When I first began my second “career” as a full-time housewife, I wasn’t sure where to start. In the corporate world, routines were already in place and deadlines helped decide my priorities. I did not want to slip into slacker mode and become the stereotypical dowdy bonbon-eating, soap-watching hausfrau. But where to start? With my “anything worth doing is worth overdoing” approach to life, it would be equally easy for me to become a perfectionist cleaning sink pipes with a toothbrush.
Flylady is “Your personal online coach to help you gain control of your house and home” and is based on the concept of establishing home care routines and then spending just 15 minutes each day to maintain your home. Beginners start out spending their 15 minutes simply decluttering room by room. Once you’ve gained control over the chaos, you begin deep cleaning in the same manner. Flylady separates your house into “zones” and each week is spent focusing on a specific zone, repeating each month. For instance, Zone 1 is the “Entrance, Front Porch and Dining Room”. Tasks for this week may include things like sweeping your front porch and shaking/beating your welcome mat, or wiping down the dining room table and chair legs.
Overwhelming in the sheer volume of information it contains, the site is helpfully broken into various modules with an extremely useful “start here” section. Once you’ve gotten grounded and familiar, you’ll want to jump into the Launch Pad to check your daily Flight Plan for the day’s assigned task. If the assigned task is already complete, jump into the deep-cleaning list for that zone!
Flylady advocates creating a control journal to customize your approach. This is what I’ve done, slightly modifying her zones to more appropriately reflect my own. For instance, I have a home gym that needs periodic attention, so I’ve added that to one of the zones. Flylady also sells pre-assembled control journals, including those designed for different purposes (holiday, office, teacher, etc).
That said… while I love Flylady’s approach to housekeeping and find it to be an incredibly useful resource, I feel that she is over-aggressive in pushing her product line. I actually unsubscribed from her newsletter because I’d get multiple emails daily which were just ads and testimonials for her products. I am totally cool with someone making a living, but it felt like overkill to me.
TL;DR: If you’re a new housekeeper or just want to get a better handle on housekeeping routines, I highly recommend you check out the Flylady website!