I haven’t been to Bloggerville much this week. I have been furiously working on school plans and my household notebook. July is kind of my “plan-it” month. I do everything in pencil, so I can change things around as our needs change, but by the end of the month, I try to have an overview of the coming school year. It helps me to have some kind of plan for how I will get everything done.
I also do a lot of book reviews in July. One that I have been very impressed with is The House That Cleans Itself. I mean, a title like that speaks to every woman’s deepest fantasy. In this case, the old adage “If it sounds to good to be true, it probably isn’t” just doesn’t apply. Mindy Starns Clark comes at housecleaning and home organization from a completely different angle. By the time she’s done with you, your house really will almost clean itself.
Here’s a quote from the book:
“The truth is, I don’t like cleaning and organizing. Consequently I have struggled for most of my life with messiness: ignoring it, trying to conquer it, surrendering to it, fighting it, feeling ashamed by it, giving up on it, trying again to conquer it. The struggle has drained my energy, my self-esteem, and my resources. It has strained relationships, cost me valuable time and money, and prevented me form doing a number of things I would otherwise have been able to do.”
Does that sound familiar? She goes on…
“As a novelist, I usually make the homes of my heroines spotlessly clean. But in reality, for many years my home was anything but. So why am I, of all people qualified to write a book called The House That Cleans Itself? Because after a lifetime of failure at the conventional methods of cleaning and organizing, I have finally come to understand that for those of us who struggle in this area, there is a better way. Through sheer frustration with my own mess, I turned to research and prayer, trial and error, testing and questioning, until I figured out a way to get my house clean and keep it that way most of the time — despite my shortcomings…”
“That’s not to say that I never have to lift a finger to keep my home clean. But if you were to compare the amount of time I used to spend cleaning to the amount of time I spend cleaning now, you would understand that I have drastically cut that time — not by changing myself but by changing my house.”
And that is what this book is all about. She takes you step by step through your home until you have converted it into a wonderfully functional house that works with the habits of your family. If you have a hotspot that always collects things, she will help you evaluate why, and show you how to make that area work for your family. Brilliant.
I haven’t fully converted my home yet (I plan to), but I can tell you that her system will work. Every time I try to make my family change their habits, I just end up picking up after them (or worse, nagging at them). But the areas where I have set up a system to work with their habits are different. They stay neat effortlessly. This book shows you how to covert your whole house this way.
And get this. She starts by telling you to stop cleaning your house. I know, right? But her reasoning is sound. When you stop trying so hard to pick up after everybody you get to see where things collect. Now you know that everyone dumps their coats by the front door, for instance. Instead of yelling at the kids to come pick up their coats, she will help you set up a nice-looking coat spot. Now the place that used to look like a junk heap has become the place the coats belong. Step-by-step, you change your house.
I am so doing this!! Right after I finish my planning….
Have a Great Day!