If you’re anything like me, housecleaning is on the bottom of your list, if on your list at all. Like, there are so many more interesting things I’d rather be doing, like starting a new knitting or craft project, working on my writing, reading a good book, playing my computer game, watching an awesome TV show, going on a bike ride or hike or taking a catnap.
But I also want a clean house. It doesn’t have to be spotless, the lived-in look is fine, but I want it to be generally clean on a regular basis. I just don’t want to do it myself. And I don’t always have the income to hire a cleaning lady (even when I do, I can only pay for her to come once a month – what about the other 29 days?)
Why I Love FlyLady
Over the years of having, raising, and sometimes homeschooling four kids close in age, I’ve tried various cleaning ideas and methods. I’ve even done about half of the method from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Maria Kundo. That one was fun but very intense – both in time and energy. And later I wished I hadn’t gotten rid of some specific things. But it was nice to do it as a one-time thing, purging a lot of my stuff and getting rid of most of my paper files and clutter.
For me, the FlyLady system has proven the best, the easiest and the most effective, even when I haven’t done it consistently. (By the way, FlyLady does not have an affiliate program and I’m not getting anything for this review – I just love it so much.)
Why does it work so well?
- Marla Ciley, who started FlyLady, knows exactly our struggles with clutter, lack of motivation, distractedness, it-never-quite-gets-done mindset. She’s been through it and devised ingenious methods for getting the house decluttered and clean anyway. All while learning to love ourselves, to think more positively, to take care of all parts of ourselves and our families, etc.
- The FlyLady system is built on learning one small habit at a time. You start with the simple task of shining your kitchen sink every morning. With FlyLady’s 31 Babysteps, anyone can learn these easy, daily habits, slowly building up a lifestyle of organization and cleaning which makes it seem as if your house is cleaning itself. These habits are easy, simple and quick to implement.
- Marla understands behavior patterns, and her system sends you emails throughout the day to encourage, remind and enable you to succeed.
- If you mess up, stop doing it for a while, or miss a few days, it’s no problem, you can just jump right back in (and forgive yourself while you’re at it).
What is the FlyLady Cleaning Schedule?
The FlyLady system is wonderful, but it can be a little overwhelming to understand, navigate and implement – not because her website doesn’t have all the information (it does, loads of info – everything you need), but because there are so many layers to her program that it’s hard to get the big picture of it all. I highly recommend a delightful novel written with the character implementing the program and changing her life through the process. This book is a keeper: Hidden Treasures by Paddi Newlin, found on Amazon.com. FlyLady also has a recommended book, which I haven’t yet read, called Sink Reflections by Marla Ciley (found on Amazon.com and on FlyLady’s FlyShop).Many readers have said that they like this, her original book, better than her more recent one, The C.H.A.O.S. Cure. From what I’ve rea, they’re both similar enough I would just get one.
For your reference, here is the Big Picture of the FlyLady Cleaning Schedule:
- Start with learning The 31 BabySteps. (Just this alone will transform your home and life.) This will be your first month.
- Once you finish the 31 BabySteps, jump into where everyone is in the daily emails. Add the Weekly Home Blessing Hour.
- Then add the Habit of the Month. I don’t know about you, but having checklists and goals like this is fun.
- Next, start tackling the Zones. The emails will instruct which zone you are in each week, and the specific tasks to do each day for that zone.
- Last, enjoy all the extras in the daily emails, including testimonials, “Afternoon Tea” live video sessions with FlyLady, the latest deals in her FlyShop, etc.
Note: FlyLady now has a new FlyLady Express option, where you can get her many daily emails sent in one concise email a day. This option costs $4.99/mo, however, because of the time it takes her to pull these together every day. But she firmly believes in her method of us getting emails throughout the day for reinforcement, encouragement and reminders. I find that when I’m actively doing the FlyLady system, the many emails don’t bother me too much – I simply read the ones that peak my interest, and delete the rest.
FlyLady Pairs Perfectly with Norwex
I’ll put a plug in here because I so strongly love these products, I became a consultant to get these awesome cleaning aids at a discount. Norwex has simple, green cleaning solutions for every part of your home and body. Their Envirocloth and body cloths are made with silver, so they do not get mildewy. When you rub it against itself, it kills 99% of all germs. This means you can actually clean your house with a Norwex Envirocloth and hot water – no need for toxic or any other cleaning agents.
Yes, you read that right. All you need is your Norwex Envirocloth and hot water. Talk about ease and simplicity, as well as being green for the Earth. I’ve found that the tight weave of the Envirocloth picks up and cleans my kitchen counters SO much better than my kitchen cloths I was using. This tightly-woven silver-infused cloth also works great as a Body Cloth, which exfoliates and cleans your skin and face, as well as removing makeup. Good-bye, make-up wipes!
Helpful Links & Ideas for the FlyLady Cleaning Schedule
Because I like games and tactile motivators, I came up with a Mancala FlyLady BabySteps Game:
- Use a standard Mancala board, but have all different color stones (any kind of stone, real or glass, or beads, etc.)
- For each BabyStep, I choose a particular stone to represent that task; IE., I chose white for “Shine your kitchen sink” because my kitchen sink is white. Each day when I complete this new habit, I move that stone along in the mancala board. I do this with each of the 31 BabySteps as applicable (some of them are one-time tasks). I include the longer depression on the end of the board when moving the stones around the board.
- Each day I move a stone and remember what I’m supposed to do (Hot Spot for 2 mins; Check my Control Journal, etc.).
- It’s fun, and the idea is that by the time each stone starts collecting in the starting depression, it means I’m doing that task as a daily habit. The starting depression should fill up as I near the end of the 31 Babysteps. (And I can have a stone keep going around if I still need the reminder.)
Another Tip: FlyLady has you build (or you can buy) a Control Journal, your central notebook to organize your life and home. You can make it completely from scratch, but I fell in love with this Etsy shop’s PDF version of the FlyLady Control Journal Template. When I asked, she even made me a 31 BabyStep Checklist, too. Etsy.com is a great resource for your Control Journal.
Helpful Links for getting started with FlyLady:
If you want a clean house, but don’t like to clean, this is for you.
I’m only into the 31 BabySteps by about a week, but already my home is looking cleaner and more feng shui. Granted, I didn’t have a huge cluttered mess to begin with, and the FlyLady system works miracles for those starting out with such a challenge. In my house, having several small spaces decluttered and my house already a little cleaner is blessing me in so many ways, who would have thought?
Comment below if you have used and/or like the FlyLady system, and also comment below if you’d like me to get you a discount to Norwex products on my site. I will see what I can do for you. 🙂