FlyLady Method Vs.

Your home did not get dirty in one day, and it will not get clean in a day, either.


The first time I ever heard of “decluttering” was from When it comes to, the verb used to mean using the FlyLady method, I have only ever been fluttering.

Why F.L.Y?

What I like about the FlyLady method are how she makes things memorable and with an attitude of fun. First, the acronyms. “F.L.Y.” means “Finally Loving Yourself.” She can help you stop living in CHAOS (Can’t-have-anyone-over-syndrome). See? Clever and memorable.

You can’t organize clutter, you have to get rid of it.


Her method has a lot of things in it that make it seem fun. Like a 27-Fling-Boogie. Go through your house as quickly as you can and gather up 27 things that you can discard.

Or the LaunchPad. The place where you set out everything you’ll need for the next day. And for me, even if I don’t use that term, putting everything I need to take with me the next day out the night before is the key to a relaxing morning. (Not that it’s much of an issue when I work/study/socialize all from home.)

But these euphemisms get to a point where to me they seem silly. For example, in her suggested morning routine, there’s “Fifteen minutes of Loving Movement–we hate the ‘E’ word.” I don’t hate exercise. And fifteen minutes is not enough for me. And isn’t this an organization method?

Baby Steps

FlyLady recommends starting her method with 31 Baby Steps. This is all found on her website. The thirty one baby steps are outlined there, but not in one document. You have to go click on each one. In general, I find her website slightly less than easy to navigate.

One of the 31 Baby Steps is to sign up for her emails. That sounds cool, like reminders and helpful hints and tips. I did that. And I got, like, ten emails a day. And at least one “TestiFly” per day. A testimonial about one of FlyLady’s products: feather dusters, water bottles, cleaning rags, etc.

On her YouTube channel, FlyLady explains that this is because the process is meant to help you start to think differently. But her Youtube videos are thirty to sixty minutes long.

You can do anything for fifteen minutes.


Her method involves zones, routines, a timer, and baby steps. The house is divided into zones, such as “Kitchen,” “Bathroom,” etc. She says you can do anything for fifteen minutes. So, set your timer, and get to cleaning, decluttering, etc.

Fastidious Flying

I find FlyLady to be old-fashioned. She instructs her FlyBabies to use a binder to make a Control Journal that has a family calendar, routines, and cleaning instructions for each zone of your house. I would much rather just have this on my phone.

She operates from a world where being a wife and mother as your main occupation is standard. She says that anyone can use this method, but the amount of time it takes to do your morning routine, your mission, your weekly zone cleaning, your afternoon routine, your flight plan, your daily focus, your pamper mission, your habit of the month, and your bedtime routine is a full-time job.

And then, she insists on things like, “Get fully dressed including make-up and lace-up shoes.” She says that this will make you feel even more prepared for the day. If you don’t wear shoes at home, then, choose a pair that you only wear indoors. She is very insistent about this particular thing that I just cannot get on board with.


Can you organize clutter, or do you have to get rid of it?

4 thoughts on “FlyLady Method Vs.

  1. I tried to follow flylady’s methods for a while several years ago. I found the same problems with it as you outline here. (ALL the emails!) I do agree that caring for yourself and your home and belongings are best attempted when you start from a place of loving yourself instead of from a place of calling yourself a lazy messy slob. And I do agree that 15 minutes of cleaning and decluttering a day can go a long way. But yeah, that’s all I have kept from my flylady days.


    1. Interesting!
      I agree that FlyLady’s “finally Loving Yourself” acronym is about starting from a place of love. But it can be easily misconstrued as, once you start decluttering, then, finally, you can love yourself.


  2. I had an on-off relationship with the Flylady. I think I broke up with her for good a couple of years ago after dalliances with Marie Kondo, and UFYH (which is much more my slightly heathen sweary jam). I too struggled with the whole inference that only stay at home wives were “good enough”. And one person’s clutter is another person’s very important stuff – just ask them!


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