Flying Solo

I’ve been teaching my son to cook.  Tonight he made dinner by himself from a recipe, though he did have a bit of an issue with converting the rice recipe to more servings.

Still, the meal came out tasty.

But that’s not the story I wanted to tell.

See, I’ve been doing the Flylady system for awhile in my house.  Decluttering, Zone work, routines — all that smack.  It sounds goofy, but the house looks nice, so laugh all you want.

What’s even goofier is that I have a notebook for my household routines.  It’s a checklist of chores that need to happen every morning, early evening and before bed, as well as any zone work that needs to happen.  It’s a printout of a checklist in plastic sheet protectors, so I can just use dry-erase markers to check ’em off and wipe ’em off for the next day.  Laugh it up, but at least this means I get to detailed cleaning in each room.  I’m not naturally neat, and can ignore a pig sty for a long time (just ask my mother what it was like to raise me), so anything that works is really nothing short of a miracle.

I have it for myself, to keep me on track, but it’s on the counter in the kitchen because it also has the menu plan and the recipe book I’d written as a teaching tool for my son.

Tonight, the man of the house was cleaning up after dinner, and actually went through that checklist, sweeping the floor and things I don’t think are mentally part of washing the dishes in his eyes.

I hadn’t asked him to.  In fact, I’d assumed he hadn’t, didn’t look and just went to sweep the floor when he asked me if I’d looked at the checklist.  Since I do have the notebook mostly as a self-reminder, I didn’t give it a lot of thought.  Most of the kitchen cleanup had been done.  I just made coffee for tomorrow.

No, I don’t think a control journal (that’s what Flylady calls the household notebook), is going to make the household magic, and everyone will decide to be as concerned with keeping the house clean as the DCF.  It won’t.

And it doesn’t need to.

What is cool about it for my household is that it gives clear and rather impersonal guidelines for keeping the house clean and picked up.  Instead of a person constantly reminding, there’s this list that stays there all the time. Yeah, I know I wrote it.  That’s not the point.  It’s that what needs to be done and what gets done become impersonally clear at all times.

Now I’m lucky.  I live in a household of people that like to contribute.  I can’t imagine that if it were a household where people were upset with each other and didn’t mutually care about the condition of the home, nor mutually contributing to the pleasantness of the household that a control journal would do a damn bit of good.  So no, it’s not the magic a lot of Flylady testimonials like to put out there.

But it is a good tool.

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