Will You Please Explain The Zones?

zonesDear FlyLady,

I went on the website because I am still confused by the zone cleaning: how do the zones rotate? what do you do? How does the detailed cleaning list fit in (I printed that). It is ambiguous to me – I see the individual e-mails come out but can’t quite put them together into a whole picture.

Thank you for your help,


Dear Liane,

You don’t have to see the top of the staircase to take the first step. I promise it all fits together. Please keep in mind that February and March of this year the month started on a Saturday. This does not happen often. So we had one day for Zone 1 and you got a special mission.

Many of you have had questions about the zones. I hope I can clear this up.

We are breaking our homes into 5 zones, but we are using my zones so that we will all be on the same page. After you graduate, you can break your house into what ever zones you choose. Right now we are all together.

Let’s look at a calendar, in most months the days fall over parts of 5 weeks, sometimes 4 and other times 6. Look at a whole years worth of months. My zones start on Sunday.

Here is how the zones are laid out:

Zone 1 occurs during the first week of the month. Some months have only has a few days in this first week, but in March we have a 1 day to concentrate on our entrance, front porch, and dining room.

All I ask is that you spend 15 minutes a day working on your zone for that week. If you still have lots of clutter, work on clearing this clutter, 15 minutes at a time first. Then you can do your detailed cleaning later after the clutter is gone. Let’s face it, you have not cleaned cobwebs or dust bunnies in several months or maybe years, so don’t get overwhelmed here. I don’t want you to burn out. 15 minutes a day, consistency is the key here. That is all.

Zone 2 is the kitchen. Most of our kitchens need a full week of cleaning, (only 15 minutes a day). This is usually the first full week in each month.

Zone 3 it the main bathroom and one other room in the house. (kid room, extra room, office, craft room, utility room.) Don’t do two really bad rooms at once. This is usually the 2nd full week of the month. Only do 15 minutes at a time or a day. Take it easy. The consistency will get you to your goal 15 minutes at a time.

Zone 4 is the master bedroom. This is usually the 3rd full week of the month, 4th week if you count the parts of week 1. We clean our closets, bathrooms and bedroom. But if there is serious clutter, this has to go first. 15 minute at a time. Your master bedroom, is the room that is most important in your life. This is where you rest, clutter keeps you from resting well. Get rid of this clutter and find your oasis.

Zone 5 is your living room. This zone is on the 5th week of the month. Usually it only has a few days. Then the month ends and the next month starts. Zone 1 and Zone 5 usually happen in the same week.

I hope this has straightened out zones for the time being. Look at the calendar and write them down if you have too. This is how I had to do it, to get it into my head.

Don’t forget, all I ask is 15 minutes a day. Set a timer and just do a little every day. You will see a difference in a week’s time. In a month, you will start to notice a trend in your home. You can do this. It didn’t get dirty in a day and it is not going to get clean overnight. It is going to take a few months of decluttering, and then detail cleaning, to make your home the place of peace you want.

Many of you are trying to do zone cleaning while you are doing your Weekly Home Blessing Hour. Don’t do this. In fact, it is more important that you concentrate on your morning and before bed routines before you do yourWeekly Home Blessing Hour.

Here is how it all fits together. Get your routines established one habit at a time. Then, add new habits as your old ones become second nature. Then, throw in the 15 minutes a day decluttering. As your home becomes clear, the Weekly Home Blessings are a piece of cake. There will not be stuff to vacuum around and dust.

My whole house looks great all the time, with just my morning and before bed routines. Even if you do nothing else, your home will come together.

Quit trying to see the big picture, and focus on your BabySteps. You don’t have to do it all at once: BABYSTEPS.

Let go of your perfectionism and watch your home shine!

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