Do you have trouble keeping up with your home with all of your other obligations? Do you feel like you can never spontaneously have guests over? Do you have trouble creating an intentional cleaning routine and just wait until something starts to look bad to tackle it? FlyLady’s system may be super helpful for you. Below I have outlined the basics of FlyLady, with my own personal twist. I use her app called FlyLady Plus. It outlines all of the tasks below for you and gives you an option to check each off as you go. In this post I will be sharing the outline of her daily routine. In an additional post, which I will link here once it is complete, I will explain the zones, which are different focuses to deep clean each week of the month. This helps you gain a rhythm of deep cleaning in your home so you don’t have to do it as a marathon when things get too crazy.
Who is FlyLady?
Marla Cilley is the FlyLady. Her name came about because she loved teaching people how to flyfish and she taught it at a local college. In 1999 someone asked her for help and FlyLady expanded into so much more. She has a no-nonsense approach to getting your housecleaning and life in order. I have found her teachings extremely helpful as a SAHM because she not only helps you keep up with your home, she encourages self-care and getting ready for the day so you are feeling productive and your best. I haven’t heard of her until very recently, when a YouTube channel I watch posted a day in her life as she goes through FlyLady’s routine. It is so practical, quick and easy. As a practical person, I decided to give it a try. Once I started implementing her routine into my life, I started to feel so much more productive. My home was staying clean and organized without me feeling like I’ve done much. My mind became more clear and I seemed to free up time on the weekends to spend with my family which was previously occupied by my husband and I playing catch up.
There is a lot to the FlyLady movement – lots of acronyms to learn and information that she has been posting since the late 90s that you can check out on her website. In this post, I will just stick to the very basics, her baby steps, so you can get started the same way I did.
Key Baby Step
Shine Your Sink
Basically, you scrub your sink until it is super shiny and dry it. It sounds kind of silly but seeing a shiny clean sink when you walk into your kitchen first thing in the morning really does make a huge difference in how you start your day. This is a habit you will develop and do every single night. You can read her lesson on shining your sink here. I personally just use baking soda and vinegar to keep it nontoxic. I absolutely reccommend a ScrubDaddy, those things have changed my life. I like the color coded ScrubDaddy pack because I assign one to just scrubbing my sink.
Make Your Bed
“If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right. And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made—that you made—and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”Admiral William H. McRaven
I learned the importance of making my bed, not from my parents nagging me about it as a kid, but actually from a book I read in my early 20’s called Make Your Bed by Admiral William H. McRaven. Making your bed really does make a huge impact on your day, even though it seems small. There is something really rewarding about accomplishing a task right when you wake up then getting to your bed at the end of a long day and see it all neat ready for you to join it once again.
It is no surprise that FlyLady also includes this as the first thing to do in the morning during her daily routine. It is one of the best things you can do for yourself, as the quote about by Admiral William H. McRaven outlines.
Dress to Shoes
Next, you will start building the habit of waking up and getting dressed all the way down to lace up shoes. This includes doing your hair and putting on makeup. If you don’t wear makeup, then moisturize your face and get yourself feeling fresh for the day. I personally like to shower first thing in the morning, I feel like it wakes me up and I like feeling clean to start my day. I take a body shower then before I get out, I put my shower on cold for 10-15 seconds (cold showers have amazing benefits, you can read more here). Then I get dressed to shoes. I have a pair of slip on sneakers that I only wear in the house. I don’t allow outdoor shoes to be worn in the house as they track in lots of toxins, dirt and oils from the outside world. These shoes from Amazon are super easy to slip on and they’re actually really cute.
I found that getting dressed first thing in the morning, especially as a SAHM where it is easy to lay around in your pajamas all day, made me 100 x more productive. The best bonus is it helped me feel better about myself and build my confidence back up. Looking like a frumpy mess every day was significantly impacting my self-confidence. Even though it’s comfortable to lay around in sweats all day, it may be effecting you negatively in more ways than you realize, as I learned through this experience.
Swish & Swipe
You will then head to all the bathrooms in the house and “swish & swipe.” Swish is cleaning the toilet bowl and swiping is wiping down all the surfaces. This is the task that helped me the most. Having a clean and fresh bathroom every single day is very rewarding, especially as a mom when sometimes the bathroom is the only place you can be along during the day (if you’re lucky). IYKYK.
Empty your dishwasher so it’s off your to-do list. If you don’t have a dishwasher, put away the dishes on the drying rack.
Start a Load of Laundry
You will be amazing at how nice it is to do laundry every single day. It sounds like a daunting task but it actually makes doing laundry so much more manageable so you’re not catching up like crazy on the weekends doing multiple loads and folding forever and ever.
Check Your Calendar & Eat Breakfast
Lastly, you will look to see what is on your schedule for the day so you can keep on task. I personally intermittent fast so I don’t usually eat until around lunchtime, but if you do eat breakfast, check it off your morning to-do!
I tend to do this during nap time.
What’s for dinner?
Make a plan for your dinner. I plan all my meals during the weekend and buy the ingredients then. During this time I will be sure to check and make sure I have everything I need because sometimes I forget things. If I do forget something, I’ll order pickup from Target and we will head there after my daughter wakes up from her nap.
Drink your water
You should be hydrating throughout the day of course, but as moms sometimes it is easy to get distracted that you forget. Take this time to take inventory of how much water you have drank in the day thus far and CHUG!
Declutter for 15 mins.
I love setting a timer and seeing how much I can get done in 15 minutes. You will be amazed at what you can do when you’re under the clock. It really brings out the competitiveness in me.
Reboot your laundry
Switch your laundry over to the dryer if you haven’t already. If you have time to fold and put away!
15 minutes of loving movement/exercise
I like to workout after breakfast and I know a lot of moms wake up early to workout or stay up late, but if you missed your morning workout now is a good time to make sure you get something in for yourself. Even if it’s just doing some yoga while the kids are crawling all over you. You will feel so much better after just 15 minutes.
Check your calendar for tomorrow and forecast
Lay out tomorrow’s clothes
Put things needed for tomorrow at the launch pad
The “launch pad” is the place in your house where you tend to keep things so you don’t forget about them. FlyLady gives some examples here.
Spend 2 minutes cleaning off a hot spot
A hot spot is a place where you and your family members tend to just dump everything until you can get to it later. The hot spots in our house is our kitchen island and kitchen table. I will spend 2 minutes clearing each. When I was a teenager mine was a desk chair in my room. We all know our hot spots.
Shine your sink!
I associate this also with filling and starting my dishwasher so the dishes are ready to be put away when I wake up.
Wash face, brush teeth, bathe
I also do my skincare routine at this time and brush my hair.
Go to bed at a decent hour
What has helped me go to sleep earlier is putting my phone in the kitchen to charge and reading a book before bed instead of scrolling social media.
If you try the FlyLady method, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
*Some links in this post are affiliate links*