The FlyLady cleaning technique is overtaking Marie Kondo's method

Marla Cilley aka FlyLady is redefining decluttering

It goes without saying that cleanliness is especially important right now. In an age of coronavirus, it's necessary to pay extra attention to germs and hygiene, while studies show that tidying can also help with anxiety in uncertain terms. Cleaning influencers are proof it works: Mrs Hinch is a champion of organising for mental health with her own book Hinch Yourself Happy, Marie Kondo encourages us to throw away anything that no longer brings us joy and now, Marla Cilley aka FlyLady – a nickname spawned from her love of fly fishing – is proposing 15-minute housework increments that won't overwhelm us. Her 'FlyLady technique' has become so popular that searches are up by 40 per cent on Pinterest, while those for Marie Kondo are down by 80 per cent. So, how does it work?

SEE: What is Swedish death cleaning and why is it so popular?

1. You will sign up via FlyLady's website (for free) as a FlyBaby. FlyLady Marla then sends out email tips to each of her 233,000 subscribers, starting with BabySteps designed to take only 15 minutes which she recommends using a timer to track. The idea is that they are manageable. "If you try to do this all at once," Marla says. "You are going to be mad at me, because this will be like every other get-organised method you have tried. I want you to take your time."


Dear Friends, Time really does FLY when you are having fun! I cannot believe that it has been twenty years since we started our FlyLady Group. Never in a million years did I ever dream that we would have 100 members much less the almost a million members that we have in our email group, Facebook and Twitter You are all a gift to me. I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up until God’s Breezes brought you into my life! As we have grown God has sent me people to help me to help you. We didn’t have a goal to create a business. The FLY Shop was created from your needs. I want to thank everyone for their love and support. Robert and I are committed to keeping our message free for every one. When you purchase tools from our FLY Shop you help us to accomplish this and to pay the people who help me help you. Our FLY Crew loves you as I do. I have done most every job they do except drive the forklift! LOL I am blessed to have these people who FREE me up to write and mentor you! Without them I would not be able to do what God put me here to do. Thank you for being the most important part of our FLY Family! Today I thank God for giving me my purpose in life and for sending good people to help me and most of all for you! Our sails are up and we are ready to go where God’s Breezes send us! I love you all! FlyLady

A post shared by Flylady (@the_flylady) on

2. FlyLady Marla will continue sharing these steps for 28 days – the period that she believes is needed to implement a habit – and will teach you to tackle each 'Zone' of your house i.e. kitchen, living room, bedroom.

3. Once the initial 28 days is over, FlyLady Marla will guide you through decluttering. This includes the '27-Fling Boogie' - the process of going around your house and discarding of 27 unnecessary items as quickly as possible, the 'Hot Spot Fire Drill' - the process of getting rid of your go-to clutter pile (read: the chair you throw your clothes on day after day and never actually hang them up from), and more.

SEE: Spotify reveals the best songs to clean to


Do a little each day!

A post shared by Flylady (@the_flylady) on

The crux of the FlyLady technique is clear: don’t let housework dominate your life. She thinks of FLY as an acronym for Finally Loving Yourself and says that it was only after implementing the following three rules that she reaped the rewards in her house:

1. Don't sweat the small stuff; what doesn't matter, doesn't matter.

2. Laugh everyday. Even if it is at yourself.

3. Love like there is no tomorrow.  

Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

You're on HELLO!'s global site. Click to return to HELLO! India Go back