As I said last week, for the month of May I am experimenting with using FlyLady to better manage my household chores. I tend to be that person that does a huge amount of housework at once and then collapses and has no energy to do anymore cleaning for the next week. And repeat. Or I do the things I enjoy doing (dishes) and skip the things I don’t (folding laundry. And now all your questions about why my husband’s pants are always wrinkled have been answered haha).
All that to say, I want to have a more consistent cleaning routine. Trying to make my own is overwhelming, especially because our weeks aren’t the most conventional since my husband frequently has duty on a weekend day. Enter, FlyLady. This was something my mom used when I was growing up, so I decided it was time for me to give it a try. I’ve implemented some of her principles lightly since we moved to Washington, but this month I’m implementing them as fully as possible. I want to be able to keep up with the daily checklist as well as the daily mission in that week’s zone. This past week was the first week, and we were in Zone 2: The Kitchen.
Monday, May 7
Today’s mission was to scrub the stove top. I was supposed to spend 15 minutes on this, but a lot of the mess on my stove was only superficial, so it only took me about five minutes to get it done. Here’s the before and after! You can see the times on the stove clock to see how quickly this went for me:
Tuesday, May 8
Tuesday’s mission was to clean out the silverware drawer! I kinda chuckled at this one – there was no way I had anything to clear out of that drawer, right? Right? Turns out, there was! I didn’t get a photo of the before, but I found several things in the drawer that did not belong and should have been thrown away ages ago! I also moved our Mickey Mouse straws from our Disney trip to the back of the drawer because they don’t fit in the organizer very well. Here’s the finished product:
Wednesday, May 9
This one was a doozy for me! The mission was to grab a trash bag and clean out your fridge of everything from expired food to that random new food item that you know you’re not going to eat. I’m a huge proponent of not wasting food, so I try my best to make sure that we only buy what we’re definitely going to eat. Well…. nobody’s perfect! As you can see between my before and after photos, I had to throw out more than I originally anticipated! I also finally unwrapped our eggs. It makes no sense to keep the plastic on them like that! And yes, we go through that many eggs very easily before they go bad. What can I say? We have good cholesterol in the Elliott home!
You can also see in these pictures that I took the opportunity to arrange the fridge in a more reasonable manner. The door especially was all out of sorts, and it was kinda frustrating! It’s now arranged in a way that makes sense in my mind (and hopefully my husband’s).
Something I learned with this exercise is that we buy a lot of cheese, but don’t necessarily use it all. In my defense, I bought a few kinds we don’t normally use to make a dip that I wound up never making because I realized one of the people who would be eating it was dairy free. So Reid got ingredients to make and made guacamole instead. And then I never got around to using them. I do want to give a couple of the ingredients that are still good a try, but I don’t know what to do with them! If anyone has a good use for ricotta cheese or queso blanco, let me know!
Thursday, May 10
This mission today was to declutter the “plastic wraps and foils” drawers and cabinets. This was definitely a necessity for me! Those drawers and cabinets aren’t cluttered per se, but they weren’t arranged logically. But that wasn’t too hard to fix!
I keep my potholders and hot pads with my plastic wrap and foil, so I neatened those up too. The box with the foil has been broken since we lived in Charleston, so I finally just tossed the box and left the roll bare. The really gross potholders got set aside for a laundry day! I also did the cabinet with our plastic bags, because it’s a weird cabinet and can get a little hairy sometimes.
As you can see, the plastic bag arrangement was precarious and not logical in the least. Now I have everything arranged with like kind and each type of baggy is easily accessible! Yay!
Friday, May 11
Today’s mission was to clean up under the sink. This is a weird area for me because it never seems like I have room for the things I specifically made room for! When I sat down on the kitchen floor to go through this cabinet under the sink, I realized why…. there were things in it that didn’t belong!
It was also all, once again, just kind of thrown in there with no rhyme or reason. I straightened up the dish towels, threw away some stuff that had no business being in there, took out the candle, and organized the cleaning supplies more logically. Everything has a place now and hopefully won’t get knocked around! Hidden behind that piece of wood in the middle is my Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning supplies, my cast iron skillet cleaning and seasoning supplies, and even a dishwasher cleaner that came with our house!
For reference, here is the daily checklist:
- Getting Dressed to Lace Up Shoes, Fixing your Hair and Face
- Swishing and Swiping Your Bathroom Blesses You Most
- Is Your Bed Made? Every Room has a Shiny Sink
- Checking Your Calendar; relieves stress
- Reboot Your Laundry; A load a day keep Mount Washmore Away
- Think about what’s for dinner this relieves lots of guilt come 6pm
- Drink your water, take your supplements, and meds
- Empty Your Dirty Dish Disposal Unit
- Check Your Morning Routine to see if you missed anything
- Have you had any lunch
- Reboot Your Laundry
- Declutter for 15 minutes
- Did you drink your water?
- Have you exercised today?
- Start Your Before Bed Routine after dinner
- Check Your Calendar for Tomorrow
- Lay Out Your Clothes for Tomorrow
- Place things needed for Tomorrow on your launch pad.
- Spend Two Minutes Clearing off a Hot Spot
- Shine Your Sink
- Wash face/Brush Teeth
- Go to Bed at a Decent Hour
I did okay with this. The bed wasn’t made every single day and I need to be better about swishing and swiping the bathroom. But my sink was shiny (almost) every day, I went to bed at a decent hour out of sheer necessity, my face and teeth were kept up, and I did a ton of laundry this week. I know I said I’m trying to avoid doing everything all at once because it exhausts me and creates more work later, but I broke my own rule with the laundry. I had a ginormous pile of unfolded laundry and towels that went back way too far. So I spent two solid days folding and hanging up every clean clothing item in the house, while also running a couple more loads of laundry and folding and putting away all that as well! Now, starting next week, I can be much more on top of this. I likely won’t run a load of laundry daily since it’s just Reid and I, but my sheets could use some washing…
Overall, I would say the first week of full FlyLady was a partial success. I wasn’t perfect and some days I doubled up on missions because I’d forgotten the previous day. But I did all the missions, most of the daily checklist at least a couple times this week, and made good progress on good habits. Next week is Zone 3: The Main Bathroom and an Extra Room! I think I’ll switch between the office and laundry room for this extra room.