Do you find yourself constantly cleaning and dreading anyone coming over unannounced? Trust me, I’ve been there too. Until I discovered the cleaning and decluttering with the Fly-Lady System that helped me go from overwhelmed and sick of cleaning to actually having a minute to sit down and be with my family.
When I was growing up in Belize, Saturday was cleaning day.
It was the one day we were all home and could catch up on laundry and ALL the chores. We each had a job to do and since we all pitched in, cleaning was not too bad.
Back then my parents did not have a washer or a dryer so it all had to be done by hand and hung on the clothesline. It took hours.
I remember thinking that cleaning was such a waste of a day, especially a beautiful day that was just beckoning me to ride my bike or play with my friends.
Today as a full-time working mom, I found myself doing the same thing with my kids that my parents did with me.
After working and going to school all week, Saturday became the one day we could catch up on chores around the house.
This was before the kids started having Saturday sports which inevitably meant that we are at a game at 8:30 am then again at 2:00 pm, which left almost no time for cleaning.
(Why is it that when you have two games scheduled, they are never remotely close to each other? #sportsmomproblems)
By the time we get home, everyone wants to relax, unwind and just chill – including me.
This is when I realized that Saturdays were not going to be the day for cleaning anymore. And Sunday was out as well, since we usually go to church early and spend the day getting ready for the week ahead.
WHAT IS THE FLY LADY SYSTEM?
The Fly-Lady System, started by Marla Cilley is everything I was looking for to keep my sanity. It is practical, doable and the best part, completely FREE!
I can’t even remember how I stumbled onto the Fly Lady. I think I was frantically searching in YouTube for cleaning and organizing systems and thankfully found this video.
The system itself is actually pretty simple but so amazing. The first thing you will do is to shine your sink. It sounds crazy and almost pointless but trust me, this is the start of something good.
Funny story, the first time I cleaned my sink we just happen to have our neighbors over for dinner that night and they asked if we installed a new faucet. It was that shiny and clean.
This idea is that cleaning the sink is a huge step in getting your entire house clean and organized.
It is easy to do so it gives you the feeling of accomplishment that we all long for when it comes to taking on a huge project.
Once you’re done with that, you have the confidence and momentum to keep going.
Additionally, each week you can do what the Fly Lady calls a “Weekly Home Blessing” where you declutter or bless your home.
THE BEST PART – ALL HANDS ON DECK
While I enjoy doing cleaning and decluttering with the Fly Lady System, the part that really helps me keep up with my home is breaking each section off into zones.
There are 5 zones in the Fly Lady System and they are:
- Entrance, Front Porch & Dining Room (Zone 1)
- Kitchen, Pantry (Zone 2)
- Main Bathroom and One Extra Room (Zone 3)
- The Master Bedroom, Bath, Closet (Zone 4)
- Living Room, Den, Family Room (Zone 5)
(source: Fly Lady Systems: Zones)
Instead of trying to do all these in a day, which is what I was doing all day on Saturdays, I now divide my week and spend one day a week in one particular zone.
The best part of this system is that you can make it your own and adjust it to the needs of your family.
For example, instead of doing all the cleaning myself, my entire family pitch in and each person gets a zone to clean.
Of course, with kids involved it’s important to do a little training beforehand so that they know what you expect from them.
My 12-year old usually does the bedrooms, his (he shares a room with his brother) and ours. He makes the beds or remove the sheets, pick up clothes off the floor and vacuums.
The 11-year old, for some odd reason, really enjoy doing the bathroom. His job is to wipe down the sink, clean the mirrors, disinfect the bathroom door handle and toilet flusher (is that what it’s called?). He cleans the toilet bowl and empties the trash.
And my 7-year old cleans the landing, the shoe closet and living room. She also vacuums the living and dining rooms.
So what do I do? Nothing! This is the part where I tell you that I just sit on the couch with my feet up and bask in the presence of a clean, tidy home. Ha! I wish.
I am responsible for the kitchen – floors, counters and appliances. as well as the shower.
My hubby does the garage and the downstairs T.V. room.
In full disclosure my house is not huge so we get this done in no time.
We usually crank up the music and we each get to work in our zones. Cleaning can be fun, right?
MORE THAN JUST CLEANING
Not only does the Fly-Lady System focus on keeping your house clean, but it also set a great routine for taking care of yourself as well.
If you find yourself frazzled each morning, looking for a missing shoe and can’t remember what you need to do that day, this system will be amazing for you.
There is a “Before Bed Routine” as well as a “Morning Routine” both designed to help you be your best. There is even a list for menu planning, pantry list, and reminders. It really is incredible the information you receive for free. And I love how doable it is. No need to invest in any pricey materials at all.
I also love the motivational emails that honestly breaths joy into me some days.
I have used her guidelines to create my own routines that help me be more relaxed at night and less stressed in the morning.
While the mornings are still a little crazy, I feel more prepared for what I have to face after using this system.
READY TO JUMP IN? A WORD OF CAUTION
So there you have it. The cleaning and decluttering Fly Lady System really is amazing and I cannot recommend it enough.
You can adjust it to meet your needs and tailor it to your family.
It is one of the easiest and most helpful systems I have found. There is no need to complicate things.
The one thing I would suggest though is do not sign up for the emails unless you love having your inbox full – holy emails batman. You really get sort of bombarded.. There is an option for you to get fewer emails for a fee but there is no need.
Instead, I suggest grabbing the Fly Lady App on you iPhone instead and get all the lovely morning motivational messages and reminders of which zone you are working on that week to your phone when you are ready to start working. It works so much better.
I hope that this will be helpful to you and give you back some time to enjoy with your family and friends.
Have you tried the Fly Lady System? What do you think? Is there any other systems you would recommend? Let me know below.
Stop by my home anytime. I won’t be perfect but it will be clean(ish).
Until next time, I wish you peace, love and an abundance of joy!