Wednesday, December 17, 2008


The Fly Lady says that when you feel overwhelmed by the mess in your house, clean the sink. Monday night, after spinning my wheels on the computer all morning, then taking two hours to get out the door to go to town for bagels and the library and while there spontaneously taking the twins to a salon for emergency haircuts to try and repair the hack jobs they gave themselves/each other (when I got home C said, "that's a professional haircut?" which I guess I should take as a compliment of my own haircutting skills, but I don't know...), then doing damage control after M got off the bus and found the mess his brothers made of his stuff while I was on the computer, and then finally having a slightly more productive afternoon while they went rock-hounding outside and watched TV (my personal savior this Christmas is the library's vast Peep & Quack DVD collection)....after all that, and a dinner of bagel melts and leftover Thai food, I surveyed my ransacked house and felt despair. So I washed the sink.

I followed the Fly Lady's technique, only substituting vinegar for the bleach, Bon Ami for the Comet, and vinegar and water for the know, just to avoid deadly chlorine gas when the ammonia and bleach react with each other. And my sink GLEAMED. So what if the floor looks like a family of giant hampsters lives here (what's up with three year olds and cutting up paper?)? So what if the bathroom smells like pee? So what if we haven't folded laundry in a fortnight? So what if I have to avert my eyes from the bathroom sink? My kitchen sink is SHINY!

I would have taken a picture, but it was night and the light was poor, and C filled it with dishes almost immediately (but he did vacuum the hampster cage, er, living room while I went to the co-op).

I can't really bring myself to follow the rest of the Fly Lady's program. The task for the second day is to keep your sink shiny and get dressed. I can't imagine being in such despair (or having the leisure) to not get dressed (barring occassional wearing jammies while I clean the house all morning days). I skipped ahead a few days and found the task of tackling a "hot spot" for five minutes, but everywhere I look there are hotspots (bedroom chair, kitchen table, kitchen counters, bathroom counters, washing machine top, kid's art table, sewing table, hutch, mudroom dresser, entire basement) and I get overwhelmed, which only leads to washing the sink again.


  1. While I am drowning in messiness and totally see her value...FlyLady scares me. Lots. And I start to not see her value when she starts tying all this stuff up with self worth...

  2. Just saw on PBS the start of the Secret guy's pep talk. He's the one who says you can "attract" stuff and jobs and people. It's pretty icky.

    He did say something vaguely useful though. I took his advice to write an "Irritation List," a list of the stuff that is tilted, vaguely broken--but not broken enough to actually fix, and undone.

    Sadly, my list starts as I drive in the yard and reaches a shrieking climax in my own cluttered, disorganized bedroom.

    Nevertheless, the list did give me the focus to clean the refrigerator and half the kitchen counters. (Oddly I had cleaned scrubbed the sink within an inch of it's life on Sunday.) Maybe if I can tackle some of the low hanging fruit, I'll enlist some help for the tougher jobs.

    Though I am not Martha Stewart, I would be pleased to trade these skills with friends. I always prefer organizing and cleaning other people's stuff over my own.

  3. Our apartment is so overwhelmingly messy at the moment, I just am waiting for the cleaning lady to come and clear out. Oh, that's right-- we don't have a cleaning lady.

    I am all about vacuuming when I can't stand the chaos and crap. I can't even bring myself to click on the FlyLady link-- I already feel overwhelmed with lists.


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