Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley

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Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley (Bantam Dell, 2002) is a self-help manual for women in need of ideas how to get organized in cleaning their homes and de-cluttering. It is written by The FlyLady, a popular blogger since 1999, who has a lot of follower she calls “FlyBabies.” While the book itself made for slightly irritating reading, the methods she gives and the reasons behind those methods are helpful, and inspiring, and I see myself developing habits of actually enjoying treating my home with love as I clean and organize!

As the baby of a blog, Sink Reflections suffers from extreme casualness in language. I personally think it’s pretty horribly written. I’d also say that about have the book is also not written by FlyLady: it is, instead, testimonials written by her blog followers about how things have worked for them. This seemed quite odd at first, but I admit, it is nice to hear how and why things have worked for people other than FlyLady. Since I finished reading the book, I’ve browsed the FlyLady’s blog itself and found identical content; this is book that is made up of blog posts. I’ll admit, the casual tone made the book a quick read, but it was a bit wordy and irritating to me in it’s execution as a “how to” book.

The FlyLady’s general philosophy revolves around developing self-confidence in our abilities to make our home beautiful. “Your house didn’t get messy in one day; it will not get clean in one day either!” she repeats frequently. She also suggests that you never start projects that take more than 15 minutes to finish…unless you know you have the time. You should start where you are and go from there, doing a little bit every day to “Love your house.” A weekly house cleaning time is called “Home Blessing Hour.”

Other things she suggests:

  • Shine your sink every day. Don’t go to bed with a messy kitchen.
  • Get dressed every day, including doing your hair and makeup and putting on shoes.
  • Recognize your “hot spots” i.e., your spots where you dump clutter, and clean them up morning and night.
  • Focus on a different zone for every week of the month. Put 15 minutes of “extra cleaning” into that zone every day.

I finished the book last week, but I thought I’d wait to write about it until I gave her methods a few days of actual work. I guess you could add my name to the other testimonials! The days I’ve awakened early and got dressed to shoes first thing have been much more productive. I feel so much better walking in to the kitchen each morning when it’s clean. I find myself swishing the bathroom counters clean in the morning. I don’t resent vacuuming because it only takes a few minutes out of my 15 minutes of cleaning. And last week my husband brought me flowers because he recognized I’ve been trying to make the home lovely and he appreciates all I do. Aw, thanks sweetie!

So, while Sink Reflections the book doesn’t stand out as fantastic to me, the concepts FlyLady offers are super-helpful. Of course, time will tell how well these new habits withstand the difficulties of life, but for now, I’m impressed with how it feels to clean my home — just 15 minutes a day and I feel like I’m in a new home!

Reviewed on August 8, 2012

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

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