“I used to say, “I’ve got two kids, a dog, and a full time job. I CAN’T keep a clean house!” Now I know that’s stinking thinking, and I don’t need those excuses any more.” –Working and Flying in KY
“Being able to take care of my home is a reward to me, I don’t have to wait until I retire or can be a SAHM to have a clean home!” -Flybaby Event Planner in Chicago
Note from Us
This list is long and will take you more than 15 minutes to read. So please, set your timer, you do not want to get sidetracked. Each tip is numbered so you can keep track of where you are. I promise to leave this list up until later in June, so you will not miss any of it.
Also, before you begin, grab a piece of paper and a pen. There are some wonderful ideas here that you will want to try. Write down a few of them. Remember, BabySteps, BabySteps.
Thank-you to all the PayRoll SHES who sent in their tips, ideas, and testimonials. You are wonderful! I wish I could have posted them all.
1. My life, work, family, and house are no longer in a state of CHAOS!
I am a SHE on payroll and I have to tell you that I have lived in knee deep filth until learning about the FLYlady system. I have often heard that those who work out of the home say that this is just for SAHMs but I must tell you when I first read about your site I thought it was for those of us who work out of the home.
How do I make it work? I have 3 sets of routines that enable me to keep my house and sanity in check. I totally believe that each person has to find the routine that works for them but I have taken the principles of the FLYlady to make them work. I have 3 small children who have also been given routines and it has provided them with well set out guidelines, goals, and success.
I do my home blessing WITH my children. 1 hour/week on Saturday a.m. gives us the chance to spend an afternoon enjoying family fun. As I type this my house sparkles and we are ready to enjoy time together at the swimming pool!
Thank-you FLYlady! My life, work, family, and house are no longer in a state of CHAOS!
FLYing in Edmonton, Alberta!
2. I let go of the “stinkin’ thinkin’.
I am a payroll SHE. I work as a physician assistant, and also am director of an adult day health center. I have two teenage sons at home and my husband and 2 cats and a dog. The best thing about my routines with flylady, that I can offer, is the embracing of the “no whining, no pity party” I think at times I felt overwhelmed with home and career, but the babysteps and gradual decluttering is the way to go. Also the thought of blessing your home and family, of gratitude, of dissolving the “stinkin’ thinkin” just makes the routines easier, and it’s easier to get the whole family involved. I calmly ask for help with specific tasks, instead of yelling and being nasty, and feeling like a martyr as I used to do. I do laundry almost every day, a load or two when I get up in the morning. I walk with a friend and our dogs before work to get my exercise (6am) and I start the day so positively.
I keep a shining sink and the kitchen clean. We remodelled it last year and I’m determined to keep it looking nice. We live in an old house.I do the bathroom quickie cleanups to keep them maintained. I plan meals for the week–this was a breakthrough for me, and use the crockpot a lot, so that meals are pretty much ready when I get home. I insist on us all sitting down and holding hands and having silence (we’re Quaker) before our meal togeher, to keep us connected. For my 50th birthday a friend gave me a gift of a day of decluttering with me. She wouln’t leave until we had at least 5 trashbags of stuff!!
Anyway, I feel I’m still fluttering as a flybaby, but getting there. My upstairs really needs work, but it has started. I still need to work on evening routines. I’ve gotten better with financial and paper decluttering. I feel great. My house is filled with my sons and their friends and other friends and I am grateful and unashamed.
Thank you Flybaby in NY
3. My Routines Are Working Alongside Me ALL DAY!
Thanks for addressing issues that concern us specifically…I’m a teacher of 20+ years and a mom of five and Pam, Peggy and Flylady are SOOOO important in my life…my greatest movement toward peace and freedom from CHAOS has come since it finally sank in that I don’t want to organize my home, or my classroom…I want to organize MYSELF…I was getting really frustrated trying to carry out routines and having to leave and then pick up a new set at the other place…then I got Flywashed and realized that my routines are wherever I am and that my whole day is composed of one small babystep after another no matter where I happen to be…since that moment I have felt a sense of pride that my routines are working alongside of me ALL DAY and that I can let go of the guilt that was riding me all the time…I can accomplish a full day’s worth of work ; it just happens to be in two places…I am a Flybaby all the time; my pedometer is hooked on my waist all day and I don’t have to take a special time for walking since I’ve covered my miles during the work day; I do what I can when I can where I can and count myself a success…I love my family, my life, my routines, and me and if it takes a little longer to get the clutter gone or the zone work done, so be it! I’m doing the best I can…would we ask more of anyone else?
4. It has taken a year for the whole family to become involved.
DH leaves at 7, home by 6; kids on the bus at 7 home by 4; I leave for work at 7:30 home by 5:30. We are a blended family, with his kids and my kids, so our lives are hectic and fast paced and we are often headed in different directions. Flying has become a very enjoyable addition to our routines. Before flying, I would spend all day Saturday cleaning, because we would neglect the house all week!
Morning and evening routines are so important. With the exception, I spend an hour on Sunday afternoon, getting my clothes together for the week, (pantyhose, slips and shoes included) I purchased an over the door hanger to hang them on so they won’t get mussed in the closet, I get up in the morning and there they are! First thing in the morning, I run dish water and everyone washes their dishes when they are finished with breakfast, I put them away before leaving for work and Shine the Sink with the dish towel they drained on. (it only takes a minute) We all take turns doing dishes in the evening, we put them away just before bed and set up the coffee pot.
Clothes? I put a load in every evening before bed and in the dryer in the morning! I pull it out and fold it right away. I fold them at the table, it is the most central part of the house. They are put away by their respective owners. (again this only takes a few minutes)
The weekly house blessing has become my favorite, it is not always done on the same night, but we do it every week! I have two DD’s and we split the six task’s that we have – Vacuum, Comet, Windex, Sweep, Mop and Dust, we can knock the whole house out in 40 minutes! Our goal is 30!
The kids are responsible for their rooms, I don’t go there! I share the missions with them and we have a good time with that. The kids work on their rooms in Zones 3 & 4, otherwise I don’t bother them. During those two weeks they clean under their bed one night, desk the next, closet the next then a drawer each evening. (They have some neat rooms!!)
It has taken a year for the whole family to become involved, but they like neat, clean spaces as well! I think that they have seen that I am more relaxed and happy with a clean house. It was a hard beginning, I was obsessed and the family was not cooperating, with time and patience we are Flying.
– Banking in Texas
5. Stop making long lists of to-do’s for days off and weekends.
Hi Fellow Flybabies, What I find to be helpful is to stop making long lists of to do’s for days off and weekends. In the past I would tell myself, “Oh I’ll just wait until my day off and do that, or til Saturday”. Well, then I would spend my entire day trying to get everything done and would feel so depressed because I wasted my whole day and didn’t even come close to finishing my list. NOW, I try to force myself to keep working a little bit everyday on things. Where have we heard that?? Babysteps!! The other reason for no lists is because I would procrastinate doing my daily routines by saying I’ll just do them on Saturday. That leaves no family or fun time. Everyone needs a little time to get the juices flowing again.
– an Illinois teacher
6. PAYROLLs can do it….use your time management skills!
I am a full time payroll SHE, girl scout leader and newly graduated from an MBA program. My house was absolutely embarrassing….my sister steered me towards FLY lady a year ago.
My advice is to take one night a week and do the home blessing. Mark it on the calendar and follow it. In my house, it has become a family affair…DH (if home), 13 yr DD and 9 yr DD. We set the timer and go in different directions! I only do it for three 10 minute segments (because of the extra help). While the 9 year old sweep and washes the kitchen floor in that time, the rest of us have multiple tasks….the work seems to get done and we all have fun together! PAYROLLs can do it….use your time management skills!
7. My home is not perfect, but we’ve decluttered for 4 months and it’s neat and welcoming.
I’m a FlyBaby since January 18, 2003 (the day I hit bottom). I simply follow my routines. My feet hit the floor at 5:30 a.m. DH & I make the bed and I finish making his lunch (all but sandwich done night before). After I kiss him goodbye, I shower, dress, makeup, hair, etc. I make my breakfast and empty dishwasher. I eat and review control journal for daily (lunchtime) errands and dinner (defrosted night before). I stroll thru main level to discover any hot spots. Then I’m off to 9 hours at the office. When I return home I follow my evening routine: make dinner, clean kitchen and defrost dinner for tomorrow. I spend 15-minutes on desk time and prepare clothes for next day. I then head for upper level where I layout tomorrow’s clothes and accessories, remove make-up, bath and read or snuggle w/DH.
I set my timer for 15 minutes each evening to do one of several things: a load of laundry, hot spot, zone cleaning, paying bills, etc.
I must confess that what has really helped me is NOT watching TV during the week. If there is a show I really want to view, DH tapes it and we watch together on the weekend. The we can scan thru the commercials and waste little time.
I have time for exercise, date night, visiting friends, have family fun days, entertaining, all without loosing control of my home. My home is not perfect, but we’ve decluttered for 4 months and it’s neat and welcoming.
Everyone (including myself) has noticed a difference in me. I’m not overwhelmed, overtired, overdrawn, or overbooked…just fluttering away in Northern Virginia (50.5 lbs lighter) and finally loving myself.
8. Fast forward through nine months of Flywashing.
I am an early riser. I’m up by 4:30am and at work by 6:30am. My DH gets our 3 ds’s off to school each morning. The nice part of starting my work day so early is I get home at 4:00pm.
Prior to FlyLady….I would come home and park my franny on the couch with a poor me, I’m so tired I get up early and deserve to park my franny for a couple of hours of mindless TV. (Serious stinkin thinkin) Needless to say about 15 minutes before DH would get home from work I would be frantic, yelling at the boys to do their homework, and in a state of panic trying to figure out “what’s for dinner”. By Friday, the house looked like we had experienced a tornado, you couldn’t walk through the place….you get the idea.
Fast forward through nine months of Flywashing…..
Now my routine is:
Pull into drive way….scan inside of car for garbage and items that belong in the house. remove and throw away those items. (30 seconds)
Grab mail…..scan for bills on the way to the trash can to throw away junk (10 seconds)
Walk in door…put away anything….in my hands….place keys and purse on hook hung inside closet door (1 minute)
Go straight upstairs….make bed….swish and swipe bathrooms…..grab a load of laundry. Say hello to ds’s ask about their day…..get a homework update (how much when due) (10 minutes tops)
Back down stairs…..start laundry……
Spend 15-20 minutes getting boys started on homework…..reviewing their papers etc
Start dinner……while it is baking, simmering, or whatever…..do a 10 minute room rescue of living and dining….wash whatever dishes are in the sink from breakfast and meal prep
Dinner on the table at 5:30 when dh is scheduled to be home…..get up after dinner and do dishes……..Everything is finished by 6:30……and guess what I still have time for 2 hours of mindless TV if I wanted it! (or take a walk or a bath, or anything I want just for me!!! :-))
In bed usually by 9-9:30……lay out clothes for next day just before I hop between the sheets.
BTW-Come Friday……no more tornado……and no more spending an entire day on the weekend “cleaning, and yelling!” I actually have MORE free time now….all because I have an evening routine that is specially designed just for me
9. Just do something, do your best, and do it with love!
NOTHING can be accomplished at my house if the evening routines don’t get done! Yes, I said routines with an “s.” I have one, and my 6yo DD has one. Sometimes even my DH helps, but I’m trying to be patient and stamp out martyrdom in our home. (Martyrdom does not usually occur in peaceful times and places.) After all, he is trying to work full time and go to school, too.
Evening routines consist of laying out all clothes for the morning, laying out breakfast, baths for me, DD 6 yrs, and DS 3 mos, packing all lunches, including bottles for daycare and leftovers for DH. (That is done when the kitchen is cleaned up!) School bags are packed, my bag is packed and my house/car keys, work keys, watch and glasses are placed with my bag. Dinner for the next night is prepared in advance if at all possible, via crockpot or casserole dish. Then at most, it has to be warmed. Usually it only has to be served. If any of these things are skipped, it usually spells disaster in the morning.
