Column 8 – Spring Cleaning Dread by the FlyLady, Marla Cilley

Every year I am asked to do interviews about Spring Cleaning. The reporters are always shocked to find out that I have a chapter in my book Sink Reflections called, You Never Have to Spring Clean Again! All our lives we have been subjected to the torture of Spring and Fall Cleaning! Our mothers and grandmothers thought that this was the way to get the house clean. Sometimes they would spend days pulling out all the furniture and the junk from the closets; then expecting us to put it back in some order. Well I am here to tell you; you cannot organize clutter! All you can do is get rid of it.

With our system of zones, I can promise that you will never have to spring clean again. After all, when was the last time you spring cleaned anyway? I bet you can’t find the corners of the rooms to get to the cobwebs anyway! How can you get rid of cobwebs, dust bunnies and spiders when you can’t find the floor? This is why it is so important to declutter your home first, before you start your zone cleaning. I am tired of you all feeling guilty because you have not spring cleaned yet, or for that matter you probably didn’t fall clean either. This guilty feeling has got to be zapped right out of your head. Now hear this. We don’t clean like our mothers did! Not anymore. We have a better way that doesn’t even seem like we are cleaning at all. Our zones free us up to have a life with less guilt and more peace. Your home will always look great, not just for one day in the spring and the fall.

This idea that it all has to be done at once is for the birds. This all or nothing attitude is the perfectionist again. We like to stand back and admire what we have accomplished, but what fun is that if you are too tired to enjoy the fruits of your labor. What happens if you don’t have a week or even a day to spring clean? You think you don’t have time, so you just don’t do anything. Here we go again with the perfectionist attitude! Then the guilt starts to smother you and the depression eats away at your being. I can hear those ugly things you have said to yourself. “I’m no good, I can’t keep house like my mother did!” Well for the hundredth time! You are not your momma, you can keep house and you can do it your way; a much better way! Routines and zones are the tools to help you stay on top of your never-ending cycle of housecleaning.

Now this is not as bad as it all sounds. Doing a little every day is the key to never having to spring clean again. I like to call it BabySteps! Our Daily missions are part of those babysteps. On our website we have detailed cleaning lists for every room in your home. These need to be adapted for your home, but for the most part we start at the ceiling and work our way to the floor. The little jobs put together on a full list seem like an enormous amount of work, but when you only take one item and do it and nothing else; you will find that zone cleaning will take just a few short minutes a day. We don’t expect you to do the whole list in a week. Just keep in mind that you can start at the top and work your way down the list and in a few months, you will be able to mark off every single item on your list and you can start over. If you will do this, you will find that your home will always be company ready. After all, doesn’t your family deserve to be treated like company? I think that you deserve to live in a home that is a reflection of you and the love that you have for yourself and your family.

So now that you don’t have to Spring Clean anymore. What are you going to do with all your free time? It is so much fun to FLY without spring cleaning holding you down!

For more help getting rid of your CHAOS, check out her website and join her free mentoring group at or her book, Sink Reflections published by Random House and her New York Times Best Selling book, Body Clutter published by Simon and Schuster. Copyright 2011 Marla Cilley Used by permission in this publication. Helping women around the world get their home organized. Copyright 2001 - 2020 FlyLady and Company, Inc.