Tuesday, 23 November 2010


FlyLady's FlyToon

Aaahhhh, at last.  A moment to sit down and wiggle my fingers on the keyboard!  This week a combination of my writing assignment and a sudden flurry of tasks and a training course for my role as Assistant District Commissioner (Adult Training) for The Scout Association has left me without much breathing room!  I'm not complaining - I'm one of those scary people who relish being busy and who thrive on a deadline.  I'm also one of those people who likes to make lists and have timetables and routines, but also likes to be flexible and go with the flow.  I like to be relaxed about housework, but also find that if it isn't done and I can see mess beginning to pile up around me then I get stressed and start to feel overwhelmed and a bit of a failure.

So... in view of that last sentence... I'd like to introduce you to FlyLady!

FlyLady is a website: with all the tools you need to take back control of the domestic part of your life.  It's completely free, though there are books and other bits and pieces that you can buy from the shop.

Here are the general themes of FlyLady:
  • Basically she recommends that you take "baby steps" to gradually build very simple routines into your daily life, starting with keeping the sink shiny and clean, then building in setting out your clothes the night before, and then getting completely ready first thing in the morning.  
  • For the first month you are given a task to do every day, some of which are new habits, which you try to do every day.  
  • She also advocates the use of a timer.  Do as much work as you can for a limited time and then stop.  
  • Don't rush around in the first week trying to get your house into a palace, when it took a lot longer than that for the clutter to build up, and all you end up doing is wearing yourself out, getting despondent and giving up.  
  • The FlyLady way is to add small jobs to your daily and weekly routine until they become second nature - these are the jobs that keep things ticking along and make everything easier, and of course you adapt them to your personal routine and circumstances.  
  • Then you get organised and build yourself a schedule of when things get done such as grocery shopping, an hour of general cleaning and hoovering, paperwork, watering the plants and so on.  
  • You will also be introduced to The Zones.  You move through the rooms in your house, one Zone each week, and apart from your weekly general cleaning, most of your other efforts that week are concentrated in The Zone, so that every room gets some focus once a month.  At the beginning you are encouraged to spend your efforts de-cluttering rather than cleaning in the Zone, as you can clean more easily without the clutter, then you focus on the cleaning. 
As you can tell, I am already a FlyLady convert!  I'm currently on day14 of the Baby steps first month, and already my home is looking amazing and I feel on top of it all.  It's true, I've jumped ahead a bit to  start on the Zones, but because the whole thing is set about simple routines I honestly feel I can make a change to the way I approach my domestic tasks, and the de-cluttering is really cathartic, I've cleared out corners in my home that I've been putting off for months.

I do feel concerned that I mustn't become a slave to the routines and the programme, because I still feel that I need to be responsive to a loving toddler.  In some ways this works because you are encouraged to work for a limited time and then stop - so for example I'll clean for 15 minutes, and then I'm completely available for him, and it could be that he will be helping me for those 15 minutes.  On the other hand, when I give myself only an hour for my "Weekly house blessing" which involves taking all the rubbish out, dusting main furniture and hoovering from top to bottom, cleaning the bathroom, and mopping the hard floors, as well as cleaning any mirrors that need doing... well you can see that it's a challenge and involves some serious hard work.  Poor Little C is frightened of the hoover and isn't getting much attention from Mummy in that time.  I need to remember that he comes first, and if the housework doesn't get done, then it doesn't get done.  Even with just a little bit of the routines every day, things are still so much cleaner than they were before.  I think I need to be even more aware of this once Number 2 arrives in March.  

There will be plenty of time to get my house in order once they are older.  In the meantime, as long as I keep on top of it enough to keep my sanity then any more is a bonus.  

Thank-you FlyLady for giving me some useful tools - now it's up to me to use them wisely!

If FlyLady isn't your thing but you do want to get yourself organised, and perhaps have children and have lost your way, I've also just found this link.


  1. I use the flylady system and it keeps my house from looking terrible :) Sometimes it does tend to get away from me though.

  2. Mine has been gradually slipping into more and more of a muddle for ages. Big C would often comment that I was an obsessive hooverer, and I'll be honest, there were a few jobs which I did like to do a lot, but at the expense of a lot of other jobs and mountains of clutter! I'm hoping this will be a new beginning - it's all about establishing those simple little habits!