Simplicity is…

…the ultimate sophistication.
– Leonardo DaVinci

For a brief, beautiful period, I had a clutter-free, well-organized home. I had quick routines that kept it that way. Mind you, it didn’t get that way overnight. After years of frustration with my man for having been brought up in an era that still believed in women’s work (at least he knows enough not to call it that), a friend recommended a website to me.

Flylady.org is part blog, part to-do list and part support group for hoarders. I am not a hoarder, but all the same, the clutter was getting to be a bit much. Seriously, when we first moved in, the couch stood on its end in the corner for more than a month before we unpacked enough boxes to set it on its feet.

The whole idea behind the Flylady approach is to systematically chip away at the mess instead of burning yourself out trying to do it all in a weekend. The main tenets are that you can do anything for 15 minutes, never take out more than you can put away in an hour and keep your kitchen sink cleared out and shining. Oh, and no whining allowed, particularly about other family members who weren’t helping. (Okay, that one was tough.) There are also pages of detailed instructions, schedules, tips and tools for sale.

Following the system and heeding the advice of the daily emails, I developed routines for decluttering, cleaning, tidying, cooking, shopping, paying bills – name something domestic and I was all over it. I was quite the chatelaine for about a year.

So, what happened?

A combination of changing work circumstances, the arrival of our son and diminishing time turned my clean, shiny house back into a lived-in home. It’s been worse, but it could be better.

The difference now, is that I’m not the only one beating back the mess. My man has been chipping in at mealtimes without being asked, and our son is now old enough to be responsible for his own stuff. But true teamwork doesn’t happen overnight, either. So, it’s time I just jumped in and got started – the boys will follow eventually.

First step? Run a vinegar-dampened cloth around the bathroom every morning. I used to do this daily and it’s almost magical how 2 minutes in the morning adds up to never having to actually scrub the bathroom with toxic chemicals.

So, this isn’t my most glamourous post, but this blog is about achieving SimpliCity. Nobody said it was going to be glamourous.

Flylady is still around. The website seems easier to navigate than when I was a subscriber and she really has a good system if you’re looking for a big change.

I’m always open to home organization and simple living tips. Drop me a note with your suggestions.

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