Back to Basics with the Flylady

by missmaudy

I may have mentioned a couple of posts ago that I was contemplating giving Flylady a red hot go again –  so I have spent the last three weeks contemplating a variety of questions.

  1. I have never managed to stick at Flylady for longer than 6-8 weeks at a time in the past.
  2. I have had at least four five or six goes at Flylady over the last ten years with little or no success.
  3. I crack the shits within a week at the sheer volume of emails that come through. Do I seriously think I will find it easier to ignore 24 Farcebook posts in a single day?
  4. I find the website revolting to manoeuvre and can never find what I am looking for.
  5. I find the schmaltz to be completely nauseating
  6. I keep coming back.

It’s so damn condescending and twee and annoying and I keep coming back like some demented teenager with a feral ex-boyfriend (I know I can change, I know I can make it work this time). I’ve dated other organisational experts and had the same result – I’m fired up with enthusiasm and wander off at the first sign of failure.

(Well, except for UnFuck Your Habitat –  I like their evening routine, I think 20/10 is a much better working time frame, and hey, looking at pictures of other people’s Habitats is inspiration for me to get off my arse and do some unfucking of my own. Also swears instead of butterflies and fucking rainbows, and the app is a dollar. But it still doesn’t quite make the grade for general day to day living. Also, Kon Mari for decluttering).

So why haven’t I ever managed to stick at the Flylady before? And what makes me think I’ve got Buckleys of having it stick this time?

I think part of it has been my circumstances at the time. When I first delved into Flylady, it was circa 2005 , I had a toddler, I was studying and working part time, Reg was working shift work (get up and make your bed is tricky when there’s still someone in it); and I just couldn’t quite ever get through the Baby Steps. (Digital clutter is so clutter and you don’t need to buy special purple things to do housework with. Pfft.) I think the next time, I was still working part time, had a kid in primary school and a toddler. I sort of skipped the baby steps because they just irritated me and attempted to move onto the Zone cleaning. Yeah, nah.

The other thing is that her faith plays a big part in the life of the Flylady, and whilst the message is relatively gentle, it’s still very much there as the basis of everything she says and does. There’s nowt wrong with that at all, if that makes her happy, so be it. However, I think I am best described as a bit of a heathen. All this talk about blessing this and blessing that – Pfft. And housework that’s badly done is housework that needs doing properly later. So, maybe I’m a perfectionist? And that’s why Flylady doesn’t seem to work for me. The millisecond something doesn’t work, or she’s too happy clappy, or flogs a product – ZOOOOOOOM. Can’t see me for dust. Of which there is plenty at my house. Any excuse and I am gone.

The next couple of times I had a go at it, I was working full time. Flylady and full time employment are not compatible in the slightest. And when you throw small children and after school activities into the mix, it gets even less compatible. I like the idea of it, I like the structure of it, but the reality? Um. Nope. Not even close. About a year ago, I looked at the last bit of Baby Steps and I was more or less there, so I moved along (yay, nine years to implement 31 days of a program)

So, what’s changed? I’m still working full time, and Reg is now working Monday to Friday like a normal person, I still have two children and I still have to juggle after school activities. What makes me think this is going to work this time?

As a bit of a laugh, I have been doing the Missions in each of the Zones for the last three weeks and um. Despite my efforts being decidedly half arsed and the Missions being subject to much internal derision (nothing says I loves youse all like a fresh supply of toilet paper and clean jocks)… My house is slightly but noticeably tidier and slightly but noticeably cleaner and more organised.

I also had an epiphany of sorts.

Every other time I had a crack at the Flylady, I was attempting to shove my motley collection of rhomboid shapes into her perfectly round and organised circular holes. I didn’t fit, so I left. This time, I am treating it differently. I am NOT treating it as the Master Plan for my life, because we all know how well that turned out. I’m skipping the Baby Steps because I think I’ve actually passed that stage. I’ve gone through her lists for each room and bodged together a list of extra things the cleaner doesn’t do for each room. I’ve divided my house into Zones that make sense for me – only four, though. The odd days are designated catch up on what I didn’t do earlier in the month. And I will do the Daily Missions in as half-arsed a fashion that I choose.

I will see how things turn out in another month. It will be an interesting journey. I am not sure if it was the half-arsed flying or if the confounding effects of working four days a week and having no kids for three days are actually what made the difference. Welcome aboard. This will either be an interesting tale of how I finally beat Flylady’s system into my life, or I will wander off in search of something else in about a month because, hey turns out it was the short week and lack of kids.