Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I have a confession to make...

So here it is for the whole world (or who ever actually stops by this blog, really) to read - I am cluttered and disorganized.

There, I said it. Me. A librarian. I am disorganized.

I have tried unsuccessfully for years reading countless self-help books on the subject to get a handle not only on my clutter and my space, but my time as well. I see the two going hand in hand after all I'd probably be early enough for work to get a cup of coffee before opening the library if I didn't have to dig through my clutter to find what I need in the morning.

In 2007 I found the website Flylady.net. I have attempted to be a "flybaby" multiple times over the last 2.5 years to no avail. Last month was my latest attempt.

Now, if you're finding yourself in similar situations - I really would recommend the website although there are some pros and cons. (I'll start with the cons so we end on a positive note.)

1. The website itself is not organized well. In the baby steps (see pros below) for instance if you click on step 8, you must click back to the list to get to step 9. The idea behind this (I assume) is that the Fly Lady doesn't want you to skip ahead. But for someone who wants a quick overview before jumping in it was extremely annoying. And nowhere on the site are the baby steps laid out 1-30.

2. The intended audience is stay at home moms. The acronym SHE (sidetracked home executive) is used through out to stand for the cluttered chaotic mom. A Payroll SHE is one who works outside of the home. Now, I am not saying that this site isn't useful for us single ladies*, but it would be nice if we were acknowledged a little more often. After all if I start now maybe I'll never become a SHE but an OTHE (On-track home executive - okay, I just made that up).

3. Overly Christian message. This would be great if I was a devout christian or if I did in fact believe (or could be convinced) that keeping a neat and clean home for kids and husband is a "blessing" on my family. An hour of cleaning is called "Home Blessing" on this website. It's a little to cutesy for me. Cleaning is cleaning and no amount of trite sayings is going make it a more favorable chore to do. I'm just sayin'.

4. Capitalism is alive and well even for a stay at home turned De-cluttering Guru. Everywhere you turn the Fly Lady is selling Fly Lady brand stuff. Don't want to make your own control journal with a notebook and pen? Buy one of hers. Don't have a rag or swiffer to dust with during your "home blessing"? Buy a Fly Lady Feather Duster. Decluttering and can't bother to write "trash, donate, sell" on a few boxes? Buy the Fly Lady Pop-up Hampers already convienently labeled. I could go on and on. Everywhere you turn books and items tailor made to make a SHE's life easier and more convienent are bieng sold. And not just for the SHE, but her kids and her husband. Of course, I'm not saying the lady can't make a buck on what may be a great system, but seriously, a feather duster? Go to the dollar store SHE, it'll be cheaper and way more convienent.

4.5. To go along with that one of the baby steps is to check Fly Lady messages every day. Sure it keeps you motivated, but it also keeps those ads fresh in your memory.

5. Enough with the kitchen sink already! I don't freakin' cook much and I never do dishes. I'm single I live on Panera and Diet Soda. See #2.

Okay... enough ripping on the Fly Lady. Here are the pros:

1. Baby steps. Yep, she breaks de-cluttering and the return of peace and calm to your home in a month of routine building baby steps. There is no step where you must devote hours to over hauling your home. Everything is done in easy to accomidate small chunks of time like 2, 5 or 15 minutes. The one con to the baby steps - most new habits are added to the morning routine, great for a stay at home SHE, not so great for us Payroll single SHEs. But, it's meant to be a personal routine so arranging your routines how they fit for you is encouraged.

2. Constant message of "you don't have to catch up. Just jump in where ever you are" and you don't have to do anything perfectly to be doing it right. I like this message, because it tells the audience that you do not have to go from Chaos to calm over night. It's a process and trying to be perfect the first or fiftieth time out is just going to lead to frustration. As long as it's better today than yesterday, then great that's an acheivement.

3. Some of the routines really do help and make sense regardless of who you are. I'm amazed at how something as simple as putting out my clothes for tomorrow really helps me be on time in the morning. And no, thinking about what you're going to wear (at least for me) does not work. Pulling it out of the closet and putting it on a hook really does make me think about - does this go, does it fit, does it have a stain, etc. that would cause me endless number of changes in the morning.

Okay, so, as I said I re-discovered the baby steps. Today is March 9th and I'm going to start with step 1 - shine my sink. It'll be the bathroom sink if you're wondering. That really does need to be cleaned.

*All the single ladies, put your hands up! You so know you got that song in your head, go head and bop around in your chair a little to it. You know you want to.