Marie Kondo Vs. The FlyLady Vs. The Home Edit Pt. 1

In my adult life, I have slowly become a much more tidy and organized person. You wouldn’t recognize the difference between how I maintain my space now verses how I was in college. I have sought out methods for cleaning and tidying, and here’s three I’ve researched.

Marie Kondo

Main Principles

Keep only what sparks joy so that you will be surrounded by things you love. Do one big tidying event instead of a little bit each day, then you will never have to tidy again. You will be happier when you live in a place that is tidy and you are surrounded by things that you love. Tidying is a life-changing magic, and you must do the work yourself.

Method Aspects

The tidying is done by category, not my location. For example, all clothes, no matter where you keep them. It’s important in this method to gather all your items in one place, partly to show you how much stuff you have. NExt, you must hold each of your items in your hand so you can see if it sparks joy. My interpretation is that it is not about getting rid of things, but about actively choosing what you keep. Then, choosing a place for each of your things. Even though on Marie Kondo’s website you can buy special boxes, her book insists that you don’t need any fancy equipment or organization items–boxes work fine.

Unique Quirks

Kondo talks about objects as if they have feelings. When you discard things, you thank them. When you love things, you treat them kindly. She greets each home she visits to tidy, and she asks you to greet your home each day, too. Some aspects of her method are borderline spiritual. She talks about the energy of moving at an angle upward to the right or from dark on the left to light on the right as being especially pleasing, and using that for how you store your items.

The FlyLady

Main Principles

You can do anything for fifteen minutes, so set a timer. Your house did not get messy in a day, and it will not get clean in a day, so do little by little, in 15-minute increments. This will be easier to do when you get into routines–morning, afternoon, and bedtime routines.

Method Aspects

Start with the baby steps, one per day. Then, follow along with the Daily, Weekly, and Monthly cleaning schedule as outlined by the FlyLady’s website and emails. Each week, you will focus on a certain “zone” of your house, such as the bedroom, bathroom, or kitchen. FlyLady will send you on missions. Decluttering is very important, because you can’t organize clutter, you have to get rid of it.

Unique Quirks

Shine your sink–that is the keystone of FlyLady’s method. Her method involves a lot of text. She recommends a control journal that has routines, calendars, and cleaning lists. FlyLady has cute names for everything, such as a 27-Fling Boogie, where you go through your house playing loud music and choosing 27 things you can get rid of.


Main Principles

It’s okay to get rid of stuff, and it’s okay to have stuff. Your organization should be equally functional as it is beautiful. If your organization is functional and beautiful, you will be more inspired to maintain it. You need the correct containers for your stuff, and clear drawers are the best because you can see what is inside and have easy access. Lazy susans are great, too. Organizing by color is a great way because it’s beautiful and easy to use and maintain. The back of a door is a great place to find extra storage.

Method Aspects

If you have the funds, you can hire Joanna and Clea or their team to do the organizing for you, then all you have to do is maintain. But their book outlines exactly how to do it yourself. Otherwise, you should do one location at a time, preferably starting with something small like a drawer. Editing, meaning getting rid of things that are not loved or useful, is important, as it’s part of their name. Then, categorize and get products to store your things in a beautiful way.

Unique Quirks

Backstock–having extra is totally acceptable. This method is branded by the personalities and dynamic between Joanna and Clea. They are fun, funny, and relatable. They are comically up-front about their flaws and quirks and skills, so it feels like your best friends are helping you whether you hire them, watch their show, or read their books.


Does one of these methods appeal to you more than the others?

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