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Book Review: How To Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind

Wanted to share a proper book review of How To Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind.

This one surprised me.  I really enjoyed it although I can’t say I enjoyed the entirely too true for me practical knowledge shared.

The proper title of the book reads as How To Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind: Dealing With Your House’s Dirty Little Secrets by Dana K. White.  Ms. White owns the blog, A Slob Comes Clean.

My Book Review:

Do the dishes.  Those 3 words pretty much summarize the book.  People like my  husband might wonder why anyone would need to read a book which summarizes such basic knowledge. He doesn’t need this book.  If you are one of those people who naturally can’t go to bed at night until the dishes are all done and the house is tidy, this book is not for you.

I’m the target audience, those of us who simply don’t understand why the house doesn’t stay clean.  I cleaned it this morning, why is it dirty again tonight? I simply need a better system for keeping it clean.  Turns out that no, we don’t need a new system.  We just need to do the dishes. AGAIN.

“House keeping doesn’t end. Ever”

The author presents this knowledge with a conversational tone and practical examples from her own house.  I especially related to her ideas of how thinking of her home as  a project added to her cleaning frustrations. It may take me forever but I love a good finished project. Turns out home management doesn’t work the same way. It’s an ongoing thing and not a single home management system in the world will work for us until we actually do the work.

I found it refreshing to read a home-management book from someone who doesn’t actually enjoy housework and admitted it. The book’s divided into four parts and flows nicely with the exception of the meal-planning chapter which felt a little out-of-place to me.  Maybe it’s just because that is the one area I have (somewhat) under control.

She also tackles the subject of decluttering in the book. Of course, it’s easier to clean when there is less clutter, the mantra of clean-loving organized people everywhere. However, I appreciate her different approach to this topic.  Her advice: Do the easy stuff first. Deal with the visible. Simply, throw away the trash. Her idea of thinking of our homes as one giant container also appealed to me. Let the space you have set your limits on the stuff you own.

Final Thoughts:

I found this book helpful and have been doing a better than usual (certainly not perfect) job of simply doing my dishes than my past attempts at “shining my sink.” The book is  for someone who simply needs to get a handle on an out of control messy house.

Another thing much appreciated by me in this book: the lack of references to other e-books and blog posts. Sometimes when I read books by blog authors, I feel as though I’m constantly  presented with a sales-pitch for their blog and/or products. None of that in this one, a friendly “this is what you have to do” conversation (that I could almost picture having in the author’s kitchen).

The end contains an appendix entitled: 28 Days to Hope For Your Home which I’m finding quite helpful as I work my way through it. It’s super simple and not at all overwhelming.


The Kindle Version of the book is currently on sale for $1.99 on Amazon Prime right now.

NOTE: I get no compensation from Amazon for any purchase you make through my blog (Go purchase it from another blog where the person does get something!) and also did not receive any compensation for this review. I purchased and read this book because I wanted to read it and thought you might like to hear what I thought.

Have you read this one?  What did you think?




2018: Eighteen Things I’d Like To Do This Year

Happy 2018!  I’m not really  making resolutions with this post so much as simply making a list of things I’d like to do in the new year. We can still call it the new year if we’re only ten days into it, right?

When I wrote my post on the 18 books I’d like to read in 2018, I referenced this podcast post (and I even listened to it!) over on Gretchen Rubin’s site.  Today, I’ve decided to share my 18 with  you.

My 18 Items For 2018:

  1. Read (at least) 18 books
  2. Lose 18 pounds
  3. Get a new kitchen table
  4. Guard my heart from negativity and drama (sorry, I know it’s vague)
  5. Clean out the basement
  6. Clean out the inside of the computer desk
  7. Add another garden area to the front yard
  8. Buy fresh flowers for the table once a month
  9. Post a Happy Homemaker Monday post every week
  10. Do one thing each month to get ready for next Christmas
  11. Complete a sugar-free challenge
  12. Join in the monthly weekly Facebook group photography challenges at Live, Love, Snap
  13. Go on a fun summer vacation, maybe a return to Colorado or South Dakota
  14. Make our house feel like a home again (vague again, I know…)
  15. Walk in another 5K
  16. Clean my email inbox out monthly (prefer weekly but I’m being realistic)
  17. Get rid of 18 things we don’t love/use each month (4-5 things a week)
  18. Go on at least 2 nature walks/outdoor bird-watching adventures a month

As you can tell, some of my items are super concrete and others are a bit vague and more ideals than actual things to check off on a list. Do I think I’ll actually do all the things on this list? Probably not but hopefully, I’ll do more of them than if I hadn’t bothered to make a list at all.

