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Showing 1-10 of 15 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on August 8, 2008
If you've read Kathy's books, you know they are based on her Family Manager "system" she created over 10 years ago. If you've hesitated to purchase her recent books thinking they're all the same info., don't hesitate anymore! This is the book I've been waiting for by Kathy. It is organized by the 7 departments she teaches about, and is an excellent reference. It has a great index for quick finds, and is full of great information.
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on September 3, 2008
This book is a must have for moms (or dads)! It is very detailed and organized in such a way to get help for your family managing question quickly. No need to read through the whole book, just use the index in the back to get right to a solution that will help you create an organized and happy home. I love this book!! Thank you Kathy Peel!
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on November 3, 2008
Today's moms are busier than ever. Not only do we keep the home fires burning, we do any number of activities outside the home. With jobs, soccer practice, birthday parties, grocery shopping and all the other demands upon our time, we can barely find time to stop for a breath, much less maintain the chaos well enough to enjoy living out our moments.

In The Busy Mom's Guide to a Happy, Organized Home, Kathy Peel has collected hundreds of tips and techniques to simplify daily home life. Organized around the seven key areas of life--Time & Scheduling, Home & Property, Food, Family & Friends, Finances, Special events, and Self Management--she provides a quick reference for time- and mind-saving tips.

Though I tackled this book as a cover-to-cover read (I need a LOT of help), I think it is best digested as a what-can-I-do-to-improve-in-this-area-today resource. Otherwise, what should be a help might become a burden. She has lists and lists of ideas to improve relationships, obedience, chores, grocery shopping, fire safety-you name it. The last thing we need is to be overwhelmed with our obvious failure at picnic hostessing when what we are really concerned with is car-pooling (or in my case, dish duty). Am I right?

I suspect that unless there is a woman out there in complete denial, every woman that picks up this book will find a treasure trove of help for her busy life-stay-at-homers and working moms alike.

Armchair Interviews agrees.
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on November 18, 2008
The Busy Mom's Guide to a Happy, Organized Home: Fast Solutions to Hundreds of Everyday Dilemmas This Tyndale book by Kathy Peel has a wonderful chapter on entertaining and it includes "10 Steps to an Unforgettable Event" which I found very helpful for planning and implementing gatherings of all types. Sometimes entertaining feels overwhelming to me as the "main planner" or to be honest, "the only planner" and one thing that Peel suggests is "Practice the five-minute maxim"-in other words, watch for snippets of time here and there and during that time, accomplish one thing towards the occasion. Peel also has a great list of all holiday dates. Within the chapter on entertaining is "Nine Entertaining Disasters-and What to do About Them"-another very helpful section.
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on June 3, 2015
Love it! I thought I was a fantasic organizer but I am becoming a better one. She is making my family life managable and I am able to be a fun mom, have a clean home. Overall since using the strategies outlined. It has made things easier and convient. Examples: There is a list on what my 6 yearold can do. I love the teenage contract. I like the section on finances. I also need to plan a party and there is an easy guide for that. I use this as a reference. Its quick to read easy to understand and it doesent make you feel inadequate. I was a single parent for a few years and this will help with all tasks associated with that responsibility. I am now newly married and its helping me shift tasks equally.
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VINE VOICEon May 25, 2010
Review - The Busy Mom's Guide

America's Family Manager Kathy Peel has once more offered us solutions to the many things in our lives that can harangue, excite, and confuse us!

Under seven major categories: Managing Time and Scheduling; Managing Your Home and Property; Managing Menus and Meals; Managing Relationships with Family and Friends; Managing Your Finances; Managing Special Events; and Managing Yourself, Peel affers us solutions that can not only streamline and make our rather busy lives a bit less hectic, but that can simplify our lives in such a manner that we begin to look after the one who is often overlooked in our lives. Ourselves!

Where was Kathy Peel when I was raising my own five children all of those years ago?

I love Peel's quote on the very first page of Introduction: "When you take on motherhood, the world's most important job, there's no formal orientation - just on-the-job training and trial by fire."

Peel asserts that if we look at our job as Mother's, as a JOB, we can more easily and readily hold it all together!

She states: "You oversee an economic institution that includes such services as facility and resource management, meal preparation, child care, education, and transportation, to name a few. Using the strategies and tactics of successful business managers will help you realize your dream for a happy, organized home."

