It’s 6 something and I open my eyes only to realize… It’s Monday. Ugh! That familiar dreadful feeling washes over me as I yawn and slip my feet into my slippers and go start the coffee pot. Do I really HAVE to get up? Really? I try to fight the temptation to throw a tantrum that would make any two-year old look like an angel.
How is it that, out of all the genius, brainiacs in the world, not a single one has figured out an antidote to Monday morning? So, as I do every single week, I drink my coffee and push forward.
Normally people don’t like Monday morning because it means going back to work, but even as a stay at home mom I despise Mondays. Like everyone else, I try to enjoy my weekends, which means I try to spend time with my family rather than cleaning up after them. This weekend was very nice outside, so Saturday a friend and I took the kids to check out garage sales and Goodwill’s half off sale. Sunday, we enjoyed cleaning up the yard and going for a hike with the Girl Scouts. I did clean the house Saturday, but of course, come Monday morning, you can’t tell that I had done anything at all. I thought I would use this as an example to show you what can be done in 15 minute increments using the FlyLady’s Crisis Cleaning technique. I discussed the FlyLady and her methods in “Scheduling Your Day as a Stay at Home Mom.” Today, I will show you that her methods actually do help to save your sanity, even on a Monday.
I am showing you the Crisis Cleaning method because that seems to give you a good starting point. I tried following her daily Flight Plan at first and failed because I wasn’t seeing much progress. By whipping the whole house into shape pretty quickly and then starting the daily Flight Plan, I had a sense of accomplishment that I could actually SEE and it made it easier. The daily Flight Plan will focus on a specific “zone” each week and the “zones” will rotate to where you stay caught up much easier.
The Crisis Cleaning is pretty straight forward and simple to follow. You set your timer for 15 minutes and move from room to room until you can stand to look at your home again. Using this method, you are told to take a 15 minute break every 45 minutes. During that break, when you look at what you’ve accomplished it will be a wonderful feeling.
Ok, let’s get started!
Step one is to get dressed to shoes, including your hair, face, and teeth. Do not skip this step! Even if you choose yoga pants and tennis shoes, you will feel better.
Step two, set your timer for 15 minutes in the kitchen. I use my oven timer and can hear it throughout the house, no matter what room I’m in. You do not need a fancy timer. In the kitchen, I start with my dishwasher and counter. If I still have time left on the timer, I shine my sink or clear my table.
Step three, set your timer for 15 minutes in the living room. My living room and dining room are separated by an arch and neither one have too many flat surfaces to be buried with clutter so I do both of these rooms in this 15 minute session. I pick up the toys and straighten things up.
Step four is another 15 minute session in the kitchen. Since I focused on the dishes and counter during the first session, I focused on the table during this session.
Step five is a 15 minute break. Set your timer for this as well. Reflect on what you have accomplished so far in 45 minutes. Feels pretty good, right? Pat yourself on the back and enjoy your break, then get ready for the next 15 minutes.
Step six, set your timer for 15 minutes in the bathroom. I have a very small bathroom so a lot can get done in 15 minutes. Pick up any laundry, wipe up the toothpaste on the sink, clean the toilet bowl, clean your mirrors, do whatever you can accomplish in the 15 minutes.
Step seven is another 15 minutes in the kitchen. During this session I was able to finish decluttering and tidying up surfaces, gave my oven and dishwasher a quick swipe, and ran the vacuum.
Step eight, you are going back to the living room for 15 minutes. Again, I am working in my living room and dining room both. My son had already dumped a shopping cart full of toys again so I picked them back up again and spent the rest of this session quickly dusting with a Swiffer and ran the vacuum.
Step nine is another 15 minute break. Are you feeling awesome yet? If you are like me, you probably would have been very embarrassed had any guests shown up this morning. Would you still be? I probably would still apologize for the mess but I don’t think I would go as far as to shove anyone back out the door in a hurry.
Your schedule will determine how much time you can spend on this. For me, by the time I got to step nine, some errands needed ran before my son’s nap time. Then at nap time, I can tackle something else.
You will notice that we haven’t worked in the bedrooms, laundry areas, etc. You can spend 15 minutes in these areas if necessary. You can refer to the morning routine and do any of those unfinished tasks. Or you can check today’s Flight Plan and tackle today’s “mission.”
The entire point of the FlyLady’s methods is to get past the CHAOS (“can’t have anyone over syndrome”) and the perfectionism and start making progress. Quite frankly, if you’re feeling pooped and like you can do no more, stop. Tomorrow is another day and you can bask in the glory of what you have accomplished today.
Finishing my daily checklist only took another half hour. Monday’s are “Weekly Home Blessing” day and since I have already done these “blessings” the only one left is to empty the garbage so I will take less the five minutes to empty my small garbage cans around the house and, if needed, take a garbage bag to the outside garbage can.
So, if we do the math, it took me a little over 2.5 hours to restore order to my home. Some of us have 2.5 hours to devote to cleaning, but if you don’t, I’m sure you have at least 15 minutes to accomplish something.
Now, since the restored order won’t last long, I’m going to sit and enjoy it.
This post may seem silly and unnecessary to some of you, but there are many out there that will read it and gain something from it. These are the people I am writing this for. The people who look around their home and feel overwhelmed by the CHAOS. I used to constantly go in circles and never get anything done because I wanted everything perfect. When you have little ones, there is no perfection. Letting go of that can be hard, very hard, but until you do, you will continue to run in circles feeling overwhelmed.
I talk about the FlyLady and her methods often because this is what has worked for me. My husband and I used to argue about the housework all the time. When the entire house is covered in a toy tornado and a laundry hurricane and who knows what else, it’s hard to know where to start. I used to start one thing and get distracted by ten others that needed done. With the FlyLady methods, I have a very clear plan laid out and it’s plain to see what needs done and do it.
Housework may come easy for some of you, but I know I’m not alone when I say it’s just not my cup of tea. I hate cleaning the same things today that I just cleaned yesterday and it’s tiring, but unfortunately, somebody’s gotta do it and that somebody is me.
I hope that there are more of you that read this and gain something, than there are those that do not.
Have you printed my daily checklist yet? Please do! And leave a comment letting me know how the FlyLady and her methods have helped you!Print Your Free Daily Task List Here