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How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind: Dealing with Your House's Dirty Little Secrets Paperback – November 8, 2016
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About the Author
Dana K. White is a blogger, podcaster, speaker, and (much to her own surprise) a decluttering expert. She taught both English and theatre arts before leaving her job to make her family her life's work. In an attempt to get her home under control, Dana started blogging as “Nony” (short for anonymous) at A Slob Comes Clean. Dana soon realized she was not alone in her housekeeping struggles and in her feelings of shame. Today, Dana shares realistic home management strategies and a message of hope for the hopelessly messy through her blog, weekly podcasts, and videos. Dana lives with her husband and three kids just outside of Dallas, Texas. Oh, and she’s funny.
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Top Customer Reviews
I wasn't sure I needed this book. I'd already been reading her blog and listening to her podcasts for almost a year and I bought a few of her e-books including 28 days to hope for your home. But I bought this book because I wanted to be sure there weren't any concepts I missed and as a thank you to her for her blog and podcasts because her methods have already changed my life. After trying to follow other methods and strategies, hers is the one that works for me.
It is nice to have the book to read and to refer to easily if I want to read about a particular method. I do have some disappointment with this book which was one of her concepts "layers of a clean house" was not mentioned that I could recall in the book. That may be me having missed it though. The other disappointment was that I kept hoping for a concise summary of her methods at the end of the book since her writing style can be a bit ramble-y but it never came. So I feel like I have to write one myself to remind me. Which I think I'll do here in my review here so I won't lose it. For those who have read the book the summary will make sense. For those who haven't, it'll seem to make sense but I strongly suggest reading the book for it to really sink in. It'll tell you the whys and hows of her methods and motivate you with humor.
First, do daily habits: dishes, sweeping kitchen, five minute pickup, bathroom check
Second, do laundry day. Or daily laundry or twice a week laundry. Just have a laundry system that works.
Third, declutter, don't organize.
Fourth, after the daily habits are coming along, incorporate routines for weekly cleaning but only after daily habits are consistent.
Efficiency isn't necessarily the way to go (surprisingly)
Simplify decluttering, no half-way points
Take it there right now
One in one out only when you've reached equilibrium
Housekeeping is not a project
Regrets will happen but you'll get over it
Do the easy stuff first
Head Explosion Rule
The True Value of an Item
Live in the present and not for the future or next stage of your life
This is not a book for people who love systems. It's not for people who are looking to tackle the one problem area in their home (unless of course the problem ares IS your home). This book was written by a slob for other slobs. This book was written for me. And maybe it was written for you too.
Dana doesn't beat around the bush when she tells you how she improved her home. Setting up routines for doing the dishes and laundry made the biggest difference for her and for hundreds of people who have read her blog and her book. She proves that for truly disorganized/messy/slobbish people repetition is what works.
I saw a review that complained about how often the book reminds you to do your dishes. To someone like me, that repetition is what I need to truly get me on track. It's much too easy to put off the dishes when I could be working on a decluttering project. But at the end of the day when I can't cook or serve supper that beautifully arranged closet isn't going to feed my husband. I have to feed him and I can't do that without washing the dishes.
If you've ever felt hopeless about your home, the piles of dishes and laundry, the junk stacked on the floor and flat surfaces. If you've ever been so overwhelmed you've cried. If you've ever felt alone in your struggles like me. This is the book for you. Buy this. Then do the easy stuff first.
Thank you Dana, for all your help and encouragement. Laundry day has been an institution in our home for 2 years now. Maybe one day soon I'll get the hang of the dishes.
My favorite parts of the book were talking about the "container concept", the "just declutter" mindset, and the reality of regrets of decluttering. It is more freeing to realize that you'll have some regrets, but it will be OK.
I have read various books and blogs on cleaning and organizing and I would rate this as one of my favorite books on the subject. I connect more with her experiences and priorities, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
If you are a follower of Dana's blog and/or podcast, "A Slob Comes Clean", you will find some of the material familiar, but I still believe that it is worth purchasing. I find her writing motivational, like a gentle nudge from a friend who understands me and doesn't judge me for my tendencies to get distracted from cleaning.
I received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for my honest review. I would have read it anyway - I even kept the preorder I placed before I received the Advance Reader Copy because I figured it is a small thank you to Dana for writing her blog. I've read it for so many years and it has helped my attitude about cleaning, and the organization and appearance of my home.