I’m trying it again. I picked up Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley aka the FlyLady yesterday. FlyLady is a house decluttering and cleaning system. It breaks down everything you need to do to keep a super clean home into baby steps. It starts with shining your sink.
Now, I’ve tried to do this before. I went to the website and tried to work through there. I like the idea. But if you sign up for the internet reminders they send you an overwhelming amount of email each day. It seems like they expect you to be sitting at home all day on the computer and they need to remind you to get moving. The irony of a decluttering program cluttering up my inbox every day drove me to distraction. I like the book a lot better.
I need to declutter because the house is going on the market soon. Time to hyperventilate. I’ve been getting rid of things but in a “Someday soon I’m selling this place” mode instead of in a “Someday SOON I’m selling this place” mode. I’m the exact kind of person who the book is geared towards. Deep down I’m an anal retentive clean freak but I don’t want to work hard enough to meet my own standards so I end up doing nothing. I explain it as my laziness overcomes my cleanliness. The books gives me guidelines to use to get started.
Here’s what I’m doing now:
1. Shine my sink since that is the first rule anyway. This is addictive. Even when I wasn’t following the system I’d be bothered if the sink wasn’t clean. I didn’t necessarily do anything about it but I’d be bothered. 🙂
2. Set out a new dishcloth each night. I had to look to see if I even had multiple dishcloths before I could do this one. This one also warms my tree-hugger heart since it cuts down on paper towels used.
3. Make the bed. My bed consists of a bedspread and no sheets since I get hot. How hard is that to make? But I don’t ever do it. I did it yesterday since the real estate agent was over and then the SO made some comment about never seeing the bed made before which I had to respond to in unfamily-friendly language so I decided to add that to my daily routine just to shock people.
4. Declutter. She recommends brief bouts of decluttering by going into a room and quickly picking up 27 things and either throwing them out, putting them in a give away pile, or putting them in their proper place. The thing that really helped me is the advice that if it doesn’t bless your house or if you don’t love it then get rid of it even if it is “good.” I have lots of stuff that is perfectly fine and that’s hard to get rid of because it seems wasteful. I’m just going to be wasteful for a while. I’m massively downsizing my life and I can’t do that while worrying about throwing out half used rolls of tape. Today I gave myself a time limit of 15 minutes and tackled my dining room hutch shelves. I wouldn’t have even considered them cluttered but I got rid of at least 27 things into either the trash or the Goodwill bags and had time to dust the shelves in 15 minutes. The hard part for a person like me is stopping then. But I know I will burn out if I keep going at that pace and then I’ll make excuses to not even start.
5. Blessing the house. This is how she refers to cleaning but if I’m calling myself a kitchen witch I need to work on this. So last night when we had dinner I lit a candle. I even moved my sewing machine off the dining room table so I had more room to eat. It is little things but it is better for the soul than ignoring them.
The goal is to work up to having morning and evening cleaning routines of no more than 20-30 minutes each. Then each week you focus more closely on a particular area of the house. You may declutter or clean more thoroughly in there. Eventually the house is clean enough that it only takes a few minutes a day to keep it that way. I want to get to the point where a phone call of “I have someone coming to see the house” doesn’t strike terror into my heart.