Friday, February 5, 2010

Get Help from the Fly Lady

     Are you like me and never seem to have time to get your house organized?  Have large areas of your home been usurped by the clutter monster?  Then, get thee to, pronto!  This site has a lot of good house-cleaning tips for busy people.  It's a little touchy-feely, but I'm finding it super helpful and filled with fun acronyms.  Apparently, I suffer from CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome).  I would love to be spontaneous and invite people over on the spur of the moment, but clutter-shame prevents me from doing this.  Here comes Fly Lady to save the day!

     Her main premise is to do a little bit every day.  For instance, set the timer for 5 minutes and clean as much as  you can of your "hot spot" during that time.  This makes it all seem more possible.  I've heard this technique referred to as "chunking", meaning  you break down huge tasks into little chunks.  I heard a story once about a guy in India who said he could swallow an entire airplane.  No one believed him, but he tore it down and swallowed the whole thing bolt by bolt (over the course of several months, of course.)  I doubt that this story is true, but it illustrates the point.  I have been doing the 5 minute thing for a week now and I already notice a difference.  Also, this technique can be applied to exercise.  I moved my mini-trampoline into my living room and I jump on it whenever I walk by.  This way, little bits of exercise add up over time when I otherwise wouldn't be doing it at all.

Here are some other things from the site that I found helpful:

1.  Polish your sink every day.  Yeah, I know you're probably thinking "who cares if my sink is shiny?  Out of all the things in my house, that's the one I care least about!"  I know I did.  Even though I was skeptical, I did try it and it did make a difference.  If clutter spreads, then the reverse is true too.  A clean, shiny sink gives you a burst of energy and makes you feel more positive about the whole cleaning thing.  I found that I'm more likely to keep up with the dishes if the sink is clean.  You can modify her advice to suit your needs.  She recommends doing this first thing in the morning, however I do it in the afternoon as soon as I get home.  This works way better for me because of my schedule.

2.  Declutter Technique   - I usually accumulate a whole pile of things to take to the Goodwill store that sits around forever and clutters up a corner of my kitchen.  Her idea of just putting one box in your car as soon as it's full is genius!  I did this, and then drove past the Goodwill store on my way home from work.  Now, my kitchen corner is clutter free!  When I get another box-full, I'll store it in my car and drop it off the next time I drive near there.

3.  Swish and swipe routine - My bathroom has never been cleaner with so little effort!

4.  Set out your clothes at night (for the next day).  I took this one step further and now spend a few minutes on a Sunday evening picking out the 5 outfits I'll wear for the week.  Then, I hang in them in order in my closet.  No more rushing around in a panic in the mornings!  

I love it when things are clean and I LOVE empty surfaces.  I'm so much more likely to feel creative and do something productive if there's a pristine, table or counter to do it on.  It's like a blank canvas!  I know that I feel stressy and stifled creatively when I'm in a house where every table top is packed with various knick-knacks.  If you want something new in your life, you must make room for it!

I hope you find Fly Lady as helpful as I did.   



  1. Had heard of the Fly Lady before but had forgotten about her. Thanks for the reminder. Will add her to my favorites.

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  3. Yeah, I always seem to learn about these things later than everyone else. A work colleague told me about it earlier this week, and I just think it's brilliant!

  4. Another tip from her that I just tried this week: grab a trash bag and go around your house collecting 27 things to throw away. (Put it in the dumpster as soon as you finish.) Then, get a box and put 27 things to give away in it. (Put the box directly in your car as soon as you finish so you can drop it off at the goodwill the next time you drive by.) This made a noticeable difference to my whole house in less than 30 minutes!! :-)