Mornings I nurse DS, dress, then feed, water and walk the dog. DD has her own alarm clock, gets herself up, dressed, and bed made. She actually does pretty well most days! My bed is made, hopefully a swish ‘n swipe in the bathroom, too. I hope to eventually have the supper table set in the morning, or even better, make that part of DD’s afternoon routine! Up at 6:00, out at 7:00, and here we go!!
My office is micro-organized, and always has been (I’m a serious Type A with traces of OCD). I never could understand before why I couldn’t get my house that way, too. Within my work schedule, there must now be time to express milk twice each day, along with my regular job. Depending on our schedules, either DH or I pick up the kids. Then there must be homework time, play time, supper, and back around to getting things ready for the next day.
The best thing I can think of besides having everything possible ready the night before is, give your children responsibilities in the home. It makes them feel important, it helps you, it enables you to spend more time with them, it teaches them responsibility and accountability… I could go on and on. But a little work isn’t going to hurt anyone. It didn’t hurt any of us when we were little. I’m learning that a meal is NOT a disaster if DD doesn’t have the flatware perfectly straight on the table. People are just going to pick it up to use it anyway. I praise her for the 6yo job she’s done, and leave the flatware crooked. God bless the FlyCrew for helping millions to see that it DOESN’T have to be perfect. Just do something, do your best, and do it with love!!
Bank Operations Manager –
10. Deleting the emails that I really do not have time for has been the key for me.
I work two jobs, so I guess I am a double Payroll SHE. I work as a substitute teacher in southwest Michigan for five separate school districts, plus I teach at a national chain’s teaching center in the evening and on Saturday mornings.
Many days I’m up at 5:30 am (ok, 5:45–love that snooze button! LOL). I teach for an absent teacher all day then proceed to my second job, where I continue teaching often until 8:30 at night. By the time I reach the comfort of my favorite chair at home, it’s close to 10 pm.
As you can imagine, I am usually quite tired, so I’ve had to adapt the FlyLady routine to meet my physically demanding schedule. On my very full days, I simply do the bare minimum–just the morning and evening routines. Reading the emails is my relaxation, and I simply delete the ones I have no energy to do. Piling on guilt on top of being very tired is not good for me.
One week I was so busy I didn’t even read my emails for 4 days. But, I had loads of energy that Sunday, so I just deleted all the duplicates, then started on the list from the bottom up. The emails that directed me to do something, I did. The testimonials I sat and enjoyed. Reading, doing, then deleting them one by one gave me a balance of “doing” and “resting.” I managed to get almost everything done, and felt terrific!! Then I deleted the rest to eliminate any residual guilt!
Deleting the emails that I really do not have time for has been the key for me. I’ve only been FLYing since January, but already my house is clean enough that I do not worry when there’s a knock at the door–I can open it wide with a smile on my face, knowing my house is presentable enough for the gas meter reader and quick-cleanable enough for guests!
Thank you, Marla and crew. I love you guys.
FLYing in Kalamazoo (yes, there really is a Kalamazoo), Michigan
11. We Split the Home Blessing Hour
I’ve been a Flybaby for almost a year now. I’m a Merchandise Category Planner from Florida. Although my DH and I don’t have kids, between cycling classes, Yoga, Bell Choir, Book Club and Bible Classes, we have activities every night of the week.
My DH is a big help in making the Flylady system work.
Morning routines include swishing an swiping the bathroom toilet and sinks… I do ours and DH does the guest bath (which he uses a lot). Also, morning routine includes putting away clean dishes from night before.
My morning routine also includes a 5 minute room rescue, which at the moment is going through 6 drawers of files… I’ve shredded and tossed about 5 tall kitchen bags worth of paperwork already. Also, my morning routine includes checking e-mails and writing one… this keeps the in box clean and helps me keep in touch with friends… doing one a day keeps me off the web for too long of a time.
My hot spot is the mail everyday, to make sure it is taken care of and not piled on the kitchen table.
We split the hour blessing of the home into 10 minutes each on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I take out garbage from all the rooms and clean mirrors and windows on Tuesday, dust on Wed, and Vaccuum on Thurs. DH sweeps and mops all the rooms on the three days.
Bedtime routine includes washing all the dishes, shining the sink and cleaning the counters and table.
Sometimes with all our activities, we only get 3 or 4 days of Zone cleaning (but, this is more than we used to do!). DH used to help in the Zones with me, but now, with the other Zones just maintenance now, his sole concentration is the garage (lots of time needed there…but it’s improving).
I’ve had to alter the paperwork routine and have finally reached a solution… I take care of one item in the morning and one at night. This includes paying a bill, or writing a note, or balancing a checkbook, or making a grocery list. One item in the morning and one at night keeps me updated.
This system has been absolutely wonderful and I thank God for finding you all! We have people over all the time for dinner and welcome those that will call at the last minute to come over. I’m not stressed like I used to be and the house is definitely in much better shape than it used to be.
Apologies for being so long, but hopefully some of our routines will help some other Payroll She’s!
12. You were helping women clear clutter and boy do I have clutter.
I am very new and just getting started, but in 2 short weeks have made great progress. I’ve made 4 trips to the Salvation Army in 2 weeks and I’m just getting started! I am a CPA and found your web site from a financial article in our paper regarding the dollar amount of credit card debt paid off. But what really caught my eye was that you were helping women clear clutter and boy do I have clutter. I was beginning to think I had an illness, but after reading your website I found that it simply takes organized baby steps. Right now, I am still in the de-clutter stage and I am maintaining my main hot spot (there are a couple of others that aren’t yet under control). I have 2 of those rooms you shut the door on when you have company. I was amazed at how uncluttered the first room became after only 3 5-minute decluttering sessions. My priorities at this point are:
1. Shiny kitchen sink
2. Hot spot maintenance
3. 5 minute decluttering the “junk rooms”
4. 27 fling boogies (I love those!!!)
5. 15 minute zone cleaning
If I don’t have time to do all that I would like, I pretty much resort to the above priority and pick up in the zone where everybody is for the day without trying to catch up. I love this website. Thank you Marla for doing this! It’s changed my life.
– Fresno, California
13. My routines NEVER slip!
I’m a single Payroll SHE with no kids, who lives alone. I’m an architect, part-owner of a busy firm, and travel often for work. I am also in a “commuter” long distance relationship with my dear sweetie, so I’m not even at my home a lot of nights and weekends, and spend some of my “free” time helping with his house, too.
At first I had trouble adjusting the FLYing ideas to my inconsistent schedule… I kept saying “this won’t work for me.” But after a year of Flywashing, I am learning to use what works for me, and pass up the rest. For example I REALLY struggled with trying to do a home blessing hour – starting at 8 pm in the evening! Then I tried breaking the eight parts (my list is a little different from FLYlady’s) and doing one or two each day. But I’d miss a day, get further behind and beat myself up. “It didn’t work AGAIN this week!!!” Definitely NOT flying!
Finally I realized those eight things didn’t really need to be done within a week. Now I just follow the list, and do the next item on it when I have ten minutes to spare. Sometimes I get through all of them in a week, sometimes it takes three weeks before I come back around. But they get done. I try to do “a little something” in each zone when we are in it – maybe it’s just a 5-minute fire drill, but it’s something.
The one thing that NEVER slips (ok, almost never) is my routines. I had to change a lot of things I was trying to do, to make them functional for me, but now I have about 30 minutes maximum of “stuff” that needs to happen – If I won’t be home overnight, my routine is the “before leaving the house” instead of the “before bed” routine, but it is still the same – dishwasher, laundry, bird cage, etc.
We all just need to learn to adapt or create our own Flight Plans while taking advantage of the wonderful support and gentle prodding of Flylady, the Fly Crew, and our family of fly babies.
Sorry this is so long, but I am so proud of me! LOL!
– Flybaby in Washington State
14. The house rule is one club/sport/activity each per year.
I work as a receptionist in a middle school in Florida, and I have two DDs in elementary school. I’ve been FLYing for a few months now, by adapting the system to my home. (I’ve been reading the e-mail for longer than that, but took a while to really get off my Franny) I keep my before bed and morning routines simple, and since I don’t have time yet during the week for the zone missions, what I do is keep them to do on Saturday. They only take just over an hour at the most, and usually it’s only about 30 minutes for all 5 of them. Then I can continue with the weekly home blessing. I do bills on Saturday, too, and food shopping on Sunday. Fridays after school/work, we have Fun Friday. This works for my family, and allows us time together every day for daily/routine things, and fun time, too. My DDs also have morning and evening routines, and the house rule is one club/sport/activity each per year, which helps us all FLY together. Thanks, FLYlady & Crew for inspiring us each day!
~ Fluttering in Florida
15. I took a survey within the house of favourite meals.
I am a payroll flybaby SHE from Vancouver, Canada. I work evenings as an air traffic controller, go to college two days a week, and I love the FlyLady website. I have been a member for three weeks, and my house is coming into terrific order (no mean feat with three teenagers and a DH who works in the home!).
My favourite tip for payroll SHEs is one I figured out on my own last fall. I took a survey within the house of favourite meals, then made up a four-week rotating menu schedule that included no meals that didn’t score at least a seven out of ten with everyone in the family. Evenings when I’m working have the simplest meals that my DH can make, and I no longer have to leave detailed instructions or pre-cook meals before work! I recently re-vamped the menus to accomodate summer – more barbeques and salad, fewer casseroles, soups and stews.
– Thanks for all your wonderful work!
16. Morning Routine
My morning routine is like clockwork. I get up, read the paper with my coffee (Time for Myself), pack the kid’s lunches (already put together for the week except the sandwich), go on the treadmill for 20 mins. which is located in the garage next to the washer. Put a load of clothes in the washer. Feed the dog, shine the sink, shower, then go to work. The dog knows the routine so well, that she gets confused when I leave out a step!
– Administrative Assistant in Oregon
17. 15 Minutes at a Time!
I am still a Flybaby, too. Since January. I live in Idaho. I work mornings from my home doing medical transcription for a doctor’s office. Then I go off to work at my second job as a Special Education Filing clerk for our school district (noon to 4:00 p.m.) We are rural here and I live about six miles from my p.m. job. I have only one child left at home; he is graduating in a couple of weeks from high school. We also care for my 87 year old mother-in-law in our home. I have six grandchildren who often come to visit for entire weekends. Hence, time is short. I used to be bitter because I just could not get anything done. But now I devide up my time at home into 15 minute sections and it is amazing what I get done. I transcribe medical notes for 15 minutes and then get up and go boogie somewhere or put out a hot spot fire somewhere for 15 minutes. If I don’t have anything to boogie, (rare occasion, still) I work on my routines for 15 minutes. By the time I leave for my p.m. job at 11:30, I have my transcription done for the day and I have spent at the very least an hour and a half on my home. When I get home from work I do the same thing focusing on routines. Always my bed is made, my sink is shined and I am ready to go. I keep reminding myself “I do not have to be perfect and neither does my system; just think of this process as a blessing and keep going.” IT WORKS!!
– Flybaby in Idaho
18. Do it Now!
I am a payroll Flybaby who works as an independent contractor from home, but I have lots of meetings at various locations. Believe me, I’m not totally flying yet, but several things have really helped me. My new motto is “Do it now!” If I do what I need to do when I think about it, it saves a lot of stress. For example, putting the dishes in the dishwasher right after dinner…wiping down the shower walls while I’m in the shower, and doing a bathroom “swish and swipe” as I dry myself…filing and putting away papers
when I am concluding work for the day…emptying the washer, dryer and dishwasher as soon as possible…etc. If I wait for any of these things, they become major chores, but if I “Do it now!” it gets accomplished without my having to worry when I’ll find the time! Sounds dumb, but it works for me.
