Monday, November 4, 2019

FlyLady In A Nutshell

From the archives.
Thankfully we're past the stage of toys all over the floor 
I revisited the FlyLady because I needed a system. The FlyLady has a number of systems for organizing your home and not getting overwhelmed with housework and errands. Here are the systems in a nutshell...

1. Morning routine.
You must get up and dress till shoes, i.e. be ready to leave the house. That way you''ll be more efficient about anything else you want to accomplish before leaving the house.
She suggests that while you're in the bathroom in the morning, you give the mirrors, the sink/taps, surfaces, and the toilet a swish and a swipe. i.e. the bathroom is left clean every morning.
She suggests you get up early enough to put on a load of laundry in the morning and hang it out (or put it in the dryer) before you leave for work.
Any other morning jobs, or none, are up to you.
You can add in meditating, exercise, etc... as you wish.

2. Evening Routine.
Basically, you tidy your house by putting everything in its place, do the dishes, wipe over the kitchen and shine your kitchen sink. And you prepare anything you need for the morning.
Again, you can add your own preferences or necessities, for example, reading in bed or walking the dog.

3. Each day has an assignment.
You choose your own but for example...
Sunday: House Blessing - cleaning the house, but only surface cleaning. No moving furniture or washing windows, etc... It should take only a couple of hours to dust, wipe surfaces, and vacuum, sweep, and mop the floors around the furniture. (If it takes much longer you probably live in a big house and employ a cleaner.)
Monday: Running Errands
Tuesday: Pay Bills and File Papers.
Wednesday: Procrastination Station - where you do one job that you've been putting off.
Thursday: Food Shopping.
Friday: Cooking
Saturday: Family Day.

4. Zone Cleaning.
You divide the areas of your house into 4 or 5 zones. e.g. Zone 1 - the bedrooms, Zone 2 - the kitchen, Zone 3 - the living and dining rooms, Zone 4 - the bathrooms and halls, Zone 5 - everywhere else.
Each week of the month is a zone. So during the first week of the month you're in Zone 1 - the bedrooms.
Every day you put on a timer and do 15 minutes of cleaning one area in that zone. When the timer rings you stop. Anything you don't get to that week can wait until next month.
Remember that your weekly House Blessing is basic cleaning, the bathrooms get a swish and a swipe every day, laundry is a daily task, and the kitchen gets cleared and wiped down every evening. Zone cleaning is for e.g. washing the windows, clearing out a kitchen cabinet, doing out the fridge, cleaning behind furniture, etc...

There are women who take these systems very seriously. I've seen You Tube videos of page by page explanations of thick ring-binder files full of every task possible in a house and when it's scheduled for doing. This is what put me off the first time I read about the FlyLady. Who lives according to such important schedules for cleaning your house? (Answer: mostly SAHMs with low self esteem and no outside interests, who feel they need to make their lives into a serious business. Note, SAHMs with self esteem and outside interests don't generally go to so much minute detailing.)

Me, I like the idea of a couple of hours cleaning on a Sunday and 15 minutes a day doing out a cupboard or cleaning the fridge. Washing a window maybe. It might take six months to clean your house but it's better than letting it go for six months.

As with life itself, I'm not going to be religious about it. However, I'm going to give some of it a try and see what happens. I'll let you know.


  1. I signed up for the Fly Lady a few years ago but the constant email reminders during the day drove me crazy! I think she has some great ideas but I'm looking to simplify things rather than complicate them.
    I do find that I can get quite a bit done in very little time both morning & evening if I just concentrate. The big thing is not to let things get away from you - hang things up right away - if you see a spill or a stain, deal with it right away - keep your counter tops clear - it all makes a big difference. I even make myself get up and do a little something during TV commercials!
    Good luck.

    1. The commercial break activity is a good idea but I only watch streamed tv so if there are adverts I just skip them. I know what you mean about FLyLady looking complicated. I think if you get into your own routine and don't go overboard with it, it can simplify things by, as you say, not letting things get away from you.

  2. Sounds like the Stepford Wives manual of servitude!
    I live by doing it when I see it needs doing and try not to put necessary things off so clean down kitchen worktops and floor often because I don't want ants, or get the laundry done before we run out of clean underwear etc, but never changed bedding because of the zone it was in or the day of the week! And of course I always opted for playing with the children over housework. Be happy and relaxed in your own home, no such thing as the perfect homemaker and if you were who would notice and reward you for it?

    1. Yes it is a bit Stepford Wives. However, I do need to find a way to keep up with regular cleaning so that I'm not in a panic every time someone is coming over. Or worse, I don't invite people because I've not time to clean.

  3. Like you I remember reading FlyLady years ago. I even made a note of areas of the house to ‘tackle’ each day. However, I discovered that housekeeping is like dieting. Planning is not like doing 🤣. You have inspired me to revisit the ideas that FlyLady has. My husband and I are naturally untidy and have too much ‘stuff’. Not a good combination!

    1. So true, it's exactly like dieting. I'm still planning to start tomorrow. LOL.