Our home looks presentable at all times. We know exactly what we own and where it is. We are organized, don’t miss appointments, rarely forget important things and we are getting better and better at adulting.
Here is the truth: we are a bunch of confused people. Some are organized, many are not. We need a secret weapon to manage so well. Our secret weapon is the Flylady System as described in „Sink reflections“ by Marla Cilley.
It is a basic structure that relies heavily on routines and covers all that needs to be done. It is „managing your life for dummies“. There is a structure, you do what is on the list, you fly. The best thing about it is that it doesn’t need a lot of time (when you can decide to just do it, without discussions). And it is built on the foundation of self-care. If your system gives one of you 30-60 minutes for adulting each day you can fly.
The Flylady system has three levels. When you learn it, you don’t try to do all three at once, you start with the first.
And the first level are daily routines that focus on self-care. A morning routine, an evening routine, a meal routine. We start getting our life in order by getting the basic self-care done. You can find our routines over here.
What is missing is the laundry routine and the paper routine.
The laundry routine goes like this:
put clothes in the washer,
take them out and hang or put into dryer,
fold dry clothes and
put them away.
A cycle is only finished when all of this is done. Get used to finishing tasks. Check daily if you need to do laundry.
The paper routine means going through your mail and papers and sort into 3 categories: throw away, file, action. Papers that require an action will be taken care of in level 2. This is just a 3 minute task of sorting things every day to prepare for that.
Make sure to get these routines down before you continue to level 2. Don’t try to change too much too fast, it will not stick. Start by establishing an evening routine, it is the most important. It needs at least a month to form a new habit.
The second level is all about getting your every-day life in order.
Every day gets assigned a task.
We do it like this:
Monday: weekly home-blessing hour: quick-cleaning the used areas of the home. No more than 10 minutes each for:
- changing sheets/towels
- spot-cleaning glas/mirrors
- taking out trash
- vacuuming/spot-cleaning floors
Set a timer, no more than an hour.
Tuesday is a free day for relaxation
Wednesday: paperwork day, finances (balance checkbook, pay bills), write plans and lists, spot-clean fridge, discuss meal plan and make shopping list
Thursday: errands day, grocery shopping with your list, whatever else needs to be taken care of
Friday: clean out purse, reorganize, re-fill Skills, clean shoes if needed, clean car (often just take out what doesn’t belong there) get gas
Sunday: renew-your-spirit-day, church, inspirational, calm relaxation day
Yes, with practice this will take you less than 4 hours a week and it covers the most important areas of adulting. If you do this regularly it will not pile up. You will find yourself prepared for life instead of trying to catch up all the time. No more saturday cleaning marathons. And no more „catching up“ on self-care on weekends. Self-care is for every day.
Level three goes into de-cluttering and deep cleaning. You only start when you got the first 2 levels down and you only spend 15 minutes doing this every day.
Divide your home into 5 zones.
1: Entrance area/office/dining table
4: Bedroom & closet
We don’t have a special room for all that, it doesn’t matter. Break whatever you have down into 5 zones of similar size.
Look at your calendar. It usually looks something like this
The weeks show you what zone you are in right now. The length of the first and last will differ from month to months but over time they will balance each other out, so it doesn’t matter.
Take 15 minutes a day for a small project of either de-cluttering or deep-cleaning (you can only deep-clean what you de-cluttered before) When the time is up, put your things away and do more tomorrow or next month. Time flys by! Before you know it, you will be back in this zone. The longer you do it, the better everything will look. Those 15 minutes are burn-out prevention. The long sessions of turning things upside down once a year and then be so stressed that you won’t touch it for another year? You get better results when you take it slow and steady. And you won’t start to hate it all.
This system guaranties that everything gets done eventually. It doesn’t mean that your home will look perfect in every area all the time. But it will most of the time.
We use our bullet journal to keep track of everything, but we don’t do more than what I just described to you. It is less than an hour we have to put into adulting. It gives us plenty of time to take care of other needs, work in therapy, enjoy nature, regulate ourselves and live life.
All it needs is the discipline to stick to the plan and just do it.
You can go to www.flylady.net and sign up for a daily newsletter that will include a checklist for every day.