-Flying (not soaring) in Maryland
19. Wardrobe set for week!
I am a new flybaby (3 weeks old) and am thrilled with flylady routines. I am a school teacher in West Palm Beach, Florida. There is one thing that I have been doing through out the entire school year that helps me with both my morning and evening routines. Every Saturday (or Sunday if more convenient) I lay out and iron my entire wardrobe for the WEEK. That way, my wardrobe is set and I don’t have to think about it again. Try it. It really helps out leaving you more time for other tasks whether it be morning or evening.
– Flying in Florida
20. My house is on autopilot.
I am a family physician in private practice. I own my practice and manage all of it by myself with a lot of help from my DH flyhubby. I work ungodly long and usually unpredictable hours. No matter what I plan, something will happen to derail it, like if I end up at the hospital all night or something. Nonetheless, I have a control journal, though primitive.
It tells me what to do when I am too tired or rushed to think about it. Since I found your site in June 2002 (referred by one of my pharmaceutical representatives), my life has changed in ways that before I could only ascribe to my love of Jesus. I am sure that God sent you into my life.
Even if I get home late and need to get to bed, my after work routine and bedtime routine can be modified for quickness. Other days, I might get home for lunch and do something else on the list that can be done quickly. I usually do my Weekly Home Blessing hour on Monday night, but if I don’t finish then I try to do each 10 minute task on each of the next several nights. I’m great at doing more that one thing at a time, like starting dinner and sweeping the kitchen floor while something is cooking, or doing a 27 fling boogie in our home office while reading e-mail. Also, from having done all of my routines and tasks for almost a year now, I know how long things take, so I know what I can get done if I have a minute or two. Sometimes I worry that if I start something I won’t have time to finish, then my DH flyhubby reminds me to time the task for future reference. Then next time it comes up we know that it only takes five minutes to empty the dishwasher (for example).
So my advise to other Payroll SHE’s is to know how long things take, do a little each day, stick to routines, be flexible and write it all down. There’s nothing like coming home late after a long stressful day, feeling like just sitting in front of the TV, when you see your brightly colored Control Journal. You can open it and be told what to do, no thinking involved. The last thing I want when I am tired after work is more thinking.
My house is on autopilot. Thank you FlyLady and Crew for all that you do.
– Dr. Flybaby in DE
21. My DH calls it “FLY Time!
I’m a 3 month old flybaby and a Payroll SHE. I own a salon and work 3 days a week and luckily just 1 saturday a month. I can’t stress enough how important the evening routine is to our family – loving DH, 9 yr old DS, 5 yr old DD. Our mornings go so smoothly; what a great way to start the day!I’m able to bless our home on mondays, so the whole family helps on Sunday evening emptying trash cans, kids completely picking up their rooms and DH cleaning toilets. It takes everyone to make it happen! DH shines the sink every evening. DS & DD do Hot Spot Fire Preventions every evening. I’ve never seen kids have so much fun with a timer set for 5 minutes. My DS calls it “flytime”! We’re slowly de-cluttering. No obsessing allowed! My advise for frustrated PAYROLL SHE’s – start by doing your evening routines faithfully, take care of your hotspots, make your bed every morning and shine those sinks! SLOW AND EASY WINS THE RACE!
– flybaby turtle in tulsa, ok p.s. I’m starting to fly at work, too.
22. Staging Area at the Door
In order to get everyone out the door WITH all the stuff they need, but not turn the front entry into a toxic waste dump, I replaced the table there with my favorite “bedroom” piece of furniture: a small antique dresser, the kind with curved arms that hold a tall mirror. The top of the dresser has only a pretty cotton napkin as a “topper,” with a big vase of fresh flowers (replenished regularly by my thoughtful DH). However, the drawers are the staging area for everything we need on our way out: completed papers for school, anything we’ve picked up at the pharmacy or grocery store during the week for Grandma and need to take to her on Saturday, coupons and cash for pizza delivery, tape player and tapes for walking, videos and library books to return, etc. Everyone has permission to use the drawers this way — but nothing can be left there permanently, and I clean it out regularly. And one more thing — a cute napkin flaps on the inside of the front door as a reminder to “check the dresser” before we leave. I change the napkin occasionally, using greeting cards, neon sticky notes, or cartoons; they all mean the same thing, but the changes keep us from tuning out the reminder.
23. FLYing through the Morning!
I am a new flybaby just a month old and have been amazed by the changes in my life and home since flylady was recommended to me. I am a payroll SHE, a special education teacher in the state of Washington. The routine that I am working to establish has me rising at 5 AM getting dressed (in work out clothing) to my toes, grabbing a quick breakfast and doing my household routines until 5:50, when I leave for Curves and workout for thirty plus minutes. After Curves I dash home, shower, get dressed and try to be at my building by 7:15. It’s a good thing I don’t wear a lot of makeup or I’d never make it. I can’t tell you how nice it is to come home to an orderly house each night. I seem to have more time with my husband. We have even begun taking long evening bicycle rides together. Most importantly I don’t worry that someone may drop in without prior notice because on the whole everything is in it’s place. In 1980 I took a SHE class but unfortunately wasn’t ready or able to embrace it, today I am older and wiser. Thank you Flylady you have helped bring my home into control.
24. I condense FlyLady’s Reminders.
I’m a lawyer in El Paso, Texas. I’m gone from home at least 10 hours a day. I still use all of FlyLady’s reminders, I just condense them into the time I have at home. I get up early and walk. While I’m walking, laundry is going. I reboot laundry when I finish my walk and take a shower. While I’m showering, the veggies are defrosting for the birds. That forces me to remember to take out meat for the evening dinner as well.
At work, it’s the same principle. It’s all about routines. I make a list of things that need to be done. If it’s a task I have been putting off because I don’t like it, I apply the principle of “I can do anything for 15 minutes.” 10 minutes before I leave the office I start tidying up my desk (I consider that to be shining my sink at work). I make sure things are organized so I can find them the next day.
After work, I fluff the laundry that’s in the dryer while I shower again. I like to “wash the day off of me.” Then I hang up the clothes and work in my zone for 15 minutes. I cook dinner, eat and do the dishes. Then I do a fire drill. I feed birds, dogs, etc while my girls are in the tub. I also wash my face and brush my teeth while they are in there. Then I do my before bedtime routine.
I think my main tip is multi-tasking. I try to manage to do as many things at once as I can. That’s the only way to accomplish things with such limited time. Laundry is my favorite. It makes me feel like I’ve really accoomplished something, and it’s so easy to do that while you are doing something else. Also, do as much advance preparation of meals as you can on the weekends. I try to grill some chicken breasts on Sunday so that I’ll have it already done for the week.
– in TX
25. Flying works for me both at work and home.
I am a nurse practitioner in rural south Georgia. I am also a single mom of two teenage boys. My life was utter chaos a couple of years ago — I had been a full-time grad student as well as working full time for two years! I gave up everything in my life except for work, school, and my kids for that two years. But now with FlyLady and routines, my life is getting in order and I have time for my boys.
Flying works for me both at work and home. In fact, there are some direct correlations. When I examine a patient, I have a routine so I don’t miss anything. I start at the top and work through all the major body systems, either examining or at least asking about them. If I find a positive, I jot down a note and go on — if I get distracted, I won’t get the whole exam done! THEN I go back and probe deeper into what I have found.
At home I follow the routines. If I see something that needs to be done, but isn’t part of my current routine, I make a mental note of it and go back — I don’t stop what I am doing! Things get finished that way! It is funny how it took FlyLady to show me that what works at work will work at home too!
As for the routines — they are short and simple — and DOABLE — even for a payroll SHE. The timer is really wonderful — it PROVES to you that most of the things you need to do don’t take very long.
And, just like at work — routines can be broken. If someone comes in to my office bleeding, short of breath, or with chest pain, all routines cease and we take care of the emergency. Then we GO RIGHT BACK to our routines. Same at home — If I am sick, exhausted, or have other urgent things to do — I let the routine go. Because I keep them up most of the time, nothing ever gets too overwhelming any more, and I get right back on track quickly and easily.
Besides, my dear sons have caught on too. I have never forced any of this on them. But I will ask them for 15 minutes of their time. FIfteen minutes seems like very little to them; I can get them to do anything for 15 minutes. The first time I asked them for 15 minutes, they were amazed — we put our entire house in reasonable order in that time. (3×15=45 minutes of work! that gets a lot done!)
So – daily routines during the week keeps things pretty well in shape. We do a weekly home-blessing on Saturday. It’s fun. We dedicate 2 hours, and work for 15 minutes and break for 15 — no one ends up exhausted or overwhelmed, and the house looks great.
And note: we keep our house “presentable”, “in reasonable order”, “tidy”, and “comfortable” — it isn’t perfect. Who cares about perfect? I can find the things I need, there is little clutter, and there is always food and clean dishes to eat it from. I love the freedom from the Perfection Monster!
That’s how I do it. I am looking forward to hearing from the other payroll SHEs out there! – And THANK YOU MARLA AND CREW!!!
Love, Flybaby in Georgia
26. I 27 Fling Boogie on Day Before Garbage Day!
I Live in San Jose, CA and work at a Hospital as a RN.
Have adapted several of the flylady techniques to fit the PAYROLL SHE lifestyle:
Instead of daily 27 fling boogies, I wait until the day before garbage day. Since I’ll be collecting all the garbage in the house that day anyway to put out at the curb that night, I take the extra 5 minutes to do one weekly 27 fling boogie. It probably takes longer to clear clutter this way, but it works with my schedule.
I keep a small set of bathroom cleaning supplies under each bathroom sink, along with a stack of cleaning rags. That way if I’m in a bathroom with the kids, or just doing my hair, I have everything there at my fingertips to clean up quickly if I have 5 extra minutes. This helps me JUST DO IT, since I don’t have to walk to another room to pick up cleaning supplies. Same for the kitchen, so that when we’re in that zone, the supplies are right there.
I spend my 10 minutes in the zone before work, but leave the my HOT SPOT cleaning until after dinner. That way I’m not trying to group everything together and block out lots of time in the morning. Psychologically, it helps me not get overwhelmed.
27. Do a Little Bit Here and There.
Don’t make cleaning a big deal. Wipe the fridge down while you are waiting for the microwave to beep. Do a little bit here and there as you walk around the house. Never leave things where they don’t belong. Excuse me, now, I have to go get my watch from the garage, where I left it when I cleaned the car this morning. (I am still a SHE, after all. I’ve only learned these tips since January, when I fired the cleaning service. This year I’ll be 60, so I’m not exactly BO.)
– Flybaby in New Mexico
28. I know what’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
Here is one tip that has helped me greatly. Putting the what’s for lunch, and what’s for dinner in my morning routine every day. I also include a what’s for breakfast routine in my morning routine, because I get up very early, and if I eat my breakfast that early then by nine or ten in the morning I an hungry again (and I don’t need to eat two breakfasts because I am overweight) so I also take my breakfast to school. (I am at college all day).
Because of the what’s for breakfast, what’s for lunch, and what’s for dinner in my morning routine I take my food to school with me and this is helping me to loose weight. (I also take two healthy pieces of fruit with me for snacks during the day too so what’s for my two snacks in in the morning routine too.) (Also, I don’t grab fast food on the way home anymore because I have something all ready for me at home or at least have the ingredients at home all planned out for me to use for dinner.) Putting this one thing in my morning routine has so far helped me to loose 29 pounds this year.
FLYBaby Getting Thinner in California
29. I reworked the routines to find what was best for me!
I have 5 main areas (Kitchen, Living Room, Master Bedroom/Bath, Bathroom/Laundry, My Office) and each one has it’s own “15 min. Blessing” day. This is when I do my zone cleaning (usually over my lunch hour) with the exception of sweeping/vacuuming and mopping – I do all of that on Wednesday morning because the rest of my family leaves earlier than any other day of the week.
Laundry – I do one load every day – wash in the am, dry & put away in the PM. My morning & evening routines includes a quick 15 minute “sweep” of the house – general pick up, plump the cushions, check hotspots, feather dust, etc. Trash cans are emptied every night so I never have to see another overflowing trash can again, takes less than 10 minutes.
