I've been cleaning house. A lot. I'm sure many of you have heard of FLYlady. Her basic premise is that taking care of your home amounts to taking care of yourself, and you can do it in very small, carefully proscribed baby steps. She starts with, "Shine your sink." Basically, you empty your sink before you go to be and make sure that it's dry and shiny. That one bright, clean spot motivates you the next day. Shine your sink is the touchstone; it's the starting piece, and the first habit that you make sure you do every day.
I do not follow FLYlady.
I have several reasons. First, I hate to be a negative nancy, but her website is disorganized, cluttered, and difficult to navigate. I recognize that she is not a web guru and never intended to be. I don't think the site's state reflects the FLYlady's state, but the fact is, I have trouble navigating her site and figuring out what I should do when. Second, shining my sink is a big, fat waste of my time. In a home where I rarely have time or energy to make dinner, why would I shine my sink? I assure you, my heart does not leap when I see it gleaming in the pale moonlight.
Here's another reason, one I feel a little guilty about. She's too damn chipper. I'm not. Period. I like fart jokes, and I'm grouchy. I think Rodney Dangerfield is funny (most of the time). Also, I've never had Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome (CHAOS). Oh, sure, my house is chaotic, but my perspective is, "Hey, if you can't handle it, don't come over." Everyone still comes over. Noone's ever complained about my bathrooms or my dishes. And if they had, I would have smiled and said, "You're welcome to come wash my dishes (or scrub my toilet) anytime you want." And meant it.
Happily, I have a substitute. I have been (in the past but not now) a member of Ravelry's Lazy, Stupid and Godless group. Now I'm none of the three, but they can be a funny, funny bunch of folks. I unjoined the group because it's horrifically drama-ridden, and I got bored with it. However, there's a spin-off group: The Pod People. And they have an LSG version of the FLYlady: Naggy B*tch.
Now that's my kind of name. That's how I feel about housework, too.
Her basic idea is the same: Find something that you clean EVERY DAY so that it motivates you. But hers is Make Your [Profanity Redacted] Bed.
So that's what I've been doing, and it's going remarkably well. I'm really loving it. Every day, I make my bed, spend 60 seconds wiping down surfaces in the bathroom (notice: Not cleaning up the bathroom; you can't do that in 60 seconds), spend about 20 minutes on a load of laundry, 2 minutes decluttering the crap-magnet in my house, and about 20 minutes putting away dishes and reloading the dishwasher. I have two 15-minute drills I do at least once a day to chip away at larger projects: clearing away paperwork and filing on my desk and putting away Christmas crap. In the last week, I've cleared and kept clean my desk, a place I previously just shut the roll-top lid on and pretended didn't exist. And I've taken care of about 80% of the Christmas crap and designated an area to put the random Christmas knick-knacks I find around the house to be put away.
It feels good. My house is starting to feel like it's under control.