Keeping House, Keeping Home

L.G. Abell

In 1853, Mrs. L.G. Abell set down hundreds of domestic skills to be mastered with economy and grace by any woman wishing to run an efficient home. Light-years ahead of her time, Abell believed solidly in the virtue of the accomplished woman, one who is "skilled in the various arts of life, complete in her character, so constituted by her own industry and intelligence." While the arts of life may be defined rather differently today, the overall notion that "woman's work is never done" remains, and there is plenty of practical information here to aid any busy wife or super mom through her day including tips for marketing, cures for dozens of maladies from earaches to seasickness, how to remove stains, how to set a proper table, instilling good manners and behavior in children, and much more. Fun to browse through and an invaluable addition to any home, A Mother's Book of Traditional Household Skills will continue to please generations of mothers to come.


Laura Fronty

"A Well-Kept Home transforms our approach to the daily chores surrounding the upkeep of our home. The practical advice and natural recipes make it possible to take real pleasure in those essential household duties, while at the same time evoking the atmosphere and spirit of a time gone by."

Tom McNulty

Most men have a problem with cleaning house--they don't know how to do it, and they don't particularly want to learn. The results are usually a messy house or a bitter spouse—-or both. Clean Like a Man is the solution. Written specifically for the attention-challenged and motivation-impaired male, it's the first and only housekeeping primer that tells men how to clean the house their way: getting everything done quickly and easily, without getting to Felix Unger about it. It's such a great approach to housekeeping that women will love it, too.

Sandy Maine

"Like a breath of fresh air, this guide to home and personal care embraces the cleaning ritual as a necessary part of daily life and offers tips on how to make it remarkably stress-free and even enjoyable. By creating homemade cleaning products, soaps, and shampoos, harsh chemical cleaners, artificial scents, and allergy-inducing additives are simply replaced with pure, gentle, and wholesome products. In a world where environmental sensitivities are on the rise and time to complete basic tasks seems to slip away, the efficient recipes and methods in this book come as a welcome surprise. By eliminating unnecessary cleaning products from the home, under-the-counter clutter is greatly reduced, allergies and sensitivities are easily addressed, and favorite scents and textures become a part of the calming and fulfilling ritual of keeping things clean."

Virginia M. Friedman, Melissa Wagner, and Nancy Armstrong

"At last, a field guide to identifying and doing battle with more than 100 stains, from tomato juice and tar to avocado and urine! Field Guide to Stains is divided into handy sections for easy access to information about stain removal when time is of the essence: Fruits and Vegetables, Sauces and Condiments, Garage and Yard, Office and School Products, and more. But readers will learn more than just areas of occurrence, plus other essential information. A full-color insert features 100 photographs for easy identification, and each photograph is cross-referenced to the stain's in-depth description and step-by-step removal advice. This hilarious handbook is essential reading for everyone about to venture out into the wild, to the kitchen, or to a night on the town!"

Martha Stewart

Who wouldn't like her living space to be more organized? Tapping into the popularity of the "Good Things" column in Martha Stewart Living, Good Things for Organizing provides practical, efficient, and pretty solutions for organizing just about everything, from spools of thread and the silverware drawer to your entire wardrobe and home office.


Cheryl Mendelson

A skeptical discussion of the excessive use of disinfectants in the home. · How to iron a dress shirt and how to fold sheets. · How to make up a bed with hospital corners. · How to do all basic sewing stitches. · How to choose proper sizes for sheets, tablecloths, and other household linens. · How to set the table for informal and formal meals. · Expert recommendations for safe food storage. · The most exhaustive and reliable information on fabrics, textile fibers, and their laundering, drying, and other care that exists for nonprofessionals. · A thorough explanation of care labels and why and how you should often (carefully) disregard them. · Housekeeping guidelines for people with pets or with allergies. · What to do about dust mites. · How to clean and care for wood, china and crystal, jewelry, ceramic tile, metals, and more. · Guides to stain and spot removal. · Extensive recommendations for improving home safety. · A summary of laws applicable to the home, including privacy, accident liability, contracts, and domestic employees.

