Friday, August 30, 2013

**UPDATED** Making Flylady Work For You

**This post has been, by far, the most popular post on this blog. (It's even been pinned on Pinterest... OMG!!!  hehe) It's also my encouragement to get back to blogging! A lot has changed since I wrote this. We bought our first house, our kids have grown a lot, my marriage has grown a lot, and I've grown a lot! I figured if this will be the first post many find on my site, I better update it! So I've left all of the original post, I've just added in blue any updates. I hope you still enjoy it!! Most importantly I hope it helps!! Thank you so much for stopping by!**

**BTW, I'm off right now with my camera taking updated pictures to add!**
So I mentioned a couple of times that I would post about Flylady, and how I made her program work for me without being overwhelmed. I've been avoiding this post because I knew it would take forever to write! There's just so much that goes into it. It's not just cleaning. It's time management, making a home management/ household binder work for you, figuring out how your mind and home works. whew. I'm tired already!

First off, I have no ill feelings for Flylady or her program. I actually think that the concept is genius! I'm just not a household notebook, follow a minute by minute checklist everyday kinda gal. Flylady is BIG on having a "control journal." It is basically a household notebook. I've tried a household notebook many, many, MANY, times and it never works for me... I have a household notebook, just not the kind you read about. I can't have things that need to be looked at daily tucked away in a notebook. That notebook will have a home. That home will hide it. Therefore, I wont look at it everyday.

My household notebook has a section for family. A section for my ideas and projects. A section for finances, and a section for holidays. Notice there is no calender. My calender is beside my coffee pot in the kitchen, where I will see it every morning. It is hanging on a wire mesh file box that I call my "paper tamer." I got the idea from here. On my calender I have my appointments, holidays and my son's school events. I also don't keep family information, or address' in my notebook. I know my family's information, what I don't know is safely in my file cabinet. My address' are on my computerand all phone numbers are stored and backed up on my phone.
~I now use a HUGE magnetic calender I found at Target and it's stuck to the side of my fridge. I also started keeping addresses in my dayplanner instead of on the computer.

My family section holds all sorts of goodies. If I see an article in a magazine about something fun to do with the kids, it goes in there. If I get a flyer for an event we would like to attend, the date is written on the calender, and the flyer goes in my binder. Ideas on the Internet, written in the binder.

My ideas and projects section holds everything from drawings of how I want to rearrange a room to things I've been meaning to buy. Whatever is on my mind, I put in there. When I have time to do a project, I look in my binder and pick one.
~Pinterest has sort of taken away the need for the "Ideas/Projects" and "Family" sections. I still have a few things in there, but Pinterest is my go to for these kinds of things now. 

My finance section holds a folder for my bills and bill calender. When I get a bill I open it, put the due date on the calender and file the bill in the folder. When payday comes, I can easily see what needs to be paid. Everything I need to pay those bills (stamps, envelopes, return address labels) are all stored in that folder. Then I have my budget worksheets. My husband gets paid every two weeks, so each payday I go through and look at what bills are due, what I will payout in groceries, gas and other misc. weekly expenses and anything else that will be paid out that pay period. (like doctor appts, prescriptions, etc.) Add it all up, deduct it from his pay check and decide what to do with the rest. I usually give my husband and I some free money, and the rest goes into savings.
~As I started using my binder less, I decided to just add two files to my wire mesh "paper tamer." I added a BILLS file (with everything needed for paying bills), and a PAID BILLS file (all bill stubs with date & check # on them) but I still use it in the same way.

My holiday section is a lifesaver! I keep it in there all year. I use it to jot down gift ideas as they come to me and birthday party ideas for my boys. When their birthdays start getting closer I pull out a sheet of paper to put in there and plan everything on it! That way if I forget something, I can easily look back at that paper At Christmas time I have our Christmas dinner plan and shopping list. I plan out what I can cook the day before. I have a running gift list so I don't forget to buy a present for anyone. Christmas activities to do with the kids, all things holiday go in this section!
~I still use and adore my holiday section!

That's my household binder!

Flylady is also big on decluttering before starting to clean. I agree completely. I think all of her little "27 fling boogies" and stuff just make it too complicated. Whatever zone you are working in that week, instead of cleaning... declutter! You cannot clean a cluttered home. It's impossible! Instead of cleaning you will just be moving piles from one place to another. I wrote a post about organizing and decluttering and there are also MANY resources out there, if my post doesn't help.

I used to keep everything. My husband keeps everything. Put us together and you've got a whole lotta madness! Our bedroom was basically a storage room. I hated going in there, it was like a maze! I slowly chipped away at it and got rid of everything we were willing to part with, the rest went neatly under our bed. Now our room feels like a bedroom, and I actually enjoy spending time in there. Now I make a trip to Goodwill every few months getting rid of clutter! I saw how much better I felt about our home after getting rid of all that clutter, now I'm hooked!

My cleaning schedule is a simplified version of Flylady. Basically I have things that need to be done daily, weekly and monthly, which is Flylady's basic plan. She just goes into WAY too much detail for making the routines! I remember to brush my teeth, I remember to make breakfast. I don't remember to make my bed. I don't remember to take my glass of water to the kitchen. I don't remember to straighten my bathroom counters when I'm done getting dressed. These are the things I need reminders for. The other things just make that list look scary. So I simplified.

