2020 brought a lot of uncertainty along with a new role for me of Mom. While trying to navigate postpartum depression, being a new mom, and working from home, the actual upkeep of my house fell on the back burner. Furniture was moved as Wesley grew to better suit him while keeping him safe. Things piled up as requests for no toys were ignored for holidays and birthdays.
My depression and anxiety grew from the stress of wanting to clean but being so overwhelmed. I tried to declutter and became even more overwhelmed, and it eventually ended in me being more upset and frustrated than when I started. I turned to TikTok to help me find something that would finally work for my family and me. I found CleakTok and loved several DIY cleaning ingredients and schedules, but nothing really stuck.
Finally, I found a user who was using the Fly Lady cleaning method and after about a month or two of seeing her content constantly, I decided to give it a try. There was a free app that would help me keep cleaning in order and I could adjust as needed. There is also a website that has some blogs and more information to help you through your clean. The most important and helpful thing I learned was you can’t clean clutter. Clutter from the living room will be disbursed into other rooms and then there’s clutter there as well. Taking your cleaning at a 15-minute interval and working through that area with a definitive end was life-changing.
Some people choose to declutter and go through closets before starting the Fly Lady method to help the transition. I found that doing that just seemed like putting off the inevitable. The app has daily cleaning routines and breaks your house into zones that then have you focus there to ensure something isn’t missed or neglected.
Having a routine for the morning that’ll make the rest of my day easier just helps. I don’t feel like I am waking up in a panic to get different things done in a rush. I know that I set up things that needed to be done the night before and that I will be setting up things for the afternoon and evening.
Now, just because there is a foundation for me to get things done doesn’t mean that it happens. Sometimes I forget to move the laundry over or to scrub the toilet in the morning, especially when I’m out of my cleaner and forgot to get it the day before. But knowing that I have a schedule to follow even when life is chaotic helps calm my mind.
We are at the point where my son knows to grab the vacuum or broom if he sees me grabbing cleaning bottles. Or if he sees me filling the carpet cleaner reservoir he will go to the cleaner itself and try to pull it out. He has even gotten into the habit of picking up clothes if he sees them on the floor and trying to help me put clothes away if he sees me sitting in front of his dresser. While I may have adult issues and worries that push cleaning and organizing to the side, the Fly Lady method and app has helped me stay sane and has helped me to unknowingly teach my son how to not only help around the house but take care of his surroundings.