Sunday, April 4, 2021

Zone Cleaning Revisited

I've been familiar with the Flylady System for many years, and I even really appreciate it, however for some reason it has never worked for me. I might stick with it for a while, but I find it difficult to personalize and maintain. 

A year or two ago I discovered The Secret Slob on YT. She used the Flylady System to get control of her house, but recently I learned she went a step further and personalized it in a way that seems to work a lot better. So what's the difference? 

The Flylady divides a house in to 5 Zones as follows:
Zone 1: Entrance / Front Porch / Dining Room ... this falls on the first few days of the month, through the first Saturday / the last day of the partial week that is usually at the beginning of each month. For example: The month of April in 2021 just started; April 1st was Thursday, and today is Saturday, so today would be the last day in "Zone 1".
Zone 2: Kitchen ... this is the first full week of each month. Tomorrow is Sunday, the first day of the first full week in April 2021; Zone 2 is from Sunday, April 4th, thru Saturday, April 10th.
Zone 3: Main Bedroom / Extra Bathroom ... this is the second full week of each month.
Zone 4: Master Bedroom / Master Bath / Master Closet ... this is the third full week of each month.
Zone 5: Living Room / Den / TV Room ... this is the last few days of each month, from Sunday until the last day of the month. In this case, Sunday, April 25, to Friday, April 30th. 

In our example, the month of May 2021 begins on a Saturday, leaving no room for Zone 1 ... so in the Flylady system, deep cleaning in Zone 1 is skipped, and the first full week of May 2021 begins Sunday, May 2nd. You can either ignore Zone 1 altogether, which means no deep cleaning in that Zone for a full two months, or you can try to cram it in elsewhere.

Now for the Secret Slob's alterations. First, personalize your zones. I can think of 5 "zones" for my house, and they go something like this: 1. Kitchen 2. Closets 3. Bathroom & Pantry 4. Bedroom / Living Room / Dining Room 5. Outside [front and back porches, and any animal or barn or shop or shed area] ... you might have more zones, or less zones, and you will definitely have different zones than I have listed!! Make it fit your needs, your house, your family, your lifestyle.

Once you have your zones established, think of what deep cleaning needs done in each zone. Make a list of all the deep cleaning (by zone, of course!), and print out the list ... or hand write ... whatever. [after you've been through it a few times you will probably add things, or need to rearrange ... tweak it to suite what works for you, and then make a pretty copy if you want] Now you are ready to ZONE LOOP. 

Regardless of what week of the month you are in, you start with Zone 1 and do that zone for the whole week. You will NOT get around to doing everything on the deep cleaning list for that zone, so just choose what is most pressing. Set aside a set amount of time each week to spend in that particular zone. She suggests only one hour of deep cleaning in each zone, each week, so you do not get overwhelmed ... if that's what you want to do, just pick a day each week that you will do your hour of deep cleaning. I personally would schedule 2 days, about an hour each time, but not doing the whole hour or even both days if it's not needed. CROSS OFF the deep cleaning you accomplished in that zone that week, and then move on to the next zone next week. 

Eventually you will LOOP BACK AROUND to Zone 1. Grab your list and see what did not get done the last time you were in that zone, and start with the most pressing things. And so on.

This seems so much more functional and practical to me!! Why? Let's say you have a rough week, or you go on vacation, or you have an unexpected event that comes up and you need to focus on it instead of your zone. Simply push that Zone to the next week, and keep going. Nothing is skipped like in the Flylady system ... it just gets pushed back one week. 

What do you think? 

Here's the video if you want to watch it: The Ultimate Guide to Zone Cleaning from The Secret Slob

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