I talked a bit about creating a homemaking block in my most recent post here on the blog. While I enjoy cleaning and, even more, a clean home, I can sometimes get in a rut where I’m just tired of cleaning. But as I mentioned here, I need to get out of it if I want to have my home being a sanctuary for my husband and me. So I thought back to when I truly enjoyed cleaning last. And it was a year or two ago when I was following the Fly Lady routine. There are still pieces that I follow to this day, but because I am not doing the whole process, it doesn’t feel the same.
But my problem with the system itself was, it is tough to follow because the details are not in one place. I mean, her website reminds me of the late 90’s/the early 2000s and is full of items to buy from her. Her technique is to get you to sign up for her email, and she sends you what needs to be done throughout the day. For example, I signed up again for her emails to get started and have already received at least eight emails a day. And her site says that she averages ten emails a day. It’s a bit overwhelming. Especially for a planner like me, that would like to plan in advance. I’ve scanned her site, and it’s a bit all over the place to find what you need. So let me try and break down how it works.
Update: This post got long! I was thinking about breaking it up until multiple posts and decided that defeats the purpose of having everything in one place. So while this lengthy post will be published as one, let’s focus on one topic at a time. Join me on my Instagram, where I will post our focus for the day, and let’s talk about it!
The site tells you to start here. FLYing is all about “Finally Loving Yourself,” which she describes as having “peace of mind, pride in your home, and a passion for living.” In the emails I mentioned above, you get what is called Missions for your daily Zone. But wait, before you do that, you focus on what she calls Baby Steps. And the first one is this: Shine Your Sink. Now, this is a practice that I have followed forever. Before I go to bed, I do what I call “Shutting Down the Kitchen,” and that includes making sure the kitchen sink is not only empty, but I scrub it out with a powdered cleaner and dish liquid. This is the same process that Fly Lady calls Shine Your Sink, and she outlines a 12 step process to do it.
Next, she tells you to Get Dressed to Shoes. That means to get dressed for the day, including wearing shoes. And laced up shoes at that. She insists that doing this prevents you from slipping them off and lounging around. I disagree with this. I mean, I understand it’s much harder to take a nap with the sneakers on, but if I am tired, those shoes won’t stop me. I’ll take them off or leave my feet dangling off the couch or bed. And I hate wearing shoes in my house. I have thought about buying a pair just for inside (slippers or slides). I do believe that getting up and getting dressed helps motivate you, though. When I transitioned from working in Corporate to working from home, I went from wearing skirts that I loved most days to wearing 50’s style dresses. I won’t call them house dresses because that reminds me of nightgowns. But something about wearing the dresses gave me pride in what I was doing from home, and that included my cleaning. Now thanks to one too many Krispy Kreme donuts, I can’t fit most of my dresses anymore, but with the seasons changing, I plan on getting back to wearing dresses again. Maybe just a little bit more flowing. But I will miss my basketball shorts and leggings.
Now we are finally getting to the rest of those Baby Steps she talked about. Fair warning, clicking on that link doesn’t get you to the baby steps without having to click on another link. Which appears to contain the same info from the first link AND the info about Baby Step #1, which was Shining Your Sink all to just, redirect you back to the link I provided you up there. See what I mean about the struggle with finding out the information? And we haven’t even started cleaning anything but the sink. Oh, and you have to click a new link to get to each new Baby Step, but you then have to go back to the first page to get to the next link. But I’m going to help you out by listing the rest below. Now each Baby Step corresponds with a day. So it will take you 31 days to get through all of them. She says this is to help you establish small routines, build consistency, and to take your time enjoying the process.
- Shine Your Sink
- Get Dressed to Lace-Up Shoes
- Put Out A New Dish Towel Each Night – This is something I try to do each night using these towels. I think the actual step for this day is to review the website, but I’m saving you 10 hours.
- Post Sticky Notes on Bathroom Mirror and Kitchen Sink – This is to remind you to do #1 and #2. And is the beginning of what she calls your control journal. More on that later.
- Turn Negative Thoughts into Positive Phrases – If you find yourself saying you don’t deserve a clean home, seeing this list should help.
- Take 2 Minutes to Clear a Hot Spot – Find that one spot in your house that stays cluttered, set a timer, and clear it.
- Pick Out Your Clothes At Night – I think everyone recognizes that this helps mornings go smoother.
- Create Your Control Journal – She recommends a binder and some paper and to now break Steps 1-7 into a morning and evening routine, with #6 happening in both.
- Five Minute Room Rescue – Spend 5 minutes clearing a path in your worst room.
- 15 Minutes: Pick Up Trash and Rest – Set a timer for 15 minutes, gather all the trash you can, and take it out. Set a time for another 15 minutes and rest.
- Inspiration In 15 Minutes – Take 15 minutes to write some inspirational quotes.
- Delete Her Emails – It’s been less than five days since I signed up, and I have 30 emails from her. If she averages ten a day as she says, you should be deleting 120 emails on Day 12. This is ridiculous. She doesn’t like clutter but is providing digital clutter.
- Do The Mission for the Day – Now for some cleaning. Take a break here and jump to the next section on Zones and Missions.
- Time for a Calendar – Find a place for a calendar (high traffic area) and get one up. We’ve used this one for a couple of years now.
