How to use the FlyLady decluttering method for lasting results that won’t leave you feeling overwhelmed

Learn about the FlyLady system of home management and take control of your life today.



FlyLady Decluttering

If you feel like other decluttering methods have failed you, FlyLady decluttering might be just what you need.

Although the FlyLady system isn’t just about decluttering, it helps you build a consistent decluttering habit.

And, it helps you manage your home in a way that makes decluttering, organizing, and cleaning much easier.

Marla Cilley created the FlyLady system as a result of being overwhelmed by her own home, and she’s been teaching others how to gain control of their homes ever since.

If you’re interested in doing the FlyLady system, I’d recommend getting Marla Cilley’s book, Sink Reflections. 

It’s an easy-to-read guide to the whole FlyLady system.



What You’ll Need to Get Started

Before you do a FlyLady declutter, you’ll want to do the following things:



Put on shoes – shoes with laces are the best. They’ll protect your feet and get you ready to start really working!

Put together your declutter kit. Find containers for the following:

Things to throw away (I use a garbage bag)
Things to put away (I use a laundry basket)
Things to donate or give away (I use a box I can fit in my car’s trunk)



Find a timer to use while you declutter. It can be a timer on your stove or on your phone. Anything that will ring after 15 minutes works!

FlyLady Declutter Questions

As you’re deciding what to declutter, FlyLady says to ask yourself questions to help you decide if an item is worth keeping.

These are the questions I usually ask myself:


Is this trash?
Do I love this?
Have I used it in the past year?
Is it a duplicate? Could I get rid of one?


Those questions help me decide if I should keep something or not.

After you’ve decluttered for a while, it gets easier.

If you’re struggling to let go of clutter, start with the easy stuff  that’s been driving you crazy first.



FlyLady Declutter 15 Minutes

Choose a small area to declutter and set your timer for 15 minutes.

Work quickly, and declutter items by asking yourself the declutter questions above.

As you work, put items into the throw away, put away, and donate containers.

Once the 15 minutes are over, you’re done with decision making!

Quickly put the throw away items in the trash.

Put the donate items in your car so you can drop them off the next time you’re out.

Put away the items in the put away container.

And, you’re done!

I love that the FlyLady system actually encourages you to stop after 15 minutes so you don’t get overwhelmed.

That’s the key to making the FlyLady system sustainable.

If you’re doing it right, and building your skills little by little, it’s impossible to crash and burn.

Don’t do too much and burn out.

Stay consistent with your routines, and you’ll see amazing results.


FlyLady Declutter Games

Marla Cilley invented several fun decluttering games you can use to motivate you to declutter.

Once you learn how to do the games, you can add them to your to-do lists and start building a decluttering habit.

Here are some of my favorite FlyLady decluttering games:

27 Fling Boogie

I do this a couple of times a week, and it’s super effective.

To do a 27 fling boogie, grab a trash bag, and walk around your house, throwing away clutter as you go.

Don’t stop until you’ve put 27 pieces of clutter in your garbage bag.

Then, throw it out!

I really like this game, because it helps you get rid of the trash around your house that starts to blend in to the background after a while.

But making a conscious effort to see trash, I’m able to get rid of it before it’s totally overwhelming.

Hotspot Fire Drill



FlyLady says clutter hotspots are areas where clutter seems to multiply.

Here are some examples of clutter hotspots:


kitchen counters
desks
coffee tables
end tables
the chair in your bedroom where all the semi-dirty clothes end up


My worst clutter hotspot is the table behind our sofa.

Everything just seems to accumulate there.

Doing a hotspot fire drill for the table helps keep the clutter piles from getting too high.

Put out those clutter hotspot fires before they’re out of control!

5-Minute Room Rescue

Every day, FlyLady recommends taking 5 minutes to declutter your worst room.

That’s it! 

Over time, you’ll start to see a lot of progress.

It’s kind of amazing – the areas you thought were hopeless can be decluttered little by little.

I’m doing this with our garage right now because it’s the worst!

I like that I only have to spend 5 minutes working on it, and then I’m done for the day.

My Favorite FlyLady App

The Cozi app is a family organizer app that helps you track your FlyLady tasks.

You can get the free Cozi app for your smartphone or tablet, and use it to help you remember all of your FlyLady tasks.

Cozi is awesome for families – you can use it to keep all of your schedules, meal plans, to do lists and more in one place.

Go here to sign up for a free Cozi account and learn more about how it works.

One you have your Cozi account set up, follow the directions on this page to add FlyLady’s zones, missions and daily reminders to Cozi.

More Decluttering Help

Need more help with decluttering? Check out these resources:


Declutter 101 – Where Do I Start?
Free Printables: 10-Minute Tasks for Decluttering & Organizing
How to Get Started with FlyLady
Flylady.net – FlyLady’s website




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