassed to ask for that affirmation from anyone IRL, but I REALLY needed it to make the changes.

Some of the many things I do now that I never did before include making the bed every morning, going to bed with an absolutely clean kitchen, having the house in company ready shape at all times, and keeping a calendar. These are all huge improvements over my former housekeeping habits. I also made enough progress on my perfectionism to agree to hire a housekeeper to come twice a month to do much of the heavy cleaning work, something my husband had been wanting to do for a long time. Now, between the housekeeper and our daily cleaning habits, everything looks clean all the time, and our house is a very comfortable place to be.

My personal feeling is that changing your living habits is a BIG change, much bigger than most of us acknowledge, and I think FlyLady works best if you really commit to it for a long period of time. If you can't do that, it's probably best to try one of the other systems mentioned here. I think the strength of her program is the all-consumingness of it.

ETA: I no longer get the e-mails or visit the site, and I definitely need to continue to work on my clutter, but I am really pleased that so many habits have stuck with me.
post #31 of 51
I just rejoined FlyLady today. I was s FlyLady dropout in 2003 but I am SICK OF THIS MESS!!!!!! For the past two days, I've gotten up before the kids, showered, and got totally ready before they even woke up. I NEVER did that before. I think that alone is encouraging enough for me to get the house in order.


We can all be support for each other on here! Here's to clutter-free, clean homes!
post #32 of 51
Thread Starter 
You are all so inspiring! Thank you!:

My MIL came and went, and the house was under control the whole time! I cleared the major clutter before she came, but closets and dressers are still in great need of decluttering. Now that the worst of it is done, I feel like I can tackle it in bits and pieces (15 minutes at time).

This week, I have really focused on establishing some good habits. Every night, I pick out my kids' clothes, clean the kitchen and shine the sink, and pack my kids' lunches for school. Every morning, I swish the toilet and swipe the bathroom sinks and mirrors. Throughout the day, I pick up the toys, shoes, and other bits that have been left out. I can see the routines starting to come together, but I am being careful not to get ahead of myself. Just keeping on top of those few things has made a HUGE difference and I feel so much better. I *love* going into the kitchen in the morning. I *love* knowing that the toilets are clean. I *love* the feeling of peace that comes from not being embarrassed of my home.

Tomorrow is my first official "home blessing". I'm excited! Anyone have a feather duster they use and recommend?
post #33 of 51
I started FlyLady in 2002 when I was pg with DS1 and did it for about a year and then slowly faded away from it. Now I do a version of it but on my own rotating schedule that I put in a spreadsheet based on when I get up until when the kids go to bed. It has helped me know it is ok to only do 2 small cleaning tasks (in addition to tidying, laundry, dishes, and cooking) and that I know I will have something else to do the next day. I've been happy with it. I'm going to look at FlyLady again, though, to get more ideas for things I might have left off my schedule...
post #34 of 51
I've never actually joined Flylady, but I did read the book (Sink Reflections) and found a lot of useful tips and theories. Basically, you've got to take what she reccommends, find the truth behind it, and see if that applies to your own life. For example, I don't do the "shoes" thing, but I do get up and out of the house first thing every day, so the rest of the day I'm presentable if I need to run an errand, answer the door, walk the dog or whatever. I think that's the *idea* behind "getting dressed to the shoes", even though I stay barefoot and keep my sandals by the door. Anyway here's what I picked up from Flylady:

*This is going to sound SO stupid, but I honestly never thought about cleaning as an every-day, maintenance kind of thing. Basically, I would always let things get as messy as possible, then try to clean. You know-- not doing the dishes until there were no clean dishes left to use, instead of doing them every day or after every meal. (This was basically a holdover from my bedroom as a child-- I never cleaned until it got so bad that Mom or Dad made me do it, grounding me from going out until it was presentable again.)

*The idea of having routines-- things that get done every day, things that get done every week. Honestly never occured to me. Like DUH.

*For big cleaning, the practice of spending X time in one room, then moving on to another. This is so helpful to me because I tend to get bogged down in details-- I'll start cleaning the kitchen and the next thing I know, I'm organizing the spice rack or trying to clean behind the stove. Meanwhile, the living room is a disaster and the bathroom is disgusting. Now I try to spend only half an hour cleaning the kitchen, then move on to the living room, etc. Do the most possible in the least amount of time, so that every room sees noticable improvement.

*The concept that a load of laundry isn't DONE until it's folded and put away.

*Attitude. I am trying to acknowledge that I want a clean house *for myself*, that *I* deserve a clean, pleasant, pretty place to live. Trying to change my POV so that it doesn't become a battle ground between me and DH.

