I can't find a workable cleaning routine - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 39 Old 10-03-2008, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe someone can help.

Fly Lady doesn't seem realistic for my life - from what I see of her schedule, she "cleans" everything in a single day. Dude, I have 4 kids...I *cannot* clean my house in a single day!

So, I tried breaking the rooms down by day (example - Monday is kitchen and downstairs bathroom) and using Fly Lady's zone cleaning for deep cleaning that I never seem to get to.

But blah...all I do is clean, clean, clean. Yes, my house is nice and tidy, but I'm exhausted and resentful. Any words of wisdom?

A happy woman
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#2 of 39 Old 10-03-2008, 09:42 PM
 
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NO words of wisdom since I feel like all I do is clean and my house is never really that clean
But what I do is alittle of every room everyday just to keep a more "balanced" home.
Like every night I wipe down kitchen and load dishwasher and clear counters. Pick up all toys tidy kids room and get laundry started(I like doing it whem kids are sleeping esp the putting away part)

in the morning I just either vaccum and dust in all major rooms OR wipe down 1 or 2 bathrooms (we have 3 always make the bed too

so that way IF someone stops by unannounced no room is ever looking scary or really dirty KWIM?

I always spend no more than 30 minutes at a time as I still have 2 at home that get into lots

Shelly, Mom to Sophia 5 Nicholas 3 & 2 Angels
Its a GIRL! Alyssa Ann 6/29/10 7lbs 5 oz
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#3 of 39 Old 10-03-2008, 09:45 PM
 
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I'm not sure you have actually read the FlyLady website starting with the baby steps and the first 30 days. You don't even work up to deep cleaning, and only by zone, until your quick routines are set and you have gotten well into de-cluttering a bit each day. You also don't jump in doing everything right away but slowly expanding your morning and evening routines so they become second nature.

I need to start back on the system myself but I will end up speeding up the initial steps.
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#4 of 39 Old 10-05-2008, 09:06 PM
 
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I started flylady myself about a week ago and it sounds like you might have overlooked several things: First of all start at Day1 and slowly add on (its been hard for me to not pile it on and actually say ok start with the sink and keep that clean even though i want to clean clean clean everything else) Second use the timer! and then stop! I'm just adding on a 5 min. room rescue to the 2 in hot spot (thats only 7 mins of cleaning plus the sink) the point isn't to complete a task but to work on it and declutter till the clutter is gone and clean up is quick. and it looks like she only does 1 hour of cleaning a week then just general clean for 15 min plus room rescue plus hot spot and a mission about 1/2 hour a day.
Before I started this I was doing the bedroom monday bathroom tuesday etc but I found that i was actually cleaning all the time doing that but maybe it would work better for you.
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#5 of 39 Old 10-06-2008, 08:20 PM
 
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I'm not sure you have actually read the FlyLady website starting with the baby steps and the first 30 days. You don't even work up to deep cleaning, and only by zone, until your quick routines are set and you have gotten well into de-cluttering a bit each day. You also don't jump in doing everything right away but slowly expanding your morning and evening routines so they become second nature.
: Also, I don't follow her systems but I find that some of her stuff really does save time. Guess what...if you do her "swish and swipe" every day, you don't really have to ever "properly" clean the bathrooms *and* you are not waiting until things are totally grungy . Also, declutter, declutter, declutter. My main living area is so much easier to tidy now that there is less furniture and stuff in it. If you listen to her podcasts you might get a better idea of how her system works -- it's helping me to understand better. I've got a long way to go to streamline my system and I'm working up to getting on board with flylady .

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#6 of 39 Old 10-06-2008, 11:08 PM
 
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Guess what...if you do her "swish and swipe" every day, you don't really have to ever "properly" clean the bathrooms *and* you are not waiting until things are totally grungy .
Can you please explain the "swish and swipe" to me? We have three main bathrooms (dh and I have one in our room, the boys have one, we have a half bath on the main floor). I've tried the s&s before, but it took me awhile. Flylady says it takes her 2 or 3 minutes I think. It was taking me almost 10 (per bathroom except the half bath). Obviously I'm doing something wrong! I guess the perfectionist side of me has a hard time not cleaning it all, but I was trying. I would squirt some soap (which I no longer have, I usually clean toilets with borax, but I was using her tip of old shampoo that you don't like for your hair) in the toilet, spray down the sink/counter and outside of toilet and wipe it all down. But besides cleaning the mirror, that's how I normally clean a bathroom anyway!

