My friend Erika is a huge fan of this website, www.flylady.net. She makes frequent references to it in her blog, and I've checked it out in the past, but it's never really caught my attention - until now. The website is all about getting and keeping your house clean and free from clutter by helping you to develop routines, schedules, etc.
Now, Erika is a VERY organized individual - so it's pretty clear to me why she loves this system and why it works for her. I, on the other hand, am not very organized at all. I can be extremely anal retentive about certain things (clothes all facing the same direction in the closet, big spoons and little spoons not getting mixed up in the silverware drawer, etc.), but overall, I don't have many "systems" in place for my living environment. Well, I went back to the FLYlady website on Friday and joined - and I have become a systems-creating, schedule-keeping, clutter-removing, bed-making, sink-shining freak - and I LOVE it!! I'm doing more than I'm supposed to at this stage (you're a FLYbaby for the first 28 days and you're supposed to take baby steps to actually develop long-lasting habits), but I'm still setting limits for myself (I'm only allowed to clean this shelf; I'm only allowed to de-clutter this room for 15 minutes, etc.).
The space I'm most proud of (so far) is the linen closet. It's a mess, and it's always been a mess. Even when it's organized, it hasn't looked clean, because there has always just been too much crap in it, so any time something new has to go in there (clean towels, extra toilet paper rolls, whatever), there's nowhere to put it, and eventually it just gets piled on top of other crap. My ONLY cleaning goal for my maternity leave was to get this closet clean. I felt that was a pretty realistic goal considering I had five weeks to do it. Didn't happen. Well, in only 3 days (15 minutes a day, per the FLYlady rules, working as fast as possible so you don't waste time second guessing whether something should be kept or tossed), it is BEAUTIFUL!! I'm serious, I'm going to take a picture of it and put it up as soon as I get a chance, I am that proud.
So thank you, Erika, for inspiring me to be a cleaning weirdo. Lovin' it. I'll keep everyone updated on the de-cluttering progress - so far, I've done the linen closet and the shelving area of the fridge (fridge door tonight, freezer tomorrow, freezer door Saturday night...wow, I may need a life! But I don't care).