In this post, I'll share with you my Flylady Home Control Journal and FREE printables you can have to make your own binder as well. The FlyLady system is what I've been using to declutter my home and mind, keep my home cleaned regularly, and take care of myself! I think every homemaker can benefit from the Flylady system.
What is the FlyLady System?
To put it very simply it's a system to help you manage your home and life to reduce stress and chaos. It is a way of life! It helps you to be able to:
- Clean your home systematically, consistently and easily.
- Reduce mental clutter and stress by giving you a plan and a focus.
- Declutter your home by creating a habit of decluttering and organizing.
- Anchor your life with routines and healthy habits so you can be the homemaker and mother you truly want to be.
It's all based on the book by Marla Cilley, Sink Reflections, which I highly recommend buying to get a complete, in-depth overview of the system. It was an easy and enjoyable read for me. I teared up quite a few times while reading it because she truly understands what it's like to manage a home while being a mom. She speaks to our spirits, to our struggles, and offers easy and simple solutions to make our lives much better! She also has a website, FlyLady.net, if you'd like to check that out.
What's a FlyLady Home Control Journal?
A FlyLady Home Control Journal, or Home Management binder as I like to call it, is your home management hub. It helps to keep your life organized and your mind decluttered. It gives you a way to organize your routines, to-do lists, menu plan, cleaning routines and so much more!
Free FlyLady Home Control Journal Printable!
I'm providing my home journal printables for you for FREE if you join my email list at the bottom of this post! I'll send you one motivational and encouraging email a week.
Customize It to Fit YOUR Home and Lifestyle
Now my printables are very bare bones – just the basics. And I do that on purpose so you can customize your journal to fit your house and lifestyle. All of our control journals will be different. So these printables will give you a starting point so you don't have to create it from scratch.
Keep It Simple – This is Not About Perfection
The idea here, and Marla writes about this in her book, is not to have a perfect journal but to have a starting place, a launch pad to keep you organized and support your journey to improving your life. The FlyLady home control journal helps to reduce stress and mental clutter by having everything written down (or typed out) so you don't have to remember everything. I don't know about you, but I often forget what I walked into a room for, let alone, a whole weekly menu plan, cleaning routine, and to-list!
Now if you aren't into my style or design, just create your own home journal by typing it up in a word processing program or even start by just writing it down on blank sheets of paper!
It's a Living, Breathing Document
The Flylady home control journal will change with you as your life changes. While your kids are young your life will be different than when they're teenagers, or when they leave home. This will also depend on whether or not you have children, or if you work inside or outside of the home.
If you move house, then your routines and zone cleaning may change as you might have different rooms than before. So that's why I keep my journal typed up in a word processing program and can change it at anytime and print out new sheets.
Ready for the journal? Let's go!
FlyLady Home Control Journal – Home Management Binder
Cilley suggests using what you already have in your home. For me, I only had one extra 3-ring binder. I had to buy the rest, but the supplies were all under $10 each, so it wasn't expensive.
The basic supplies you'll need in your FlyLady home control journal are:
- One 3-ring binder (at least 1 inch thick)
- A pencil pocket in the binder
- Dry Erase Markers
- Plastic sheet protectors (at least 10, glossy), or a personal laminator
- Optional – binder dividers
- Paper (any kind you have will do)
Cilley suggests that you start with what you already have in your home, which I think is great advice. For most of us, we have a spare or old three-ring binder lying around somewhere. Grab that to start! If you don't have any, I suggest buying a binder you really like, that makes you smile. This will make it more likely for you to pick up and actually USE your binder. Here's one from Vera Bradley on Amazon that comes with dividers and is SO pretty!
The one I currently have is a one-inch, white binder with a clear window on the front and back (click here to see it). Very inexpensive and useful!
If you're like me and love to have a pretty cover, you could make your own or take the one I have in the free printable (sign up below to get it). Of course, it isn't necessary at all to get started with this system if you've not got a cover yet. This is only for aesthetics!
Marker and Pencil Holder
You're going to need a place to hold pen or pencil, and dry erase markers, so I suggest a pencil pocket for a three-ring binder, like the teal one you see in my pictures (get it here). I don't know about you, but if I don't have writing utensils in the binder itself, I will spend time looking for them, only to have found the kids have taken off with my favorite pen or markers to their rooms! A pencil pocket will save me a lot of time and headaches.
Dry Erase Markers
You'll be marking off your lists with dry erase markers. If you don't already some some and need to buy them, I suggest getting ones that have erasers on the ends of them. The ones I got from Amazon have little erasers AND a magnet on them for putting on the fridge!
Plastic Sheet Protectors
You'll be keeping your menu plan, routines, zone cleaning lists in plastic sheet protectors so you can cross them off with your dry erase markers each week or month. If you've already got a personal laminator, you could use that instead but you'll need a three-hole puncher to put it in your Flylady home control journal.
This is the first page in my journal since it's how I start my day. I have a morning, afternoon and evening routines typed out and I'm still adding to them as I go. To see a detailed post of how I've created daily routines in my household, click here.
Cilley says out of all of the routines in her system, the morning and evening routines are the most important parts of your day. Why? They act as anchors to the day. If you're going through a chaotic or stressful time like a move, or a death or illness in the family, most of your home managing might be difficult to accomplish for a short time, and that's okay! She says stay focused on your morning and evening routines and you'll feel more peace and order.
