Working the Fly Lady Routine (and My Favorite Cleaning Supplies)


One thing I stick with pretty well is my cleaning routine. It does come more naturally to me because I like the house to be orderly all of the time, but I did have to implement a trackable routine to make certain I wasn't overlooking any areas or particular cleaning tasks. I settled on a modified Fly Lady routine, because it really works.

Fly Lady Routine

I like the routine because it encompasses the idea of the morning routine too, and getting yourself dressed each day. And if you've never been successful at creating a cleaning routine, let alone sticking with one, this is an excellent place to start because it really assumes you're starting from messy house ground zero.

The website is very overwhelming so I wouldn't be surprised if you think the system is too complicated. It's not though! Start instead with the Secret Slob's YouTube channel, she breaks it down a lot better for beginners. Try this video, and then the modification tips.

Essentially, there's two main parts to the system: the daily task and the zone cleaning. (The system is designed to be for 5 days a week, so I reference Monday through Friday but you can choose whatever days.) You spend 5 to 15 minutes a day on your daily task, and then 15 minutes on cleaning in a single zone in your home. So each day is no more than 30 minutes and your house remains in a clean state all the time! The exception is Monday (or your chosen day) when you spend one hour on a 'weekly home blessing.'

Daily Tasks (5-15 Minutes)


Monday - Weekly Home Blessing Hour, which includes washing the bedsheets and putting them back on the bed, taking out the trash and recycle, dusting, mopping, and vacuuming. I spend no more than 10 minutes on those last three tasks, because I do the deep cleaning version of them in the zone cleaning. I just need to stay on top of the main level each week because between me and Hawkeye, there's a lot of shedding happening!

Tuesday - Plan and Pay Day, where I pay bills, file any paperwork that came in the mail, arrange any necessary plans like doctor appointments, and meal plan.

Wednesday - Anti-Procrastination Day, where I pick a nagging task and just get it done. Sometimes I don't have anything, sometimes I'm finally fixing the loose doorknob or organizing the extension cords.

Thursday - Errands Day, which is when I grocery shop. I also try to schedule any other appointments and outings for this day, so I just get in the car one time and get it all done.

Friday - Car and Bag Day, which is exactly what it sounds like. Cleaning out my car and purse.


Zone Cleaning


I divided my home into 5 zones and I spend 1 week on each zone. Then start back all over again when it's done. Your zones will look different, but try to keep it to 4 or 5, otherwise you're going too long between cleanings in a room. Walk your house to make sure you don't forget any areas, and try to group things by similar cleaning tasks (all the bathrooms on one zone, for example.)

Family Zone - our living room, basement entertaining area, and the staircase.

Food Zone - kitchen and dining room.

Splash Zone - both bathrooms, the laundry room, and the weights area outside the laundry room.

Bedrooms Zone - our bedroom, the guest bedroom, and the treadmill room.

Welcome Home Zone - entry way, the sun room, and the front and back porches.

For each area, I made a list of all the tasks I want to get done. From vacuuming and wiping down mirrors to dusting blinds and baseboards. Every cleaning task I could think of to make the room perfectly clean. Outside of the major, once a year items like washing walls and ceilings and outside windows. Each day I grab my supplies, set the 15 minute timer, and work through the tasks in the designated zone until the timer goes off. I do that every day until the list is done. If I don't get through everything in the 5 allotted days, I start with the skipped tasks when I come back into that zone the next month, but that hasn't happened yet - I'm efficient and I don't have that much house!

My Favorite Products

Some of these links are to Grove, which is where I order most of my supplies from. They specialize in safer, environmentally-friendly, cruelty-free products, so I feel at ease with whatever I buy there. If you use this link, you get some sort of free gift.

Cleaning Caddy. There's a much bigger caddy that I store in the laundry room with even more supplies but I only use it on bathroom cleaning days when I need more tools. For all the other days, I keep this cute, small bucket from Grove under the kitchen sink. It holds my multi-surface spray and my glass cleaner (I talked about that here), along with two microfiber cloths.

Surface Spray. I absolutely love the Caldrea sprays, they smell so good and keep the room smelling nice all day. I swear the tangelo palm frond scent smells like Disney World. It's a real treat, which makes me want to use it. It's just pricey. But the Mrs. Meyers one is a great option too, for a lower price point.

Duster. Lambswool dusters are just so nice. They work better than anything else I've ever tried, and they're very easy to clean - I just go outside and shake it off and it's basically back to new. Can't do that with those swiffers, which are designed to be single use.

Vacuum. We have a (very expensive) Miele vacuum that I got from my mom. That thing's basically a shop vac. When it's a deep cleaning day, it's great, but it's just too much to pull out for quick jobs. For the more regular vacuum of the main level a couple times a week, I use this cordless version.


Do you follow a cleaning routine in your space? What's your favorite cleaning product?



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