Has anyone successfully used Flylady to get their house/life in order? - Mothering Forums
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Organize & Declutter > Has anyone successfully used Flylady to get their house/life in order?
maryjane's Avatar maryjane 12:12 AM 08-17-2009
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!!

LilMama23's Avatar LilMama23 12:43 AM 08-17-2009
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.
flowmom's Avatar flowmom 01:57 AM 08-18-2009
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.
boheime's Avatar boheime 11:52 AM 08-18-2009
Try Motivated Moms - totally doable and there is room to customize for your family.
tessamami's Avatar tessamami 04:57 PM 08-18-2009
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.
Gray's Mommy's Avatar Gray's Mommy 07:26 PM 08-18-2009
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.
completebeginnings's Avatar completebeginnings 08:23 PM 08-18-2009
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.
newbymom05's Avatar newbymom05 08:55 PM 08-18-2009
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!
maryjane's Avatar maryjane 12:43 AM 08-19-2009
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.
maryjane's Avatar maryjane 12:48 AM 08-19-2009
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?
Hazelnut's Avatar Hazelnut 12:59 AM 08-19-2009
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.
newbymom05's Avatar newbymom05 01:08 AM 08-19-2009
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!
maryjane's Avatar maryjane 01:49 AM 08-19-2009
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!
flowmom's Avatar flowmom 05:07 AM 08-19-2009
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.
mrsteapot's Avatar mrsteapot 09:26 AM 08-19-2009
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.
Savoir Faire's Avatar Savoir Faire 02:04 PM 08-19-2009
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.
tessamami's Avatar tessamami 04:01 PM 08-19-2009
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.
completebeginnings's Avatar completebeginnings 10:44 PM 08-19-2009
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??
BaBaBa's Avatar BaBaBa 10:58 PM 08-19-2009
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!
maryjane's Avatar maryjane 11:16 PM 08-19-2009
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!
completebeginnings's Avatar completebeginnings 12:25 AM 08-20-2009
[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.
completebeginnings's Avatar completebeginnings 12:30 AM 08-20-2009
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.
maryjane's Avatar maryjane 02:33 AM 08-20-2009
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.
umbrella's Avatar umbrella 03:39 AM 08-20-2009
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.
Autumn Mama's Avatar Autumn Mama 04:29 AM 08-20-2009
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!
crunchy_mama's Avatar crunchy_mama 10:09 AM 08-20-2009
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!
Amys1st's Avatar Amys1st 12:07 PM 08-20-2009
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.
completebeginnings's Avatar completebeginnings 12:32 PM 08-20-2009
[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.
rhiandmoi's Avatar rhiandmoi 09:18 PM 08-25-2009
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.
Thalia's Avatar Thalia 07:29 PM 08-26-2009
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.
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