Here are my daily routines. You can use mine as a starting point and then customize it to fit your life! It's fun to check off my lists everyday.
- Make bed
- Get dressed to shoes
- Fix hair
- Do makeup
- Start a load of laundry
- Empty dishwasher or start dishwasher
- Make coffee and eat breakfast
- Help kids do homework, pick up for game time
- Exercise – 30 minutes
- Dinner prep – look at menu plan, start defrosting meat
- Put clothes in dryer or fold
- Take bath, brush teeth, apply moisturizer
- Look at weather for tomorrow, pick out outfit
- Start diffuser
- Netflix or read
This is a concept I had never done in my life until now, and I was missing out! Cilley has a list of ideas to have as your daily focus and they are (copy and paste these into your journal if you like):
- Monday – Weekly Home Blessing Hour (clean high traffic areas for one hour)
- Tuesday – Plan and Play Day – do weekly menu planning, grocery list, look at calendar and weather, look at upcoming birthdays, holidays, etc, and plan for them, etc.
- Wednesday – Anti-Procrastination Day – schedule or do one thing you've been putting off
- Thursday – Errand Day – this is your main day for running errands
- Friday – Clean car, purse and book bags, date night
- Saturday – Family fun day
- Sunday – Renew your spirit day
So I rearranged some of the days to work better for me. All my kids are in school on Mondays so I do my planning on Mondays. My daughter is home with me on Tuesdays and she loves to go shopping, so I moved errand day to Tuesdays. And I moved the Weekly Home Blessing Hour day to Thursday from Monday since I'm home that day and not working.
So the idea is you can totally customize it to work for your schedule and your life! Having a focus to each day has really helped to reduct mental clutter and stress for me. I wake up knowing what I'm doing that day and it feels great! I used to wake up and feel all foggy and groggy because I didn't have a plan or intention for the day.
Weekly Home Blessing Hour
The idea here is you spend one focus hour cleaning only the high traffic areas of your home. Set your timer for 10-15 minutes on each task and cross off items in your Flylady home control journal as you finish them. Cilley relies on timers in her method to help you not get burned out and exhausted by cleaning for too long. When we clean for too long, then the next week we are like, “UGH! I don't wanna clean again! It'll take up my whole morning!” The timer helps you stay consistent, week after week. We do not have to clean everything on the list each week – focus on the dirtiest spots first.
Here's my customized weekly cleaning list. Again, you edit it to make it work for the high traffic areas in your home.
- Mop kitchen and entryway
- Vacuum living room
- Vacuum office
- Collect bed sheets & replace, put in laundry room to wash
- Dust living room
- Wipe living room windows
- Collect bath towels and wash
This was the most brilliant part to Cilley's FlyLady System for me! You divide your home into five zones. Every 4-5 days, you change zones. You clean for 10-15 minutes a day (using a timer) in each zone. The idea here is not that you clean every single thing on the zone list, but that you get to what you can that week.
I've been crossing off what I get done and then the next month I start on the things I didn't cross off from the month before, or I clean the dirtiest spots first.
Again – all of our homes are different. Customize your's to fit your unique life!
- Entryway, Yard, Garage
- Kitchen, Pantry & Laundry Room
- Master Bedroom & Bath
- Living Rooms and Bedrooms (Kids & Guest)
I'll be sharing with you detailed posts on each of the zones in a later blog post and videos!
Weekly Meal Plan
In this section, I'm keeping our favorite recipes (not ALL recipes, just our family meal favorites), the weekly meal plan, and a list of our favorite family meals. To make the weekly meal plan, I pull from the list of our favorite family meals and it makes it so much easier for me to plan ahead!
Self Care Ideas
In her book, FlyLady Marla emphasizes how important it is that we do a little something for ourselves each and every day. As mothers and caregivers, we give A LOT of ourselves. So, Diane in Denmark came up with the idea to add a section of Self Care Ideas and a Self Care Bingo card to the journal. Pick a few things from the list each week to do for yourself. They need not be fancy or even cost much money at all! It's just a focused, simple thing to treat yourself daily.
Seasonal and Holiday Bucket Lists
This is my own addition to the FlyLady home control journal. I laminated these sheets and put one up on the refrigerator each month. As a family, we sit down at the beginning of the season or holiday and create our bucket list for that season. I LOVE doing this because it keeps us accountable to spend fun time together as a family.
We sometimes leave fun out of life, don't we? And we all know life's way too short to leave the fun out! The items from these bucket lists are where the precious childhood memories are made!
So, whew! That was a lot! If you made it this far you're well on your way to having an organized, decluttered and happy home.
Other Posts You Might Like:
If you enjoying learning how to make your own Flylady home control journal here, you might also like:
- Get Your Home Into Shape with Flylady 31 Baby Steps
- How to Create Daily Routines with the Flylady System
- Why You Should Plan Your Outfit the Night Before
- How I Kon-Mari-ed My Master Closet
- Organization and Decluttering Tips from a Decluttering Coach
- My Top 10 Natural Cleaning and Laundry Recipes to help you go natural in your home