For so long, I'd heard about Flylady. I tried it one or two times before, but couldn't get into her steps. It all came to a head, though, when I said to myself (or maybe my husband), "I hate weekends." Who hates weekends? It's supposed to be time to rest, relax, catch up on sleep, and spend time with your family. But I wasn't doing that. I was spending all weekend catching up on cleaning, getting meals ready, and well, yelling at my kids and resenting my husband for not doing enough to clean up the house.
The Flylady system recently had a change in their email service. I was signed up, and had a folder bursting at the seams, of Flylady emails. The change resulted in the emails going directly to my inbox, which went right to my phone. BAH HUMBUG, I thought. But then I started to read and it occurred to me that this would be a great "sacrifice" for Lent. So I did it, a little at a time.
There were fights. We don't wear shoes in the house, partly because I need any little help I can get at keeping the house clean. So, putting on "lace up shoes" was a big one for me. I found a pair of cheap shoes at Target. Really cheap. And thus painful. I returned them and bought a slightly costlier pair of comfy shoes that I now wear almost the whole time I am at home. What changed my mind on this one was a "testimonial" about how lace up shoes kept someone's feet in less pain. I've always had pain in my feet when I wear slippers or bare feet. I've struggled to figure out what to wear when I cook so that my feet, ankles, and back don't scream in agony. I've found the solution. It's not completely easy because I still don't wear them outdoors, but I'm less anal about wearing the same shoes into the basement or garage, which certainly aren't clean because I AM cleaning the floors at least once, if not twice, a week.
My husband flipped out at me when I straightened a flat surface in our room--I moved a tv that has not been used in at least two years and put away a bunch of stuff that was on the table (I believe much of it was his). He got very angry with me for moving his stuff, but I discovered him clearing off another flat surface.
It has not been easy; there have been days when we've been SO busy or I've been sick and felt bad for falling behind.
But the results.
Wow, the results.
See, I've always been a list oriented person. Flylady says that "we" are drowned by our perfectionism, and the thought that cleaning has to be done perfectly every time is why we just don't bother. I had my lists of what I needed to do each day, but would ignore them in favor of sitting on the couch after the boys went to sleep.
If I start a "Weekly Home Blessing," my children ask to help. They love to use the Swiffer dusters. They don't do a great job, but it's done better than my not doing it at all. I have my five year old stripping his own bed and learning how to re-make it (much easier than griping about trying to fit my 30-something body up in the 2 feet of space above his top bunk), and both boys are getting into the habit of making their beds every day.
My five year old asked me to close my eyes yesterday and to "follow the tune" he was singing. He led me into our "living room," which is their playroom. (This room until recently had a curtain hanging in the doorway to hide the mess. I'm not kidding; this was a serious and huge embarrassment to me). He had picked up everything so that the middle was completely clear. (I had asked him to clear the middle just until I got there to vacuum, but he took it all the way).
My husband has always done a good job of pulling up the covers on the bed, but now puts the decorative pillows on too. I really like them (and don't think it's too much to be overwhelming) and feel they make the bed and room feel more pulled together.
But we recently had friends come over on a Saturday. I didn't race around to clean up before they came (we were taking their kids somewhere and it didn't even occur to me that the parents would come into the house... I'm still not an ORGANIZED person; I'm just better than I was), and while the house was not in great shape, it was in a shape that I told my husband how pleased I was and that my grandmother was right (she suggested long ago doing one load of laundry a day, which I'm now doing. The concept applies to the way the Flylady system works--just do something every day). Yep, there was probably dust in places and not everything was away properly, and our tablecloth had crumbs on it, but there was not the clutter that there would have been on a random Saturday three months ago (at least not without me spending all night on Friday after work in a frenzy).
So yes, it's working (at least for now) for me... yes, it CAN work for people who work full time and have small children.