Flylady Helps Me Clean and Vomit Simultaneously

vintage-cleaningAs Thanksgiving approaches, I can’t help but obsess about a clean house.

I don’t care about the food. Food is easy.

But cleanliness is always an issue in my house. We have three kids and a dog — plus I’m pregnant and have no energy right now. So yes, my house is in constant disaster mode. We keep on top of it the best we can, but some things just have to slide while I’m pregnant. It’s frustrating, but I just have to deal.

Anyway, so all this thinking about cleaning made me think about that incredibly annoying website — Flylady.net. No really. Go there and check it out. Then come back and tell me how many times you threw up in your mouth.

If you’ve heard of Flylady, then I’m sure you know what I mean.

If you haven’t heard of Flylady, then well, you’re in for a treat.

Flylady is a website aimed at giving guidance to those poor, disorganized homemakers who live in filth — usually women — because did you see her website? It’s purple! Because women like purple!

She’s a big believer in “baby steps” — like say focusing on shining your sink everyday for a week, then moving onto doing a daily “swish and swipe” of your bathroom. After you get used to doing certain steps, you start building your cleaning routine. Also during this introductory phase, you’re called a “Flybaby.” Because that’s a cute name or something.

But first, she recommends that you sign up for her email group. So you can get daily reminders of what you need to do to maintain your house. Sounds helpful, right?

No. It’s really annoying. Most of the emails you’ll get are testimonials (probably written by Flylady herself) about how awesome the site is. You’ll get one or two emails a day reminding you to clean your sink and put on your shoes. And get this — make your bed. Which is just really dumb. I don’t need a reminder to do my dishes. My dirty sink is already staring me right in the fucking face. Oh and as for the shoes — well, she insists that you can’t do a good, thorough job cleaning your home unless you have shoes on. And not just shoes. Lace up sneakers!

And secondly. The name. Flylady. That’s really just NOT a good name.

Another issue is her trademarked logo — or mascot — or whatever you want to call it.

It’s a fucking lady. Dressed in purple. With purple hair. Dressed as a fly.

And need I say that flies are gross? Or maybe she’s not supposed to be a fly — just some purple lady with wings.

But yeah.

Oddly enough, as annoying as the site is — I did glean some good tips from it. Here’s what I learned after trudging through her purple, disorganized content.

1. Setting a timer while cleaning is helpful — usually for fifteen minutes — to help you focus.

2. Having a morning and nighttime routine is a good thing — but I don’t really abide by that. Cuz I’m a spontaneous kinda person, ya know?

3. Doing little things daily —  like doing a quick wipe-down of your bathrooms, and doing a load of laundry a day (for me it’s usually two loads) are actually good ideas.

4. And then she has something called the — ahem — “Weekly Home Blessing Hour.” I know. I know. I can’t wrap my mind around her fluffy, mid-western vocabulary. But whatevs. I call the Weekly Home Blessing Hour, the Day of Monotonous Cleaning That Sucks My Soul to the Pit of Despair. It goes something like this:

  • Choose a day of the week (Flylady likes Mondays but choose whatever the fuck you want.)
  • Do the following in 10 minute increments: vacuum, dust, quick mop, polish mirrors and doors, purge magazines and newspapers, change sheets, empty all trash cans. And you’re supposed to be done in an hour. Ha ha.
  • The point of the Day of Monotonous Cleaning That Sucks My Soul to the Pit of Despair is not to do a deep cleaning per say. But to do a weekly maintenance of your house/apartment. The problem with this is that my house is big. I have three bedrooms, and two bathrooms on the top floor (plus all the living areas), and three bedrooms, a bathroom, a playroom and a laundry room on the bottom floor. So this particular routine takes way longer than an hour. So now I just split up the tasks throughout the week. For example, Monday is sheet day, Tuesday is purge papers and empty trashcans day, on Wednesday I dust and polish mirrors, etc. You get the point.

So then, on top of this, Flylady posts a weekly zone. I think she has something like six zones or some shit. Anyway. The deep cleaning that you’re supposed to do is in that zone for the week. For example, zone one is the entrance, front porch and dining room. So you’re supposed to spend that particular week decluttering/cleaning your zone for at least fifteen minutes a day. And yes, you’re supposed to use your timer (which, by the way, you can buy an overpriced, cheap timer in her Flylady shop) and wear your sneakers.

