coraa: (bookses)
Yesterday we had fajitas! They were delicious. Thank you to everyone who voted in the poll.

Today's question:

Right now, I have bookshelves that are not organized in any way. This is somewhat unfortunate when I am trying to find books.

I know what organization scheme I want: fiction separated from nonfiction, fiction sorted by author and then by series and then by title, nonfiction separated by subject and then by author. Graphic novels, manga, and RPG sourcebooks in their own section, sorted by type and then by series and then in internal ordering. Anthologies in their own sections, sorted by genre and then editor. Cookbooks are already in their own section, but need to be sorted by genre and then by author. I am undecided on whether artbooks will go in their own section or in the art section of nonfiction.

What I'm trying to figure out is:

- Is there any way to achieve this system of organization without pulling every book I own off the shelves and onto the floor, and then sorting them? I fear for what will happen if I pull every book off the shelves and stack them up on the floor. (I suspect not, but hope springs eternal.)

- Assuming I must pull everything off the shelves to do the sorting: do you have any recommendation for how to do this in the way that is most efficient/least likely to leave me with stacks of books all over my floor for the next six months?

(I also hope to catalog them in Goodreads, but that is going to necessarily happen after, not before, the physical sorting and organization.)

Thank you. :D
coraa: (abyss cookies)
Last post! (For reference, the prior installments are: Part One: Caveats and Things You Can Ignore, Part Two: Things I Actually Do Use, Part Three: Things That Are Infuriating, and Part Four: Routines.) This is how I do 'zone cleaning,' which is the way you work your way around the house at 15 minutes a day, and hopefully reduce the need for cleaning sprees/spring cleaning in the process.

Zones are tied to weeks -- each week in a month has its own zone. This means that the first and last weeks of a month are often short weeks -- howevermany days there are between the first of the month and the first Saturday of the month, or the last Sunday of the month and the 30th/31st. That's fine. It just means you shuffle areas that need less attention to those days.

The official FlyLady breakdown goes like this:

Zone 1: Entrance/front porch/dining room
Zone 2: Kitchen/ back porch/laundry room/pantry
Zone 3: Main bathroom/extra bedroom/ kid's rooms/ craft room
Zone 4: Master bedroom/bath/closet
Zone 5: Living room/den/TV room

This list works great for some kinds of houses; it doesn't work so great for mine. For one thing, with a three-floor townhouse it makes a lot more sense to stay on one floor at time per zone. For another thing, the dining room isn't actually a separate room from the living room, and treating it like it is doesn't make much sense. For a third thing, the master bedroom doesn't need all that much maintenance, so giving it a full week and giving the living room a half-week doesn't fit. So, naturally, I just rearranged the weeks to my liking:

Zone 1: Entrance (including front closet)/front porch/garage
Zone 2: Kitchen/refrigerator/pantry
Zone 3: Living room/dining room/second-floor hallways
Zone 4: Office (including closet)/laundry room/bathrooms/third-floor hallways
Zone 5: Master bedroom (including closet)

The other thing you'll note is that chores that come up on the daily or weekly routines don't come up here. I roomba the bedroom as part of the weekly routine, so I don't have it on this list. I declutter as part of the weekly routine, so I don't have it on the list.

So how do I use these lists? Well, every day I have a fifteen-minute 'zone cleaning' slot (for me, it's right after work). At that point, I flip the Control Journal open to my current zone and look at the zone cleaning list there, then set a timer for 15 minutes. I pick a task and do it until I'm done with it, or until the timer has gone off. (If the timer goes off mid-task, I just put away my cleaning materials and stop then.) When I'm done, I cross the task off the list. If the timer has not yet gone off, I pick another task and keep working until it does. Many tasks take less than a minute, so I can often zip through a big chunk of the cleaning list in one go. The next day, when I'm in the zone cleaning time again, I pick an un-crossed-off task and keep going. I probably won't get through all of the cleaning tasks for an area in a week... but I will get through a lot of them, and over the course of a couple of months I'll eventually hit everything. If I run out of tasks before I run out of week, then yay, I get extra free time the remaining days of that week.

A side note on decluttering: if a room is really cluttered, the general recommendation is that you should just spend your 15 minutes of zone cleaning every day decluttering that room (when you're in its zone, I mean) until it's less clutterful. This is because it is hard to, e.g., vacuum a floor that is covered in stuff, or dust a table that is covered in stuff. For me, a hybrid approach works best: the kitchen is largely decluttered, so I do ordinary 'zone cleaning' in it every day. The office, however, is still only half-decluttered, so I alternate: one day I declutter, the next day I do cleaning. Back when the office was thoroughly cluttered (in that way where I couldn't see the floor), there was no point trying to clean around the stuff, so I decluttered every day. Your mileage, as always, may vary.

On to the individual zones. Remember: you can rearrange these however you like! If you have no laundry room, for instance, by all means spend that time somewhere else. If your master bedroom does need a full week, give it one, and stick something else in the half-week spot. Etc. Similarly, if you go 'wtf is with wiping down the front door? who cares if the front door is dusty?', then, well, don't put it on your list! Simple.

