Love a Clean House but HATE to Clean? FlyLady Can Help!

Do you love a clean house but hate the process of cleaning? I used to feel the same way, but then I discovered FlyLady.

FlyLady is Marla Cilley, and she encourages people through her website and emails to not only have a clean and orderly home, but to FLY. She says FLY stands for Finally Loving Yourself.

FlyLady's philosophy is that we neglect our chores primarily because we are perfectionists-since we never seem to have enough time to clean "right", we don't clean at all.

I stumbled across her "Crisis Cleaning" essay many years ago while searching the internet for inexpensive Christmas gift ideas. Basically, she suggests using a timer and working 15 minutes in each room.

When the timer goes off, you stop and move to another room-no matter what you are in the middle of doing. After three 15 minute sessions, you take a 15 minute break. Then repeat. I used her method and had my house ready for the holidays in no time.

But even those of us who hate to clean probably use some version of "Crisis Cleaning" already.

We clean before the holidays, or before company comes to visit, or when we just finally can't stand the mess anymore, and it takes us at least a full day to see a difference.

FlyLady's true value is in helping us establish daily, weekly and monthly routines that maintain an orderly house-and an orderly life!

Using a Timer for Housecleaning Success

The timer remains my favorite tool from FlyLady's arsenal. For me it works two ways. First, I can do anything for 15 minutes. And 15 minutes of work can make a huge dent in what seems like an impossible job. Second, using the timer turns cleaning into a bit of a game. I enjoy testing myself, seeing how much of a task I can actually complete before the timer dings. Now that I recognize how well this motivates me, I've learned to use other timers on a regular basis. For example, I think it is pretty cool that I can unload the dishwasher in less than the 3 minutes it takes to microwave a bag of popcorn!


Even if you decide to jump-start your FLYing with "Crisis Cleaning", don't expect to maintain a perfect house right away. Establishing new habits and routines takes time-FlyLady emphasizes babysteps. Some people get frustrated with the volume of email that comes with the FlyLady subscription, but it is worth the patience to really give the system a chance.

Copyright Dineane Whitaker 2008 - Please do not copy and paste this article, but feel free to post a link using this url:

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Comments 9 comments

Dorothy Alice profile image

Dorothy Alice 8 years ago from Boring, Oregon (yes, it's a real place)

Great to see another FlyLady fan! My sink is shiny today.

dineane profile image

dineane 8 years ago from North Carolina Author

oops...mine is not. Yet. Funny though now that I published this Hub I feel a greater responsiblity to finish my routines!

cvaughn570 8 years ago

Some great ideas here. I'll be checking FlyLady's site also. This may be the cure for my getting bored when cleaning.



Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

Yup thats me! "love a clean house but hate to clean". Thanks for introducing me to the FlyLady". Great Hub.

Cailin Gallagher profile image

Cailin Gallagher 8 years ago from New England

I love this idea. I'd be a great housekeeper if I could get off this computer. :) lol I like the timer idea...

dineane profile image

dineane 7 years ago from North Carolina Author

Just catching up and reviewing some of my first hubs, and here's another example of learning as you go. Ladies, 6 and 7 months too late - thank you for your comments! And Cailin, I hear ya - my Flylady routines have been suffering thanks to my job - on the computer much more than I seem to be in real life. I tend to cycle with Flylady, but crisis cleaning always seems to jump start my routines.

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

Funny, it was the crisis cleaning that first caught my attention, concerning Flylady. I definitely think it the perfectionist thing makes it difficult to clean. Wanting everything perfect, and never quite achieving it leads to frustration.

dineane profile image

dineane 7 years ago from North Carolina Author

Ah Ha! I knew you "knew" flylady :-) Thanks for your comment, Ivorwen!

Jois 4 years ago

Going to try timer sounds like an excellent idea

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