Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Cleaning Fairy

<- Don't you love this? Though mine just might be over...

When I was younger, my mom used to joke with us that there was a cleaning fairy (her) that made our clothes magically appear clean in our closets. I told hubby about it and now when I tell him to pick up his socks or something he goes, "but the fairy is going to come!" Haha. Not so funny when the fairy is ME.

Well, considering he's usually the one who cooks, I guess I can't complain much. But my frustration was more towards myself - I wished I could be neater. But taking care of a toddler seemed so overwhelming that there seemed to be no opportunity (or strength or disposition) left for the toys around the carpet the end of the day. I'd think, "I'm soooo exhausted, and what's the point, it'll look the same way tomorrow morning".

So when my dear friend Kim told me about the Fly Lady (a website that encourages women to clean), I was kinda skeptical. Not of the website per se, but of my ability to commit to it. But just for the heck of it, I signed up.

Their premise is that your house did not become chaotic in a day, so you're not gonna clean it in a day. What you'll do is take baby steps - establish one good habit at a time, until keeping it clean doesn't become a huge effort. Genius, no?

I just started this, so don't quote me on anything - and haven't even successfuly accomplished the first habit, which is "make your sink shine before going to bed". Mine doesn't, but the dishwasher does get filled more often than not. And as predicted on the website, this puts you in a decluttering mood - since a clean sink needs clean counters. Then I'd look at the living room's carpet, full of Melissa's toys, and felt like doing something about it. At almost midnight! This is unheard of.

The thing is, I used to tell myself that if I cleaned I'd get even more exhausted, to the point of not being able to function enough to take care of Melissa, but that is not true. I can't function regardless :). J/k (sort of), but what I mean is that it just feels like I've been working out - you know, that kind of exhaustion that makes you feel proud of yourself. I used to feel tired all the time before anyway, so why did I think this would be the end of the world?

Now, our place is NOT yet spotless. Remember, baby steps, people. Please do not show up unannounced. But if you do, I might not die of embarrassment as much as before. And you might not have to witness the remains of Melissa's breakfast.


Kimberly said...

Hey, you checked it out! I love the idea that FlyLady forces you to work in baby steps and create HABITS (as you said) one at a time. This way, you and your house can change for the long-term instead of just going on another cleaning-spree that wears you out and makes you want to give up. My house was greatly improved after just a week or two with FlyLady, and a month later, I was a new woman! I still occasionally fall back into my former "I hate housework" self, but then I am back in control again. Progress, not perfection.

Debbie said...

I've never tried flylady but have heard good things about it. I remember one thing from flylady though. "Get dressed down to your shoes". I can't imagine wearing shoes all day but it might be a mental know, feeling put together and having more motivation.

Cam - Bibs & Baubles said...

i'll have to check this out. i try to straighten up as i go but that doesn't always work out. thanks for the tip!

Nicole said...

Visiting from LBS Tea PArty. I can relate to the wish I could be clearner sentiment. I really like your writing and your blog. You officially have a new follower!

Echo said...

Hi, I just joined the Lady Bloggers Tea Party. I like your post and I definatly like the idea of these baby steps to cleaning. I might just have to give it a try. :)

Betsy St. Amant said...

Good for you!!

The Hubby Diaries said...

This made me laugh simply because hubby truly does believe that fairies complete a variety of tasks in our house. Thankfully I only have to pick up after hubby (we don't have any children) but it still seems to be a full time job that I can't keep up with.

Here's a link to my "fairies" post:

This is also why I sacrifice other things to have a cleaning lady come every 2 weeks!! It's the only way to keep me sane!

Ms. Blasé said...

"...I used to tell myself that if I cleaned I'd get even more exhausted, to the point of not being able to function enough to take care of Melissa, but that is not true. I can't function regardless"

Found that statement absolutely hilarious! No, I don't mean to laugh at your inability to function, but the wording is priceless :)

I also checked out the Fly Lady web site and, to be honest, I shuddered. Something about pages and pages dedicated to the chore of cleaning gives me the willies.

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