Housework

It's All Too Much! Less Junk, Clearer Mind, Better Life

book cover image of It's All Too Much by Peter Walsh

Last year, I made a New Year’s resolution to clean up my house. In reality, I just needed to attack the horrific mess that used to be my garage. I needed to be able to walk the length of it and get out the other end, unscathed. This grand task sounded great on paper, but unfortunately I had made this promise many times before. From reading countless articles about New Year’s resolutions, this time I knew how to make it happen. I needed an outline of specific steps. I needed to let others know about my goal. And I needed to set aside time to make it happen.

As we all know, life has a habit of getting in the way. There are bills to be paid, grocery shopping to do, meals to be made, and appointments to keep. Let’s not forget about work, house repair, yard work, and general cleaning! All of these unfortunately take precedence over organization and sorting through clutter. But I was determined to make it happen. I took one day this summer to clean out the garage, giving my husband the baby and playing “invisible” for a day. We ended up with a much neater looking space and a generous truckload of items off to Goodwill and various recycling entities. But a few months later – yup, you guessed it – the piles were back and the garage was nearly impassable again.

The Well-Ordered Home: Organizing Techniques For Inviting Serenity Into Your Life

By Kathleen Kendall-Tackett

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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.

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Spring Cleaning: The Spirit of Keeping Home

By Monica Nassif

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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.

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Real Simple: The Organized Home

By Kendell Cronstrom

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"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."

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One Thing at a Time: 100 Simple Ways to Live Clutter Free

By Cindy Glovinsky

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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.

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Laundry: The Spirit of Keeping Home

By Monica Nassif

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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.

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Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House

By Cheryl Mendelson

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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.

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Good Things for Organizing

By Martha Stewart

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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.

 

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Field Guide to Stains: How to Identify and Remove Virtually Every Stain Known to Man

By Virginia M. Friedman, Melissa Wagner, and Nancy Armstrong

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"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!"

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Clean Naturally; Recipes For Body, Home and Spirit

By Sandy Maine

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"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."

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