Home keeping strategies: Flylady

I often spend time thinking about how I spend my time. I want to be quite intentional about my time use. And, occasionally, I think about how a woman of ages past might have gotten it all done. She didn’t have all the electronic gadgets I’ve got, like the washing machine and dryer, that save a great deal of time and effort. Add in electric lights and the internet, and I have both distractions and helps in way that she likely never even imagined.

And so I have pondered how life would be different if had to spend a whole day actually doing laundry. And grow *all* our fresh veggies. And sew *all* our clothes. I’m quite thankful I don’t have to do these things!
It has also gotten me thinking about how its likely any woman of earlier times worked on a seasonal basis. Spring and Summer were spend primarily in the garden, perhaps and sewing, knitting and the like focused on during those times when being outside wasn’t reasonable.
Of course, I’ve also given it thought about how my life should run. I realized that July, August and September are the times of the year that one *does not* want to be outside, but the rest of the year is fairly reasonable (except the occasional cold spell in January, February or March). With the right veggies, I could garden from late September to June. From late March to June and then late September to December are the garden intense months.
Feeding the family, obviously, can’t be done seasonally. Though perhaps I could plan to do the cooking heavy tasks at certain times. E.g. defrost the freezer, make freezer meals. Hmmmm…. lots of thoughts.
Sewing could be focused during those times when I just don’t want to go out, like July to September and January.
All of these thoughts lead to a project I have in mind. I am a connoisseur of home management/scheduling/organizing methods and I thought to go through all the various methods I’ve tried and what I thought of them.
First up… flylady.net!
I love flylady. Really. Even though I don’t currently use her system. I found flylady years and years ago, and thought “ugh, website too busy. not going to bother.” Then, only a few years ago, I found her again. Mom had died about 9 months before and I was ready to find help in the home management area (as in other than Mom). And I found flylady.
At the time, I needed flylady. When you sign up for her emails, you will get a lot. Most are reminders, many are testimonials, some are Marla’s own musings on life, the universe and everything. (well, not everything. or the universe. just life.) Her book, Sink Reflections, is basically a remedial study on organizing life. She makes no assumptions that you even know how to use a calendar. She preaches “Baby Steps” which is so important when trying to make changes.
After a time, I stopped getting the emails. Then I got them again. Then I got the daily digest. Now, I don’t get them any more. But my needs have changed.
Her instructions for creating a home management journal are great and I still use her format as the basis for the notebooks I put together. I am exploring a few new options, but they are all variations on a theme, really. I use her method for creating travel journals and any other I-need-to-keep-track-of-all-these-papers situations.
Flylady gave me the foundation of routines. Morning routine, evening/bedtime routine and afternoon routine. I see routines preached just about every where today, and I suspect that they have been the basic foundation of home keeping for a very long time. But some how I missed out on the idea of routines… until flylady.
I didn’t like get so many emails. At the time I was getting her emails (2007 through early 2010) there wasn’t really a way to get just the reminders and not the other emails (like testimonials and general life reflections). I needed those reminders. But I’m not good about just deleting an email I don’t need to read, so I spent a lot of time sorting through flylady emails. I suspect some of the logistics have changed… the internet has changed a fair bit. Blogs are a bigger deal now than in 2007. And flylady has been doing her thing since 1999; the internet has changed A LOT since 1999.
By 2010, I found I didn’t need the reminders. I was on my feet home keeping wise and I was ready to branch out.
She’s solid, she’s consistent. Flylady is a great place to start. And I LOVE the calendar. I still buy the calendar each year.