My morning routine goes a little something like this...
  • Make Bed
  • Straighten Night Stands
  • Straighten Bathroom Floor and Counters
  • Clear Table After Breakfast (with kids)
  • Do Breakfast Dishes
  • Wipe Up Mess On Floor (if any)
  • Cleaning
  • What's For Dinner?
  • Outside With Kids (or errands, if any)

A  lot simpler, right? Well, it is to me anyway.

My Afternoon routine is usually starts after we eat lunch...

  • Cleanup After Lunch (clear table, counters, dishes and sweep)
  • Pick Up Toys With Kids
  • Living room Spruce Up (fluff couch cushions, daily vacuuming)
  • Free Time

My evening routine starts after I'm done cooking...

  • Cleanup After Dinner (table, counters, dishes, sweep)
  • Pick Up Toys With Kids
  • Pick Up Kid's Room With Kids (this is something hard for me to remember. I'm working on it :0)
  • Kid's Baths (pick up while in there)
  • Living Room Spruce Up

That's it! I only put things on my routine if it's something I need to be reminded of. I have this on my fridge so I can see it easily throughout the day. I don't look at it all day every day, because most of it has become habit. If I look around and ask myself why the house is a mess, I refer back to my routines and usually I find I forgot a thing or two, and do them. When I follow these routines, my home stays clean, I have more time to play with the kids, and even relax! Wow, I never would have thought that was possible!

~When I decided to edit this post, I figured that I would have to re do all of the routines. The funny thing is I still keep this basic routine, although it's not posted anywhere anymore. It has become such habit now that I don't need the visual reminder. If that's not a testament to how well finding the right routine works, I don't know what it!

Also on my fridge is my weekly cleaning/ to do list. I like to have this out in the open, too! Every morning when I make my coffee I look at my calender and at my weekly chore list. Just by glancing at these two pieces of paper, I know everything that needs to be done that day.

  • Vacuum all rooms (not in detail, just a quickie)
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Dust
  • Mop Kitchen
  • Budget/ Take out cash
  • Windows
  • Laundry Day!
  • Sheets and Blankets
  • Get Sunday Paper
  • Make Pharmacy Shopping List
  • Pharmacy Shopping
I do my weekly things during my morning routine. (where I have listed "cleaning") That's just when I seem to have time and motivation. Yours may be at night, or in the afternoon. Every person and every home is different. Sometimes days get switched up for different reasons. I may not feel up to a laundry marathon on Saturday, so I'll do it Sunday. Or I may not have time to do my pharmacy shopping on Sunday, so I'll go on Monday. This is just a basic plan, life happens.

~I still keep my cleaning routine posted on my fridge for a visual reminder and easy access.

Ok, so we've covered daily tasks, weekly tasks, now onto monthly tasks. I like Flylady's take on this. I used to do a room a day before Flylady. I always found it not only took up way too much time, but weekly was way too often for deep cleaning. I still use her basic zones, but made them work for my home.

  1. Living Room and Entry
  2. Kitchen and Dining Area
  3. Kid's Bathroom
  4. Kid's Bedroom
  5. Laundry Area
  6. Master Bedroom
  7. Master Bathroom

When I do my zone cleaning on Tuesday, it's deep cleaning. I'm talking moving furniture, washing knick knacks, vacuuming under couch cushions. But you only do one area a week. I like this because even if something comes up on Tuesday, I have a whole week to find time to do it.

~So after my discovery and acceptance of my ADHD-PI/SCT I stopped being so hard on myself. I stopped expecting the impossible of myself. Talk about relief! Whew! So I have changed my cleaning routine a little. I no longer have weekly and monthly cleaning- Just weekly. Whenever I notice something needs a good deep cleaning (like what I would have done during monthly cleanings) I just jot it down in my planner and the next time I feel like deep cleaning, I know right where to go. 

So my cleaning routine now looks like this:


  • Kid's Laundry
  • Livingroom (deep clean, but i don't go overboard with it)
  • Dust
  • Our Laundry
  • Bedrooms ( I usually alternate between the kid's room and our room. vacuum, sheets, declutter)
  • Kitchen (wipe cabinets and appliances, clean out fridge, declutter)
  • Make grocery list and gather coupons
  • Bathrooms (I alternate between the two bathrooms. Tubs, toilets, sink/ cabinets, trash, mop)
  • Bills and budget
  • Errands/ Shopping

So what's the point in all this? Don't worry about reading her gazillion emails, doing all of the babysteps, piecing together all of the nonsense. The point that she's trying to make gets lost in all of that.

Figure out what needs to be done daily. Don't put down things that are already habit, only the things you need a reminder for.

What needs to be done weekly? Flylady calls hers a weekly home blessing. (WHB) It's just a little spruce up. Dusting, washing sheets, windows, etc. You can spend about an hour doing everything at once, one day a week, or you can split it up and do one or two things a day. Whatever works for you! You can also put other things that need to be done weekly on this list. Errands that need to be run, balancing your checkbook, whatever you have on your weekly agenda...

Put these two things somewhere that makes sense for you. On your fridge, bathroom mirror, in a binder. Whatever works for you.

Think about your house and all of the zones that are in it. Bedrooms, bathrooms, living room, den, kitchen, dining room. Now pick a day of the week that makes sense (not a lot going on) and do your zone work on that day every week You do a different zone each week. Remember, declutter first, then worry about cleaning...

That's it! Flylady's program simplified into a couple of paragraphs! I really hope this helps. Flylady's concept is wonderful, and really changed my life. She just has it set up in a way that discourages a lot of people.

Now, since I've been finishing up this post all morning, I'm off to catch up on my morning routine!