Zone One )

Zone Two )

Zone Three )

Zone Four )

Zone Five )

And that's it. Every day I do a morning and evening routine, fifteen minutes of day-of-the-week routine, and fifteen minutes of zone cleaning or decluttering. It... does not result in an immaculate house! But it results in a much better house than I would otherwise have.

If you have any other questions about how I do it, let me know.
coraa: (abyss cookies)
Since some people have asked, I'm typing up my routines, along with commentary. I hope they're useful. They will almost certainly only be useful with modification, so please, modify away. It's just one idea of how you might set up your Control Journal.

(As before, this will probably make more sense if you read the prior posts first. See Part One: Caveats and Things You Can Ignore, Part Two: Things I Actually Do Use, and Part Three: Things That Are Infuriating.)

My Daily Routines )

My Weekly Routines )

Zone cleaning plans will follow either tonight or tomorrow, depending on my level of energy. ;)
coraa: (abyss cookies)
(This post will probably not make a ton of sense if you haven't seen the prior "Cora Interprets FlyLady So You Don't Have To" posts, so here are direct links: Part One: Caveats and Things You Can Ignore, and Part Two: Things I Actually Do Use.)

I've had a couple of requests to see my routines and zone cleaning schedule, so I will provide that this afternoon sometime, when I get a chance to type it up after work.

But this post is for a topic that [personal profile] jonquil reminded me of, which is this: some of the things on the FlyLady site are not just aesthetically not to my taste or weirdly dogmatic about shoes, they're actually offensive. And while I wanted to keep the rant out of the 'here's what has helped me' posts, it would probably be a good idea to acknowledge that and warn you about the offensive stuff as well -- and tell you how I circumvented it.

After the rant-y bit, I'm adding additional notes on things I did to reduce or remove the objectionable biases from the method for my own use. I'll cut that separately so you can jump straight there if you want to avoid the politics and anger. ;)

This is not to say "you shouldn't use the system." I do, after all, since I think it's entirely possible to strip out the objectionable stuff and end up with a bare-bones system that doesn't make offensive assumptions. It is to say "you should maybe be careful on the website, and be aware of these things beforehand." If you want to avoid the website entirely, part of the reason that I laid out what I do use so, uh, verbosely is that ideally, you could use the stripped-down version of the method without going to the site, getting the e-mails, or otherwise subjecting yourself to the offensive stuff. So you can always save yourself some blood pressure by just avoiding it entirely. (That is, in fact, part of why I titled these posts "Cora Interprets FlyLady So You Don't Have To.")

Things That Are Objectionable That You Might Want To Be Aware Of )

How To Exorcise The Bad Stuff Without Losing Your Mind )

And that's it. Some things on the site are really maddening, problematic, and/or offensive, but they're not integral to the system, so I gleefully cut them out and consign them to the outer darkness. And the stripped-down version is simple enough that you don't even have to give site hits if you don't want to.

Okay, lunch break over. I'll post the routines and the zone cleaning stuff this evening. And anything else you think might be helpful, let me know.
coraa: (abyss cookies)
So, having jettisoned all the stuff that doesn't work for me (see Part One: Things You Can Safely Ignore), what's left? (Note: You probably want to go read that one first, since it has important introductory information -- if nothing else, it will explain to you why I don't need you to enumerate why you don't want to use this system. ;) )

Basically, I use three parts of the FlyLady method: the Control Journal (which in turn is made up of sets of routines), Zone Cleaning, and the 15 Minutes Won't Kill You principle. Plus some miscellanea.

None of this is rocket science, and in fact many of you have probably independently invented a lot of these tips. But, as before, it's a set of systems that works for me, so.

Details behind the cut. )

And that's it. If anyone is curious as to what's on my personal routines/zone cleaning schedules/etc, I'd be happy to share that.
coraa: (abyss cookies)
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.)

Stuff You Can Safely Ignore )

Next up: having ditched all of that, what do I use, and how? Onward to Part Two: What I Do Use.
coraa: (hawkeye you have issues)
I am kind of embarrassed to admit that the Flylady method of housekeeping actually, apparently, works for me. Embarrassed because it is possibly the least cool thing in the history of ever -- I mean, when you follow a system designed for and by middle-aged Christian stay-at-home moms, complete with twee inspirational messages and purple fairies on everything, you pretty much lose all claim to being hip. (Granted, I already have pretty much forfeited claims of being hip, what with, e.g., my tendency to go to bed by 11pm, but there you go.)

That being said, I feel much more satisfied with my "Control Journal" (basically, the list of housekeeping routines, shopping lists, etc., stored in a three-ring binder) now that I've replaced the cheery house-fairy image on the front with a picture of Riza Hawkeye and Roy Mustang (from Fullmetal Alchemist), and added another picture of Celes Chere and Locke Cole (from Final Fantasy 6) to the back. I may need a cute binder of housekeeping routines to keep the house in some semblance of order, but I can at least have asskicking women and the men who love them on it, dagnabbit.

(I may post more about my trial and error with the Flylady method, and how I've tweaked it for my own, non-mom, day-job-working, no-shoes-in-the-house, non-conservative-Christian self, later.)


coraa: (Default)

April 2013

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