coraa: (abyss cookies)
[personal profile] coraa
Since a few people have asked!

First things first.

* I feel no desire to proselytize the system. If you have a housekeeping system that works for you, or can keep your home clean with no system at all, I am very glad for you and am not trying to get you to switch. If you don't have a system but don't want this one either, or if you are perfectly happy living in cluttery environs, that's fine too. This is just for people who have expressed interest in how I adapted this particular system, because it works for me personally. You don't need to explain to me why you don't want to use it. (And, in fact, if your comment is going to boil down to 'this is not useful for me and/or stupid and/or pathetic,' plz do not make the comment, ok? I'm pretty insecure about my housekeeping as it is.)

* Yes, the e-mails are twee, the website is ugly, the aesthetic is not cool at all. This is all true. It's also such an easy target for mockery that I really don't feel compelled to spend much time on that aspect of it. (Fish, barrel.) If you can't get past that, this is probably also not for you. (That said, you can pretty easily strip the plan down to its bare-bones and then 'reskin' it with an aesthetic that makes you smile, if pink and purple doesn't do it for you. My control journal has anime characters and snarky commentary. The principles work just fine in that context, too.)

* This system has made me a considerably, noticeably better housekeeper than before, and has made me more chill about it, too. That said, it still hasn't made me a great housekeeper, as those of you who've seen my place can attest. ;) The place is still often in disarray. So I am not trying to set myself up as an expert, just describing something that Worked For Me. I hope it's useful for somebody, but it won't be useful for everybody.

Okay, that out of the way!

The first thing that's important when tweaking FlyLady is to get rid of the elements of it that don't work for you. There will probably be a lot of them. They might not overlap entirely with me, but here's what I ditched, and why, and why you may or may not want to ditch it yourself. (The FlyLady is pretty vocal about some of these being Vital! I suspect they were vital for her, and that's why she thinks they're the most important things. They aren't vital for me. You can ignore the 'you must' statements on the website. In fact, if you're snarky like me, you may get a certain amount of pleasure out of ignoring them.)

(You actually don't have to go to the website unless you want to -- I'm going to try to outline what I use in the next post sufficiently that you could just use that -- but if you do, this is what you can/should ignore.)



The e-mails. No, really; you don't need to subscribe to the e-mail list at all to make the system work. You can probably do it entirely from my posts; you can certainly do it just from my posts and the website.

I do subscribe to the e-mails, but I do it with a lot of filtering. The "Flight Plan," which includes the daily zone mission (I'll get to what that is later) is useful for me, so I have that filtered to a particular folder. Pretty much everything else gets dumped in Trash. This means that I don't see childrearing techniques, religious messages, testimonials, or ads for stuff in the FlyShop. It's all distracting, irrelevant, and clutters up my inbox, so out it goes. If I didn't find the missions useful, I could unsubscribe entirely.

The 'dressed to shoes' thing. This is a point that's made very strongly in e-mails and on the website, that at the beginning of your day you must get dressed, including fixing your hair and face, and put on shoes. This does seem to make a difference for a lot of people -- there are a ton of testimonials to that effect -- but I actually tried it and it made no difference to me except that I spent my days annoyed because I had my shoes on. So I dumped the rule. I do get dressed all the way before I start chores, but then, I always did do that; if you're happy sweeping the floor in your nightshirt, I really don't see it makes a difference. Dress how you want. It won't hurt anything.

(I suspect the reason that this is so popular is that there are a lot of people who feel unmotivated if they schlep around in pajamas or sweats all day. If you are one of those people, by all means, try getting dressed all the way first; it might help you. But if you're not, or if you don't notice a difference, eh. Ditch it.)

The obsession with the shiny sink. This is the other obvious and a bit weird things that gets a lot of airtime on the FlyLady site -- she thinks that the very first thing you should do when you start the system, and then the very first thing you should do every day, is clear your sink out, clean it thoroughly, and make it nice and shiny. The principle here makes it a bit less weird: having one thing that you make sure is nice and shiny-clean all the time is a bit of a morale boost if you feel like you're neck-deep in clutter. But frankly, I don't see any reason why it has to be your sink. Doing the dishes is not my job, so I focused on keeping my kitchen counters clear and neat instead of keeping the sink shiny: it has the same benefit that, no matter how behind I am elsewhere, there's at least something I'm on top of. You could replace it with cleaning your desk, or clearing the ktichen table, or... whatever. Or, again, if you don't get a morale boost from an early, relatively easy 'victory,' you could ditch it entirely.

The FlyShop. There is a merchandise-and-tools section of the website. Ignore it. You don't need any of those tools, and in fact getting hung up on buying things is probably only going to be distracting. (In all fairness, I have bought some of the tools, and in general I have found them to be sturdy and of good quality. But they're not necessary, and they're distracting. Unless you are really in need of a new broom or whatever, just leave the whole section of the site alone.)

Other things... I have completely ignored all the parts of the website having to do with meal planning, financial preparedness, health and wellness, and so on and so forth. I just use the system for housekeeping. The rest is distracting. If you happen to like it, fine; if not, you can just skip those whole sections.

Anything else that doesn't fit with the way you work/think. Things that I put in the 'things that are useful for me' section might not be useful for you. You can axe those, too. Just use what works for you.

Next up: having ditched all of that, what do I use, and how? Onward to Part Two: What I Do Use.

Date: 2009-06-24 02:49 pm (UTC)
jonquil: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jonquil
(A) you are being smart and useful and thank you.

(B) THE FREAKING SEX ROLES. The whole system is IMBUED with "This is the woman's job". She never, ever considers that, for instance, the guy might do the cooking, that the kitchen might be the guy's domain. It's all so 1950s (or, rather, so modern far-right Christianity) that I could SCREAM.

Date: 2009-06-28 03:56 am (UTC)
aquaeri: A globe with "Not enough WTF" over it (WTF)
From: [personal profile] aquaeri
I've always run away screaming from every brief encounter with the flylady, so I didn't even know about the right-wing Christianity. Thank you for this valuable service - I'm pretty sure reading your posts will give me everything useful to me from the system (sink??? shoes??? I had those moments already)

Date: 2009-06-24 04:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] catbird.livejournal.com
The website is actually _MUCH_ improved since I originally joined. Kind of painful to think about what it was back in the day. I'm glad you've found something that works!

Date: 2009-06-24 04:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] coraa.livejournal.com
Ha, yes. And there are actually significantly fewer emails than there used to be. There are just... still a lot of emails.

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