Monday, March 1, 2010

27 Flings and Other Things

I mentioned in my Friday Night Leftovers post that I had started Fly Lady. I can't remember how/where I heard about it, but it has really been helping me to change some bad habits. I know I have posted here before, but cleaning and organization are not my strong points. I like to have a clean house, desire to have those closets that anyone can open without things flying out at them, and just generally would like to have more of a sense of order.

Before Will was born, I could make the time to clean and organize. I could "stay ahead" of the mess. Even after he was born, while he was taking two naps a day, I could manage. But now, pregnant and managing a very busy, one-nap-a-day toddler, I was falling behind. We looked at several options, but couldn't afford having a cleaning service, and honestly, the cleaning isn't the problem, so much as the STUFF.

So, I started Fly Lady and it turns out I picked the perfect month. February was Declutter Month and each day, you had to toss out 27 pieces of garbage and find 27 things to give away. Every day, people. It only took about 15 - 20 minutes each day to find my 54* things. The garbage was actually really easy, as sorting my mail would usually take up most of that, taking a few things out of the refrigerator, and I counted emptying a garbage can as one thing. Finding 27 things to give away wasn't so hard, either, especially since I really needed to go through my clothes and get rid of some knick knacks. As the days wore on, however, it got more difficult to find that many things. I am an emotional packrat, keeping things because they were given to me by someone special, and also a "what if" keeper, holding on to things on the very random chance that I might need them someday. There are articles and pieces of advice directly aimed at people like me.

Now, a few words of caution if you decide to do Fly Lady:

1) You will get a ton of e-mails. Each day (M - F) you get a Flight Plan, which tells you your "chore" for the day. I like this one and read it every day and was very good about following it. You will also get a lot of testimonials. If the title grabs me, I might read these, but most of the time, I delete them. There are also some advertisements for Fly Lady cleaning products and gadgets. Some of them look really neat, but I also skip a lot of these. Signing up and participating in Fly Lady is free, but it could get spendy if you bought all of the advertised products.

2) You need to not try and skip ahead or do more than is "prescribed". If you are like me, part of the reason why you are living with clutter is that it's overwhelming to know how to fix your problem. You look around your house and thing, "Gah, where to begin?" I had a lot of hot spots in my house and I didn't honestly think that "fifteen minutes a day" and a 27 fling would really fix them. The first few days, I was tempted to do more organizing and finding other projects to do. That really defeats that purpose. The whole point of the website is to take manageable pieces of time and make them work for you. The first week, I didn't see a lot of progress. But by the second and third week, I had completely gotten rid of 2 hotspots and was working on the third. By the end of the month, I now just have two hot spots left. And this was with no major cleaning projects, just fifteen minute intervals a day.

That's it. I really like it. I don't do everything, I don't read everything, and I am still seeing a lot of progress. My goal for myself is to have an organized home and no hot spots by the time Emma is born. This is a lofty goal for someone famous for her "Closets of Death," but I feel as if I have a game plan and it's not overwhelming.

A couple of updates:

My sister sent me a text message at about 7 PM last night. It said, "Made it home safe and sound around 2. Thanks for a fun weekend." I think that she, like me, would rather remember our fun weekend and forget about how it ended. So, hopefully, that is the end of the drama for now.

I had an OB appointment on Friday. We scheduled the rest of my appointments and my c-section. Unless she decides to come a bit early on her own, her birthday will be July 19. The doctor mentioned that her abdomen was measuring a bit small on the ultrasound and her approximate weight is on the low end. On it's own, not much to be concerned with, but he wants a follow up ultrasound in a month and also wanted me to add 300 calories a day to my diet to gain a few more pounds in the meantime. He thinks the reason she is small right now is because of how much weight I lost in the beginning and that I have not gained a lot since then. So, time for a bowl of ice cream!

*Ha! Obviously, as my lovely anonymous poster pointed out, I might need (I just made that up, but I am sure it's actually a site) next. Or that could just be my very latent desire to not give up my crap! I did actually get rid of 54 pieces, in case anyone was wondering, I just accidentally typed 52.


Red said...

The cleaning out idea sounds fascinating. I am trying to decide if I am ready for that yet! Maybe I'll join you.

I wish my doctor prescribed me a bowl of ice-cream! I'll be more likely to be told 'a little excercie could do you and baby some good'.

Also, I just love that you have named her already and canuse the name before she is born. I am tossing up in my head if I should find out the gender this time (we didn't with Champ).

Michele said...

Mmmm Ice Cream! If you are worried about too much dairy, coconut milk ice cream is divine! There are many flavors to choose from. I love it!

My mom is uber organized and I wish I had that trait! I remember she used to have lists of things each week and we would check them off. One day... one day, I will be there too!

Rebecca said...

Eat up, Mama!!! I love to stay organized...I need a bigger house, more furniture (i.e. drawers), and a lot of money for containers...loooove containers!

Anonymous said...

27 + 27 = 54
not 52

Anonymous said...

This is your comment? Katie obviously put a lot of time into this post and all you can do is point out the error? Go fuck yourself!

K @ ourboxofrain said...

I found FlyLady overwhelming, even though it's not meant to be. I may try to work on some of the core principles now (though I wish I'd decided that before February, since work was slow and I desperately need to declutter!), then really try to get back into the swing of things when on leave this summer. Our house is a sty. And, like you, the bulk of our problem is clutter, as I too am an emotional packrat (I like that term!).

Enjoy the extra ice cream!

HereWeGoAJen said...

You can set the FlyLady emails to the "digest" setting and then you just get one everyday with all the stuff combined. I like it better that way. I get the FlyLady emails, but I don't really do them. I used to, when I had more computer time, pre-Elizabeth, but now it somehow doesn't work for me.

Danifred said...

I love cleaning things out- I just have to do it on my own time. If I'm not in the right frame of mind, it doesn't work. But, I do love to be organized!!!!

Cynthia said...

I'm loosely following the flylady program. It's helping me let go of some clutter. I also watch "Hoarders" on AE. That is definite motivation.

RoseAnn said...

July 19 is a great niece's! ;)