I may blog here and there about the items listed as the year continues. And it may take me more than one try (ahem, my first sugar-free challenge of the year may have ended in a blazing chocolate coated defeat) to complete some of these items.

What do you think of the idea of making a list of 18 things for 2018? Would you or have you made one? I’d love to hear what’s on your list!

New Year, New Word, My One Word For 2018

Can you believe I only chose one word for 2018?  I have a habit of not following the rules regarding this word of the year stuff.

Last year, I had to have an entire phrase.  My phrase did work fairly well in small bursts but I found it fizzling out a bit by year-end. And then there was the year, I had to pick a new word each month.  Way too much and with hindsight, I see it missed the point of the whole one word concept entirely.

I’ve picked a single word for the year in other years though and usually with mixed results. However, each new year I simply can’t resist in joining in this tradition and linking up my one word (or ten or twenty!) over at Create With Joy where other bloggers share their word of the year.

Confession about my word for 2018: I started using it last year.  It kept popping out at me for 31 days in October.  Just a sneaking suspicion, my word changed my focus going into the holidays and helped me ward off my annual  “I hate Christmas!” meltdown.

Announcing my one word for 2018:

one word

A funny thing happened when I started writing my series about embracing the fall season for 31 days, besides the realization I need to consult a thesaurus a bit more.  I found I actually enjoyed fall a lot more than I ever had in the past.

Also, focusing (mostly) on the positive parts of the season really helped me stay in a better mood. I found it shifted my way of looking at things as we moved into the Christmas season.  That season found a welcome with me also.  It’s usually not a favorite season of mine.

My plan moving forward into 2018 is to accept whatever it brings with it.  Accept the bleakness of winter. Enjoy the stark silence in the barren house following the removal of all the Christmas decorations.  (And then add back in some decor for winter warmth!).

Hopefully, I can squeeze some good out of whatever happens or at least acknowledge and move on past the heartbreak moments (it would be naive to think there won’t be any of those in the coming year although ever an optimist, I do hope we all have much fewer than last year.). Embracing the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything that arrives whether my mood, the weather, or a million dollars (did I mention I’m an optimist?) is my plan for 2018.

Did you pick a word of the year? I’d love to hear about your choice!



What’s Going On Wednesday: Trying To Get Through The Week

Thought I would do a What’s Going on Wednesday post.  Maybe it will help motivate me.  Anyone else having motivation issues this week?

The entire week so far (we’re halfway through it!) has felt a bit like a long uphill climb. Wednesday If each of those steps in that photo above were an item on my to-do list, I’d be standing on the bottom one.  Still.

I thought maybe sitting down to share a post would help me over the hurdle of my procrastination.

What’s Going On This Last Wednesday In November:

  • While I got a break this time, the boys both came back sick from Thanksgiving.  J stayed home from school today.  The school probably already mailed my nasty letter regarding his attendance.  The kid has straight A’s so I’m not really all that concerned.
  • I made cranberry sauce yesterday.  Just for me.  I missed it at Thanksgiving.  Not one to complain (much) but the canned stuff is nasty. Tried not to be too miffed that when I offered to bring it, family said the good kind would be there.  It wasn’t. Turns out it freezes so I’m all set for Christmas at least.
  • My fall decor is sitting in a big pile on the sofa and on top of the bookcase beside it.  I need to take it downstairs.   Put the Christmas tree up and half-decorated it on Sunday evening.  The tubs still sit in the living room.
  • G said he’d add his special ornaments on December 1st.  And when he had his own tree (if he even bothered) when he was an adult, it wouldn’t go up until at least December 15th.  Teenagers!  Apparently, I put the tree up too early for their tastes.
  • I still need to clean the house and gather items for the charity truck. That job feels even more daunting than the staircase on the trail.  Feels more like this: Wednesday Wednesday
  • Blog business?  Work? Fun? Not sure what I want to call it.  Have a few e-mails that need replies, long-overdue replies.  Some very kind offers but since I do this for fun and not profit, I will likely decline most.  Some posts percolating in my brain: a half-written one regarding hard holidays, a fun Christmas movie list (we tend to favor offbeat movies over the classics), and the story of our Elf on the Shelf.

Well, my timer sounding tells me it’s time to hop off here and at least clear a surface somewhere in hopes of a more steady path to getting things done: Wednesday

What does your path look like this week?