Suppers are usually bake all day on low temp with little monitoring needed or quick and easy after work or better still, crockpot! I always pull what I want to thaw for the next day’s meal before going to bed as part of my evening routine. Dishes are done and sink is shining every night.
Yard work and gardening are my stress releasers, so I spend 15 minutes right after work, and before anything else, working on my garden or lawn or plants, etc. It signifies to my brain that I’m “off the clock” and allows me to vent my frustrations (great time to weed!) or celebrate my victories from the day. Helps me unwind so I can enjoy being with my family.
Thursday is my errands & bill paying day. Saturdays & Sundays are “DO WHAT YOU WANT!” Days, though they didn’t used to be.
I have had to rework the routines a few times until I found what was best for me, but things are running a lot smoother and it’s a great feeling to “leave” my office and step into a nice cheery and cared for home.
Flybaby in Pennsylvania
Virtual Sales Assistant
30. I Plan My Meals at Lunch
Attitude is everything. At work we experience planning all of the time, and yet at home we try to fly by the seat of our pants. The best 15 minutes I spend all week I don’t even do at home, I do on my lunch: meal planning. There is nothing more exhausting or stressful than trying to come up with a nutritious, easy-to-make dinner night after night. We’ve all done it, the search for ingredients we “knew” we had, run out to “pick up a few things”, or worse, settled for fast food because we just can’t deal with it. – A grateful and reformed retail worker
31. I Do as Much As I Can in the Morning
I do my Home Blessing on Monday and Tuesday. On both days I get up 15 to 30 minutes earlier than I need to to get to work on time and do as much as I can in the morning, a little bit after work. I feather-dust on both days any chance I get between other things.
Monday: stairs (sweep) and bathrooms (shine toilets, sinks, mirrors); change sheets
Tuesday: floors (sweep and quickly mop kitchen, bathrooms, entry; vacuum under the dining room table and the middles in living room and bedroom)
I also try to get up on time every day to do one load of laundry before work if necessary. How nice not to have to do it on the weekend!
It’s amazing how much a weekly routine helps keep things from piling up! I never would have believed it a year ago if someone told me I would get up early every single Monday morning to clean three bathrooms before going to work! Now, I can’t imagine not doing it.
– Geologist FlyBaby, upstate New York
32. My Favorite Weapon is the Crock Pot!
I am a payroll SHE who is also VERY involved in church (several evenings per week) and has 2 small children (4 and 18 months). I have been FLYing for almost a year, and it’s definitely baby steps. One of the biggest helps for my family is planning our dinners. I plan for each week on Wednesday when the grocery ads come out. I shop for what I need on Thursday. My meals are simple, but healthy and complete. My favorite weapon is the crock pot! I love coming home to a great smelling house and dinner already finished! I can’t stress enough the importance of planning ahead!! When my husband and I bring leftovers for lunch into the faculty lounge at work, my coworkers are amazed that I have time to make such wonderful meals!!
33. They Were Sneaking into My Work Day!
I’m a payroll she (I am the owner and sole employee of a talent agency), and I’ve found that the routines and ideas and encouragement that Flylady offers for us at home, work REALLY WELL at work too!
I was feeling bummed that I couldn’t work all those 15 minute zone cleans and 5 minute room rescues and such into my “at home” day; but I noticed that they were sneaking into my “work” day at the office. It wasn’t even intentional, but I realized I was arranging my
work into 5 and 15 minute projects and really focusing on those, and actually accomplishing them!
I also applied the hotspot drills to my hotspot areas and work and it’s been like magic! I know where things are; I don’t have to shuffle through endless stacks of paper to find the one thing I need. It’s great!
At home, I’ve got my bedtime routine down (really small, set out my clothes, make sure the kitchen sink and counters are clean, know what’s for dinner the next day, and brush my teeth). Now that I can handle. I have an equally short morning routine, but it has helped so much.
For right now, the only other thing I do at home is keep my three hot spots clean. I’m beginning to make my control journal, and beginning (baby baby baby steps) to incorporate the cleaning routines.
But the neat thing is, I come home so much more relaxed and energized from work, because I haven’t been a frazzled mess there. If the floor’s a little dirty, or there’s some laundry to do, I’m not overwhelmed. I can just decide when best to do it and do it then.
So being a Payroll she, Flylady and gang have blessed me in TWO ways…..at work and at home.
Thanks so much for you guidance and encouragement.
– Flybaby in St. Paul
34. The change in my thinking has been the best!
I agree, its really hard to fit stuff in during the week. I get home pretty early, but I have a very stressful job and basically just want to sit for a long while when I walk in the door. So doing a little “blessing” chores each nite is not going to work for me-I tried it! But–what will work is keeping the bathroom swished and swiped, the sink clean, an evening
routine, and a 5 minute room rescue/hot spot attack right before bed. I honestly enjoy doing some weekly things on Saturday AM, and since the house is pretty straight/clean anyway, its not so overwhelming to contemplate mopping the kitchen floor.
I am “lucky” enough to have a very small house–but the down side is that my DH and DSS (dear stepson) are messy beyond words. I used to waste tons of energy getting angry when I got home and “no body had done anything”. Now, if I want it done, I do it. They apparently are not bothered by a mess, and I am, so I need to clean it up!! I really learned
from FlyLady’s lectures about whining–I have to work, the house has to be done, get over it!! So–the change in my thinking has been the best “tip” I can pass on.
Thanks to you all- a Low Country, SC Flybaby–a registered nurse who does
clinical research for pharmaceutical companies.
35. Set the Timer for 10 Minutes and Go Go Go!
Cleaning out my sink and around the counter, then the commode every morning with a clorox wipe has made my bathroom a pleasure to be in every day. We never go to bed with the kitchen sink not shiny and the clothes for the next day picked out. I am lucky that my hubby is a SAHD, but he did not love cleaning either. Now we can get the house done in 30 minutes. It is not great, who cares? We do not resent the other one for not “helping.” Set the timer for 10 minutes and go go go. He will also empty the trash cans a few times a week, but never puts bags back in, I don’t care, I can put bags in.
– PayRoll SHE Dentist
36. I giggle when I realize I’ve done 3 meals in 15 minutes!
I’m a full-time instructor at a community college. Doing menu planning and using the crockpot a few times a week has been a lifesaver. On the one or two nights we know we are very busy because of a night class or a meeting, I may put a frozen dinner or takeout on the menu! But otherwise, by planning the menu, we are eating healthier and going to the grocery store much less! I also ask my husband if there is a day in the week he wants to make one of his specialty items (I like to try new recipes – he likes his tried and true!) There are lots of great crockpot recipes that can be thrown together quickly, and if I have done my evening routine, it doesn’t take much time or effort to eat breakfast, pack lunch, and cook dinner all in the morning! I giggle when I realize I’ve done 3 meals in 15 minutes!
– FLYing in Central Michigan
37. If I stay in “work mode” for 15 minutes – it is amazing how much I can accomplish.
I find that the most important 15 minutes of my day start as soon as I walk in the door from work. Like many SHE’s – I suffer from inertia… when I’m in motion I tend to stay in motion; when I stop, I stay stopped.
If I give in to the urge to just “relax” for a bit, the evening tends to just slip away from me. If I stay in “work mode” for 15 minutes – it is amazing how much I can accomplish and then I can enjoy the rest of the evening without guilt. I do another 15 minutes in my zone before bed – including laying out my outfit for the next day.
I no longer have to spend the weekends fretting and zooming about – I’ve babystepped through the week.
– Western MA, Admin Assistant
38. There is hardly a weekend that the washer is turned on for the occasional extra load.
FlyLady’s suggestions work for me, no need to re-invent the wheel!
Home blessing for this Payroll she is split over days. It takes less than 10 minutes for each morning.
Blessing – Wednesday morning dusting, Thursday morning bathroom sinks, toilets and mirrors, Friday morning floors. DH does the vacuuming (still by the martyr system – one big job!)
Laundry – Wednesday evening is white laundry, Thursdy evening is colored laundry, Friday evening is Kids clothes. There is hardly a weekend that the washer is turned on for the occasional extra load.
Meals – My plan is pretty simple and flexible. Sunday is Salmon, Monday and Wednesday are left overs or kid cooked food as DH works late, Tuesday is Chicken, Thursday is soup or chili (crock pot), Friday is Spagetti night, Saturday is Chicken. When I cook I make a larger batch than needed and freeze for extra meals or lunches at work.
– Customer Service, Portland OR
39. I printed them all out.
I am a full-time university student and Payroll SHE; my schedule varies from day to day, but I usually work 14 hour days including classes, work and my homework. I don’t have a computer at home, so I am always in the computer lab on campus when I check my email and see the reminders. So, I printed them all out and put them in a slim, flexible binder to keep at home. One tab contains all the reminders that get sent out every day, and I have a tab for the special reminders that get sent out different days of the week (divided into Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, etc.) This has really helped A LOT!
I follow simple routines and work my 15 minutes of decluttering in every day (sometimes I break it up into 5 minute segments). I used to have a really long evening routine, but I was always so exhausted by bedtime that I could never do it all, so I broke it into an afternoon list and an evening list. The longer afternoon list is what I do as soon as I get home, and the evening list is short and sweet. The morning list is short too, since I am
NOT a morning person! (LOL!) When I am at home doing homework, I set my timer for 50 minute segments. I do homework or study for 50 minutes, then set my timer for 10 minutes, flip open my binder and tackle one or two of the reminders. Then I set my timer for another 5 minutes and do something fun or just relax. Then I start a new cycle and keep going until my homework is done (by that time, the house is usually sparkling too!)
I am a returning, older student, and when I was in college before, I drank TONS of caffeine to keep going and often pulled all-nighters, procrastinated on my assignments, and my stuff was in CHAOS! Things are SO much better now! Flylady has been a total Godsend (or should I say God breeze?) for me!
Blessings to you! – Flybaby in Idaho
40. We reduced the clutter – 40 blessing bags!
My DH and I share a law practice, share the homeschooling of our children, and we’ve been FLYING together for about a month!
I turned my husband onto Flying when I told him that our anniversary and my birthday were coming up. I didn’t want any stuff, but he could show his love for me through his cooperation in getting our house in order. I pointed out that MUCH of the clutter in the house was his, and he might not like what I did with it. And, I promised him that he’d appreciate the routines and would only need to spend fifteen extra minutes a day.
The rest is extraordinary. We’ve managed to take about 40 blessing bags and boxes to charity in the last month. We’ve run out of room in the trash can every week. We have a ways to go, but the routines are holding and we’re loving this organized feelin’.
(And, I think my DH feels, all-in-all Flying is easier than picking out presents for his wife!)
Co-ed Flying in Dallas
41. Housework done incorrectly still blesses my family, right?!
I’m a newborn flybaby so I’m probably not the best person to give advice but here goes. I’m a teacher in a middle school alternative ed program. In plain english, my students are the worst of the worst who can’t handle the regular classroom. I’m also the mother of 4 DD’s–14, 10, 5 &3. I’m away from home 10-11 hours a day and often come home VERY tired and crabby. For the longest time I beat myself up for not doing enough, not following all the reminders, etc. A lightbulb moment came after reading those emails about the flexibility of routines. It IS okay to slip!! I’m still in the decluttering stage but instead of killing myself over it I do 15 min of decluttering in one room each (ok, most) weekdays. On the weekends I usually do the hot spots and fling boogies. If it’s 2 or 3 days
after the clean purse or clean car boogie, that’s ok. It doesn’t matter if I follow the reminders perfectly, after all, housework done incorrectly still blesses my family, right?!
– Fluttering in Minnesota
42. I couldn’t live without it now!
I am a middle-school teacher. I used to come home and crash on the couch from exhaustion. Every Saturday was spent cleaning but by Wednesday the house was a wreck again. I used to say, “I’ve got two kids, a dog, and a full time job. I CAN’T keep a clean house!” Now I know that’s stinking thinking, and I don’t need those excuses any more.