*Similarly, the idea that being clean and organized means that you can be MORE spontaneous, not less. Never thought about it that way before, but if your house is clean, you can invite friends over whenever (assuming you'd be embarrassed by a messy house). If your laundry is under control, you can pack a bag for a spontaneous trip out of town with no hassle. Etc.
post #35 of 51
I just wanted to add my agreement that the greatest benefit that Flylady offers is the attitude part. There are tons of cleaning systems, etc. out there. It's not rocket science to make some lists of things that need doing, then do them and check them off.

Flylady is targeted to people who would have trouble doing the above, like me. I have the non-H type of ADHD (not formally diagnosed but I'm pretty sure). Routines and follow-through do NOT come easily to me.

The attitude things that Flylady has helped me with:
  • not whining and blaming the condition of the household on others
  • doing it for ME
  • recognizing how much chaos in the home saps my energy and stops me from feeling spontaneous and free to "take on" other things
  • recognizing how perfectionism stops me from doing anything when I get overwhelmed (which happens easily)
  • seeing housework as a positive use of my time that is nourishing to myself and others (not a waste of time as my mother felt)

I've reallly needed to make the above attitude shifts before being able to raise the overall standard of order in my home. Things have improved a lot around here . I still want to incorporate more of her recommended habits and routines.
post #36 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WeasleyMum View Post
I've never actually joined Flylady, but I did read the book (Sink Reflections) and found a lot of useful tips and theories.
...
*The concept that a load of laundry isn't DONE until it's folded and put away.

*Attitude. I am trying to acknowledge that I want a clean house *for myself*, that *I* deserve a clean, pleasant, pretty place to live. Trying to change my POV so that it doesn't become a battle ground between me and DH.

*Similarly, the idea that being clean and organized means that you can be MORE spontaneous, not less. Never thought about it that way before, but if your house is clean, you can invite friends over whenever (assuming you'd be embarrassed by a messy house). If your laundry is under control, you can pack a bag for a spontaneous trip out of town with no hassle. Etc.
That's what I'm doing -- reading the book. I checked it out from the library!

Also, wanted to add that these last three tips -- and especially the last two -- were incredible Aha! moments for me. I love what you wrote about the battle ground with your DH. I am very similar, and am seeing how my change in attitude is actually positively influencing DH -- a nice, but unintended, benefit! Today we had guests for lunch, and what a pleasure it was NOT to have anxiety before they came. It was a world of difference from even 2 weeks ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ksenia View Post
The attitude things that Flylady has helped me with:
  • not whining and blaming the condition of the household on others
  • doing it for ME
  • recognizing how much chaos in the home saps my energy and stops me from feeling spontaneous and free to "take on" other things
  • recognizing how perfectionism stops me from doing anything when I get overwhelmed (which happens easily)
  • seeing housework as a positive use of my time that is nourishing to myself and others (not a waste of time as my mother felt)

I've reallly needed to make the above attitude shifts before being able to raise the overall standard of order in my home. Things have improved a lot around here . I still want to incorporate more of her recommended habits and routines.
Love the list of changes in attitude! All of those are true for me and I can see how a change in attitude has the potential to net an incredible change in lifestyle.
post #37 of 51
*wave* flylady has had a HUGE effect on me. i started out with daily emails, and eventually created my own reminders using ical and mail and *things*...i also never got to the zones, not for years, until i made weekly zones, which works so much better for me.

also, goodness, 6 months old? take your time!

*
post #38 of 51
I did fylady in 1999 (yeah, I'm old) when I made the switch from WOHM of one to WAHM of 2 & providign daycare for my BFF's newborn baby. I was never much of a housekeeper, neither was dp, and we knew we would need help to make the transition work. With a toddler and 2 babies all day, I needed the house clean and I needed a system. Flylady was a gift from Hestia (goddess of the home & heart). I would have never gotten my house in shape without that system and made it through that change!

Now, I have my own spiritual home binder with my fellow mdc pagans. Onetruething & I ran a week long workshop on it here. I've gotten away from using that book because we slack so much in the summer, but I'm about to pull it back out as our homeschool year begins next week and we are craving more routine and ritual. A lot of what I have in my binder if Flylady inspired. And her little phrases are like touchstones for me, even these 10 years later. "Housework done imprecfectly/incompletely still blesses my family." This one I still think about because I always feel like I should not start a project if I cannot finish every last bit of it right then and there.
post #39 of 51
Thread Starter 
Just a quick update. I first posted this almost a month ago. Since then, I have done three things consistently:

1) shined my sink (and cleaned up my kitchen) before I go to bed every.single.night

2) swished and swiped my toilets and bathroom sinks every.single.morning (except Saturday, that's my day off!)

3) done one load of laundry (from wash to put away!) every.single.day (except Sat.)

In addition, I have packed my kids' lunches and laid out their clothes at night.

I need to start decluttering for 15 minutes a day, but I wanted to give myself some time to settle with these three accomplishments first. I really want to thank you all for giving me the kick in the behind that I needed!
post #40 of 51
I hope you feel good about it. Those few things really help me. Keep going!
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