Top positive review
119 people found this helpful
Good for reference and how-to
on February 21, 2008
This book is divided into sections: first, the recommended cleaning kit is described. Then cleaning strategies for each room in the house are outlined. Next, there's a guide to cleaning common surfaces like ceilings, walls, windows, and floors. At the back of the book, there's a guide to stain removal, a cleaning calendar, and a resource guide.
My favorite part of the book is the cleaning calendar. Tasks are divided into categories based on how often they should be completed: weekly, monthly, every 3-6 months, every 6-12 months, and every year or so. As a neophyte SAHM and new home-owner, I find it helpful to have recommendations for the frequency of tasks. I found it helpful to put small "LabelOnce" brand labels on each task box so I could mark the last time I'd done it - it helps me to have a reminder of when I last vacuumed the coils on the back of the fridge, etc, especially for tasks that are performed less frequently.
Each room section begins with a "101" introduction (eg Kitchen Cleaning 101) that's fewer than 10 steps, along with a "10-minute clean" sidebar. That's followed by "The Next Steps" for more detailed cleaning. There's a page or two devoted to each part of the room (counters, sink, faucets, refrigerator/freezer, oven, stovetop, cabinets/drawers, and kitchen accessories for the kitchen section) that goes into detail about how to clean that specific element. Different advice for different materials (stainless steel, ceramic, etc) is given. Alongside these pages are sidebars with related information: protecting your counters, what's *really* on your counter, sink stopped up?, what's in your water?, defrosting your freezer, avoiding food overflow (in the oven), four more uses for oven cleaner, pantry purge (how long to keep pantry items), etc. At the end of each section is a page or two with tips to help keep the room cleaner between cleanings (eg, make the sink smell better by grinding the skins of citrus fruits in the garbage disposal).
The book covers the kitchen, bathroom, living/dining/bedrooms, home office, child's bedroom, and laundry rooms. The "Common Surfaces" section covers ceilings, walls, windows, window coverings, floors, and carpets/rugs. For each surface, different materials are discussed.
I find this book to be quite useful, but I am not a long-time homeowner and historically have not been good at keeping on top of the cleaning chores that need to be done. This book helps me keep my home more clean, and I've found it useful when I'm trying to tackle a large cleaning job. It has information that may be available elsewhere, granted, but it's all collected in one easy-to-find place. In particular, I like the step-by-step cleaning guides for each room. I thought I knew how to clean a kitchen, but I admit that it had never really occurred to me to wash the fronts of the cabinets or to use a vacuum to remove crumbs from drawers. For the experienced housekeeper I don't know that this book would be particularly useful, but if you have trouble keeping everything clean and knowing how to clean, it would probably come in handy.