Every day when we start school, I read a chapter or two aloud to the kids. This is one of our favorite parts of the day. Usually we read through a children’s novel or a book of short stories.
A few weeks ago, we had finished our read-aloud and hadn’t yet been to the library to get another one. On a whim, and borne out of some frustration regarding the state of our house, I decided to read a chapter from my Kindle version of Sink Reflections
by Marla Cilley, known to most people as the FlyLady. (For those of you who are unaware of the FlyLady, she writes about how to get a home in order through simple routines.) Well, believe it or not, the book was a hit, and over the course of a couple of weeks, we read to the very end! The kids loved learning about Hot Spots (areas that tend to attract clutter), and we all did some 27-Fling Boogies (finding 27 things around the house or in a certain room to either throw away or give away).
I had actually met FlyLady a few weeks earlier at a homeschool convention. At the time, though, I just thought of her as a celebrity and had to admit to her that I was no longer on her e-mail list. My sink wasn’t even shining.
I had tried the FlyLady system before, along with that of her inspirations, the Sidetracked Home Executives. Each time, I crashed and burned, frustrated that I couldn’t seem to keep up or get my act together. I always gave up.
One Saturday, my husband blessed me incredibly by giving me an entire day to myself. So I went to Panera, got out my notebook and phone, and began to brainstorm. I had considered starting a new blog and pursuing some ideas I had, so I started writing down thoughts about those things. Then I started thinking about what we had read in FlyLady’s book, how I wanted things to change, and exploring some ways to make that happen. The result was a Laura-fied version of the FlyLady routines.
Yes, to me it is THAT exciting.
I realized that her house is different from mine, her family is different from mine, and her schedule was different from mine, so my plan would differ from hers. On the other hand, I liked the idea of her routines, and they were a great starting point for me.
One thing I learned from previous attempts: I didn’t want a physical Control Journal. They take up too much space (creating MORE visual clutter), I didn’t want to carry it around with me, and I got too caught up in creating it instead of using it. My phone is always with me and has access to information I use frequently, so I wanted to create a digital version. However, my phone can also be a distraction. Plus, I wanted something that would help my kids, too.
Enter Evernote and my wireless printer.
I got the idea from this post, but again, I Laura-fied it. I’ll skip the details about notebooks, stacks, etc. unless someone really wants to know. Suffice it to say, I created a Daily Routine checklist for myself, for my son, and for my daughter. Each morning, before I even get out of bed, I send a copy of each to the printer downstairs, so they’re waiting for us.
Simple, but effective. Believe it or not, the results have been HUGE.
I’ll share more specifics soon, so stay tuned.