In the last year or two, I have not been reading many blog posts, instead, I seem to be consuming YouTube videos…
I don’t even remember how I got to the Secret Slob channel on YouTube, but I think it was probably a random decluttering search (I often procrastinate my own decluttering by watching others do it). Anyway, watching her videos led me down a rabbit hole, and also introduced me to Diane in Denmark. I love both of them. Both of them use and promote the FlyLady system of keeping your house clean and your life in general in order. I like that both of them have altered the FlyLady system to match their own needs. (If you don’t know about the FlyLady system, keeping it really really simple, it’s a method and schedule for keeping up with cleaning your house for those of us that struggle with it.)
Since going down that rabbit hole of FlyLady content on YouTube (there is lots!), I did start working on the baby-steps of the morning and evening routines. I took the advice of the Secret Slob and Diane in Denmark and created my own version of the routines. I can’t say that I’ve been perfect, or even really successful or consistent, but I seem to be doing enough often enough to be making a bit of a difference. My stepdaughter even mentioned that things seemed to be cleaner… So that was nice!
Now that I’ve been working on those routines for a while, I want to progress to the next stage, which is the FlyLady zone cleaning. I have been sort of working on this off and on since last spring some time, but I wanted to start in earnest with the beginning of the new year. Of course, the FlyLady does say that you don’t start with the cleaning, you actually start with zone decluttering because “you can’t clean clutter”… So I will really be zone decluttering, not really cleaning…
The Secret Slob has reorganized her zones because the original FlyLady zones didn’t cover all the rooms in her house. I decided to follow suit and this is how I have organized my zones:
- Zone 1: front porch, entry & hallway, back stairs, downstairs hall, & garage
- Zone 2: kitchen & dining room, and my “pantry” storage in the basement
- Zone 3: main floor bathroom, basement bathroom, & laundry room
- Zone 4: master bedroom & closet, kid bedroom, office, & the hall linen closet
- Zone 5: living room & basement rec room
So, of course, I had to put that in my bullet journal for easy reference…
And just to quickly explain how the 5 zones work each month, they are done during the partial weeks that occur at the beginning and end of the month, so then zone 2, 3 & 4 get the full weeks in the middle of the month. The idea is that zone 1 and zone 5 are spaces that are either smaller, less cluttered, less dirty, or are cleaned during your regular daily tidy or weekly home reset.
During the week of each zone, the idea is that you spend 15 minutes a day decluttering or cleaning in the zone. It’s nothing crazy, and you won’t be able to tackle everything in the zone, but if you get some things done this month, when zone 1 comes around the following month, you’ll be able to work on the things you didn’t get the month before, and eventually, if you are consistent with it every month, the spaces slowly but surely get cleaner.
(If you are confused, I’m not really going in to detailed explanation right now, it does take a bit of time to wrap your head around all the ideas of the FlyLady system, but it does eventually make sense… I promise that I’ll explain more as we go along…)
January Decluttering Results
With the chaos of the new year, and the fact that we also had a bit of a holiday over the new year’s day weekend, I didn’t get any work done in Zone 1 in January… moving on…
I definitely didn’t do 15 minutes every day, but I did probably spend the equivalent total time over the course of a few days going through drawers in the kitchen.
First, I tackled the plastic wrap/aluminum foil drawer. I did not get an exact count of how much I decluttered, but it was mostly a large quantity of elastic bands and plastic bag ties that left the house…
The second drawer was the drawer where we keep placemats, napkins and candles. And a few other random things…
I managed to declutter over 30 items from this drawer. I also made the conscious decision to start using our candles regularly and we have been doing that quite a bit since this declutter. The candle collection has definitely decreased.
The third and final drawer that I tackled during this round was the tupperware or storage container drawer.
I forgot to take a proper before picture, but it’s hard to do because these are all used so often, it is rare for them to all be clean and put away at the same time… Regardless of my lack of documentation, I did to a big declutter and took 26 items out of the drawer to be either recycled or donated, depending on their state.
I spent some time going through two bathroom drawers, but I don’t know that I actually decluttered anything, but I rearranged some things and organized things (like moved pens and notebooks out of the bathroom and in to the office). So I don’t have a count to add to my decluttering total for this zone.
I feel a bit like I cheated in this zone in January. I went in to my son’s bedroom and went through his drawers (don’t have any pictures of it though). In total I took out 12 pairs of boxers that were too small, and 6 pairs of pants that were too small or worn out. So that’s a total of 18 items to add to the decluttering total.
I abandoned decluttering for the time that was assigned to zone 5 this month. It’s okay, I’ll get to it eventually. (the zone comes back every month!)