FlyLady is a support and self-help group that offers advice, tips and humor to assist people in keeping their homes tidier, especially for those suffering from "CHAOS" (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome). [cite news
author = Molly Millett
title = To bust clutter, who you gonna call? FlyLady!
work = Lifestyle
url =
publisher = St. Louis Post-Dispatch
page = 10
date= 2003-02-22
accessdate = 2007-07-21
] The group is centralized around the motivational website in combination with a Yahoo! Group. Many members of FlyLady have stated that the group has helped them and has changed their lives. [cite news
author = Mary Beth Breckenridge
title = FlyLady helps you put house in order
url =
publisher = The Miami Herald
page = 20H
date= 2003-04-27
accessdate = 2007-07-21
] [cite news
author = Aman Batheja
title = FlyLady fans log into domestic support group
url =
publisher = Sign on San Diego
date= 2005-01-02
accessdate = 2007-07-21

Subjects covered by FlyLady include clutter, routines, weekly cleaning with focus on the zone of the week (five in total), self-esteem, and perfectionism. The information is provided for free, however there is a small store at the website where tools are sold for organization, decluttering and cleaning.


The FlyLady, also known as Marla Cilley is from North Carolina. Cilley created her website in February 2001. The decluttering of her own home years earlier led to the development of a new system. [cite news
author = Elizabeth Lund
title = When domestic chaos threatens, FlyLady buzzes to the rescue
url =
publisher = The Christian Science Monitor
date= 2002-07-10
accessdate = 2007-07-21
] It was established in 1999 as a variation on the system created by Pam Young and Peggy Jones ("The Slob Sisters") in their book "Sidetracked home executives: From pigpen to paradise" (1977).cite news
author = Deirdre Donahue
title = FlyLady says a tidy soul comes first
url =
publisher = USA Today
date= 2002-09-30
accessdate = 2007-07-21
] It started as a mentoring email group and grew into the website, the Yahoo! group, and a store. The members are called "FlyBabies".

Marla Cilley has written that the name "FlyLady" was originally her online name, as she was a fly fishing fan and instructor. She then used this nickname when creating the e-mail list and web site to promote her favorite show, Cory Live. One of the members of the FlyLady e-mail list later created an "backronym" for FLY: Finally Loving Yourself.

By December 2005, FlyLady had more than 266,000 members in 65 countries. [cite news
author = Rosalind Ryan and James Sturcke
title = No flies on her
url =,12271,1675524,00.html
publisher = Guardian Unlimited
date= 2005-12-30
accessdate = 2007-07-21
] As of early October 2007, there were over 435,000 members, according to Cilley.

The Flylady System

The basics of the FlyLady system are outlined in Cilley's book "Sink Reflections" (Bantam Books, ISBN 0-553-38217-9) and on the web site. The system encourages "baby steps" to develop routines and habits to organize and maintain your home. The primary focus is on "Finally Loving Yourself" to make you and your family's lives easier by decluttering, menu planning, "anti-procrastination" day, and planning ahead by establishing routines. [cite news
author = Molly Millett
title = FlyLady devotees find peace through cleaner homes, organization and mother wit
url =
publisher = St. Paul Pioneer Press
page = J1
date= 2006-04-22
accessdate = 2007-07-21
] Attention is also given to organizing personal finances, taking time out to pamper yourself, Friday Night Date Night spent with a significant other or a friend, Saturday as Family Fun Day, Sunday as Renew Your Spirit Day, and ideas from "Flybabies" (people learning to fly) or, for men using the system, "FlyGuys."

In 2007, the FlyLady members Marla Cilley and Leanne Ely came out with a New York Times bestselling book called "Body Clutter: Love Your Body, Love Yourself" [ cite book
last = Cilley
first = Marla
authorlink =
coauthors = Leanne Ely
title = Body Clutter: Love Your Body, Love Yourself
year = 2007
month = January
publisher = Fireside
isbn = 978-1416534624
] , which aims to bring the same approach to looking after your body as to looking after your home. Rather than resorting to the latest in diet fads, the pair try to get readers to examine why they eat (for example, childhood issues) and then focus on what they eat. By encouraging those reading the book to "Finally Love Themselves," the two authors help readers realize that they deserve to treat themselves well, including what they eat.

The FlyLady system consists of:

;Babysteps and Routines:New recruits to Flylady are called "Flybabies" and are introduced to "babysteps" - a series of 31 small daily tasks which introduce and then reinforce aspects of cleaning and decluttering which build into a daily routine, with tasks split into morning routines, after-work routines and bedtime routines.