My evening is in two parts: upstairs and downstairs. Every afternoon when I get home, I go straight upstairs to change clothes. Then I quickly make the bed (DH was still in it when I left in the morning), hit hot spots, lay out clothes for tomorrow, and re-boot the laundry I started that morning. After supper, I do my downstairs routine: shine the sink, water flowers, take my calcium, and fix my lunch for the next day. I’m still working on making Zone Cleaning part of my daily routine.
Later, I go back upstairs to fold and put away the laundry. I also take care of myself with a work-out video in my bedroom (I use one with a great stretching segment that leaves me feeling pampered!) and a shower with good-smelling stuff.
I have a weekly plan, too, that includes just one or two things to do each day. It’s listed all on one page in my control journal, so I can check it off all week. For example, Monday is when I work in the yard. On Tuesday, I empty all the garbage cans in the house (the trash goes to the curb on Wednesday) and do my workout video. Wednesdays I go to church and I also try to squeeze in some anti-procrastination! On Thursday, I wash hand washables. I do my Home Blessing Hour on Saturday, which I know Flylady doesn’t recommend, but I’m a morning person so I usually get most of it done before my family is awake. And it’s such a huge difference to spend only one hour of Saturday cleaning instead of the whole weekend! If I have early morning plans on Saturday, I just break the Blessing Hour into parts on Thursday and Friday night.
I know this is long, but I really wanted to share how Flylady’s system works for me. I started it last summer and wasn’t sure I could do it once school started, but I couldn’t live without it now! What I’ve learned is to keep routines short and simple, and to constantly adjust with the seasons and other activities. It does work for Payroll SHE’s!
– Working and Flying in KY
43. I Use Commute Time to Pay Bills
Well, I’m not usually “company ready” but about 20-30 mintues from it. If someone popped in, the embarassment would be mild (and centered on the coffee table). For me, the night routine is absolutely the most important. The dishes are washed and drying in the drainer (no dish washer), the clothes and morning meds are set out, lunch is packed, some picking up, and stuff to mail along with anything else I need is in my commutter bag. I commute via train and bus to work daily but use that time to pay bills (that I can drop in a mailbox at the station so I don’t haul it around for a week) and write out simple cards/letters. I also use it for me time – finish Sunday paper, church newsletter, book, or stare out the window with my thoughts.
44. DryCleaning and Direct Deposit
I found a drycleaner that picks up and drops off for free. Once a week I put my husband’s dirty work shirts into the drawstring laundry bag that they provided… hang it on the back door knob and when I get home, in it’s place are the 5 washed, starched shirts from the week before.
My other tip is make sure to use direct deposit if your employer offers it. And have direct withdrawal for bills you feel comfortable paying automatically (electric, mortgage, cable, car payments, insurance.) No more bank lines, no more late fees, no more worring about having enough stamps.
FlyBaby (2 months) in Hudson OH, marketing consultant
45. I Keep My Car Filled With Gas!
I must confess I have not been able to incorporate very many routines from your website (yet!), but I have taken your advice on keeping my car filled with gasoline. It is amazing how much stress that takes out of a morning, secure in the fact you can get to work without worrying if you can make it for lack of gas! Also, knowing that I have not needlessly endangered my children by stranding us on the side of the highway.
This is a tip that all payroll SHE’s can use. Who hasn’t been running late only to hop into the car and discover you are on fumes?!
Keep up your good work. I read your e-mail reminders and know that through repetition, I will eventually start flying.
– A” fly baby wannabe” attorney from Louisiana
46. Get a Feather Duster
At first only do flylady’s basic morning and afternoon routines (make bed, shine sink) and concentrate of decluttering by the zone of the week. After you’ve got your house decluttered (may take 2 or 3 months), cleaning really does become easier. I am now concentrating on the weekly home blessing routine. I’ve found that I need to split the weekly home blessing into small segments because if I had something else to do on the night of my weekly home blessing, it would completely throw me off. I’ve also learned to keep Saturdays and Sundays almost free. On Tuesdays, I dust and Windex, Wednesday
clean the bathrooms, Thursday vacuum, Friday’s clean the kitchen. I set the timer for 15 minutes upstairs and 15 minutes downstairs. Get a feather duster – dusting goes much faster. Saturday morning when I get up my house is clean, I water my plants and sit in my clean and decluttered kitchen and pay my bills and then I’m free to do other things.
– Auditor, Virginia
47. I meet my husband in our bedroom at 9:30 every evening.
One thing that I insist on doing, each and every day is that no matter how frazzled I am or what does or doesn’t get done, I meet my husband in our bedroom at 9:30 every evening. This gives us time to come down from our day, and we meet to talk, cuddle, have a warm bath, read, watch tv or just sit and just do nothing. My husband knows that this is his special time, and I don’t feel as bad about rushing around after I get home from work to tend to the dinner, the kids, the clean up, etc. We have really re-connected as friends since we’ve started this.
48. The Flylady system is that it is absolutely adaptable, as long I remember some rules.
The beauty of the Flylady system is that it is absolutely adaptable, as long I remember some rules. Baby steps. You’re not behind. Jump in where you are. Housework (and yardwork) incorrectly done is still a blessing, especially for payroll SHEs. What has worked for me has been to break down the weekly home blessing and assign each part to a daily routine, usually one I do as I’m cleaning up after dinner or as my DH cooks. Years ago, my DH and I divided up what we call “providing the meal.” I provide dinner on M, W, Sat; he does it on T, Th, Sun; Fridays we wing it (usually go out, bring in or fend for ourselves on leftovers.) On my days I cook and make sure I stay in the kitchen while dinner is cooking. I do all the kitchen blessings for the week on the three days that I am watching over the dinner preparations (clean out frig, sweep, dust and so on) – fewer burned dinners this way. The other “blessings” around the house I do on T, Th during the
time DH is cooking. Friday after work (yes, I’m beat but I drag up a little more energy and it’s worth it) I do the floors (vacuum and mop). Things are finished for the weekend and all I have to do are my routines, which leaves the weekend more or less free for fun.
My morning and evening routines take only about five minutes each because I do hot spot fire prevention every time I walk by a hot spot (and there are about five in my house). Keeping on top of the clutter in the hot spots makes the routines very short. My morning routine includes swishing the bathroom. I have some family issues with the kitchen sink (they haven’t quite caught on yet) so my shower stall is my kitchen sink for now. I have an inexpensive bottle of shampoo (lavendar scented, yum) and a nylon net poof just for cleaning. When I take my shower I lather up the poof with the shampoo, scrub down the inside of the doors, part of a wall and the chrome around the handle. Last thing before I get out I rinse down the doors, then take a hand towel and dry off the chrome. I replace the hand towel each day after this routine. Every time I visit the bathroom, my enthusiasm is renewed by my shining shower doors and handles. By the way, I have done more entertaining in the six months on Flylady (and enjoyed it more) than in the previous eleven years that I’ve been on payroll. Three weeks ago my husband suddenly decided to retire after 33 years of teaching. Two days ago (on a Friday night) I very calmly threw him a retirement party that I thoroughly enjoyed. Yes, I took a day off work to do the last minute prep stuff, but I spent most of that time doing photography at an awards ceremony for a friend and picking up food. What made the difference was six months of flywashing – it doesn’t have to be PERFECT. I didn’t spend weeks cleaning and cooking. I spent ONE HOUR doing a quick dusting, vacuumed and mopped, and cleaned the guest bathroom. Because virtually everything (even hot spots) was cleared off because of routines it took no longer than that. I’ve been baby stepping through the garden all spring (a gift to myself is a fifteen-minute routine in the garden every morning, and it’s amazing what those baby steps have produced!) so the front and back yards were, while not perfect, perfectly presentable. I sometimes have to lecture myself, but I now know that if I am willing to jump in somewhere and work it in baby steps, in seemingly no time the work will be done to a point where it takes very little time to maintain. My thanks to Flylady (and my payroll SHE sister who turned me on to her) for the emails, testimonials and most of all, a useable system!
– Flybaby in SoCa.
49. Each of us are responsible for one of these sections for a week.
I decided to ask for help. I sat down with DH and my 11 yr old DD and said, “I need help! There is no way I can do it all by myself.” They then said, “What can we do??”
I divided the house into three common area sections- Kitchen, Bathroom, Living room/Dining room. Each of us are responsible for one of these sections for a week. There are five chores to be done in each section (ex. Bathroom- scrub toilet, scrub tub, wipe the counter and sink and mirror, shake out rug then sweep, mop) and we have a whole week to get them done. On Sundays we switch sections. I have the lists in paper protectors so we can check them off as they are done. DH and DD know what to do, when to have it done by and if DD is in a whiney “I don’t wanna do it” mood, I tell her to argue with the list, not with me.
I also have a white board hanging up where we can post missions for each other and ourselves. The most wonderful surprise my DH gave me was noticing that his mission section was empty, but mine was full (typical SHE attitude), so he transferred some of the jobs to his side and did them!
– A FLYing Montessori Teacher in Vancouver, WA.
50. Housework was a gift I could give myself, rather than a chore.
Ok, this got longer than I meant it to. Its turned into a testimonial, sorry. I just feel for all the people who say they can’t do this and work, I was one of them a few years ago and quit getting the flylady emails, but would check the site from time to time. I was drawn back by how much fun the zone missions are, easy and do-able. It was an attitude change I needed, that housework was a gift I could give myself, rather than a chore.
Here’s my biggest tip for being a payroll SHE: leave your work at work when you go home for the day and take your weekends OFF! Its easy to pull yourself twenty directions and think that makes you a better employee but that ain’t true.
This is how I do flylady at work to make that happen:
* Keep your desk or workspace as shiny as your sink. This means no papers out when you leave for the night. I give mine a weekly cleaning with a little window cleaner as part of leaving for the weekend, what a nice thing to see on Monday morning.
* My “bedtime” routine at work is to make a to-do list for the next day every night before I go home and for the next week on Friday. This enables me to leave work at work and has permitted me to be a flybaby at home.
* My “morning” routine at work is to sort my incoming mail, check my voice mail and email and return any calls or email messages as quickly as possible. Haven’t taken the timer to work, but that wouldn’t hurt! This leaves me free for the day to get work done.
* On anti-procrastination day, I do one work thing that I’ve been putting off, and one thing from home. (I take my control journal and make a nasty phone call I’ve been dreading or such like during my lunch break) Use five minutes of your lunch break once a week to schedule appointments for yourself and family.
* Clear your “hotspots” at work daily and make appointments with yourself for tiny pieces of longer projects.
* Clutter is the enemy at work too! Declutter your files one at a time, donate the supplies you do not use, throw out pens that don’t work, sort junk mail right into the trash.
As far as my home: I don’t think you have to adapt FlyLady’s methods too much to do them around your work schedule, you just have to remember to take baby steps, get rid of the stuff that is in your way, and learn to take joy in caring for what you have. Don’t clean on the weekends, that is trying to catch up instead of starting where you are. Simplify! Everything FlyLady says about decluttering applies to everyone, its not so hard to clean your house when you have less stuff!
I get FlyLady on digest and simply make time in the morning for the 15 minute missions as a reward to myself for doing my morning routine. (I check email in the morning after breakfast and the dogs are walked, read the digest, check the site if the mission is not in the digest, and GO!) Going to bed ontime and getting up and ready to go means I have a little time for myself in the morning, and it feels so good to go to work having spent a little “me” time already that day. I do my weekly home blessing hour on Friday mornings so the house is clean for the weekend. I stick to morning and evening routines, cleaning my hotspots, doing some zone work, decluttering a few times a week, and a weekly home blessing. Its turned my house around. It doesn’t have to be hard: I love flylady, she taught me that. For instance, previously I was scrubbing floors on my hands and knees like my grandmother did around all the clutter and my unfolded laundry–how silly that was! Now I pull out my lovely new mop, and push it around my bare floors, and it takes me 10 minutes. Being able to take care of my home is a reward to me, I don’t have to wait until I retire or can be a SAHM to have a clean home!
