October 10, 2012

FlyLady Helps You Clean Your House and Your Life While You're At It

I've posted here about how to clean house, periodically sharing tips I've learned.  I get how frustrating this can be for many of us.

It's hard for me.  Just plain hard.  In fact, housekeeping can be flat out overwhelming sometimes.  Especially when I'm on a deadline.  I just don't see the mess, really I don't, because my head is filled with the research or the writing or the editing.  I just don't SEE it.  Then the deadline is met and I relax and suddenly I look around, and wow.  I need a break and I'm surrounded by mess.

I hate this.

I remember reading on The Bloggess about how she suffers from mental illness and one of her red flags that she may be about to have a bad episode (here in the South, we call them a "spell"), is that her vision narrows.  Like she has blinders on her eyes.

What I experience is something like that -- I'm busy, I'm buzzing along and my head is happy with thinking, and I don't register that the dishes need washing or that the porch needs sweeping.  It's just not there for me.

However, living in mess is definitely real and I hate it.  It's major no fun to come out of the waters of creating something good, all ready to wallow and relax, only to find that you're in a messy environment.

What a conundrum, right?  Here's what I want:  I want to ignore this stuff and write and still have everything as sweet as the Hyatt when I'm done, but it ain't happening and God has not given me the nose-twitching power of Samantha on Bewitched (remember the dancing vacuum?) so I've had to deal.

Flawed Perception: I Really and Truly Just Don't See It - So I Make Lists

Recognizing this flawed perception of mine, I consciously stop and make myself check on my surroundings during the day.  I tell my writer brain that this is a break for my butt (writing can mean numb butts, it's not fun).  I monitor chores with weekly task lists.  I have daily tasks and weekly chores and they are all scheduled on the calendar.  Right there with the writing deadlines and the bills.

I know I may sound crazy, but if I don't make this scheduled effort, then it's remains invisible to me.  (Like right now, where I realize I've forgotten that the crisper hasn't been checked in awhile.  Is there a science experiment down there?  I don't know.  Have no idea.)

In my past life long ago as a lawyer in a big swanky law firm, I had a maid that did this sort of stuff for me.  In my new life as a writer, I work from home.  No maid.

Which means I cook and I clean and I menu plan.  It ain't easy.  

Enter FlyLady.  

FlyLady has been around for awhile and maybe you've heard of her.  She has a book.  She has a website.  She has a program that many, many people enthusiastically follow and recommend.  To lots of people around the world, FlyLady is a lifesaver.

I agree.  Dear Reader, I recommend FlyLady to you -- start with her website and just keep going.  Don't pressure yourself and don't worry if you don't do everything or you don't read all the stuff.  FlyLady herself will tell you the same thing.

I've been following FlyLady for one month now.

Am I doing everything on her plan yet?  Nope.  Some of the things I was already doing (getting dressed and wearing shoes, no problem).  I don't have big mounds of clutter either.  Used to, got rid of it already.  Simple living, right?

What I'm learning from FlyLady is helping me get the house as swanky as I envision it to be - plus something new:  instead of my task lists for the day and the week (and I do love my lists), she is teaching me to get these routines so engrained in my head that I act automatically.

I'm finding this is a brilliant idea and it's making my life better.  It is easier to form the habit of going to sleep with the kitchen clean (her "shiny sink") than it is to keep that chore in my head.  Eureka!  I have taking the trash down to autopilot now, which I know because when my online calendar tells me to do this, it's already done!  This is great, almost like I do have that Samantha twitch power. 

Autopilot works.  Autopilot = GOOD. 

That's not all she's giving you for free.  There's so much that FlyLady has to offer and so much of it has to do with taking control of your life, feeling good about yourself, getting a peaceful environment, fighting depression, and more. 

It's true that cleaning your home brings with it lots of other things, and for those that live in clutter or with messy houses, they'll find lots of great things happening to them along with learning how to clean out a fridge.

Go check it out for yourself, I think you might really like FlyLady.  I'm sold.

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