‘FlyLady’ Marla Cilley shares her tips for decluttering through the chaos
By Re Noel
There are paw prints on your windows, handprints on your doors, and you don’t remember the last time you saw your kitchen counter. Are you prepared to quickly clean house for unexpected guests who give a 15-minute notice?
Sure, says home cleaning guru Marla Cilley, better known as the FlyLady, who has the cure for what she calls Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome (CHAOS). Grab a timer and get going!
Clean the bathroom in 5 minutes
Cilley says head to the bathroom your guests will use. Set the timer for 5 minutes and do the following:
- Wipe the mirror and put away what’s on the counter.
- Give the toilet a swish. (That’s a term Cilley frequently uses and explains on her site).
- Want to multi-task? Step on a paper towel and shuffle your feet around as you work to catch stray dirt and mess on the floor.
When the timer goes off, head to the kitchen!
Clean the kitchen in 5 minutes
Put on some coffee, and dust the floors while it brews. Fill the dishwasher, wash down the sink, wipe down the counters, and attack those prints on the back door. If you have time, toss in a load of laundry as you pass by the washer and head to the living room.
Clean the living room in 5 minutes
Wipe down every flat surface in the room, and clean off heavily used spots—the coffee table, media center, and desk. When the timer goes off, Cilley says it’s time for the most important step. “Go fix yourself a cup of something cold, and take time to sit so you are nice and relaxed when your guests come.”