October 26, 2009 by Marj Hatzell
I’ve been doing this Flylady thing on and off for nearly five years. At a time when I needed my skin saved, her system totally saved it. I was post-postpartum, sick as a dog, miserable and overwhelmed with a special-needs baby and didn’t know my arse from a hole in the ground (except my arse is MUCH BIGGER AFTER HAVING BABIES SINCE IT’S THE ONLY PLACE I GAIN WEIGHT). Enter Flylady. As the husband put it, “Flylady saved our marriage!”
Seriously? If you cannot follow this system then you can’t follow directions. It isn’t hard. And if your issue is all the e-mails? TURN THEM OFF. Just follow the basics, I promise you it will be better. My house isn’t perfect but it is ALWAYS close enough to have guests. A mere straighten and vac and a quick wipe and they can even use the bathroom. On months when I actually get some sleep, I do detailed cleaning and decluttering. After a while it becomes automatic. You don’t have to THINK about it. I automatically get clothes out for the next day when the kids are in the tub and I’m getting out pjs. I automatically pack lunches while cleaning up dinner. See, the whole point is for things to become ROUTINE. It’s a beautiful thing, especially when you have kids with special needs who thrive and depend on order.
Now, they not only depend on order, they rely on me to provide it. I am supposed to keep sh*t together around here and I don’t always do that. I could whine and complain about how difficult my life is but I won’t. Y’all get it, I think. Everyone has their tough times, right?
One of my favorite things to do with Flylady is couch diving. For those of you who have not joined the flylady cult:
Go to your couch, start running your hands along the edges of the cushions. Lift them up if you have one of those fancy-schmancy couches that actually does that. Stand back in horror when you see what’s in there. I’ll wait while you pick your jaw up. Then go get your handy vac, dustbuster, what evs. Start cleaning it up. Line up the fun stuff to see how much crap you find at the end. I also do under my couch, because that stuff is also fun to find. Things like:
- three tennis balls
- eleven cents in change
- a super bouncy ball
- nerf darts
- a matchbox car
- two permanent markers
- pepperoni that was dry and dark brown. Ew.
- at least a handful of pasta
- enough crumbs to feed a third-world country (ok, it was like a box of crackers)
- shredded dog toys ala puppy
- six granola bar wrappers (for little boys who like to sneak the when told no just before dinner)
- petrified quesadilla
- feathers (from my poor, poor silk-down pillows)
- unidentifiable organisms that surely could start the next plague
And this was just one week’s worth.
It’s disheartening, for certain. I work my arse off (not really, because DAMMIT IT, IT IS STILL THERE) and it’s always one step forward and two steps back. I’m at the point where I don’t care if walls get painted, walls get joint compound, carpets get replaced or we patch the leak in the kitchen ceiling (from nightly re-enactments of the Titanic in my bathtub. I only wish I was kidding). It’s just going to get destroyed because my kids are monsters and they destroy everything. This is why I never, ever have people over. Certainly not people I know well. Certainly not moms from school. I don’t want them seeing the sorry status of my house. You know, early american Goodwill? Someday I hope to do something like, I dunno, run the vacuum? And have it stay like that. FOR AN HOUR.
But hey, at least I get enough done during the day that it doesn’t get WORSE, right? They don’t have a vacation coming up any time soon so I can keep up.
Couch diving. Try it. But wear gloves the first time, especially if you have kids like mine. It’s like Forrest Gump and a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.