Can you tell me how it's done and done quickly? I'm really sure it's because I wasn't doing it properly, or rather was trying to do it all perfectly. That's a good tip though, and if I could figure it out, something that I should try again. I'm still working on finding a good cleaning routine for myself!
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#7 of 39 Old 10-06-2008, 11:22 PM
 
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S&S quick each day... What you miss today you get tomorrow!

Yes you do a quick scrub round and round inside the toilet, spray outside and seat, just wipe with toilet paper and toss in the toilet and flush. Wipe counter. Done! We use hand towels on the floor outside the shower instead of a rug, I'll spritz the floor and drag the old one with my feet across quickly and toss in the laundry and just put down a new one.

Challenge yourself to see what you can get done literally in 5 min or less.
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#8 of 39 Old 10-06-2008, 11:54 PM
 
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i do even less: I have a toilet brush from Ikea in a pretty ceramic urn (I use Dr. Bronners, it smells so nice - and we dump other soaps into it from time to time - at work, we use antibacterial dish soap). I swish the toilet with it ... then I wipe down things - sometimes with spray, sometimes not - with the hand towel - get a new hand towel, then I'm done. I swish the toilet maybe 3 times a week, or right before a guest is due to arrive.

The rest of flylady: we do our best to keep the kitchen sink clean & shiny before we go to bed. For some reason, if that is the ONLY thing I do, it makes me feel like my kitchen is clean. We run the dishwasher after the kitchen gets cleaned up, then open it when we're going to bed so that it is completely dry by morning. Then, the kids help me empty it sometime in the morning.

Laundry: I try to do a load once a day. sometimes it's morning, sometimes it's night. I did at least 6 yesterday, so I gave myself a break and didn't do any today. I'll get right back on it tomorrow.

Make the bed: that really does make me feel more productive, and it makes me want to get dressed

Eventually, I hope that someday, I'll have a clean house ... but for now, I'd rather spend 15 minutes at a time, working a little bit here and there - and spend the rest of the time enjoying my kids.

--janis

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#9 of 39 Old 10-06-2008, 11:56 PM
 
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S&S quick each day... What you miss today you get tomorrow!

Yes you do a quick scrub round and round inside the toilet, spray outside and seat, just wipe with toilet paper and toss in the toilet and flush. Wipe counter. Done! We use hand towels on the floor outside the shower instead of a rug, I'll spritz the floor and drag the old one with my feet across quickly and toss in the laundry and just put down a new one.

Challenge yourself to see what you can get done literally in 5 min or less.
Thank you! Maybe I can keep a stack of cleaning cloths in the bathrooms (at least the upstairs two) because I just use reusable cloths for cleaning. I do the same thing for the shower! I've looked so many times at rugs for outside of the shower, but they're not cheap and a towel works so well.

I guess my thing is if it takes 5 minutes for each bathroom, that's 15 minutes a day, or an hour and 45 minutes for a week (an hour and 15 minutes for just M-F). If I clean each bathroom thoroughly, not including the tub/shower, it takes a total of 45 minutes each week. I guess the benefit is that it never looks bad though, right? Instead, the way I do it now, it looks great for a day or two, then goes downhill for the last five. Is that the theory?
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#10 of 39 Old 10-07-2008, 12:15 AM
 
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Eventually, I hope that someday, I'll have a clean house ... but for now, I'd rather spend 15 minutes at a time, working a little bit here and there - and spend the rest of the time enjoying my kids.

--janis
Hmm, this was good for me to read. I've spent countless hours over the last few years trying to achieve perfection in my house and it has never happened. It's kind of sad to think how much time I've lost with my kids that I can never get back and how my priorities were out of whack if I chose that over doing something with them. That kind of puts Flylady into a whole new perspective for me.

I've done FL three or four times in the past, each time getting caught up in the "perfect" routine and the "perfect" control journal, frustrated with myself for coming up short, then quitting to try and figure it out on my own. Perhaps I should try again only *truly* do it how she suggests. Instead of moving way ahead in the steps, trying to do it all at once, maybe I need to figure out the bare minimum that must get done at night and write it down as my evening routine, etc. You've really given me something to think about with the part of your post I quoted Janis, and I thank you. :
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#11 of 39 Old 10-07-2008, 01:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, ok, you've convinced me...I'll take a look at FlyLady again.

