Choosing a Housework System: Flylady

It seems like some people always have a clean and tidy house, and don’t seem to have any trouble doing so. I am not one of those people.  For the rest of us, it sometimes helps to find some advice and guidance on the steps and processes that can help that happen.  I have come across a few in my time – let’s put it this way, I have an extensive collection of name tags and hairnets control journals and productivity apps… and a pile of unmatched socks in my armchair.

As with any topic, the internet is full of experts, self-proclaimed and not.  In the end it comes down to finding an expert whose tone,  level of detail and level of bossiness resonates with you.  Sometimes you just want to be told what to do so you can get started, somewhere, even if that is with a sink full of hot water and bleach.  Sometimes you want to be told that you are capable and to get cracking, working on the room that needs it the most.  Both are fine – it’s up to you to pick and choose.

Quick clean bathroom - new handtowels

You might want to take hold of a system with both hands and follow it to the letter of the law, or you might want to just skim through and find the bits that work for you – cobble together a system, following the “good parts version” of anything you come across.  Review and revise as you go.

But don’t fiddle around with your “system” too much: get on with what you have to do, so you can find space to get on with what you want to do instead – as Merlin Mann said better than I ever could.

Over the next week or so I will be featuring some different “Systems” you might like.  I’ve included snippets of introductory text, because sometimes the choice is more about tone of voice than anything else, some useful links, and some ideas of how these housework systems and schedules work with the HomeRoutines app on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.


FlyLady FlyLady encourages you to gradually build up positive habits and routines in “Baby Steps,” do your detailed cleaning in 15 minute chunks, and tackle your weekly cleaning in a one hour “Weekly Home Blessing

Her message is sent to members of her mailing list with numerous messages each day (on the day I’m writing this, 14 were sent out to subscribers), but a digest is available as “Flylady Lite.”   Most of the emails are selling her cleaning products these days.

FlyLady’s system is outlined in her book Sink Reflections, which is easier to read, refer back to, and get your head around than the sprawling website (and its associated  online radio showchat room and twitter feed)


This is FlyLady’s list that has grown by leaps and bounds due to her special way of weaving housecleaning tips with homespun humor and daily musings about life. She has a no-nonsense approach to getting your house and your life in order. She mixes housekeeping advice with insights about life and love and anything else that is on her mind. This list is whatever FlyLady decides it should be — it’s her list. She expects subscribers to decide if they get anything out of it or not. Those who do are invited to be part of the cyber family. Those who don’t are encouraged to unsubscribe. Only you can decide what is right for you. If you can’t figure that much out, don’t blame FlyLady!

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How it works with HomeRoutines:

Build up your routines in baby steps, and put your detailed cleaning into the Focus Zones. If you’ve got HomeRoutines set to 5 zones, switching each week of the month, it will automagically stay in sync with Flylady’s zone schedule; we’re considerate like that.