Peel lists ten things we need to know regarding that job:
1. Think like a manager.
2. Manage by department.
3. Know your mission and values.
4. Cast vision and communicate benefits.
5. Build a family team.
6. Create a base of operations.
7. Use a Daily Hit List.
8. Manage according to how you're wired.
9. Be prepared.
10. Lean on God.

Peel gives us
The Family Manager Creed
I oversee the most important organization in the world
Where hundreds of decisions are made daily
Where property and resources are managed
Where health and nutritional needs are determined
Where finances and futures are discussed and debated
Where projects are planned and events are arranged
Where transportation and scheduling are critical
Where team building is a priority
Where careers begin and end
I am a Family Manager

Lastly Peel leaves us with twenty pages of Web Resources to assist us in the organization of our home and our lives.

She never forgets to have us lean and learn from the Head of our Family, our Lord and Savior.

I found this a wonderfu, source of information. And a book that every woman should have on hand! It should be a mandatory read for expecting women! And a handbook for busy Mom's everywhere!

I give this book a hefty 5 stars *****, and I highly recommend it for every home library!

*DISCLOSURE: A copy of this book was received from Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. free of charge for review of the text. All opinions regarding the text included in this review are solely that of the writer. - cbh
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on May 24, 2010
The Busy Mom's Guide to a Happy, Organized Home by Kathy Peel, is exactly what the title says!

Now, for many of you, alot of her organizing concepts for your home and life will be nothing new and profound, but it will still be an encouraging reminder on the efficient way to run your house!
And we all can use that kick in the rear to get there.

Right from the start, Kathy lists the top priorities that should be for everyone of us mom's:

The Most Important Things to Remember

1. People are more important than things.

2. There are no standards but your own. Every family has to decide how clean is clean enough.

3. The more you accumulate, the more you have to clean and maintain -and the more time it takes to do it.

4. When your kids grow up and leave home, they won't remember if the towels were folded in perfect 16-inch squares in the linen closet; they will remember if your home was a good place to be and if Mom was a fun person.

5. If you have a choice between taking a family vacation or buying new furniture, go for the vacation. The furniture will end up in a garage sale one day; the memories of the trip will last forever.

6. Everyone who lives under the roof of a home should contribute to its upkeep.

7. If a teenager is an expert at text messaging, he can become an expert at using the washing machine. A man who can program a PDA to remind him of his tee time can program a PDA to remind him to pick up the dry cleaning.

8. Mess causes stress. Getting your home in order will help you get your life in order.

9. There's no such thing as perfection. Giving up trying to make your home perfect is the first step toward making it a good place to be.

10. The choices you make about your home involve a lot more than wall color and window treatments. Home is where human beings develop. It's a place to restore souls, find shelter from outside pressures, grow support for talents, and receive inspiration, comfort, and aid.

I love her view on life and family, and she and I share many of the same life goals.
(I tell you, we are sister's separated at birth.)

She gives advice and ideas on how to separate and manage your life into 7 key points:

1. Time and Scheduling - managing the family calendar and daily schedule.
2. Home and Property - overseeing the maintenance and care of all your tangible assets.
3. Food - meeting the family food needs of your family.
4. Family & Friends - fulfilling relationship responsibilities as a parent, spouse, and friend.
5. Finances - managing the budget, bill paying, saving, investing, and charitable donations.
6. Special Events - planing and coordinating occasions that fall outside your normal routine.
7. Self Management - caring for your body, sharpening your mind, and nourishing your spirit.

And I love that she has a "command center" in her home, just like I have my "nerve central"!

If you need help in organizing, decluttering, or just managing your time, money, and children, (like we all do), The Busy Mom's Guide to a Happy, Organized Home is filled with tid-bits on every part of your "business".
Running a home is your job, mama...treat it that way!

This book is a mother's dictionary. Point blank and easy to read. Full of how-to lists and checkpoints, Kathy Peel thought of everything.
*Cue the angelic choir and halo*

If you are looking for a catch all book with inspirational ideas and a way to get a few tricks up your sleeves for time-saving strategies, I really recommend reading this book to make your home (and day!) run a little smoother.

(This book was provided to me for review by Tyndale House Publishers.)
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on July 6, 2010
The Busy Mom's Guide to a Happy, Organized Home is a great book with tons of tips for moms (and dads) on how to keep your home happy and organized. The areas covered in this book contain Managing Time and Schedule, Managing Your Home and Property, Managing Menus and Meals, Managing Relationships with Family and Friends, Managing Your Finances, Managing Special Events, and Managing Yourself. You will also find all kinds of forms, check lists, and spots for making lists of all sorts throughout the book to help you make your home more organized. I love that the Appendix has 20 pages of web resources with descriptions of what can be found at each of the sites.

