Despairing over the disorder in your household but unable to afford a cleaning person? Millions of those sharing your pain have found help via the Internet from the the Fly Lady. Her blend of encouragement, gentle but relentless prodding and time-saving tips have helped millions bring a tidy order to their homes.

The Fly Lady, Marla Cilley, began dishing Internet advice on keeping up with housework years ago, and chose the name Fly Lady for her site, Flylady.net, to honor her passion for fly fishing. At the time she was a SHE (Side-tracked Home Executive), a devotee of Pam Young and Peggy Jones' book "Sidetracked Home Executives from Pigpen to Paradise." The Fly Lady helped her audience employ these and similar techniques in a step-at-a-time process to bring sparkle where there once was none.

One of the most useful tools the Fly Lady offers is a daily e-mail with a task for the day. One task a day doesn't seem so daunting, yet the end product can be quite satisfying. Her web site is also jam-packed with nitty-gritty info, such as what constitutes a clean sink, or the 11 commandments (my favorite: #2: "Get dressed every morning, even if you don't feel like it. Don't forget your lace-up shoes.")

What the site excels at, though, is encouragement. If you find yourself standing with toilet brush in hand, wondering just why you tackle that task rather than plop your butt in the recliner to watch a rerun of "America's Got Talent", check out the Fly Lady. She'll tell you why, and why you're a better person for having done so.


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