And speaking of her overpriced Flylady shop, you can purchase the Swish and Swipe Package, and the Rubba Scrubba to assist in your cleaning endeavors (she also has a Rubba Swisha and a Rubba Sweepa!) I mean, fer realz — Rubba Scrubba? I can’t even… just… whatever.

It’s a bummer, because there are some good ideas buried in the site. And yes, these are all common sense ideas — but for a disorganized person like myself — it’s good to have some cleaning guidelines to help me. But for somebody who boasts about cleanliness and organization — Flylady’s site is ugly and disorganized. And her kitschiness is polarizing. I’m sorry, Flylady — but please don’t call me a Flybaby. Just stop that.

With a sleeker site minus the campy mid-western purple shit, and minus that weird Flylady mascot thingy — I really think her site could go really far. It’s garnered plenty of success and many followers — but mostly of the bless your heart, country kitsch variety.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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My Top Ten First World Problems

There’s nothing quite like working until midnight followed by an alarm going off at 6:30AM the next morning to get the kids up and ready for a dentist’s  appointment at 8AM. Who was the genius who scheduled that appointment at such an ungodly hour?

That would be me.

I’m so tired right now. And I’m annoyed at everything.

So here’s a top ten list of my annoyances today. Otherwise known as — my top ten list of my domestic first world problems.

1. Going into the kitchen to unload the dishwasher first thing in the morning — only to find that whoever loaded the dishwasher the night before, put cookie sheets in front of the soap dispenser. Therefore the soap dispenser did not open.  Therefore the dishes were still dirty. Therefore the dishwasher needed to be run again.

2. The kitchen trashcan. I guess when I’m at work, everybody thinks it’s okay to let the house go to shit. Because that trashcan was overflowing like a fountain. Like a fountain of fucking trash. And this particular fountain wasn’t pretty.

3. Laundry. My awesome in-laws were here for a week, and when they left, they folded up their dirty towels and sheets and stacked them neatly by the washer. Nice, right? Well my husband who likes to do things in a hurry, decided to throw them in the wash. Completely folded. So when I went to switch the laundry over, I came across wet folded sheets and towels in the washer. Therefore they didn’t get clean. Therefore I had to run the washer again.

4. Hot water heater. Dirty clothes. Dirty clothes piled up against the hot water heater in the laundry room.

What. The. Fuck.

House fire, anyone?

5. This didn’t happen today, but yesterday I found popcorn kernels in the garbage disposal. A few dozen of them. I guess somebody thought it would be a good idea to rinse their popcorn bowl and wash the kernels down the drain? I guess? And did I mention that we JUST had the garbage disposal fixed?

6.  Raccoons. Raccoons got into the trash cans in the backyard. You know why? Because we don’t have trash can lids! They’re broken — because we bought cheap trash cans. So this morning we had trash all over the back yard. Good times, right?

7. Smoke alarm. And this is SO fucking unsafe. My dear husband removes the smoke alarm whenever it goes off. And the only time it ever goes off is when he’s cooking.  So he just takes the whole thing off the ceiling so he doesn’t have to hear it. Then he forgets to put it back. And half the time I don’t realize it’s not there. So a few days will go by and then I’ll notice that our smoke alarm is not in place. Can we say danger? Can we say death by fire?

And I just want to add that my husband is amazing. Just a bit forgetful. Forgetful in a potentially dangerous way, but still a fabulous person. And I’ll love him forever as long as our children don’t die in a house fire.

8. Clothes. Everywhere. I can never find anything to wear. Who’s fault is that? Mine. I know this. How does this happen? I put my folded laundry on my bed with every intention of putting it away later. Then when I’m going to bed I’m confronted with a pile of folded laundry that I really don’t feel like putting away. So what do I do? Throw ’em on the floor. Like a teenager.

Wait. No. When I was a teenager I slept under my clothes on the bed. Hey! At least I’m making progress — 20 years later.

9. Getting a notice in the mail from the bank that our car payment is late when IT ISN’T. We paid it and have the receipt, but now we have to go to the bank and show the receipt and blah, blah, blah and go through more bullshit to prove we paid it.

10. It’s a gorgeous day outside and I really can’t find anything else to complain about at this time.

And as I was writing number ten, the power went out. I’m not kidding.

The week can only get better, right?

P.S. — I know I’m being a whiny little bitch.