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After going back to FlyLady time and again to see if I could make it work, I finally realized that it's probably not the best strategy for my personality type.

First I thought it was just the season of life or the fact that I have a toddler who will mess up whatever "zone" I've finished, turning 15 minutes of completed work into a new 30-minute job.

I also noticed that because I can't do all the rooms, and have to focus on the common areas, that preparing for guests will always involve cleaning the kitchen and neglecting the bedroom. I was so excited when FlyLady assigned the "master bedroom"....only to realize I had no time to do it that week as I needed to clean for guests.

"No-nonsense" can be good, but I put my foot down when she started talking about purging. "You don't need your school essays," she said. But I do. Okay, I don't. And my parents don't need them in their attic. But I'm not ready to throw everything away yet. That's a choice. And when she tells me to throw certain things away, she's making a choice for her own personality type, not for mine.

Maybe FlyLady would suggest scanning photos of the projects and artwork and throwing the originals away and then making each family member a memory book for that year or quarter, like I saw on one blog. But I haven't seen time for that allotted on the FlyLady calendar, plus she probably wants me to throw all my album-making supplies away.

I like the idea of menu planning, and I like looking for new dishes to try. But I can't make a very detailed plan, because I never know when my inlaws or someone else is going to bless us with some groceries or yummy dish. Sometimes I even count on that, because I don't have the energy to go to the store.

Sometimes I can stay on top of dishes and can even see the bottom of the sink for most of the day. But after dinner starts the bedtime routine. And usually I am way too tired to do dinner clean-up. So there's that pile in the sink in the morning...oh well.

I'm starting a new housecleaning strategy. It's called "Sneak Clean While Your Toddler Is Looking The Other Way." SCWYTILTOW for short. You don't have to set a timer because you just go by your child's attention span. Quick, he's in the kitchen...Ready, Set, Go! While he's in the bathtub, I can scrub the sink and mirrors. I know we are supposed to stay on task and finish one area before moving on, but I do "drive-by" cleaning...grabbing things that don't belong and dropping them off in the right room as I go to do something else. They'll make it to their places eventually.

Anyway, I feel sort of silly writing about this because obviously being organized is a good thing. But I read on a forum today about a mother who was just feeling so frazzled with family coming from out of town and different dietary needs and messes all around and one family member suggesting she needed to purge. I didn't like that she felt like she was some sort of grotesque exception to the "everyone is organized" rule, rather than the other way around. I also feel that along with our daily life situation, we have to figure out our own gifts and personality type and how we do best at extending hospitality-whether it's a clean house, good food, lively conversation, or an opportunity for the guests to earn their keep. :)


  1. Oh, Elizabeth, we need to start a club. I have my "control book" from...uh - I think back before I adopted any Russian kids. Even then I couldn't do it. I could have the darned book in my lap and STILL look up my phone numbers somewhere else. I could carry it in my PURSE, and not remember to check it for "things to buy" at the grocery store. I'm just useless.

    I would say that the one thing I was able to stick with (or, certainly remember!) is the "kitchen sink" idea. And, I do try to keep the sink clean. It is just that no one else has the same, last thing I do at night is make sure the sink is clean. First thing I do in the morning is clean up someone else's midnight snack. Ah, well...(I also like that idea that cleaning is "blessing" your I bless whomever it is.)

  2. Well, you have me beat there. I try to distract people by baking goodies so they won't notice the mess. I get it from my mom!


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