– Flybaby Event Planner in Chicago
51. Call yourself at home.
If you are at work or away from the house and you need to remember to do something, (or to bring something to work the next day) give yourself a call and leave a message on your home answering machine. It’s a simple idea that you’d be surprised how many people have not thought to do it!
52. Children get so excited about beating the timer!
I am blessed with an in-home family childcare. As you can imagine, my home can at times resemble a demolition derby. Aside from our twin sons, my husband and I care for 16 children in our home. Some tricks I have learned to help with the CHAOS that comes along with SHE’s and little ones are: When it’s clean up time, I pull out my timer and the children get so excited about beating the timer. It’s amazing how fast they can make a room look litterally spotless! When naptime comes along, I like to play a game I call find-a-home for all of the miscelleneous objects that clutter our home. I also find that if I place ONE pair of shoes neatly in their spot, then ALL of the children follow the example without me asking them to straighten them out. I used to blame my messy home on the precious little ones who bless me daily. Thanks to you, my attitude has been under some
serious construction and the shame that I used to feel when someone came into my home is nearly gone!
– Getting ready for take off in Maine
53. One o’clock is quitting time and the rest of the weekend is mine.
I teach high school special needs students in NJ. Routines are what keep me going and on track. I get up at 5:15 AM in order to leave at 7:15. Even with some physical limitations, I can shower, makeup, hair, dress to shoes, wash a load of laundry, make and eat breakfast, help my husband dress (he’s disabled), swish and swipe two bathrooms, change bath towels, and make the bed before I walk out the door.
As soon as I get home I change clothes and do 15 – 30 minutes of chores, finish the laundry, and make lunches for the next day while dinner cooks.
After dinner, I choose tomorrow’s clothes, pack my bag and purse, and set up the coffee pot and put out dishes and stuff for breakfast. The rest of the evening is mine. I go to bed when I need to, not according to what’s on TV.
Weekends are catch-up, but with rules. I get up at 6:00 on Saturday morning and get stuff done 15 minutes at a time. One o’clock is quitting time and the rest of the weekend is mine.
“Your techniques work for my students too. They love it when I say, “Desk Fire Prevention– Go!” – Teacher SHE in Vancouver (Canada)
“The best advice I can give any payroll SHE who wants to spend more time with her DH is: Shut off the TV!
Many times, we marrieds claim that we have no time together. However we can
manage to spend 2 hours daily in front of the TV, usually sitting side by side.”– RN in San Jose
Payroll SHE Routines From Our Members – Part 1
1. I Can’t Tell You How Much Smoother Our Mornings Are.
I am a payroll SHE with 2 boys in school (2nd gr & 4th gr) and 2 toddlers (2 1/2 yr old girl & 3 1/2 yr old boy). My mother watches the toddlers while I’m at work.
Mornings are ALWAYS hectic, even though I am usually up 2 to 3 hrs before we leave for work/school. After I started working on my journal, I decided to write down exactly what I used to “ask” (scream at times!)(LOL :o)) the school-age boys to do each morning – up at 6:45 for showers, hang-up towels, make bed, breakfast, dishes off table and in sink, medicine taken (I put out correct dosage), backpacks loaded (lunch?), shoes on, teeth brushed. These are now written down on the same page as my morning routine, so they can see what they need to do without me having to constantly ask “did you hang-up towels, brush teeth, etc….” I can’t tell you how much smoother our mornings are with just this simple act of having it on paper so they know EXACTLY what they need to be doing, when, where & at what time! Now all I have to say is “have you checked your list?”
Evening time routine is working out well, also: at 7:00 pm we make sure that: homework is done and in backpack, clothes for school tomorrow, shoes by door, teeth brushed, rooms picked up, and evening medicine is ready for my son with asthma.
My journal has helped me tremendously, also. I have each morning hour (5:00 am to 6:00 am; 6:00 am to 7:00 am; 7:00 am to 7:45 am) broken down into what I should be able to accomplish with more than enough time so I don’t feel like I’ve worked my 8 hr shift before I even get to work! (coffee and time with God is included).
Working full-time isn’t exactly what I have chosen for myself, but at this time it is a necessity and I’m coping! Evenings have their own schedule, but I am definitely a morning person, so I try to limit my evening “work” time and spend the majority of the time with my children and husband and in bed at a decent hour.
I think my DH has noticed a big difference from the “hag-bag” that I used to be!
By the way, I LOVE YOUR BOOK! (I didn’t try to read it all the first night, which is a miracle in itself because I’ve been known to stay up all night because I couldn’t stop reading! It took ALOT for me to put it down!)
Thanks, Flylady! Flybaby in the Hoosier State – Indiana!
2. It Took Some Practice to Learn How to Adapt.
I am a payroll she who is also trying to build a home business. Your site has helped me in so many ways. It took some practice to learn how to adapt your fabulous life changes. I am a flybaby of 6 months. Here is what I am doing:
Before bed routine….(this starts the minute I get home)
- Change clothes to something comfortable
- Start dinner- while I am in the kitchen I move from left to right on the
counter clearing my hot spots and “stuff” from the day. I fill my sink with
soapy water so I can rinse dishes and put them in the dishwasher as I go.
The goal is to sit down to the table with a cleared kitchen and sink. I can
usually sneak about 10 – 20 minutes of zone cleaning here while I am waiting
for things to cook.
- After dinner dishes are cleared and put in dishwasher. The coffee pot is
prepped and the timer set for 4:30. My sink is shined and dish towels are
deposited in the laundry.
- Play time with my dd’s (2yrs old and 1 yrs old)We usually walk to a park
nearby and play and then walk home (this gets them ready for bed). Before we
head for bath time we straighten our play areas and lay our clothes out for
the next day.
- Bath time for the kids. I bathe the baby, put her in pj’s story time and
lights out. Then I pop the 2 yr old in. While she plays in the tub I swish
and swipe their bathroom. Then its pj’s story time and lights out. It’s
about 8:00 pm at this point
- I then sit down and spend 45 minutes working on my home business.( I must
interject here that I have worked things around to were I get one free day a
week.. this is when I actually leave the house for appointments)
- I start in the office at the north end of my house and work my way south
to the bedroom picking things up and straightening. I spend about 5 minutes
- When I make it to the bedroom its time for me. I have a short yoga
routine that I do. I wash my face and moisturize it. Put on my jammies and
read for 15 minutes next to my DH who reads before bed.
- I turn the lights out and say my prayers.
- Alarm goes off at 4:45- I lay in bed for about 5 minutes and think about
what has to be done today ( I keep my planner with my weekly plans in it
next to the bed in case I can’t remember) I also say a prayer.
- I head out to the kitchen and put the dishes away and get a cup of
coffee. This is also where I have my spiritual feasting time. (I have to do
it before anyone else wakes up or it doesn’t get done)20 minutes tops here
- Shower,( while I wait for the water to warm I swish and swipe) dress,
make up and I shake DH out of bed about 5:30
- by this time my 2yr old is up so we gather up all the laundry and head
out to the wash room. I start a load of laundry and go back for the 1 yr
old. The two year old usually dresses her self ( I buy clothes that can mix
and match so she always matches no matter what she pulls out of the closet).
I dress the baby fold up her bed blankets and spritz down the changing table
and diaper hamper with some Lysol. Then I go back to the 2yr olds room and
pull up the bed on the way to the kitchen.
- Breakfast is usually fruit and cereal.
- 6:30 and time to go.
This is as far as I have managed to get right now but I am starting to find time available to split up my Weekly Home Blessing hour for example I changes the linens on the beds and wash them on Thursdays. Wednesday nights while I make business calls I mop my floor. We skip the park one night a week and work in the yard and the girls get their sand toys and play in their sandbox.
This has reduced the number of mornings I find my self standing over my briefcase crying with my mascara running because of frustration. I have really had mornings like this. Most of this I would be doing whether or not I had a DH or children. It would be a little different but it still has to be done so I might as well do it with a happy heart instead of resentment because my DH doesn’t really help. Whether he’s here or not I would still have to clean my living space. Thank you
– flybaby in AZ
3. The Routines Have Been Crucial In Turning Our Home Around
I am a Payroll SHE with a 2 1/2 year old and a 6 month old. I rarely read the reminders, and I don’t usually have time for the missions but the routines have been crucial in turning our home around. We used to have a dirty kitchen and a cluttered home. Nor the worst mess is the toys in the living room
- Get up and get the boys and myself dressed and ready to go.
- Make the bed.
- (That’s all I have time for
Evening Routine: (These steps get fit in from the time I get home through the evening.)
- Turn on Dryer, Load washer.
- Unload Dishwasher
- Fix Dinner (or help hubby with same)
- Clean up kitchen
- Unload Dryer, move wet clothes to Dryer (to be dried the next evening) put away clothes.
- Put 6 month old to bed
- EXERCISE (recently added, my 2 1/2 year old loves to step with me)
- Pick up toys, choose books for bedtime.
- After the boys are asleep I pick out clothes for the next day then kick back with a book and a treat for myself.
Occasionally most of my cleaning gets done after both boys are in bed, but it never takes more than half an hour.
Like many others I found that committing to the shiny sink and the made bed was all it took. The flying sorta crept out from there
– Flying in New Mexico!
4. I Now Have A Separate Page in My Control Journal.
I am a payroll SHE (a teacher) with two preschool aged children. I’ve FINALLY figured out how to incorporate my “Weekly Home Blessing Hour” into my LIFE!! I’ve tried one item per day only to get behind EVERY WEEK & I’ve tried the “weekend approach” which is a real bummer & at times got skipped all together.
I now have a separate page in my control journal with each 10 minute item written out in checklist form. I begin with a clean slate on Monday. As I get a chance to do an item, check it off. I may do two items in one day, then not look at the list for a few days. Then on the weekend, I do all the things that I haven’t gotten to during the week. That way I never feel like I’m behind & I get that extra bit of energy during the week because I know that for every item done, I’ll get 10 minutes more FREE TIME on the weekend!! I actually rarely have anything left by the weekend.
The whole thing isn’t much different from the original plan, but it does away with the “guilt” & “failure” factors. I guess I’m just playing mind games with myself, but it is working like a charm!
– “Veteran” flybaby in AR
5. So Far, This Works.
I am a bit of a SHE and Payroll SHE. Here is what I have come up with so far.
Before FlyLady I would get up 25 minutes before my son had to BE AT SCHOOL and we would fly all around in a mad (and angry) rush and my house looked like a tornado LIVED here. Well, I have only been a flybaby for a few weeks, but this is what has developed. I am sure this will change over the months and years but so far, this works.
EVERY day without fail I get up at 6AM. My family doesn’t have to be up until 7 or so. This gives me time to do the following:
- Shower, Shampoo and SHINE – to the shoes
- Find out where my laundry is
- Take meds
- empty the dishwasher
- make breakfast
- make the bed
That is the extent of my morning routine.
My day routines have been broken up as follows:
- EVERY DAY fire spot prevention
- I spend 15 minutes a day in the zone -(5 days a week.)
Monday – Teach 1/2 day, errands, teach again in the afternoon.
Tuesday – office day, errands, ME time
Wednesday – extra errand day – dry cleaning, grocery shopping, gift purchases etc. Teach in the afternoon
Thursday and Friday are my teach ALL day long days. These are the days we have crock pot meals or something from the freezer.
Saturday – ONCE a month – make casseroles to go in freezer for my Thursday and Friday crazy days.
Sunday…. NOTHING but church!
One thing I have noticed (as has my DH) is that since FlyLady we don’t have to eat out as much. I have more time AND energy to make good home cooked meals for my family. I love this. We also eat around the dinner table EVERY SINGLE NIGHT! What a blessing.
The other day I didn’t get my morning routine finished because of some trauma in the family and when my son awoke he said, “Wow Mom, I haven’t seen you in your nightgown forever…. are you ok?” This made me feel SO good inside.
Thank you ALL for your loving and consistent reminders.
– Sincerely, FlyBaby in Utah
6. I Make Sure I Have Gas in My Car for the Next Day
I am a payroll she, so I’ve made a few adaptations.