;Shine Your Sink:The first task is "Go shine your sink!" By clearing away the clutter in the sink, scrubbing and shining it, the entire kitchen looks better from such a simple step, and the Flybaby gains encouragement from seeing such a clean and shiny sink and is inspired to help make the rest of the kitchen gleam, too. Flylady asserts that each room has its own "shiny sink"-- making the bed in the bedroom and cleaning the desk off in the office will all have the same effect.

;15 Minutes at a Time:A crucial part to the Flylady system is that you should only spend 15 minutes doing something, as otherwise you will become bored and get sidetracked. Flylady refers to people who need her system as "SHEs"-- "Sidetracked Home Executives" who are perfectionist and fear beginning to tackle housework because there won't be enough time to do it all or it won't be done perfectly. SHEs are in contrast to "born organized" people who are naturally very organized-- but even "born organized" people can use Flylady's system with success. Because of this perfectionism, the SHE cannot ever get started cleaning and the clutter gets worse. By focusing on spending only 15 minutes at a time on cleaning, SHEs learn that a lot can be done in 15 minutes, a task is always quicker and easier than you would imagine it to be, and you do not have to spend all your time cleaning in order to get your home company-ready. Flylady also highly encourages the actual use of a timer to measure the 15-minute increments, to measure them accurately.

;Clutter Cannot Be Organized:Another important aspect of Flylady's system is her attitude towards clutter. She tells her group that if you look at something and it doesn't make you happy, you should get rid of it. Many people fill their houses with clutter and then try to organize it in some way. Flylady says that clutter cannot be organized, because by its very nature it's clutter. Only when Flybabies reduce their clutter can they expect to be able to organize their household. This is done in Flylady's system, 15 minutes at a time, through the "27-fling Boogie," in which a Flybaby goes around an area and chooses 27 things to either throw out or give away.

;Weekly Routines:Once Flybabies have learned the basic habits and are able to manage their daily routines, Flylady then advises including weekly routines, whereby each weekday is assigned an additional task - Monday is daily cleaning, Wednesday is errand day, Thursday is grocery day and Friday is "desk day" - sorting out paperwork and finances. One additional day can be a "weekly home blessing." If a Flybaby has been keeping up with her routines, 15 minutes at a time, during the week, she will only have to spend a small amount of time doing a weekly dusting/cleaning, or a "home blessing."

;Get Dressed to Shoes:Flylady encourages Flybabies to "get dressed to shoes"-- getting dressed in street clothes down to lace-up shoes, which help them to get moving during the day and have a better effect on the mind than staying in pajamas.

;Zones:Once your home is decluttered and your daily and weekly routines established (which may take months or even years, depending on how cluttered your home is!), Cilley advises "zone work" - each month, the home is split into five zones, and a daily 'mission' is set in that week's zone. Each mission covers more detailed cleaning but should take no more than 15 minutes. Some missions are repeated in subsequent months, so that the missions take less time as there is less clutter and cleaning. As this point, Flylady recommends you tackle detailed zone cleaning, which cover the kinds of tasks you would usually expect of a spring clean - cleaning skirting boards, cleaning windows etc. However, as you should only tackle what you can do in 15 minutes, this spreads the detailed cleaning over a period of time, so that rather than 'spring cleaning', you simply do a little bit every day and your home stays tidier and cleaner.

;Control Journal:Flylady advises the use of a "Control Journal," a notebook or binder, as a personal manual for noting one's routines. This may also include a folder in which important papers and bills are kept so they can be worked on while waiting in public places such as doctor's offices. A Control Journal should also include important information so it can be had at a moment's notice in case of an emergency. Before taking someone to the emergency room, a Flybaby might grab her Control Journal, where she knows she has stored a list of medicines taken by the patient. Knowing that all that important information is kept in one place saves a lot of time, money and stress, according to Flylady, and is certainly worth the initial time involved in setting up the journal.

;Flylady Reminders:Daily reminders of the routines, zones and missions are sent out when you subscribe to the Flylady groups. There is a UK group which sends out reminders according to GMT rather than US timezone, and many alternative 'non-official' groups.


External links

* []
*Karen Kohlhaas. " [ Why flylady is great for actors] ". August, 2006
*Related websites: [ Saving Dinner] by Leanne Ely (adviser to Flybabies) and [ The Brat Factor] (Pam Young speaks to Flybabies about their "inner brat")
* "Elizabeth Foss". [ The Fly Lady] . Catholic Herald. January 23, 2003.
*"Sink Reflections" has been translated in French language: [ "Entretiens avec mon evier"]

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