I just feel so....miserable. I spend almost all of my time cleaning instead of raising my kids.

A happy woman
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#12 of 39 Old 10-07-2008, 01:12 AM
 
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Ok, ok, you've convinced me...I'll take a look at FlyLady again.

I just feel so....miserable. I spend almost all of my time cleaning instead of raising my kids.
I so hear you! I'll be your Flylady buddy if you'd like. I think it might be helpful for me too. I want to stay on track this time and not jump ahead and get overwhelmed again.

ETA: And I want to start enjoying my family more, and worrying less about my house. I also need that attitude adjustment again so I can start seeing housework as something that blesses my family, rather than the ranting and raving I did just a little while ago about all the stuff I had to clean up after the boys went to preschool.
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#13 of 39 Old 10-07-2008, 01:23 AM
 
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Oh, and a question. I think this is the kind of thing that trips me up when I've tried Flylady before. Say I decide I'm going to try this starting tomorrow. Do I just swish and swipe the bathrooms? Or do I need to thoroughly clean them, and THEN start the S&S the next day? I'm guessing the flylady way would be the first option and the perfectionist part would be the second. Am I hopeless?

I'm thinking I'll just get the info from her website each day instead of subscribing for the emails. I'm going to work on routines (simple at first) and do my daily swish and swipe, laundry, 15 minutes of decluttering, etc. and Kelly's missions.
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#14 of 39 Old 10-07-2008, 01:46 AM
 
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Okay, I'm sorry to serial post. I'm confused about something. I was just on the website, jotting down some of her routines for ideas. Then I came upon her Basic Weekly Plan. http://www.flylady.net/pages/FLYingLessons_Routines.asp Seriously? All of those things get done in a week? Or am I missing something? I feel overwhelmed just reading that list!

ETA: Oh, I see that a lot of that is included in her weekly home blessing, correct? Whew.
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#15 of 39 Old 10-07-2008, 03:46 AM
 
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Say I decide I'm going to try this starting tomorrow. Do I just swish and swipe the bathrooms?
Follow the "Getting Started" section.
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Okay, I'm sorry to serial post. I'm confused about something. I was just on the website, jotting down some of her routines for ideas. Then I came upon her Basic Weekly Plan. http://www.flylady.net/pages/FLYingLessons_Routines.asp Seriously? All of those things get done in a week? Or am I missing something? I feel overwhelmed just reading that list!

ETA: Oh, I see that a lot of that is included in her weekly home blessing, correct? Whew.
You're not supposed to overwhelm yourself by looking at that . See above...

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#16 of 39 Old 10-07-2008, 06:28 AM
 
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I'm struggling too. I haven't checked out flylady, but just started trying to follow a routine posted in here:

http://www.littleturtleknits.com/blo...ent-binder.htm

This is for a home management binder and she has files that you can download. My routine is closely based on the files in her "Brain" files. I just made some small adjustments (feed bird instead of cat...).

But like all good cleaning routines, I think it's hard to go from random efforts to 100% following it...

For the first two weeks I'm trying to pay strict attention to the "Daily Chores" and then make a note of what the focus room is for the day... not worrying about following the list to a T, but just trying to tidy up this room if I have time. My hope is that after two weeks, I'll be able to do more and more of what's on her focus cleaning lists... if not, I'll just have to hire a maid
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#17 of 39 Old 10-07-2008, 12:31 PM
 
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Kristi - this topic is the first mdc thing I read this morning - I'm really glad to see that you read my post. I have to keep telling myself that over and over. My mom is the typical SuperMom who has always had a beautiful home, regardless of how busy her life was. I get a lot of flack from her about my house. Don't misunderstand me: my house isn't "filthy" - but it's seriously cluttered and disorganized. I just have different priorities.