Each day, I shower, do the toilet and sink, unload the dishwasher, generally throw a load of laundry on (fold and put it away as soon as I can),take dinner out of the freezer, sweep my floor and deal with my kitchen counter hotspot.
** Something I haven’t read about so far that I think is very important to routine is transportation. Each night I make sure I have gas in my car for the next day. When I took transit, I made sure I had money for the bus. Nothing like adding the panic of almost running out of gas to start your day. **
- Mon – spend an hour at my desk and anti-procrastination day. I do our family checkbook, send our business invoice.
- Tue – this is me time, free time. I take an hour or so and walk, browse, do my nails, buy flowers etc.
- Wed – I make menus for the next week
- Thurs – This is our date night while our youngest is at his youth group, we grab a few hours.
- Fri – is my errand and grocery day. I also wash my car.
- Sat – is my home blessing hour day and time to have fun with our family day.
- Sun – is time for God and rest and fun.
– Thanks for all you do.
7. My Routines Are A Work-In-Progress
I am a single SHE mother of a 5 yo son. I’m still a FlyBaby of one month, so my routines are a work-in-progress.
Morning Routine: I absolutely HATE getting up in the morning (I love to sleep in my comfortable bed). Consequently, I am moving from the moment I get up until the time I leave the house. Why? Because I’ve only allotted ONE hour to get up and out (I can do it). I may work at getting up 15 min earlier though.
- Get out of bed at 6am and turn on lights.
- Make the bed … go to the bathroom. Swish the toilet with the
- Turn on son’s light and wake him so he can dress himself before he
gets his must have chocolate milk out of the refrigerator.
- Take shower (if a bath wasn’t taken the night before). Cleanse face
and brush teeth in shower. I have yet to actually brush my teeth during the
shower but am working my way up to this.
- Get dressed and do hair (after applying toner, moisturizer, perfume,
and lotion). Check on son to ensure he’s getting dressed.
- Clean sink with windex (still have yet to do this … but will soon.
Check on son to ensure he’s getting dressed.
- Go to the kitchen and begin preparing son’s breakfast and lunch (at
the same time). I eat my breakfast at work. Empty dishwasher if clean
dishes are in it from the night before.
- Put make-up on while breakfast is cooking.
- Call son for breakfast. Place dirty dishes in dishwasher and wipe
sink. If time has run out (it’s too close to 7am) pack breakfast to be
eaten in the car.
- Brush son’s teeth (begin teaching him how to do this himself …
- Brush son’s hair (begin teaching him how to do this himself).
- Wash son’s face and put lotion on it.
- Get our coats on, grab our stuff (at the door), and off we go!
Evening Routine: I get home from work very close to 6pm.
- Ensure son does his homework (teach him to check this himself) as
soon as we get home from work.
- Prepare dinner (if we didn’t eat out or are not ordering pizza).
While dinner is preparing I usually perform one of the Weekly Home Blessing
items and the mission for the day. I also do the Fling Boogie as time
- Clean up kitchen after eating dinner.
- Spend time with son (get son to clean up his toys 15min prior to
bath time … never done perfectly).
- Give son his bath (continue teaching him to do this on his own).
While son takes his bath (he plays mostly), tidy living room and the
basement (where son plays and we watch TV/movies); and make 2 chocolate
milks. One for bedtime and the other for in the morning which goes in the
- Get son to pick his clothes out for the next day (I’m actually doing
this myself until I have cleaned and organized his room … my fault).
- After saying prayers, tuck son into bed.
- Make son’s lunch for the next day.
Desired time: 9pm.
- Put my hair up.
- Lay out clothes for the morning.
- Take off clothes. Make sure I put the clothes I take off where they
- Do 50 crunches.
- Take a relaxing bath.
- Read latest book/magazine.
- Good night!
PayRoll SHE Routines – Part 2
8. My Routines Are Not Elaborate
I work full time outside the home and have two very active/involved teenage sons, plus a husband that works a rotating shift that only repeats every 28 days. My routines are not elaborate and sometimes it’s all I can do to get supper on the table, but this is what has worked for me for the past 11 weeks. When I do “take a day off” things don’t come crashing around my ears.
- Up at 5:30, review day, dress, pick up bathroom/bedroom (depends on DH’s
schedule), makeup/hair/teeth, meds. Feed cats. Load of clothes to the
washer. My makeup and hair stuff is in the boys’ bathroom, so I neaten there
also. Boys up at 7 a.m. One son eats breakfast and then Out the door to
school and work by 7:30 a.m. I drop them off every morning.
- At 4 p.m. I get off work and depending on the boys’ activities (I pick them
up at school) and on the weekday usually home by 5:30 p.m., dinner for sons
and myself by 6:15, feed cats, supper again at 8 for DH depending on
schedule. If it’s day shift, he eats with us. If he’s off, usually he eats
- Laundry to dryer, new load in.
- Homework out and being worked on by 7.
- Shine my sink.
- Dry and fold 2nd load of laundry, put all away.
- Empty cat litter.
- Line up boys’ things for tomorrow (lunch money, etc.)
- 15 minute pick up in living room & kitchen.
- 15 minute zone work.
- 15 minutes on Gazelle exercise machine. (It’s working!)
- Clothes/shoes laid out for tomorrow.
- Check schedule one more time.
In between this, I’m signing permission slips, helping with homework, reminding of baths/teeth, taking calls, listening to music practice, answering emails, checking on my mother, etc.
I try to run errands on Thursday & Friday mornings when I have an extra hour before having to be at work.
I’m off most Wednesdays and this is my big cleaning day, when I can touch the whole house in some manner.
At least once a week I try to fill a 33 gallon trash bag and toss, this generally comes from everywhere in the house.
Bills are paid on Friday nights and mailed on Saturday.
Groceries and household shopping still is left for the weekends, but that’s not a problem since my dishes and laundry are not backed up.
I know this doesn’t sound like a lot, but I’ve been a flybaby for many months, but my SHEness kept getting in the way of anything except 27 fling boogies. I kept crashing and burning and feeling all kinds of resentment at the men in my life who most definitely live on Easy Street. Unfortunately I’m a single mom who happens to be married. Yes, I know I’ve spoiled them.
Finally January 1, 2002, I decided to do only the very basics each morning and night and stop stressing. Slowly I have added things as progress is being made. I know I’m on the right track because usually when someone comes to the door, we always stay on the side porch and talk to them (including the landlord!), unless we’re hiding in the bedroom. Well, the other night one of our local politicians (a big local election is fast approaching)
knocked on my door while I was running my dishwater (no dishwasher) and I let him in! I was not the least embarrassed to have him sit at my kitchen counter and talk to me for over an hour, because I knew that even though he faced the family room, living room and boys’ bath & hall, and was sitting smack dab in the middle of a post-supper kitchen, everything was picked up!!!!! Yay!!! Even the area around the porch was clear!!!!
So yes, I’m flying and loving it. Routines are the only way to go. Just yesterday I helped my mother join the list. She had been secretly peeking at the website and printing stuff and she’s been so impressed when she calls and asks what I’m doing and I reply, Cleaning! Especially since I’m not in a lousy mood anymore.
Oh and the husband that doesn’t contribute? I used to get mad but no more. About once a week he makes a general “is there anything you want me to do?” statement. I used to say no and then seethe, now I smile and say yes honey, could you clean your bathroom sink? or some such chore/mess that he’s made. Naturally he can’t get out of it and even though it’s not done in the way I would do it, at least he’s done something and I don’t resent him.
Thank you thank you thank you Flylady and staff. I’m sorry this is long, I only intended to give you my routines, but my life is so much better now thanks to all of your help. Onward and upward!
9. The Only Reason That My Morning Routine Runs So Well, Is Due To My Evening Routine
Hi and THANKS for flylady!! Routines are SO essential to my daily existence. I didn’t really understand this until you said that we all have routines, but we need to find routines to make us successful. Here is my morning routine:
- Wake up at 5:15 a.m. , pull the covers up on my side of the bed (DH gets up later than I do), turn off alarm and grab my bra from the day before.
- Go to the bathroom, put on bra while I go pee (sorry, but we all have to do it! :))
- Next, I put on my shoes and socks and walk on my treadmill for 15 minutes.
- 5:35 a.m. After treadmilling I turn on the coffee pot and jump in the shower.
- After shower I spray down the shower with that post shower stuff, dry off, slap on some lotion (one of the 4 bottles that I’m trying to use up!!), deodorant and face moisturizer.
Throw dirty clothes in laundry.
- I then put on my robe, grab a cup of joe, whip up something to eat.
- I usually empty the dishwasher while breakfast is cooking.
- 6:00a.m. I then log on the computer and check my e-mail (I have to limit myself to 15 minutes for this….done or not….I also eat my breakfast and have the last of my coffee during this time.)
- 6:15a.m. By now, my hair is not so wet and in the next 15 minutes I get dressed, fix my short hair and put on make up.
- Next I make sure my sink is clean and shiny and I head out the door to work.
The only reason that my morning routine runs so well is due to my evening routine:
- Get home from work and put car keys in a little birdfeeder man hanging by the door. I think the bird feeder is Saint Francis (he is MY saint, because now I always know where my keys are!)
- Start a load of laundry.
- Grab mail and throw out junk mail.
- After supper I fill coffee pot for the next morning, iron and lay out clothes for tomorrow.
- Make sure shoes and socks are sitting on my treadmill.
- Do a quick sweep and put out hot spots and make sure sink is shiny.
- Head to bed and read for 15-30 minutes before hitting the sack.
My evening routine probably takes less than 30 minutes, but saves tons of time in the morning!
I’m a full time payroll SHE and I am ultra efficient at work because I have routines that work….I feel better all the time because I’m getting into my routines and always thinking of things to make my home more efficient so I have more time for DH and myself.
– Flying in Missouri.
10. Everyday, I FLY a Little Further
I’m a payroll she and while I’m still just a flybaby, every day I fly a little further and I have my routines and my new flylady attitude to thank for my progress.
Here’s my morning routine: My husband moonlights as a newspaper carrier, so he calls me every morning at 5:30 to wake me up. I’m out of bed by 5:40 and head straight to the shower. After my shower, I make up my bed (I just can’t do it before my shower), then head down to the kitchen where I turn on the washer (I fill it with dirty clothes the night before as part of my before bed routine) and turn on the dryer (to fluff up the load of clothes washed the night before). While the washer fills, I fix my cup of coffee and get the breakfast table ready for the kids (6 & 10). Once the washer has filled, I add the detergent and head upstairs to dry my hair, sweep up the mess my hair makes on the bathroom floor, put on something comfy (shorts & t-shirt or sweats depending on the weather), and then get the kiddos up. By this time it is between 6:20 and 6:25 depending on how well my hair is cooperating LOL! I get the kids up and dressed, and we are all downstairs between 6:35 and 6:40. While they eat their breakfast, I make the sandwiches for our lunchboxes (the rest of their lunch is set to go the night before – I like to make sandwiches in the morning!) and get lunch boxes put in their backpacks. While the kids brush their teeth, I get their shoes ready and make sure that nothing which needs to get to school is overlooked. We’re out the door at 7:05 to wait for the bus. Once the bus arrives, I head back in the house, fix my 2nd cup of coffee and fold the clothes which were fluffing in the dryer, and transfer the wet clothes to the dryer. If the dishwasher was run the night before, I empty it now and clean up all remnants of breakfast. Once the kitchen is clean, I take my clean clothes upstairs and put them away, make up the kids beds and get myself dressed and ready for work. I wipe down the upstairs bathroom counters when I’m finished and head downstairs to put my lunch in my cooler and am out the door by 8:10.
