Daily, Weekly, and Monthly cleaning routines are something I have always wanted to put into place. It seems that when I finally get them in place and running somewhat automatically life changes. A few have stuck around but the others, well, they tend to happen whenever I remember them. This is a (bad) habit I wanted to change this year.
When Christmas was over last year I had hoped to get back into following FLYLady’s routines again. To some extent I have. However it has not started with Zones or daily routines, it actually began with me picking up a daily morning habit, trying to keep a nightly one, and inadvertently starting a weekly one.
- Making my bed every morning has been one habit which I naturally have always completed.
- The habit of keeping the bathroom counter clear was solved by having no counter when we lived in Small Town.
- Transitioning here it was easy to keep my drawer open while getting ready in the morning and at night – things were removed, used, and set right back down in the drawer. No need to clear off the counter if nothing is left sitting on it.
The one area I have been really negligent about is a daily Swish and Swipe, the toilet and counter respectively. I always meant to get to it, blamed my husband’s stuff on the counter for not being able to, etc. In the end it was because I did not place a high value on that habit. Guess what area drove me crazy? A dirty toilet and counter. Yup, my own laziness was also the source of my greatest annoyance. This was the morning area I have been focused on changing.
After a week of doing it almost daily it was amazing how great it felt. It was while doing my Swipe one day I decided to fix a leaky faucet in the master bath, yet another of many small things I had put off for “later” only to be annoyed at every time I used the bathroom. Not exactly a way to Love Yourself. I fixed that and now I am F.L.Y.ing in this area.
Night Time Routine
Ah, night time. Bed times. The area of my somewhat recent life I have spent the most time hopeful about, annoyed at, frustrated by, and resigned to failure. And all that to do with my kids and their bedtime routine. Yet, night time routines are not only about bed time. It is also about putting your house to sleep and preparing for the next day.
One of the steps I took in this area was to talk to our pediatrician about some of the night time struggles. It was part of a larger, on-going discussion we have had concerning the kids’ developmental and medical care. “It takes a village” as they say and this doctor is part of that. A recommendation has led to better nights the majority of the time, though it is not where I would like it to be. That is something I am going to have to chalk up to a Learning Moment for me and realized we each have our own struggles and sometimes they effect other people.
Another area I have been working on and halfway succeeding is to pick up the kitchen between supper and heading to bed. That is still a work in progress but I have noticed it is better than it had been. No longer do I “do it in the morning”, I do what I can do and not feel guilty about the rest.
Part of keeping the kitchen picked up is having a dishwasher where I can put dirty dishes. This morning even my husband commented that it make things run smoother if the dishwasher is ran (and unloaded). After a wonderful side comment from the kids about how I like cleaning and that is likely what I did while they took a trip with my husband I decided I no longer needed to be unloading the dishwasher, they can do it all. Some days they even have to reload it which results in the “I have to do everything around here” comment from a particular one. I do not let it get to me. Sometimes I agree and ask him what he is making for supper and when the laundry will be finished. Slightly passive aggressive? Yes. Something he can argue with? No.
My weekly routine started as a way to stop hearing my husband say, “I have no pants.” Not hearing that became top of my priority list. Therefore our laundry is always the first to get done each week. Sunday night or Monday is the day for our clothes. Before the kids’. Before towels. Before bedding. Before anything else, I wash our clothes. This way, even if the towels no not get washed this week, or the kids only give me half of their items, or we have been gone most nights for sports, or someone gets sick and laundry greatly increases, my husband will have pants to wear to work. His coworkers sort of like it when he does things like that.
Having our clothes washed on Monday, I then randomly decided one kid gets their’s washed on Tuesday while the other gets their laundry washed on Wednesday. If I get ahead and all get completed in one day, fabulous. If not, it is okay to not be ahead. Thursday – Sunday then is time for towels, blankets, bed sheets, and anything else that may have found its way into the laundry room. This has worked for us, in this home, at this season of life. Sometimes I take one day to do it all, still sticking with the order, but usually one area a day works best for us. For me.
The kids have also started doing their own laundry. It takes supervision on my part, teaching them, making sure the laundry room is in a state such as to help them succeed, and reminding them to switch the loads and put things away. However, this will pay off in the future. I already feel the payoff. Sometimes.
F.L.Y.ing is not about being perfect, it is about learning to love yourself enough to be kind to yourself, to do these things which bring you happiness and thereby extend love to others. As FlyLady said on her website:
“I want you to have what I have: peace of mind, pride in my home, and a passion for living.” ~ FlyLady
After a few multi-day business trips on my husband’s part, readjusting our school schedule to add in another class, and doing outside work my morning Swish and Swipe routine fell off the wagon and got lost amongst the bushes. It took me a few days to realize it was missing and I had to go back and find it. Then social distancing came into our vocabulary and it really became very obvious. 1 less commercial to watch, 2 fewer minutes to play an online game, 1 less page to read in a book, or a few minutes less to listen to the morning news is not too much to exchange for a cleaner bathroom to greet me throughout the day.
Did you see a picture of my “office and take-out supper” on the Facebook page? That was an example of me F.L.Y.ing. I needed that time outside, not having to actually do any project or job or task but instead to sit and relax and just be. With no one around to talk my ear off the whole time or ask me questions or whine about whatever. There was a time when I took opportunities like this for granted and would do them “later”, there was a time when opportunities like this were not possible, and then there is now where I say “I need this” and set other things aside in order to make it happen.
With extra time for members of your household to be at home you are going to start to notice. A little here, a little there, and then you look around and wonder what happened. With fewer pointed opportunities to meet up with others in social settings it is easy to forget to take time for the things we enjoy. What is one thing you will do today to F.L.Y.? What is something you already do? What can you say “no” to and do so knowing it is for your own good, not in a self-centered way?