Monica Nassif

In grandmother’s day, the fibers were natural, the suds were simple, and the clothes dryer was a line stretched across the backyard. Today the parade of products and fabrics seems endless. But author Monica Nassif knows the secrets behind this satisfying ritual. Laundry lays them out—from sorting and soaking to fluffing and folding, here are tips and techniques that make doing the wash a true pleasure.

Cindy Glovinsky

Simple, effective ways to put things in their place
Those piles of papers, clothes, and other things you thought you'd successfully de-cluttered have returned, and this time they brought friends. What's the use of trying to fight the clutter? Is there a better way? This powerful and useful guide delivers solutions that work, no matter how overwhelmed you feel. The answer isn't an elaborate new system, or a solemn vow to start tomorrow. Instead, psychotherapist and organizer Cindy Glovinsky shares 100 simple strategies for tackling the problem the way it grows--one thing at a time. Here's a sampling of the tips explained in the book: * Declare a fix-it day * Purge deep storage areas first * Label it so you can read it * Get a great letter opener * Practice toy population planning * Leave it neater than you found it.
Written in short takes and with a supportive tone, this is an essential, refreshing book that helps turn a hopeless struggle into a manageable part of life, one thing at a time.

Karen Mains
"Can a simple dinner party for the neighbors change the world?Karen Mains says, 'Yes!' And, in Open Heart, Open Home she shows how. In this classic on Christian hospitality, Karen Mains steps far beyond how-to-entertain hints to explore a biblical and spiritual approach to using your home to care for others. This approach to hospitality can literally transform the fabric of your community and your world.

"If you labor under the illusion that hospitality requires Martha Stewart-like abilities, then Mains will free you from a load of guilt! Instead, she offers fresh and inspiring ideas for using your own resources to serve rather than to impress with new 'opening the door' activities in each chapter. You will discover how the Holy Spirit can work in and through you to make others feel welcome and wanted.Whether you are a business executive or a homemaker, a professional minister or a layperson, a seasoned entertainer or an entertaining klutz, you will find here the encouragement and skills you need to reach out with the gospel through daily acts of acceptance, belonging and love."

Kendell Cronstrom

"With its seductive images of pristine closets, dazzling sink faucets, impeccably organized refrigerators and clutter-free bookshelves, the Real Simple world beckons to readers everywhere. The photos inside this luxuriously straightforward guide to straightening up one’s house make organization into an art form: nicely arranged pillows on a sofa become a palette of bright color blocks; towels piled atop a hamper turn into an inviting display; and compact discs line up to form vertical bisectors on a horizontal rack.

"Using a combination of photographs and sketches, the editors explain how to spiff up every room in the house, and even go so far as to give instructions on organizing one’s organizational spaces (such as drawers and medicine cabinets). Inspiring and comprehensive, this guide should appeal to both compulsively ordered and chronically messy homeowners."

Monica Nassif

Whatever the season, Spring Cleaning celebrates the rewarding ritual of refreshing your home from top to bottom. Here is clear and practical advice for how to shake the dust from the cushions, chase cobwebs from the corners, and throw open those squeaky-clean windows to let in the clean, fresh breeze.

Kathleen Kendall-Tackett

Organizing the home is one of those desirable and beneficial activities that remain elusive for many. This practical guide explains the many benefits - physical, emotional, and spiritual - of an organized home and shows how to attain them. Breaking down the process into 50 steps, the author uses her own experiences as a psychologist and professional home organizer to help readers clear away not only the physical clutter but the psychological blocks that encourage it and hinder organization.

She tells where to start, encourages small steps, and explores the psychology of organizing. Next she addresses fundamental principles, including keeping tools where they will be used and making the most of active storage space. Finally, she shows how to get rid of excess stuff, including how to attack those never-ending piles and junk drawers, and stem the inflow of junk into the home. These easy exercises, tips, and stories will truly help readers organize their homes for efficiency, peacefulness, and well-being.