- Make Your Bed – Add this to your morning routine.
- Back to the Website – She wants you to read what others are saying about the system.
- Set a Bedtime and Stick to It – Don’t wait until it’s time for bed to do your evening routine either. Start right after dinner
- 11 Commandments – But wait…another list. Luckily this one is mostly a repeat of what she has already told you with additions like don’t be distracted, do one thing at a time, and pamper yourself.
- No Rushing – This one was hard to figure out as she had another testimonial in there. But don’t rush, slow down and set a time if you need to.
- Laundry – Start a load of laundry at night, put it in the dryer when you wake up, fold/hang, and put away as part of your morning routines.
- Clean Out One Drawer – So technically, this day was to read more things on her website, but she also said to clean out one drawer for each family member to make it easier to put laundry away.
- Office in a Bag – Work on building your control journal and keep everything you need to pay bills, make a grocery list, etc. in one portable place. Just in case you need more to do, here are 15 steps to create your control journal.
- Afternoon Routine – Start dinner in the afternoon. Plan your meals a week at a time and get them added to your calendar.
- Swish and Swipe – Swish the toilet bowl with the brush and wipe out the sink and clean the countertops with a rag.
- More Reading – Read some more of her website, but if you have more than one bathroom, use a different one each time you need to go and do the swish and swipe.
- Never Behind – A reminder to start wherever you are, even if you get behind. I also noticed she added lunch and to drink plenty of water to the afternoon routines.
- Dinner – Prepare for dinner either the night before or in the morning. Remove anything from the freezer you need, and don’t forget your side dishes.
- Take Care of You – Set a timer for 15 minutes and read. Remember to eat good food, drink your water, take breaks, and get some rest.
- Weekly Pamper Mission – It looks like the idea for the day was a testimonial from a reader who got a back rub from her hubby after a relaxing bath. Breakfast was added to the morning routine. Water, meds, and vitamins were added to both morning and evening routines.
- Important Dates – Look at the calendar for next month and see what important dates need to be planned for. This is also where you learn about your weekly plan, which is more routines. Head to that section below to learn more.
- Don’t Worry – Another reminder to not get overwhelmed with all of the things she has you doing.
Zones are different parts of the house that she assigns you to clean each week. There are five zones, and ideally, you would hit them all in one month. The goal is to spend 15 minutes a day cleaning your zone based on the mission you are given (see next section). Here are the zones and when she says they would be cleaned:
- Entrance/Front Porch/Dining Room – the first few days of the month until Sunday
- Kitchen – the first full week of the month
- Main Bathroom/Extra Room – the second full week of the month
- Master Bedroom/Bath/Closet – the third full week of the month
- Living Room/Den/TV Room – the last few days of the month, starting on Monday
Missions are your daily to-dos for the day. Each week she tells you one mission to do each day. It doesn’t appear that this information is laid out in advance anywhere, so you only get one week at a time. Here are last weeks (the current weeks is here), for example:
Spend 15 minutes getting rid of 27 things from the Main Bathroom. Do the same in the Extra Room.
Shine your tub/shower in the Main Bathroom. Set your timer for 15 minutes and get the guest bed ready for company. Wash the sheets if needed.
Wash your Main Bathroom rugs, shower curtains, and accessories. Dust in the Extra Room, ensuring you get those cobwebs in the corner.
Toss old or unused cosmetics, perfumes, and other hygiene products. For the Extra Room, either spend 15 minutes getting rid of 27 more things or sweep/vacuum.
Clean the counters and sink in the Main Bathroom. Take 15 minutes to relax.
Monday’s – Weekly Home Blessing for an hour
This includes tossing old magazines, changing the sheets, emptying the trash, vacuuming, mop kitchen and bathroom, clean mirrors and doors, and dust.
Tuesday’s – Free Day
Water and fertilize plants. Spend 15 minutes in the current Zone
Wednesday’s – Zone Cleaning and Partial Desk Time
Finish zone cleaning and weekly cleaning. Clean the fridge. Write thank-you notes. Work on the menu and grocery list for next week. Balance checkbook.
Thursday’s – Grocery and Errand Day
Make sure your menu is ready for grocery shopping. Confirm the list before you leave. Go grocery shopping and run errands.
Friday’s – Paperwork and Misc.
Date night. Get food from the freezer for next week. File papers. Write letters and cards. Cleanout purse. Mend clothes and polish shoes. Pet care. Clean out car and check fluids. Clean laundry room.
Saturday’s – Family Fun Day
Sunday’s – Renew Your Spirit Day
But Wait There Is More
But I am not about to make this post any longer. I found her detailed before bed routine, morning routines, weekly checklist (not to be confused with the weekly plan), and finally, the detailed cleaning list. The list alone is nine pages long.
Seriously it is almost easier to check her emails every day to figure out what to do. She sends what is called a flight plan that gives you the daily checklist, challenges, and missions.
My house needs a good deep spring cleaning, so I am going to take a look at everything else and determine if all of this information is truly needed. Or maybe I can see if I can figure out a way to simplify this or find simpler systems.
Look forward to more post about cleaning our home as we make this happen. Have you heard about Fly Lady? Tell me what you think below.
*I’ve used my referral link in this post for Grove. This gives you a 5-piece gift set for first-time users.
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