*** FREE copy of the 21 Baby Steps tracker here***
It was in one of those most disastrous seasons of my life, home with a toddler and a brand new baby, when I reached my breaking point. My current method of cleaning and organizing consisted of 1. Clean the house to an impeccable level, get all of my bills paid, organize everything a la Mari Kondo and then, 2. Burn out, neglect all areas of housework and slowly let the house fall into shambles again. It was totally unsustainable and my mental health was suffering from my perfectionist-driven all-or-nothing approach.
Then, I found the Flylady system. I saw what other people were able to accomplish in short amounts of time and how their houses were seemingly ‘self-cleaning’ and I wanted all in. In actuality, my mother recognized my complete lack of routine and introduced me to the Flylady system she was familiar with from the 90’s and its predecessor ‘The Sidetracked Home Executives’ before that. We watched a few youtube videos together from How Jen Does It, A Better Life with Flylady Kat and ultimately landed on Diane in Denmark. After originally attempting to implement the entire sytstem in one day and failing multiple times, I finally attempted the Flylady baby steps. Here is was – the entire system laid out in daily, bite-sized chunks – each adding a little bit more onto the last.
My multiple failures showed me that this was not a mountain to be conquered overnight, after all – as the Flylady Marla Cilley herself says, “Your house did not get messy in a day, its not going to get clean in a day either”. I have been through the Baby Steps as prescribed and after a year of practice, I pared them down to what I felt were the 21 ‘essential’ baby steps.
Here is my version of the Flylady Baby Steps. Download the FREE 21 Days to a Clean Home Printable here and follow along with me!
- Shine your sink
- Dress to shoes
- 2-minute hot spot
- Build a Control Journal
- Start a dishes routine
- Declutter every day
- Set out clothes for tomorrow
- Make the bed
- Digital declutter
- Complete the daily flylady mission
- Check your calendar for the next day
- Do one load of laundry every day
- Get to bed at a decent hour
- Swish the bathroom
- Set items out for tomorrow at your launch pad
- Plan for dinner
- Add an anti-procrastination day
- Car & Purse clean out
- Add a day to plan and pay bills
- Take time for self care
- Implement a weekly home blessing hour
As you go through these steps, focus on what works for you, and what doesn’t. Not everything will make sense for everyone and most things will need some adjustment to fit your life just perfectly. As your life changes, so will your routines, but, having the basics down and being used to getting up and starting the day with the same few habits will make a huge impact in your productivity and mood.
This journey is all about progress, I encourage you to go through the baby steps once and continue on your way. Attempting to do the 21 days perfectly over and over again is an act of needless futility. Learn the steps, figure out what works for you and get going each day with the goal of doing what you can with the time and energy you have. Even two years in, I rarely have a ‘perfect day’ – but I keep going and little by little the house gets clean, and stays clean.
If I can overcome my slobby ways, I know anyone can. You just have to start at day 1.
As always, I would love to hear about your progress with the baby steps, and how you are tweaking them to work for you!
Talk soon, be well.