Evening routines are simple. As soon as dinner is finished, the kitchen is cleaned. Anything that can fit into the dishwasher gets put there, and if it’s full, I go ahead and put in the detergent and set my time delay so that it comes on after we’re in bed. Anything that needs to be handwashed is washed and left in the dish drainer while the kids get their showers, read and are put to bed. While the kids are in the shower I take time to swiffer the bathroom floors, swish the toilets and wipe off the mirrors. Once the kids are in bed, I take 2 loads of clothes downstairs and put one in the washer and 1 in the holding basket. I fluff the clothes currently in the dryer (from this morning) and let another load wash while I empty the dish drainer and get lunches started for us for the next day. I also make my coffee for the next morning and set the automatic timer on that so that it’s ready when I get up. Once the kitchen is clean I do a quick flyby of the downstairs, then fold the clothes in the dryer, put the wet ones in the dryer and go ahead and transfer the clothes from the loading basket into the washer so I’m set for tomorrow. Once all is calm I take my clean clothes upstairs, put them away and take my shower or bubble bath. By now it’s 10pm and DH and I snuggle into bed for a little TV or snuggle time (this is when I read or polish my nails) before the lights are out at 10:30 or 11pm.
I should add that exercise is also part of my evening routine Monday – Thursday. I take a cycle class at they Y on those nights and while the time varies, DH pitches in to make sure the kids stay on track so that I can keep our routines on track. If my class is right after work (5:45), he is in charge of getting supper ready and feeding the kids. When I get home, I eat my dinner and get the kitchen cleaned while he gets the kids in the shower and starts their bedtime routines. If it’s a 6:45 class, I cook dinner then he starts kitchen clean up and bedtime routines while I’m in class. Once I get home I finish kitchen duty and add the bathrooms to my flyby later. It’s even ok if my bathrooms miss a night because they stay relatively clean.
On Saturday mornings I get up and go to an 8am exercise class. Getting it out of the way early makes for a great start to the weekend. After that, my son usually has a game at some point in the day which takes priority over any houseblessing that needs to happen (and yes, if it’s right after my exercise class I throw on a hat and a sweatshirt and go all sweaty and stinky – sometimes we have to do what we have to do!). I set aside one hour of the day to bless the downstairs of my house (being sure to incorporate the weekly missions), and either DH or I do our weekly grocery shopping and trip to Wal-Mart or Target. Saturday night is also movie night – either we all watch a movie together or the kids will watch a movie on their own and we’ll watch a grown-up movie on our own. On Sunday the only houseblessing I do is to change all of the beds, and bless the upstairs of my house. This takes less than an hour if we’ve stuck to our routines during the week I try to wash the sheets before we leave for church so that they can get into the dryer as soon as we get home. We spend the rest of the day doing family stuff. On Sunday nights I switch back into my work/school night mode and make sure I’m ready for whatever is coming up that week.
I’m sorry this is so long, but hopefully my routine might help someone else to achieve the peace I am finding with flylady. I have always been a payroll she and until I found flylady and realized the value of routine I was a complete stressed out mess. My house was always in disarray and I felt totally out of control. Since my husband has 2 jobs, and is up at 4am every day, I didn’t want to put any housework burdens on him. Flylady has given me the tools I need to have peace of mind and to be in control oof my life. I’ve even gotten to a point where I can actually start to think about doing some of those projects that I never have time for (like painting, gardening, etc…). Thanks flylady, for giving me back my life!!!
PayRoll SHE Routines From Our Members – Part 3
11. I Have My Weekends Free!!!
One thing that motivates me to do my routines and my main cleaning during the week is knowing that if I do this during my work week when most of my day is used up at work anyway, I have my weekends FREE!!!!! (all I have to do is my little morning and night routines on the weekend) And I have ALL day Saturday and Sunday to do whatever I want!
I am a Payroll SHE, so I have scarce time in the mornings for my routines. Nonetheless, I DO have them My bathroom is my main concern in the morning, so I remember what I have to do easily by remembering : T. T. S. S. — Toilet, Trash, Sink, and Sweep. This makes my bathroom look fresh every day, and it only takes 5 minutes!
12. I Have Had To Adapt The FlyLady Routines
As a payroll SHE who sometimes works more than 40 hours and sometimes less, I have had to adapt the Flylady routines to fit my varied schedule.
My Weekly Home Blessing happens on Saturday and actually starts with a 30 minute blitz of the playroom before my kids get in there to watch cartoons. This is when I pick up stray socks, Boogie any broken toys, and vacuum and dust that room. Then after breakfast I do the rest of the home blessing hour.
My errands are spread across Monday, Tuesday, and Friday lunches – except for grocery shopping which I do on Monday or Tuesday evenings, depending on soccer practice and scouting schedules.
Monday evening is also my checkbook and calendar night. Tuesday is trash day and Mommy’s Night Off! (Something fun for me, be it Bible study group, scrapbooking or reading – my dh is great about this.) Wednesday is church night. Thursday is menu planning night. I clean out my purse and car on Friday, which is also Date Night with my wonderful husband. Saturday (after the home blessing) is Family Fun Day. Sunday is renew my spirit day.
- Get hubby off to work (this happens at 5:30am, but starting my day with him is important to me and that quiet hour between 5:30 and 6:30 is wonderful for me
- Make the bed
- Start a load of laundry and switch last night’s load to the dryer
- Quiet time with God (this usually lasts until 6:15)
- Shower and dress to shoes including make up
- Breakfast and email check
- Get kids up and dressed
- Leave for school and work
- (Somewhere in there I put dinner in the crock pot if my dh isn’t cooking – he goes in early, but he cooks when he comes home!)
- Dinner & family conversation
- Wash dishes and shine sink, prepare coffee pot for next morning
- Move laundry from washer to dryer and start another load
- Empty trash/declutter 15 minutes in zone/Daily mission/hot spots
- Bathtime for kids
- Bedtime stories
- Relax with dh (maybe doing something together, maybe doing separate activities in the same room)
- Bubble bath (not every night, but more often than not)
- Bedtime for mom
– Flexibly FLYing in Tennessee.
13. I Love the Idea That You Can Do Anything For 15 Minutes
Routines for a working flybaby SHE:
- Get up, make the bed
- start the coffee (heat the water and grind the beans)
- shower and dress
- dress my toddler
- eat breakfast (hot cereal, juice and coffee)
- clear the breakfast dishes (into the sink or dishwasher)
- Get home, take a half hour with my toddler
- change clothes
- start a load of laundry
- get the sink clean
- get dinner ready (leftovers or me or my husband cooks – or we eat takeout – I’m not perfect and don’t try to be!!)
Then, while my husband gives the baby his bath and gets him ready for bed,
- clean the kitchen (empty the dishwasher and refill it, shine the sink, clean the counters, clean the coffee press for the morning, take out the recycling)
- reboot the laundry
- tidy the baby’s clothes, toys and books
- clean the bathroom up a bit (pick up the clothes and towels, wipe down the surfaces)
- hit the hotspots (my dining room table and the coffee table in the family room are the worst culprits)
- get the baby into bed (cuddle time!)
- fold laundry and put away clothes
My weekly home blessing tour is broken into three or four 15 minute sessions which cover the following:
- Clean out the fridge
- Collect the newspapers and magazines for recycling
- run a cloth over the surfaces
- vacuum or sweep up the high traffic areas
- decluttering the hotspots
- sweeping the front and back porches
So no, I can’t jump up when I see a message in my inbox at 10:00 am that says to go declutter my zone or do a 5 minute room rescue, but I do have routines before and after work. I don’t lay out my clothes regularly or work in the specified zone when told to, but I’m starting to work them into my evening routines. I’m building slowly on what I’ve already established, like Marla says, so I don’t burnout. On workdays, I am done with everything by 9:00 pm and then I use the other 1-2 hours before bed to read, watch tv or use the computer, work on projects or exercise. One day a week, I do a minimal evening routine to give myself a break. It’s so pleasant and relaxing to have a clean home!
Although it’s not perfectly clean (my closets are a big problem), it’s so much better and I’m still making progress all the time. I used to say “why clean, it just gets dirty again right away?” Sure it does, but that’s not the point – I shower once a day and I don’t think it’s not worth doing just because I’m dirty again the next morning. My house was begging for a daily shower too, and now it gets it, and I don’t have a load of bad feelings about seeing dirt and clutter everywhere. My neighbor walked in for a visit last weekend and for once I wasn’t embarassed by the state of my home and blaming it on my job! My husband also does a lot to help and takes care of the mail and bill paying, among other things.
I’ve been following these routines and decluttering for 2 months and it really has made a difference. I decluttered 250 lbs for the recent challenge and have about 50 more that I’m donating (old clothes and other things we don’t ever use). I love the idea that you can do anything for 15 minutes. That made sense right away to me, because that’s how I got through writing a dissertation. It was so overwhelming that I couldn’t get started, but I forced myself to sit at the computer and write for just 15 minutes an hour – I even used a timer! Then I got up and read or watched tv. Finally I got enough momentum to sit for longer periods and really get the thing written, but I never would have done it without my timer and breaking it into small increments the way I did. I am also using routines at work to get on top of all my my job related SHE-ness. Thanks a lot, FlyLady! You’re just what I and a lot of others needed!
– Flying in LA.
14. I’m Getting Up An Hour Earlier
I’m a single, payroll SHE who has been flying for 2 months. I also happen to have 2 jobs. My work schedule might be considered a nightmare. I work 9-5:30pm M-F on job one. THEN, I work 12am-11:30am on Friday night and 11pm-8am on Saturday night.
I’ve been getting down my AM/PM routines. I’m getting up an hour earlier (mostly because my schedule will be changing soon) and making my bed, swish & swipe, and washing my breakfast dishes when I’m done. This is the hardest routine for me. I was perpetually late. I was also used to getting up 1/2 hour before I had to drag myself out of the door. Since I’ve been a FLYbaby, I’ve been on time or EARLY for 3 weeks! My bedtime routine consists of putting out my clothes, taking a shower (not a bubble bath since my tub is so small that it’s not too comfortable), and making sure the sink is shiny and the dishes are done.
On Friday I only do my morning routine. If I’m not wearing the same clothes to both jobs, then I’ll lay out the clothes for that night. I have only a partial bed time routine for Saturday. I make sure my clothes are laid out and I take a shower. On Sunday, I make sure my bed time routine is done right after I come home from church. But any other routines, may or may not get done.
During the week, the routines get done normally. I usually get about half of my weekly blessing done on Monday. The rest is spread out the rest of the week. I do my laundry as I get full loads, but never in the morning since I don’t have a washer and dryer and I couldn’t leave the clothes in either. My errands usually get done during my lunch time. I also am blessed that I can get some desk work done while I’m at work.
This has been such a blessing! I’ve found a peace in my home that I’ve never had before! THANK YOU FLYLADY!!
14. The Before Bed Routines Really Help Me
Hubby works a weird shift — noon-9 p.m. I work a “normal” shift (8-5 Tues-Fri, though I work 3-midnight on Mondays). So we don’t get to eat dinner together often. Anyway, part of my evening routine manages to have his dinner ready *and* have a sparkling kitchen. Once dinner’s done and I’m done eating, I dish him up a plate/bowl and stick it in the
microwave. All he has to do is reheat it when he gets home. Then I put the rest of the food away in the fridge, wash and dry those pots and pans and put them away, and get that sink shiny.
The before bed routines really help me on that late Monday night-early Tuesday grind. I do as much as I can before I got to work on Monday. House straightened, hot spots extinguished, Tuesday’s food (lunch and dinner) figured out and I try to get my clothes for Tuesday already laid out. If not, they get done before bed Monday nights. So all I have to do Monday nights is come home, maybe grab my clothes, wash my face, brush my teeth, take out my contacts and fall in bed. Nothing to worry about!
Another amusing part of my nightly routine is the garden rescue. Instead of a 15 minute room rescue, I hit the garden or a flower bed or two. We moved into our last in early May last year, and by the time we had recovered from the move, the gardens and flower beds were lost causes (I had a lovely crop of weeds though… *g*). Anyway, I’m determined that
won’t happen again! I’m not striving for an award-winning garden this season, just a mostly weed-free one that I actually can find the strawberries to pick them! So 15 minutes to “declutter” the garden (i.e. weed it!) is how I’m baby-stepping my way to some strawberries and tomatoes later on this summer!