Saturday, August 25, 2018

Using a Homemaker Coach

Hello Dear Ones,

Since I'm still putting things back together after the big Summer Garden Tea, I was reminded to tell you about getting a homemaker coach. This is helpful if you are overwhelmed and unable to pull yourself out after an event, travel, family emergency, or years of letting things go, accumulation, etc.

I think laundry rooms, kitchens and bathrooms are the most used rooms and therefore the most time consuming to get back in order.

You probably remember SHE, for Sidetracked Home Executives. I first saw them on a morning television show for women back in the early 1970's and bought their book, which explained how to make sense of housekeeping and how to keep from being sidetracked.  In those days they recommended using a card file to keep track of the upcoming jobs.

You can get good coaching just by reading the Flylady site.  

They had a policy of beginning the cleaning day at the front door and working clockwise around the house, saving the kitchen until last, with the reasoning that it would be hard to get out of the kitchen because when it was clean it would be time to prepare a meal, and then it would become harder to move on.

They also taught two important principles: clean as you go, and pick it up, don't pass it up.  This is so helpful because you never have to save a room for a cleaning day, and when the day comes to clean that room, it is not a grueling, exhausting task.

However the new SHE , which is now called Fly Lady, has really researched and experimented with things that work better, and she suggests cleaning the kitchen first, because it makes you feel better, and it gives you more motivation and enthusiasm for other parts of the house.

I tried this and I agree.

Although I really want the room nearest the front door to be in order, if I begin on that first,  I tend to lose my enthusiasm for the kitchen.  The kitchen is the hardest to clean, so getting it finished first is a real plus for me.

You can read about the housekeeping routines at and go through her site to get some ideas of how to organize your housekeeping. You can print out a lot of things and put them in a notebook to help you along.

Reading the routines will help you get started, and later you might not need the coaching. But I think it will bring back enthusiasm for being on top of things.

You don't have to join the free email but if you do, remember to just keep the ones that are the kind of information you want. She sells a lot of cleaning products and you may not be interested in those emails.  You can delete them and keep the ones that come on Mondays.

She uses the old fashioned way of appointing a day of the  week for a certain task, and that makes it, (if you can imagine) very enjoyable. And we do not want to be miserable, do we. Perhaps there really was a point in those old embroideried dish towels.
Days of the week dish towels from Victorian Trading Co.

By the way, there was some discussion on a former post about how to keep dish towels from smelling so bad, even after they are washed.

The key is to have some towels that are set aside ONLY for drying freshly washed dishes, and bar-towels purchased specifically for wiping up spills and water, etc.  Wiping the stove and fridge, and other things (even the floor) is where that awful smell is coming from. All that oil, dirt, and food will eventually cling to towels and not come completely out when washed. So use a special set for drying dishes, and another kind of towel for drying hands! That is the way we always did it "in the old days" but somehow have strayed from it.

I like the gentle approach of flylady and I also like that she provides coaches online (for a price). Although I have not used them, I have been greatly encouraged by other people who follow flylady and are getting their houses decluttered and clean.

Having a clean and organized house does something good for your mind, too. You think more clearly and feel more stable, less depressed. If you can get organized it will reduce your stress when you suddenly have to go on a trip or accommodate guests or attend some other problem.  I would like to encourage you to at least go to flylady online and read through it to get an idea of what can be done.  I'm glad they do not use the card files anymore, and I like the new system.  It is adjustable according to your needs. For example, I got ahead of her schedule a couple of times so that when the notice came in the email to clean a certain room, I was able to do something extra that I needed to do.

So this is my message today. Cleaning house helps your mental stability and even makes you feel better physically. You'll not want to eat and be comforted by some fattening food, and you'll feel young and hopeful. You will find your countenance changes.

I'm sure you remember the story Christ told of the parable of the lost coin, where a woman swept her floor until she found it. You might also find some things when you begin to clean.  

My reasons for trying  to get my house in order are these:

I want to live in the present and have a bright, new looking home, as though I had moved.

I do not want to make it difficult for others if they have to come and help me some day. 

I do not want to always be shifting "things" around, so I want to analyze what is costing me more work time.

I use some essential oils and waters when cleaning, but what really helps is paying attention to window sills, picture frames, the deep corners of bookshelves, and places that sit and collect a stale smell.  I recently cleaned out my china cabinet and found dust in the drawers that I am sure had been there ____years (I wont say) and I come away smiling after cleaning out these things, instead of feeling angry that  housework is controlling me.  

Houses do not break down as easily  and need less repair when they are kept clean. 

I want the house to smell nice, so I can't have things sitting in dark recesses of shelves for years and years.

I want to be able to breathe better and be healthier, and a clean home certainly aids in that.

I also want to be able to have people over at a moment's notice without panic and without too much stress cleaning. 

I want to be able to find things in the day or night. 

There is more time to minister to my family and others when there is less housework, and there is less housework when there are not so many objects to shift around, dust, clean. 

I used to feel quite critical of the older people who had collected so much in their houses, and I wondered how that could happen, since they did not have family living with them. That is, until it happened to me!  Things just got stuck in time, like the bookshelf that stopped being used in 1992 when school was over, and the set of dishes that served 16 people and were never used after 2002.  You really do not notice it and you really do not intend for things to accumulate, gather dust and grime, and take up space.  I inherited a bookshelf with two drawers from my husband's parents, and I remember how those two drawers were so cluttered and my MIL could hardly get them shut . I cleaned them out for her several times, and now, I am at that same stage in life. How in the world does that happen?  I can see how hard it was for her to manage those two drawers full of pens and rulers and tape because now it has come upon me!

What are your reasons for wanting a clean house? Please leave me a comment.


Barb said...

Hello Lydia, I agree with your comments about Flylady, I also find much helpful information on the website. My reasons for wanting to 'get organised' are: 1. We have a small home and not much storage so I need to organise our things and move unused items on. 2. I feel overwhelmed when I am surrounded by clutter and confusion. 3. I like a simple, clean and fresh home. Thank you for your thoughts on this topic.

Regina said...

I use Flylady. I feel so much better when the house isn't full of clutter. Since I started using her method I feel better about having guests over. At my old house I never had guests over because I had a severe case of C.H.A.O.S as Flylady calls it. Can't Have Anybody Over Syndrome. It was really sad because I missed out on so many blessings because of it.

Christine said...

I read the Sidetracked Home Executives book years ago! I even passed my cards down to my daughter ( she requested them).