Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fly Baby

After Tyler's birthday, Mike kept saying, "You did so good yesterday!" He couldn't really put it into words but he was impressed by the order and ability for us to be hospitable for two groups of people on Tyler's birthday. Honestly, I was surprised, too, by how everything came together and part of it was seeing the Fly Lady's principles at work.

Davene has inspired me again. Mike has often mentioned a couple of families that he really likes and would like to have over for dinner. I've responded by saying that they were more than welcome as long as they didn't mind the mess and brought their own food. But after reading Davene's post about hospitality and the one about her boys and routines, I finally checked out the Fly Lady website.

I was a little skeptical about being able to incorporate some of her suggestions but decided to apply some of her ideas. Most of my housekeeping training happened while helping my grandma clean their rental lake cabins on Saturday mornings. We cleaned everything, top to bottom, in four hours. I never really learned how to maintain things daily and deal with all the stuff. Granted I have been able to keep up with things better at other times in my life but things have gotten a bit out of control over the last year.

I started by shining my sink. It was actually my bathroom sink but that seemed less insurmountable than getting the kitchen sink under control. I also began the swish and swipe routine of cleaning the bathroom every day. It's pretty easy to do with the girls helping since I'm just using wet wash cloths to wipe everything down. Amanda loves using the toilet brush. Since we are doing it daily it never gets gross. After a few days of enjoying a clean bathroom, I felt energized to add more to the routine.

We reassigned the boys' chores to reflect the Fly Lady principles too. Tony is supposed to sweep the kitchen, wipe down the appliances and wipe out the inside of the microwave in addition to cleaning his room. Every other day he is supposed to mop the kitchen and vacuum downstairs. Tyler does the swish and swipe of their bathroom, sweeps the laundry room, and sweeps the entry everyday. He sweeps the porch and sidewalk every other day. The great thing about doing or expecting these chores to be done more frequently is that if they if they miss a day or it looks dirty, I can require them to do it right then and there instead of getting the "I cleaned that on Saturday" response.

It's amazing how much better I feel with the basic chores done. I feel more motivated to tackle other organizational and purging projects. I like the Fly Lady's advice to only tackle as much as you can complete in 15 minutes and move stuff to the rooms they belong to organize later. I'm so thrilled to have little areas of my house get organized. It's great to have clear space that isn't cluttered. Which leads me to this photo:

It's a great photo of Mike and a couple of his girls except for the cluttered counters in the background. I can't tell you how often, I want to take a picture but don't because of the clutter in the background. That counter is particularly troublesome. But I have hope and a plan to get it under control!


Mandy said...

Good job!! I found Fly Lady probably 8 years ago - I was die-hard at first, and I haven't even checked the website in probably 7yrs, 6 months. ;) However, those ideas are firmly in my head! I've never had trouble since then keeping the house basically clean. Occasionally things will get crazy and I'll look around and ask myself "would I be embarrassed if someone stopped by right now?" If yes, then I get the kids to help me do a quick clean-up.

Good luck on your counters. ;) I'm glad you took that sweet pic despite them!

e&e said...

So do let us know how you tame the counter situation. My counter clutter seems to grow anytime my back is turned, and of course, all night long.

Sometimes the motivation of needing the house to be clean in case someone stopped by just doesn't work. We've had only one drop in visitor the entire time we've lived here. And it was when I was (pregnant) sick anyway. (I hadn't been answering the phone and she came to make sure I was alive.)

Keep up the good work all around!

jodilee0123 said...

bins. . . behind the couch--you won't see all the clutter in the photo! :0) I have clutter in pretty much every photo I take--oh well. . . I'm taking cleaning volunteers! :0)

Davene said...

I am so proud of you! Really, really, really proud of you!!!

I don't follow FlyLady's routines "perfectly", but what I do has helped me so much, especially with peace of mind.

Babysteps. It's so true that we can do this with babysteps.