What I learned from FlyLady

flyinglady

This is only the third post in my FlyLady series, but it will probably be my last. I feel I have hit an equilibrium with my housework and have maintained it long enough to say “I’m done”. At least for now.

I should start by saying that I consider my FlyLady program to have been a success. The morning routine I developed is still practised virtually every day and the result is that for months now I’ve enjoyed having clean bathrooms without having to spend hours scrubbing and getting soaking wet. I no longer worry when guests or babysitters come over that they will have to use the bathroom and I’ll die of shame. I no longer spend half the day cleaning said bathrooms when I know someone is coming to visit. Thanks to FlyLady’s “Swish and Swipe” system, I spend a couple minutes each morning wiping down surfaces and that’s pretty much it. I’ve also adapted this to the shower – I keep an extra towel in there and after I’m done I use the towel to wipe down the shower stall and fixtures. It takes a couple extra minutes but it’s so worth it as cleaning the shower was my second least favourite job, after cleaning the toilets.

Thanks to my morning routine I also enjoy walking into a neat and tidy master bedroom throughout the day. And I’m on top of my laundry since I get a load going pretty much every day, too. No more running out of clean sheets, towels, or underwear. I’ve learned that wearing “lace up shoes” helps me get through the day comfortably, and with a bounce in my step.And

Finally, most of the time I wake up to a clean kitchen and I’m willing to go to more effort than I used to to make that happen.

clean

These are the things I have changed and I’ve stuck with. But what I haven’t done has also taught me something about priorities and choices. For example, I don’t do Zone Cleaning or Daily Missions. I’ve discovered that a tidy house is what really matters to me; deep cleaning? not so much. Oh sure, I’d love it if there weren’t so many dust bunnies floating around on the floor, or if the surfaces were always dust-free. But the truth is I only have so much time in my life right now and I’ve come to a place of peace with how much of that I spend cleaning. One day when my kids are grown and out of the house I’ll have more time to do deep cleaning. But as the saying goes, when I’m lying on my deathbed I am quite sure I’ll be grateful for all the time I’ve spent with my kids and doing hobbies I love like riding or quilting, and will not feel grateful for having exchanged that for a shining home. When I walk around my house these days I get pleasure from tidiness and neatness. Clean surfaces, things in their place (and the clean bathrooms mentioned above!), these give me a sense of peace. If I don’t feel the need to take that further than I don’t see any reason to do so.

I no longer visit the FlyLady website, nor receive her emails. I would recommend this program to anybody looking to get a grip on their time management and wanting to find a better balance between housework and other stuff. But I think it’s also important to know how far you need to go, and not feel like a failure if you don’t do the whole program. I definitely feel I got a lot out of doing this, and may even revisit it again when we move to a new home. Perhaps when I’m in a nicer home I will feel motivated to “kick it up a notch”. At least I’ll know exactly where to go to accomplish that.

neat-and-tidy

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