I've been subscribing to flylady emails for about 7-8 years, as long as I can remember, actually. I go through phases where I read most of them, or none of them - and sometimes I go "no mail" for a few months. But when I sit down and think about it, I've really gained a lot of inspiration from it, even if I don't "do" it all. I like that she is about inspiration rather than hard & fast "rules". And that maybe doesn't work for everyone, but it sure has made a difference for my family.

best wishes - and don't do too much at first! Baby Steps!!! (as long as I've done this, I'm still doing baby steps )

--janis

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#18 of 39 Old 10-07-2008, 02:14 PM
 
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... I guess my thing is if it takes 5 minutes for each bathroom, that's 15 minutes a day, or an hour and 45 minutes for a week (an hour and 15 minutes for just M-F). If I clean each bathroom thoroughly, not including the tub/shower, it takes a total of 45 minutes ...
The point and EASE of S&S is that you DO it while you are already IN there. It is almost like added time not an additional 5 min. You go in to finish getting ready for the day doing makeup or hair whatever shoot you could even do it as you are leaving the shower. Before leaving it spritz and wipe, swish and flush. The idea is to keep the dirt and hair from accumulating and putting things away as you use them. I think it really only adds ONE MINUTE to my time in there. Do the other bathrooms throughout the day as you use them OR teach those that use those bathrooms how to S&S.
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#19 of 39 Old 10-07-2008, 02:18 PM
 
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Okay, I'm sorry to serial post. I'm confused about something. I was just on the website, jotting down some of her routines for ideas. ...Or am I missing something? I feel overwhelmed just reading that list!
STOP! Go start with the BABY STEPS! Add something new each day. She will tell you what to add when and when to start zone cleaning and blessing.
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#20 of 39 Old 10-07-2008, 02:21 PM
 
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With three children, I can only imagine the increase with a fourth , I find that pure maintenance takes a lot of time everyday. Sometimes it is more than I can manage with good mental health so I try to prioritize and use the timer for five minutes more than I think I can tolerate at that moment in time. For example, I've decided my priorities are food in the house, food ready to eat, dishes done, laundry, and floors swept/vacuumed, in that order. If things are piling up faster than usual, I find 15 minutes is usually tolerable before I go collapse with a novel or some crochet or sewing. I check on my priorities and work on one of them.

I agree about re-reading flylady. She has some excellent concepts that I use even though I've never instituted her whole routine.
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#21 of 39 Old 10-07-2008, 03:47 PM
 
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Okay, I know I should do the whole babystep thing, but I feel like I'm really committed to making a change. I'm generally an organized person but have let things slip since twins. So that's been five years! I got somewhat addicted to the computer then because I was on bedrest for 9 weeks and have had a hard time breaking that habit. I'm much better about it now.

Sooo, I did make a routine today. I have my afternoon (I get up at 5:15am for work and get home around 12:30) routine, my after school routine, after dinner routine, and bedtime routine. I took into account our activities after school and stuff like that.

I just set a timer for 20 minutes and in that time, I started a load of laundry, made the beds, and cleaned three bathrooms including a quick spray and foot swipe of the floor! I worked as fast as I could, which may help burn some calories too.
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#22 of 39 Old 10-07-2008, 03:54 PM
 
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congratulations!!!

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#23 of 39 Old 10-08-2008, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I so hear you! I'll be your Flylady buddy if you'd like. I think it might be helpful for me too. I want to stay on track this time and not jump ahead and get overwhelmed again.

ETA: And I want to start enjoying my family more, and worrying less about my house. I also need that attitude adjustment again so I can start seeing housework as something that blesses my family, rather than the ranting and raving I did just a little while ago about all the stuff I had to clean up after the boys went to preschool.
Ok, buddy!

My sink was shiny yesterday...but...umm, not today yet. Ds3 is down for a nap, so I guess I need to go do it before my big kids get home in 15 minutes...then I need to help with homework, make dinner, take dd to basketball practice... (this morning was a playdate for ds2, oil change for the van, and other errands)

Calgon, take me away!!

A happy woman
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#24 of 39 Old 10-13-2008, 09:42 PM
 
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Ok, buddy!

