FLYing Lesson: Routines

Routines are an important part of not only FlyLady’s system but everyday life! Many FlyBabies have asked FlyLady about her routine and how she set it up. So FlyLady decided to share her routines with you all as a starting point for your own routines!

FlyLady’s Routines

Dear Friends,

I am often asked about my routine, so I decided to share it with you. But keep in mind — this is my routine. It works for me and may not work for you. Now, don’t get obsessive on me; we all have to get dressed and put our shoes on those precious tootsies, bathrooms need to be cleaned daily, the bed has to be made, and of course you can’t go without shining your sink. But you can change the order of things to suit you and your lifestyle. I do feel that doing them as soon as you get up and as fast as you can gives you a certain amount of pride as you go through your day. If you don’t do them, then the guilt monster starts to eat away at you. I want you to feel productive, and that doesn’t happen if you put things off.

This is a continual process. Routines may need to be adjusted weekly or monthly. Do what works for you. Remember: your routine has to be YOUR routine or you won’t do it.

– FlyLady

FlyLady’s Before-Bed Routine

The Before-Bed Routine is the most important routine of the whole day. Set a regular time to do your Before-Bed Routine, then do it — starting tonight. I start mine as soon as dinner is complete. Others start theirs in the afternoon while they are getting supper ready. It is up to you. – FlyLady

There are three parts to FlyLady’s Before-Bed Routine:

1. Clean up the house before you go to bed (Approx. 20 minutes)

  • Living room – pick up and put away things, magazines, dishes, clothes, shoes, etc.
  • Kitchen – clean it up, shine sink, lay out clean dishcloths, run the dishwasher
  • Dining room/entrance – clear the hot spots
  • Review check list to be sure nothing has been forgotten

2. Think about tomorrow before you go to bed

  • Check your calendar and/or planner for appointments
  • Start a to-do list for tomorrow
  • Think: “What can I do tonight that will make tomorrow morning easier?”
  • Gather up items you don’t want to forget and place them in a spot by the door that you’ll see before you walk out
  • Make sure the children have their things put away
  • Start breakfast – set the table and plan what’s for breakfast (just make a mental note)
  • If you plan to use the slow cooker for dinner tomorrow, get some of the ingredients ready so they can just be thrown together in the morning
  • Lay out your clothes for tomorrow. It’s a simple thing that saves time by being decisive. If something needs to be ironed or has a spot, you can deal with it calmly or choose something else. Take it to the cleaners, launder it, or fix that missing button according to your schedule – no pressure! All the stress has been relieved.

3. Focus on yourself before going to bed

Cool down time:

  • Get yourself ready for bed
  • Brush your teeth, wash your face, and comb your hair
  • Take vitamins and other meds
  • Bath time! Take a bubble bath or a warm shower
  • Put on your bedclothes (if you wear them!)
  • Now you’re ready for bed!

Reflect on today’s accomplishments:

  • Write in a journal, make a “ta-da” (accomplishments) list, or write in a gratitude journal
  • Read for fun
  • Read to your children or spouse
  • Listen to music. It doesn’t matter what kind; just relax!
  • Pray or meditate
  • Snuggle in for the night and turn out the lights. Go to bed at a decent time, preferably the same time every night!
  • Fall asleep with a smile on your face and in your heart

Does that seem like a lot to you?

Don’t fret! Just start small. Do these three things, then build upon that to create your full-blown Before-Bed Routine:

  1. Shine your kitchen sink
  2. Lay out clothes and put away other clothes
  3. Brush teeth

FlyLady’s Morning Routine

This is my full “morning routine.” It took me several months to work up to a full-blown morning routine. I did most of the things, but they were not automatic. Now they are. Look at the way I move through the house, starting with getting dressed. As I move from room to room, I am finished with most of it. Then I check to see if I have missed anything on my list.

I realize this may seem like a lot, but if you do your “Before-Bed Routine,” this part is a piece of cake. All you are really doing is getting dressed, sprucing up the bathroom, going into the kitchen, and taking care of yourself! – FlyLady

The morning routine is broken down into four parts:

1. Rise and shine

  • Make your bed as soon as you get out of it (unless someone is still in it!)
  • Go into the bathroom; shower and clean it while you’re there
  • Fix your hair and face
  • Swish the toilet and leave the room, never to return until later. It is clean, and you can forget about it now!
  • Leave your bedroom with a load of laundry in hand and go straight to the washer

2. The kitchen

  • If you did the Before-Bed routine, the kitchen is clean and all you need to do is empty the dishwasher!
  • Make coffee or tea and start breakfast
  • Feed the critters
  • Feed the family – including yourself!

