Feb 4, 2006

A Vote For FLYing

FlyLady has been around for a while now. In fact, I think I first came across the site in 2000 or 2001, but I didn't really understand it so I went on with my life. I occasionally saw a reference or mention about how great "FLYing" was, but I still remembered how baffling I found it so I never looked into it.

A couple of months ago, though, I decided I wanted to keep a cleaner house. The cleaning service I used was fine, but only did surface cleaning so the kitchen floor was always a little dirty, that kind of thing. I didn't really know where to start so I went to the FlyLady site and this time I understood it. I'm not sure if I was just ready to understand or if over time they've made their message more intelligible, but it's really made a difference.

FLY stands for "Finally Loving Yourself." The FlyLady, Marla Cilley, and her team encourage SHE's (Sidetracked Home Executives™) to keep a cleaner house and organize their lives out of self-love. I understand the premise - that you'll feel better about yourself if your life is "together," and your life will be more "together" if you truly love yourself. I've gotten that message in other places, though (Cheryl Richardson has been a good teacher to me in that regard), so what I have found the most useful are the specific guidelines for cleaning my house.

FlyLady believes in baby steps, and the first step is simply to shine your kitchen sink every night. Then you add a daily clearing of a "hot spot," a place where things accumulate (for me, it's the dining table). Next come 15-minute decluttering sessions. Gradually, you add other routines that eventually have you living in an orderly home that stays clean and organized because you do a little bit every day.

One of my favorite FlyLady quotes is "You can do anything for 15 minutes." The 15-minute decluttering sessions helped me to finally shred a bag of papers that had been sitting under my desk for over a year. I kept thinking I had to set aside an hour or more to do it, but over the course of a week, I shredded for 15-minute blocks and the bag was history.

With Marc's support (he's taken over some of the regular cleaning chores), I've put enough routines in place that I was able to let go of our regular cleaning service. I try to declutter a little bit every day, although sometimes I have trouble letting go of things (I might need them someday!). I'm still a "FlyBaby" in FlyLady terms, but I am definitely FLYing in her system.

If you're feeling overwhelmed with all that you have to do, set aside 15 minutes to look over the FlyLady website and start FLYing yourself!

Two notes:

  1. All of the information you need to FLY is available for free on the FlyLady website. They sell a lot of "tools" that apparently are very popular but I haven't bought a single one and am quite happy with how I am FLYing. So I don't think they're necessary and I don't advocate buying anything until and unless you are absolutely and positively certain that you will use it.
  2. Be prepared: if you sign up for FlyLady's emails, you will get a lot of emails from them - an average of 10 per day, I think. After the first couple of weeks, I could tell from the subject line that the body of the email was one that was sent regularly, and I started deleting them without opening them. (They are simply reminders, after all, and I didn't need that specific reminder.) Many of the emails are testimonials, and some are inspiring. If I have the time and/or inclination, I will read them but if I am too busy or just not in the mood, I delete them. Given FlyLady's attitude toward decluttering, I don't think she'd be offended! (There was a problem with Blogger and my original post was lost, but a couple of readers noted that there is a "digest" option to reduce the number of emails. Thanks for the tip!)


Susie said...

I have read your blog for a while now. I always find the frugal tips helpful.
I also follow FLYLADY but somewhat loosely. The e-mails can be annoying, but I, like you, just delete away. I think she's right that they are a subtle reminder anyway! I can tell you put lots of time and effort into research for your blog.

ChiefFamilyOfficer said...

Thanks, Sue! :)