Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Compare and Contrast: A Guest Post

I'm so pleased to post a few bloglets this week written by Adrienne from Pittsburgh. She's a real live Bootcamper who follows the Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers system and was generous enough to share her answer to the single most common question I receive: "How is Bootcamp different from ________?" I hope you enjoy her posts! Are you a Bootcamper who has tried another cleaning strategy and can answer this question as well? We love comments and we'd love to hear from you!

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How is Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers different from other programs?

Before Heidi shared Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers with the world, I was a lousy housekeeper. But I was not so far gone that I didn't want to do better. I tried hard to do better. Really, I did. (Please don't laugh, my dear IRL friends!) I have tried many programs, and here is how they compare.

Motivated Moms -- The cool thing about Motivated Moms is that you get a set of six or so tasks to complete on a given day. If you follow through with it on a daily basis, you will keep a clean house. You're supposed to be able to skip days here and there without affecting the efficacy of the program. The hard part for me was the lack of regularity in how the tasks were broken up and how often they were repeated. In short, it was hard to plan my schedule further out and before long I was skipping days and weeks because it was just too hard to keep up!

Flylady -- This program is nice and structured, down to day and time. If you are willing and able to make a complete re-vamp of your life, it's possible to be successful and many are. This was out of my ability set so I ended up with a beautiful list of routines (and an e-mail box full of reminders) and my house was still a disaster!

Managers of Their Homes -- Great for telling you how to schedule your life, but if you don't know how to clean on a good routine and schedule, you have a neatly-scheduled messy house. :)

Sidetracked Home Executives -- I loved the book and the lists in the back were helpful to show me just how far behind I really was, but like Flylady, I ended up with a nice stack of beautiful cards, but no real game plan for success.

Then, along came Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers. It was like a breath of fresh air! Finally, I understood why I needed to iron my clothes after I washed them and why it was a good idea to make your bed first thing in the morning! Yet, Heidi does a wonderful job of keeping the explanations short and the instructions simple. In other words, I was motivated to get going instead of sitting and dreaming about how one day, in the distant future, I'd have the perfect house. Finally I didn't have to make a notebook or a stack of cards to succeed, in fact in the pre-published form, there was no info on the binder, just the skeleton of the chapters -- and my house was clean!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! From day one, I was able to begin forming new habits that were the foundation of a new way of thinking and a new way of living my life as a homemaker. No longer was I a slave to the mess. I was the boss of the place and it felt good!

Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers is not everyone. If you get bored with routines, Motivated Moms is the way to go for you. If you like to have everything laid out for you before you start, Flylady or Sidetracked Home Executives  is for you. If you already know how to clean, maybe you just can go directly to Managers of Their Homes. If, however, you need a middle of the road approach with a little of everything, can I recommend Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers? I think you'll be as pleased as I've been!

Happy Cleaning!

Adrienne


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Thanks, Adrienne!
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1 comment:

Cheyenne said...

As someone who has tried them all (and I really do mean "all" - the Messies books by Sandra Felton, Flylady, Sidetracked Home Executives, and Motivated Moms), I have to thank you for your book. The other programs all have some very valuable things to offer, and I still love Flylady for helping me get organized before I became a mom. But your approach works best for me because 1) I love the focus on pleasing God and fulfilling our calling 2) the daily focus blocks and maintenance blocks break the tasks into manageable sub-sets 3) it's delightfully old-fashioned and sensible to establish a rhythm for our days and group similar chores together so you can say, as you wrote in your book, "Good has been done here," plan ahead knowing what each day will hold, and rest in the knowledge that everything will be taken care of 4) it's flexible and you can tailor the lists to your needs, and 5) there aren't any emails to keep up with or products to buy. I still use the S.H.E. method of keeping index cards in a recipe box to rotate each day's tasks forward (I take each day's index cards out and clip them to the refrigerator with a cute clothespin with a magnet back), while keeping forms, budgets, cleaning instructions, etc. in a homekeeping binder. I appreciate the spiral binding that lays flat, the forms appendix and examples, as well as the lists of daily, weekly and seasonal chores. I also really appreciate the encouragement and motivation. This is a well-written book that speaks to me like a sister or friend. For anyone who is overwhelmed looking at the lists, just remember that things are broken out step-by-step, but you can reduce the number of items on the lists by simplifying (for example, "clean bathroom" instead of "spray tub, scrub toilets, clean windows" etc.). Also, you don't have to be a stay-at-home mom to use this system. I am a working mom out of necessity and I just shorten the daily focus block to half an hour to an hour, have a morning and evening routine, and one daily maintenance block that involves a five-minute clean-up in each room, and am grateful for what I do get done instead of dwelling on what I don't get done. I ordered the spiral bound hard-copy for reference and ease of reading, and the ebook so I could print the forms off easily. I plan to order another copy to give my daughter when she grows up, and I highly recommend Bootcamp for anyone looking for a doable plan for household management. Thank you, Heidi, for a wonderful system!