Years ago I was introduced to the Fly Lady.  I subscribed to her blog for a few months, reading her tips and tricks and cleaning methodology.  I adopted a lot of the behaviors and routines she shared and I really think her housecleaning method works, although I don’t follow it now.  I probably should, but my current system is working well enough for me.

Because of the Fly Lady….

I shine my sink.  Not quite to the full extent that she does, and not quite nightly, but almost.  I DO take the time to scrub the sides and bottom every time I wash dishes, which is at least twice a day. A clean sink makes a big difference and really does help to make your kitchen look cleaner.  And it’s contagious- soon the areas around your sink will also be shiny clean!  (click here for the instructions on how to shine your sink)

I get dressed to the shoes.  A modification of this really.  I wear slippers, or some sort of indoor shoes since we are a no-shoes-indoors household.  But that’s not really her point.  Her point is to get dressed each day as if you are expecting someone to come over, or if you are going to be heading out.   I have almost always done this, not wanting to become the frumpy housewife who doesn’t seem to care about her appearance.  Regardless of doing daycare or not, I try to do my hair at least 28 days of the month, and wear make up at least 6 days each week, and I try not to wear my cozy pants too often.  I am stuck in the hoodies though.  But looking good makes you feel better about yourself, feel better in general, feel more energetic.  Take care of yourself!  (click here for the FlyLady article)

I set a timer.  I haven’t done this one in a while, but when I have several equal priority tasks and limited time to complete them, I find the timer method to work very well!  Sometimes I set it for 5 minutes, sometimes 10, sometimes 15.  But it’s a short term 100% dedication to whatever task you choose and it’s amazing how much you can get done in that short amount of time!  It’s a great stress reliever because you see the progress you are making, and you are doing it in baby steps, not all at once.

I make my bed every morning.  OK, really it’s more like 4-5 mornings a week.  For one, it makes our bedroom look cleaner.  And two, I prefer climbing into a smooth fitted bed, not a lumpy clumpy bed.  We even bought a new comforter set with 7 pillows….and yes, I put all 7 pillows on the bed every morning, and take them off every night.  Jim thinks that’s ridiculous, but hey, it really does look nice- and cozy if I want to spend 5 minutes in there staring at a blank TV (mental vacation).

See, doesn’t this look cozy?

I have contained hotspots.  And we’re not talking wi-fi.  We’re talking “fires”- areas in your home that get quickly out of control and can spread clutter and debris like wildfire.  We have a few of these, and because of her, I’ve contained them to tiny areas within the house.  One spot is next to our phone- it’s my paper hotspot.   My office is a major full-size hotspot (I just keep the door shut). 

She has other great tips- like breaking your house into zones, and each week you focus on one zone.  You’ll declutter and deepclean.  And just for 15-minutes each day.  Totally makes sense!  Click here to see her decluttering tips.

She taught me that trinkets can be clutter, and that the less clutter the better.  It’s easy to clean a wide-open shelf with just a few decorative items.  It’s hard to clean a shelf filled with 20 little trinkets and decorative items. 

This picture is an excellent example:

The Fly Lady has helped me a lot and if you haven’t checked her website out before- do.