When I lived with my parents, my mom was a super neat, tidy and organized person. I was not. I meant well, but I really just didn’t care. Or, that’s what I thought. My mom and I would spend hours cleaning my room after which I’d go to bed in my clean room, with fresh sheets, and my mom would say: “Now, doesn’t that feel better?” I always answered with a shrug, “No, not really.”
But it did. I think my mom knew about feng shui before it was a thing here in the States, she knew that creating a comfortable home mattered and one of the ways she showed her love was by making sure we lived in a clean, well-ran household. We never worried about what was going to be for dinner, it just appeared, delicious and nutritious. We never worried about running out of toilet paper, soap, or milk – they just appeared near the toilet, in the shower and in the fridge.
I kind of assumed that when I “grew up” I would manage my household the way she did. I suppose I thought I’d just naturally absorb her way of making homemaking look easy.
Except I didn’t. Until I found this little thing online to literally help me learn how to do what she did so naturally.
Since I discovered FLYlady, I’ve been all born-again Christian about it. (I don’t mean that in an offensive way but to say that I’m enthusiastic and want to tell anyone who’ll listen – but I’ve hesitated to do it on my blog because so much of it is so corny and for many it’s like: WHAT is the big deal? It’s just cleaning and keeping house.
But it’s been my least favorite part of this stay-at-home mom gig because I kind of stink(ed) at it. Mostly I hated feeling like everything was always a mess – not just a little clean up after the kids go to bed mess, but the kind of mess where if someone came over I always stepped out onto the front porch instead of inviting them in.
Life is too short to worry about fingerprints on windows. At least, I think so. However, I’ve found a way to not worry about it but still enjoy living in a less chaotic, comfortable and cozy home. And it’s because of this lady Marla Cilley aka FLYlady.
I have to warn you – a lot of the stuff is so, so corny. So corny. But I don’t care because the improvement in my life, and my family’s, is so significant I can’t mock it anymore. Well, I can but the joke was kind of on me.
I always felt like I had to do “everything” everyday which resulted in me getting very little done. Which meant I entertained on the front porch or with a frenzied cleaning spree shortly before company arrived. So not fun. So not relaxing.
What appeals to me about this system is:
- well, for one thing that it’s a system – you know I love lists
- creating and maintaining consistent routines.
- not making a big deal out of things – simply do what needs to be done on the day you planned to do it, leave room for life to happen and keep going
- make your bed every day
- And, finally – simply shine your sink. I know. You’d have to read more about it but her basic premise is that it’s the center of things – if your goal is to keep your sink clean – the rest of the house follows. It’s like the Kale chips I wrote about, you have to try it to believe it. It really works. In order for me to keep my sink shiny, I empty the dishwasher first thing in the morning so I can fill it through out the day. In order to do that, I run the dishwasher every night after dinner. If there’s anything leftover, it gets hand-washed and put away. Sometimes this means I stay up a little longer than I’d like, seriously 15 minutes – but it makes all the difference in my day to start with a clean slate. When Sam was a baby, I used to have to clean the high chair tray from last night’s dinner almost every morning and I felt like I was perpetually behind. I hated it.
This shiny sink thing has become such a habit now, it’s truly easy to stay ahead of things. I hope this doesn’t come across as braggy in anyway because there is plenty about my house that is NOT shiny and clean. I’m just enjoying the progress so far and if something like this can bring someone else peace of mind as well, I’ll share it.
A bonus of keeping up on the sink thing was being able to bathe Kuby in it for as long as he could fit!
There’s plenty more to say about it, but I’ll finish with this:
I’ve been a FLYlady flunkie several times before it “took” which is to say before I stopped arguing with her in my head about why her ideas wouldn’t work for me and my life … I also kept taking on too much before realizing that the first step really is spending 7-15 minutes a day decluttering each “zone” so that you’re not just cleaning on top of clutter.
Speaking of clutter, I’ll also warn you that her website does seem “cluttered,” ironic I know – but it’s worth a peek if you’ve ever wondered to yourself why something that is so easy for many is hard for you.