My sink was shiny yesterday...but...umm, not today yet. Ds3 is down for a nap, so I guess I need to go do it before my big kids get home in 15 minutes...then I need to help with homework, make dinner, take dd to basketball practice... (this morning was a playdate for ds2, oil change for the van, and other errands)

Calgon, take me away!!
Well, how are you doing? Me...not so great. I did really well until the weekend. My son had a birthday and my parents stayed with us all weekend. I was exhausted by yesterday afternoon and went grocery shopping and left all the non-perishable stuff on the island/counters. It looks awful in here, but in reality, I can probably have a nearly spotless kitchen in 30 minutes or less. My kids were out of school today, and we had stuff to do outside the house all the way until dinner, so I didn't do anything today either. I have these great routines typed up and hanging on the refrigerator and I've barely even looked at it since Friday night.
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#25 of 39 Old 10-13-2008, 11:18 PM
 
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My tip for enjoying free time (and I am NEVER an advocate for buying crap): get a Roomba. Seriously. I run the thing 3-4 times a day (3 cats, a dog, a crawling baby, and my post-partum hairloss keep it busy), and all it takes is a push of a button and walk away. Worth every penny, and it helps get you motivated to pick stuff up off the floor and keep it neat in small chunks if you run it a couple times a day instead of waiting until you're tired and the floor is covered in crap.

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#26 of 39 Old 10-14-2008, 11:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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lovemyfamily6, I'm happy to report that my sink is shiny.

I've been skipping some of the baby steps (negative voices, etc.) - hopefully that's not too terrible of me. I'm up to the 5 minute room rescue. I was sick yesterday so hoping to get back on track tomorrow!

A happy woman
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#27 of 39 Old 10-14-2008, 11:46 PM
 
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I think of FlyLady this way-

The daily routines are for maintainance- they're what keep your house looking roughly the same way at the end of the day that it did in the morning.

Everything else (decluttering, room rescues, deep cleaning) is about making progress. 15 minutes at a time. And after awhile, it really adds up! As long as you keep up with the daily maintainence. some days we don't make any progress. some days we slide back a little. But overall, the house looks better and better.

It's amazing what a few months of looking at things this way will do. I have two children under the age of two right now, and my house is cleaner and more organized than it has ever been. : (okay that may say something about what a slob I was before , but hey, I'll take it)
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#28 of 39 Old 10-15-2008, 08:43 PM
 
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I didn't have much success with FLY lady. I have since purchased this system, and LOVE it!

www.motivatedmoms.com

It gives you a list of chores to do daily, breaking tasks into smaller bits. Sometimes I might miss one, but don't stress because I know that it will come up again soon.

It is honestly the best $8 I have ever spent on my house. My house has never been cleaner.

Good luck!
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#29 of 39 Old 10-15-2008, 10:43 PM
 
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lovemyfamily6, I'm happy to report that my sink is shiny.

I've been skipping some of the baby steps (negative voices, etc.) - hopefully that's not too terrible of me. I'm up to the 5 minute room rescue. I was sick yesterday so hoping to get back on track tomorrow!
Good for you!! I hope you're feeling better.

I guess I'm the reason that flylady insists you not rush ahead and try to do it all at once. I made myself crazy, yet again. So I pulled the routines list off of the refrigerator and I've just been doing what I can. I still love the decluttering 15 minutes at a time plan, and am actually getting ready to go do that in our living room. It's become a catch-all since we were painting. That's where we'll put our Christmas tree, so it needs to be in good shape by Thanksgiving.

One thing I've really worked on lately is making sure everything has a home. It's so much easier to clean up when you know exactly where something is supposed to go.
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#30 of 39 Old 10-16-2008, 02:06 PM
 
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Flylady works for me ... shiny kitchen sink, swish the toilet every couple days, make my bed ... I *try* to do as much as I can, but I'm not routine-oriented.

I've been doing zone-work this week (DH is out of town, and I'm trying to fill the void). It's bathroom-week, which is good because I've been procrastinating digging out the bathroom cabinets & drawers. I have found a ton of things that we don't use (freecycle) and a lifetime supply of bandaids! and quite a few expired things, too (makeup, lotion, etc) ... it's depressing, really, when I think about it.

About 10 years ago, we had to do an emergency clean-out of my grandfather's house (about 2 years after he died, after his widow had literally abandoned it). Anyway, it's a vivid memory of mine that I don't want my children to have to face: they were packrats and bulk-shoppers. The bathroom and kitchen were FULL of an oversupply of expired stuff. We spent days throwing things away (especially painful for me, an avid recycler). So, cleaning out my bathroom today has brought back those memories, sadly.

Well, it's back to work again! I need to "clean" the cabinet and start putting things back away. I didn't do this flylady style exactly - it was too big of a job to do in 15 minutes. But, it WILL be finished today.

--janis

Mama to 3 girls 12,8,3
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