How a Daily Housekeeping Routine Saved me from Myself – The Flylady System Baby Steps for Beginners

*** FREE copy of the 21 Baby Steps tracker here***

It was in one of those most disastrous seasons of my life, home with a toddler and a brand new baby, when I reached my breaking point. My current method of cleaning and organizing consisted of 1. Clean the house to an impeccable level, get all of my bills paid, organize everything a la Mari Kondo and then, 2. Burn out, neglect all areas of housework and slowly let the house fall into shambles again. It was totally unsustainable and my mental health was suffering from my perfectionist-driven all-or-nothing approach.

Then, I found the Flylady system. I saw what other people were able to accomplish in short amounts of time and how their houses were seemingly ‘self-cleaning’ and I wanted all in. In actuality, my mother recognized my complete lack of routine and introduced me to the Flylady system she was familiar with from the 90’s and its predecessor ‘The Sidetracked Home Executives’ before that. We watched a few youtube videos together from How Jen Does It, A Better Life with Flylady Kat and ultimately landed on Diane in Denmark. After originally attempting to implement the entire sytstem in one day and failing multiple times, I finally attempted the Flylady baby steps. Here is was – the entire system laid out in daily, bite-sized chunks – each adding a little bit more onto the last.

My multiple failures showed me that this was not a mountain to be conquered overnight, after all – as the Flylady Marla Cilley herself says, “Your house did not get messy in a day, its not going to get clean in a day either”. I have been through the Baby Steps as prescribed and after a year of practice, I pared them down to what I felt were the 21 ‘essential’ baby steps.

Here is my version of the Flylady Baby Steps. Download the FREE 21 Days to a Clean Home Printable here and follow along with me!

  1. Shine your sink
  2. Dress to shoes
  3. 2-minute hot spot
  4. Build a Control Journal
  5. Start a dishes routine
  6. Declutter every day
  7. Set out clothes for tomorrow
  8. Make the bed
  9. Digital declutter
  10. Complete the daily flylady mission
  11. Check your calendar for the next day
  12. Do one load of laundry every day
  13. Get to bed at a decent hour
  14. Swish the bathroom
  15. Set items out for tomorrow at your launch pad
  16. Plan for dinner
  17. Add an anti-procrastination day
  18. Car & Purse clean out
  19. Add a day to plan and pay bills
  20. Take time for self care
  21. Implement a weekly home blessing hour
FREE 21 Days to a Clean Home Printable here!

As you go through these steps, focus on what works for you, and what doesn’t. Not everything will make sense for everyone and most things will need some adjustment to fit your life just perfectly. As your life changes, so will your routines, but, having the basics down and being used to getting up and starting the day with the same few habits will make a huge impact in your productivity and mood.

This journey is all about progress, I encourage you to go through the baby steps once and continue on your way. Attempting to do the 21 days perfectly over and over again is an act of needless futility. Learn the steps, figure out what works for you and get going each day with the goal of doing what you can with the time and energy you have. Even two years in, I rarely have a ‘perfect day’ – but I keep going and little by little the house gets clean, and stays clean.

If I can overcome my slobby ways, I know anyone can. You just have to start at day 1.

As always, I would love to hear about your progress with the baby steps, and how you are tweaking them to work for you!

Talk soon, be well.


5 thoughts on “How a Daily Housekeeping Routine Saved me from Myself – The Flylady System Baby Steps for Beginners”

  1. I started with the “Sidetracked Home Executives” too! I made a whole bunch of the colored cards! It was great, but Flylady is more manageable for me.


  2. Steph, I am enjoying your videos very much. I just found this blog site. I’m much like you in that my house is not CHAOS-FREE so this is where I need to start. Seeing some videos with 3 items small items on the counter or on the floor & the house is otherwise impeccable – is a far cry from where I am. I watched your video of your new house & the progress that you’ve made. Where did you find the drying racks (?) I saw 3 of them hanging on the wall in your laundry room?


  3. I used to do SHE cards more than 20 years ago when I lived in the US. I followed Flylady emails about 15 years ago and then somehow adapted only some things to my then very large family and unusual European home. But things have changed and I recently re-discovered Flylady thorugh your youtube channel (and Dianes). I just need a few things tweaked in my current system, but I love your little videos 🙂 Thank you.


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