3. Think about your day

  • Check your calendar
  • Make your to-do list
  • Plan something for dinner
  • Review your checkbook and bring down the balance
  • Reboot the laundry (put it in the dryer!)
  • Hit the hotspots. If you did the Before-Bed Routine, there won’t be any!

4. Now think about yourself

  • Take vitamins and medications
  • Sit down and relax for a moment
  • Eat breakfast, if you haven’t already
  • Morning meditation
  • Reward yourself with some computer time; check your e-mail and favorite websites!

FlyLady’s Basic Weekly Plan

Your basic weekly plan is an outline for what you plan to do every day of the week. FlyLady says the following about the basic weekly plan:

I want you to think about the things you need to do every week. Select which days you want to do these things, put it on your calendar for next week, and stick to it. Make an appointment with yourself! Try it for one week. It may surprise you that your week can revolve around these appointments. This is what I do. With the Basic Weekly Plan, we decide on a day to do things and stick to it. I never knew how much this would help my lack of organization. Knowing that I do my shopping on Thursday, my cleaning on Monday, and my desk day on Friday allows me the freedom to schedule things according to the day. When you know what the day is, you know what has to be done. It is another way to be on autopilot. – FlyLady

Monday: Weekly Home Blessing (8–9 a.m.)

  1. Get up and get dressed to shoes
  2. Laundry
  3. Weekly Home Blessing Hour
    1. Cull/toss old magazines
    2. Change sheets
    3. Empty all the trash
    4. Vacuum all rooms
    5. Mop kitchen and bath
    6. Clean mirrors and doors
    7. Dust

Tuesday: Free Day

  1. Water and fertilize plants
  2. Spend 15 minutes in current zone

Wednesday: Zone Cleaning and Partial Desk Time

  1. Finish Zone Cleaning Chores.
  2. Remainder Weekly Cleaning.
  3. Make sure refrigerator is clean.
  4. Write thank-you notes.
  5. Work on menus and grocery list for next week.
  6. Balance check book before going shopping.

Thursday: Grocery and Errand Day

  1. Make sure menus are planned before you go shopping.
  2. Check grocery list one last time before you walk out the door. Take your list with you.
  3. Grocery Day.
  4. Errand Day:
    1. Library.
    2. Post office.
    3. Buy gifts and cards.
    4. Buy candles.

Friday: Paperwork and Misc.

  1. Be romantic today.
  2. Get food from the freezer for next week.
  3. File papers.
  4. Write letters and cards.
  5. Clean out purse.
  6. Mend clothes and polish shoes.
  7. Pet care (Flea and Heart Meds).
  8. Clean out car and check fluids.
  9. Clean laundry room.


Yeah! It’s the weekend! Time for the weekend dance! LOL! Have some fun! – FlyLady

Friday is “Date Night” – do something special with your sweetie!

Saturday is “Family Fun Day” – enjoy the day with your family!

Sunday is “Renew Your Spirit Day” – relax and reflect on the past week, as well as what is to come.

FlyLady’s Weekly Checklist

To help you create your Basic Weekly Plan, you may want to write out a list of all the things that need to be done in an area. This is the Weekly Checklist. Then schedule these tasks into the Basic Weekly Plan.

This is my list. I keep it accessable all week and use it to cross off the tasks that are done. – FlyLady


  1. Scrub floor
  2. Wash area rugs
  3. Clean out refrigerator
  4. Replace foil on drip pans
  5. Sweep decks


  1. Polish mirror
  2. Empty trash
  3. Mop floor
  4. Change vacuum bag


  1. Clean mirror
  2. Vacuum carpet
  3. Dust
  4. Change sheets

Living room, dining room, family room:

  1. Dust
  2. Vacuum
  3. Clean mirrors
  4. Cull old magazines and newspapers

Paperwork and Miscellaneous Duties

  1. Plan menu for next week
  2. Write letters and cards
  3. Clean out purse
  4. Water and fertilize plants
  5. Polish shoes and mend clothes
  6. Pet care (flea treatment, medications)
  7. Clean out car
  8. Straighten laundry room
  9. Errands (grocery store, library, post office)

As many of you know, my routine evolved over many months by adding a new habit every few weeks. That is what I needed to make the habits stick. We are all different – you have to find what works for you. – FlyLady

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