Flylady, aka Marla Cilley, runs an immensely popular mailing list and website ( on the subject of organizing your home and through that, your life. Not all at once, but one small step at a time. A way to make you leave that keyboard now and then to improve on your surroundings.

The mailing list sends you heaps of reminders during the day pushing you to take babysteps to getting and keeping a clean home. Lesson #1 and a daily reminder is "Shine your sink" (in keeping with the title of Flylady's book Sink Reflections), other regulars include the "27 fling boogie" (finding 27 items to throw away and 27 to give to charity) and "hot spot fire prevention" (spending 5 minutes cleaning up the clutter attracting spots in your home).

In between the cleaning reminders the mailing list also distributes (quasi-religious) testimonials from excited "flybabies" and more or less personal musings from the Flylady herself.

Flylady is also big on routines (before bedtime-routine, morning routine, afternoon control journal) and aims to make you an organized person with time to spare for fun and family instead of being a SHE (a sidetracked home executive, a term she borrowed from Pam Young and Peggy Jones (

I've received Flylady's reminders for well over a month at this point and am quite happy about my kitchen sink, which is now actually shiny most of the time. A shiny sink is also, more often than not, an empty sink, which means I get my dishes done. I actually grew so fond of seeing shiny, empty sinks that at times I even shine the sink at my boyfriend's place. Ok, so that might also have something to do with procrastinating and trying to avoid a pending term paper, but still...

The annoying things about Flylady to me are mainly the self-help book-like language used (e.g. "FLY" reportedly stands for "Finally Loving Yourself", there is also the "Weekly Home Blessing Hour", "Housework done incorrectly still blesses your family" and other mushy catchphrases like that), and writing as though housework is still the obvious responsibility of the woman/mother in a household - although I do receive the odd testimonial from struggling "flyguys". I would think someone proclaiming/pretending to be modern about homes and cleaning could acknowledge that, but Flylady really doesn't seem to do it, and I think that's too bad.

According to an April 2003 interview, the mailing list had 167 000 subscribers at the time in more than 40 countries. (In a 2002 USA Today interview, Cilley stated that about 1 percent of the subscribers where men)

Subscription to the mailing list is free, but on the Flylady website, there is an ever increasing amount of items for sale, including Cilley's book, so I am guessing business for the Flylady is not so bad.


Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.