I personal like the Managing Your Finances section of the book. With only one of us working right now, money is always tight, so we are constantly looking for ways to save money, cut money in places, and save money for emergencies. The Managing the Food Department section is also a great section, for the same reason. We have always been bad at spending more money that we need to at the grocery store. With this section, we are able to really start planning our weekly meals and grocery lists and only buy the things that we really need.

Although the book is called The Busy Mom's Guide to a Happy, Organized Home you do NOT need to be a mom to read this book. right now I'm the worker in the house, so hubby is home every day taking care of our son and the house and a lot, if not most, of these tips can also apply to him! Great book for all moms and I think it would be super helpful for new moms!
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on February 9, 2009
To have a career and a mother is to have two full time jobs - how do you pull off such a balancing act? "The Busy Mom's Guide to a Happy, Organized Home: Fast Solutions to Hundreds of Everyday Dilemmas" is designed to be the working mother's bible for dealing with the endless complexities of their life. Divided into categories such as food, finances, chores, and event not-so daily events such as holidays and birthdays, "The Busy Mom's Guide to a Happy, Organized Home" is a strong consideration to any dual breadwinner/single parent who faces these challenges.
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I was curious about this book before it arrived, but expected it to be pretty impractical. Instead, I discovered that it is a wonderful book packed full of very practical tips. Kathy Peel and her husband raised 3 boys who are now grown adults. She says early on that she gleans tips and advice from all the women she has known in her life and come across. I liked that. (A few months ago I reviewed a book by a woman who wrote a book of advice for working moms though she hadn't been one when she wrote the book.) Sometimes it seems that advice givers can come across as very prideful as if they have all the answers. There is a blessing that comes from learning from one another!

In the book, Ms. Peel tackles seven areas of home management: time and scheduling, home and property care, menus and meal planning, relationships with family and friends, finances, special events (including holidays and birthday parties), and taking care of yourself.

For the most part, her tips are practical and useful no matter what the income of your family is. A few of them are only practical if you do have extra disposable income, but it's a relatively small number of things (ie. in the section about yourself, she mentions both getting a massage and a facial in a questionnaire). Most of her tips are realistic and frugal. For example, she mentions washing the area where ants are coming in with straight white vinegar. She also lists cleaning tips that can be done overnight with regular household items like vinegar and baking soda. A lot of books like this include tips that are very labor intensive and the time used outweighs the money saved. This book, on the other hand, includes tips that are very doable and wise, in my humble opinion.

I know that I will be coming back to this book again and again. She has organized lists of what to do to care for your home each season. She also has lists about appliances--how long their life expectancy is and even advice on how to choose new ones.

The section I am usually most curious about is menus and meal planning. Her tips are especially practical for moms who work outside their homes. I agreed with most of her advice, though I don't do as much freezing and cooking ahead. My family likes a lot of variety and I cook breakfast 5 mornings a week since my kids are not fans of cereal. But, that's how it is with any book--you are the best judge of advice that will work for you and your family. There is no one size fits all solution to organizing your home and life. But, I love to read new ideas because they renew my hope that I can get on top of things or be successful tackling something I've been struggling with.

Here's a sample of tips that really stuck with me from the book...
On Time Management...
"When you say yes to something, you're saying no to something else. Don't let it be your family." p.3
On Cleaning...
"Use a wide, soft-bristled paintbrush to remove dust from blinds and pleats in a lamp shade." p.48
On Cooking...
"Boil a few slices of lemon in a pan of water for 20 minutes to clear the air of burned food odor." p.57
On Baking...
"When coating a baking pan with flour, use an empty spice jar (the kind with holes in the lid) to shake it neatly into the pan." p. 123
On Celebrating...
"Don't wait until you have enough money to plan the perfect party. If something is worth celebrating, it's worth celebrating no matter how simple the event." p. 219
On Finances...
"Everything you have is a gift from God.... Managing money is not about the money. It's about how you view money...The joy of a purchase made on credit usually doesn't outlast the payments." p.195

This sample is just a smidgen of the great ideas I read in this book. Kathy Peel truly has packed this book with lots of great advice. It's perfect for someone starting out on their own, newlyweds, or people that love ideas about how to manage life better. It's full of good reminders even if you are a pretty organized person. I do highly recommend this book!

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book for review.
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