Sunday, March 29, 2009

I'm FLYing high!

I have perhaps hinted here in the past that I am a (ahem) less than consistent and perfect housekeeper. In fact, deep cleaning my house has been so far at the bottom of my to-do list for so long that it might as well not even be on the list at all. However, I actually WANT a really clean house. I think that when it just doesn't come naturally to you to be a good cleaner it can be overwhelming and hard to get started. Well, people, let me tell you about a very helpful little website (you may have heard of it before) called Flylady. This is the most awesome website for the domestically challenged person like myself. You can subscribe to the emails (for FREE) and receive MANY daily encouragements and challenges for keeping your home clean. The Flylady recommends starting the whole process by Shining Your Sink. In fact, she has a detailed list of how to thoroughly clean your kitchen sink. The theory behind starting with your kitchen sink is that having a very clean sink allows you to quickly feel a sense of accomplishment and helps you to believe that a whole house that is equally clean is attainable. Flylady also has a BabySteps checklist that helps you incorporate little tasks into your daily routines that allow you to keep on top of the cleaning.
Another great thing about Flylady is that she divides your house into "zones" and the emails you get focus on specific cleaning tasks to do in each zone. You focus on a zone a week (and only spend 5-15 minutes per day on that zone) and then the zones repeat. So if you continue to do the routines consistently, you have a spectacularly clean house. One important thing that she points out is that your house didn't get to be cluttered and messy overnight and it won't be the shining, fresh, uncluttered paradise of your dreams overnight. This is a good reminder for me because I tend to get all gung-ho and want everything to fall into place NOW! I spent a good deal of time reading things on her website yesterday and I think I realize that getting a handle on our clutter and learning to consistently keep our home clean will take time. I am committed to doing it though. I'll use this blog to try to document some of my baby steps along the way.
The next two photos show my kitchen sink "before" I thoroughly cleaned it using the Flylady's checklist. The left side in the first photo is filled with hot water with 1 cup bleach. Flylady recommends letting this sit for 1 hour before cleansing. I did it just like she said to then repeated it on the right side.

The next two photos show my very shiny and clean sink. I even got out an old toothbrush to really clean all the grooves of the faucet. I don't have a dishwasher, so usually we stack our dirty dishes on the counter to the left of the sink. Then I use a dish drainer in the right side and allow my dishes to air dry. I also usually have a towel on the counter to the right of the sink to hold leftover clean dishes. This all takes up a lot of counter space. It also always makes the kitchen seem cluttered. Flylady recommends placing your dirty dishes in a dishpan under the sink until you are ready to wash them (if you don't have a dishwasher) and then drying them and putting them away immediately after washing them. She also suggests using a clean dish towel to completely dry your sink after each use. This will help keep it in shiny clean shape. As part of your bedtime routine every night, she suggests you Shine Your Sink, or wipe it dry. That way a nice shiny sink is there to greet you in the morning. I think this is a great idea and I'm going to try to do it. I got up a few minutes ago to let the dog out and had to walk by my shiny sink on my way back to the computer. I have to say it really did make me smile inside to see how clean my kitchen looked.
Just for posterity (and in case I fall off the house-cleaning wagon in the future), I want to list all the cleaning and de-cluttering tasks I did today. I truly feel like I worked my little tail feathers off. And I have to remind myself not to feel discouraged when I think about how hard I worked and how little there is to show for it.'s what I did today:
*wiped out all my kitchen cupboards and put new white Contact paper in several cupboards and drawers
*weeded out unused or rarely used kitchen items to store downstairs or to give to a consignment store
*moved my cleaning supplies out from under my sink and into the cabinets in the bathroom to make room for 2 dishpans under the sink........these will hold my dish drainer and dirty dishes
*shined my kitchen sink (as shown and described above)
*cleaned out my top bathroom cabinets over my washer and dryer and reorganized laundry and cleaning supplies
*thoroughly cleaned my bathroom sink and vanity (this will be another part of my daily routine that I will describe more tomorrow)
*cut up a bunch of old washcloths into cleaning rags
*bought some new cleaning supplies at Target and my local dollar store
*cleaned and polished the cabinets in my bathroom and dusted the stairwell in the living room
Whew! OK................I guess I did accomplish a lot. I will keep remembering that the house didn't get messy in a day so it can't be completely transformed in a day. Oh how I wish though..........

1 comment:

My Boys' Teacher said...

Congratulations on starting Flylady! I've been using her program for about seven years and love it.

The website can be overwhelming, I like using the book better, but the website is FREE. Just wanted to alert you to that in case you start doing to much at once and burn sounds like you've done A LOT!

Good luck!