I promised yesterday to share the website that helped me overcome my C.H.A.O.S. (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome). It was at this site that I first learned my “condition” even had a name and that, as you know, is the first step to recovery.
FlyLady.net (FLY–Finally Loving Yourself) was the site that afforded me my first real housekeeping break-through.
Fly Lady (Marla Cilley) has a similar story to mine…to many of yours, I’m guessing. Her break-through came with the simple commitment she made to end her day with a clean and cleaned-out sink. Her book, Sink Reflections, is her personal story and contains some of those first lessons that are the bedrock of her wonderful approach to housekeeping, de-cluttering, and self-keeping. Her website includes links to her Fly Shop as well as links to other on-line life coaches (i.e. style, diet and meal planning, etc.), but her site stays pretty true to its tagline: Your personal on-line coach to help you gain control of your house and home.
Marla offers gentle guidance in developing housekeeping routines which she calls FLYing Lessons. “Shine your sink” is her first lesson, but also foundational are directives to get dressed down to your lace up shoes, swish & swipe your bathroom daily, declutter 15 minutes a day and take regular breaks. She guides the newbie in what she calls Baby Steps, 31 lessons (a month’s worth) to begin FLYing.
Fly Lady has divided the home into zones and her followers are given daily email to-do lists, called Flight Plans. Each zone is given a week’s attention, getting through all the zones in a month. This week’s focus is Zone 3—The Bathroom and an Extra Room.
There is so much more to this site, though, than just zone cleaning—
* Detail Cleaning check-off lists for the zones;
* Weekly Home Blessing Hour;
* FLYing lessons for Payroll SHEs (working Side-tracked Home Executives) ;
* Control Journals;
* Habit of the Month (this month, drink your water);
* Anti-Procrastination Days – days to tackle those put off projects;
* Crisis Cleaning schedule;
* Fly Kids Challenge—a daily task for children to manage their own spaces [See my “Teaching Work” shortcomings (see June 13 post)]
I rarely go to the site these days, though, and my daily Fly Lady e-mails often end up in my computer’s trash. This is only because so many of her teachings have been internalized and have already done good service in giving structure to how I approach my own home now. Unless it’s an infrequent Crisis Cleaning for company, I rarely clean my whole house or floor in one day. I break down the house into manageable areas and progress throughout my home. I even break down my bathroom chores into a three-day process which helps me not d-r-e-a-d those duties like I used to.
“You can do anything for 15 minutes” is one of Fly Lady’s most famous quotes and the one that most affected me. Marla taught me the trick of literally setting a timer for 15 minutes and pouring myself heart and soul into a targeted area (whether zone work or a “Hot Spot”). It is really a marvel how much can be done in those quick 15 minute bursts.
Some other encouraging Fly Lady quotes include:
* Not housework, but home blessing (“This is my home and I deserve to have a wonderful place to live, this blesses my home, and my family and me!”)
* Housework done imperfectly still blesses my family.
* You can’t organize clutter; you can only get rid of it!
* I don’t have to be perfect to be loved and my home does not have to be perfect to be lived in.
* What doesn’t matter just doesn’t matter!