Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Still FLYing

...or at least, I'm tryin' to. 

A few years ago, I discovered (or was pointed toward--I can't remember which) the FlyLady

My house was CHAOS*--it's better, now, but still not great (some rooms are better than others).  I'm not dealing with layers of clutter and stuff on every flat surface, anymore, for the most part.  (The kids' rooms are two of the main exceptions, and are their responsibility, not mine.)  The "better" is due to things I picked up from her site.

So, anyway, I skimmed her website, then went back and read some things a little closer.  One thing stood out: her insistence that my house didn't get into the state it's in in a day, and it's okay to work on it a little bit at a time. 

That...that helped me a lot. 

I don't have ADHD to the extent my son does.  But I do have some things in common: disorganization is one of the worst, but I've also got a little bit of the same executive function disorder where cleaning's concerned. 

(That means I don't know where to start, how to continue, or even how to stick to one task until I've got it done, and I wind up making a bigger mess of things than I've managed to resolve.) 

The FlyLady splits the house out into five zones (front porch, entry, and dining room; kitchen; bathrooms and utility area plus one; master bedroom; living room/family room).  And insists on decluttering first, fifteen minutes at a time, in the zone matched up to the week of the month you're in.  Plus a 2 minute trash sort wherever you drop the stuff in your pockets, or set down mail, every day. 

The decluttering is a constant battle.  I've been following this for a few years, now, and I'm still at the decluttering stage.  I haven't gotten to the cleaning part, yet.  But things are getting better.  Marginally.  Bit by bit. 

It also helps to have a bigger house with better storage options (don't look in the garage).  But I am pitching stuff that is obsolete, partially broken, or paper that isn't needed anymore, and giving away a lot of other stuff (outgrown clothes, etc) that's still in good shape. 

Monday, I went through and cleared out sent-home kid worksheets.  In just my basket where I keep that type of stuff, and only one quarter's worth of work, I filled a 13 gallon trash bag.  From just around my chair.  In less than fifteen minutes. 

Yesterday's accomplishment will eventually result in being able to reclaim my desk.**

After that, I was (and am) rather done in. 

Another thing the FlyLady advocates is setting aside time to create a dinner menu, for at least a week, if not a month.  I think she and Dave Ramsey would get along well--she thinks (and I think she's right) that most people get home, can't think of anything to fix for supper, throw up their hands, and go waste money on fast food instead.  That, and the menu planning helps in grocery list planning, and she advocates that, too--along with not shopping hungry so that you follow your list, and don't waste money buying snacky-things you don't need, and probably shouldn't have, just because you were hungry. 

That has made so many things so much easier.  And the kids have started eating more of what I fix, and there are fewer nights where they're eating chicken nuggets, pizza rolls, hot pockets, or the like.


I am still struggling.  Because the two days of decluttering and minor reorganization in the living room have laid me out pretty hard.

FLYing?  Yes.  At least, fluttering, flapping, sometimes falling, but always trying to stay afloat.  It's the best I can do with what I have.  

*CHAOS: Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome.

**I'd had to separate the kids for homework time because the study table was badly organized: they were sorta next to each other, and within easy range for tormenting each other instead of getting work done.  I'd left the pixie at the table, and stuck the imp at my desk.  Where he's been doing his homework and study, leaving his stuff scattered everywhere on my desk, and sort of pushing me out of my own space.  I've rearranged the table to put them at opposite ends from each other, and will be coming up with some type of vertical visual divider to keep them from even making faces at each other.  And buying a basic, cheap rubber ball for him to play with with his feet so he's not kicking the trestle and jarring the study table.


  1. It's always a slow process, good on ya for starting and continuing the declutter!

    1. Especially when you grew up really poor (have to cannibalize some things to fix other, necessary things, and that's easier if you've got the bits to cannibalize), and live with a pack rat!

      I think one of the hardest things for me to let go is papers. When I was growing up, we kept all of the papers because my teachers would "lose" grades, or the family/custody courts would "lose" documentation. And we were screwed if we couldn't produce what was "lost."