When FlyLady Doesn’t Work – What Can You Do?

When FlyLady doesn't work for you

I’ve followed the FlyLady system on a few occasions and have many tried and tested solutions to issues I face when Flylady doesn’t work for me. Despite how FlyLady appears at first glance, it’s actually a pretty flexible system to work with. You just need to give it a chance.


FlyLady is perfect for working mums, yet so many give up on it before they’ve even started. This is partly due to there being little to no information on what to do when FlyLady doesn’t work for you. It’s as overwhelming as the clutter we’re trying to clear from our homes.

Fear not, though, as I am here to help with as much advice as I can possibly give to solve your FlyLady woes. I always come back to flying and there is a good reason for that – it works when I make it work. The FlyLady daily routine I created to suit me is my saviour, and I know you can also get one to work for you.

A gorgeous phone and flowers, when FlyLady doesn't work take a new approach

My Top Tips For When FlyLady Doesn’t Work For You

  • NEVER try to follow FlyLady to the letter. She doesn’t advocate this so why even bother? Your day is different to Marla’s, it’s different to mine, and it’s different to Mrs Mackenzie’s down the road.
  • Get an email address just for your FlyLady emails. It stops them from getting on your nerves as you can check the account when you are in the right mindset. Plus easy to bulk delete.
  • Get a copy of Sink Reflections and make it your bible. Sink Reflections is, in my opinion, the easiest way to make the FlyLady system work for you. I highlight key parts, make notes in the margins, and put post-it notes in my copy.
  • Stock up on cleaning wipes. In the early days, these will be a godsend for wiping your kitchen countertops, doing the swish and swipe, and cleaning up general messes. You can always move to more eco-friendly solutions once you are more established.
  • Adapt the FlyLady zones to suit your home. This especially important if you are following FlyLady in the UK. Our homes are different to those in the US, and rooms like the “guest bathroom” are merely a dream for many of us.
  • The FlyLady daily missions can be useful, but if your home is full of cluttered I’d recommend focusing on getting the clutter cleared instead. Once that’s done, you can either opt to follow the daily missions or move onto the zone cleaning.
  • The weekly home blessing can also be adapted to suit your home. For example, there’s not a chance in hell I can vacuum all three floors of my house in ten minutes, especially as I’m a husky owner who needs to empty the vacuum after I vacuum one room. So I allow more time for vacuuming and reduce my magazine culling.  I also try to split my home blessing over 3 days rather than doing it in one go.
  • Automate as much as possible. I use as many hacks as I can. Reminders go on my phone, I set up regular online orders for necessities, and I even use a robot vacuum cleaner regularly to control the floor messes.
  • Make the bed and shine the sink. I used to ignore the sink shining stuff. It annoyed me. However, once I embraced it, it made a big difference. Making the bed is the same – it helps me to keep my bedroom looking lovely.
  • Don’t let it control your life. It should fit into your existing life, it’s supposed to make things easier, not harder. So if you feel unwell then take a break. If you have plans, keep them. The only aspect of Flying that you should always do is taking care of yourself.
  • Crystal Paine has a great system to help you build your morning and evening routines. I’d recommend using her services in conjunction with your beginner’s baby steps to develop the perfect routine for you.

I hope these tips help you to stick with the FlyLady system, even when FlyLady doesn’t work at first. You’ll notice I’ve not mentioned the FlyLady control journal. This is because I’ve not yet found the ideal way to keep a control journal. The binder system isn’t working well for me so I’m using my copy of Sink Reflections to keep hold of my notes with a mobile app for reminders. I’d love to hear your ideas for a functional control journal that is working for you. Please leave these ideas in the comments section below and help me in my FlyLady journey.

Having a beautiful home is fundamental for a stress-free life and a happy family. I’m certain that FlyLady is the best system to keep on top of the home, but I’m willing to review other options. Any suggestions are most welcome.

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