I Tried the Cleaning Method That’s Gone Viral on TikTok and Here’s How It Went

published Dec 5, 2022
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

I recently learned of something called the FlyLady Cleaning Method from organizing expert Marla Cilley, aka the FlyLady. The method, which advocates for cleaning in 15-minute increments five days a week, isn’t new, but it is newly a TikTok sensation — no doubt because it supposedly works for everyone: the people who are overwhelmed by the enormity of this too-big-to-do-yourself task and those who live and breathe cleanliness and organization and just can’t stop to live a regular life.

The FlyLady’s approach is ingenious because it’s personality-agnostic. For those who feel like cleaning is just too much, the 15-minute chunks feel totally manageable. And for those who usually dig the figurative rabbit hole when you only meant to brush a crumb off the counter, the 15-minute method keeps you on task.

I’m in the latter camp, so I gave the FlyLady Cleaning Method a try for a week. Here’s how it went.

I Tried the FlyLady Cleaning Method for a Week

I partition the house into zones — this week is all about my entryway — and time-box my cleaning for the week. No time for distractions if you only have 15 minutes a day. It’s a sprint!

Day 1: I tackle those scuff marks on the door that make me cringe each time I exit the house, but never remember when I return. A quick Google search for scuff-mark removal has me one step closer to zen, thanks to a microfiber cloth, a bead of whitening toothpaste, and 15 minutes of my day.

Day 2: I decide to tackle my rug; a few stains I know could be removed if only I made the time for this and only this. I will not get distracted by ordering a new rug! I break out the rug and upholstery cleaner. Spray, set, scrub — and done!

Day 3: I take a toothbrush and toothpaste to the baseboards. You’d be surprised how much can be done in 15 minutes! 

Day 4: I spend 15 minutes wiping down handprints on door frames and the banister. It’s oh-so fulfilling. 

Day 5: I spot-clean the wood floor with a scrub brush. Magic!

By the end of the week, there’s nothing left to dig into (in my entryway). Instead, I go for a walk and hope to run into a neighbor. How nice that I’m no longer cleaning my house all day long! I feel calmer and ready to tackle the next zone. Maybe the kitchen is next? Thinking: garbage cans (they need cleaning too), fridge shelves, the utensil drawer. It can wait until next week.

All you need to get started is a timer. You will not only see a difference in your home, but also notice a calming effect on your life — so you can focus on things that matter.