Monday, March 20, 2017

How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind

 How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White | Review by Tomes and Tequila Book Blog
I have a confession to make. I am what Dana K. White refers to as a slob. I am terrific at projects and big cleaning sprees before social gatherings, but I'm not so great at keeping my house looking bright and shiny on a regular day to day basis. I have read numerous books in the past...printed out fabulous cleaning schedules off of Pinterest...come up with amazing plans throughout the years, but nothing has ever really stuck. Enter Miss White.

I just finished listening to How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind: Dealing With Your House's Dirty Little Secrets by Dana K. White on Audiobook and I really enjoyed it.

She starts off with an intro detailing who this book is for...and who it's definitely NOT geared towards. If you're already very organized, don't bother picking this one up. It was made for folks like me and I'm sure the naturally tidy people would find it basic and not worth their time. But if you have parts of your house alphabetized yet refer to one of your closets as "The Harry Potter closet" because it reminds you of the Room of Requirement, this book is for you.

It is written in a style that can best be described as girlfriend...and that is even more noticeable listening to it on Audiobook. There is zero condescension. It is more like you're sitting at your friend's house talking over a glass of wine about how hard it is to keep on top of laundry when your kids are CONSTANTLY changing and dirtying everything! It is witty and wry yet chock full of a new way of thinking about cleaning routines.

One of the terms White coins in the book is "Slob Vision". This is a phenomenon that I can wholly relate to. I chronically have a pile of papers on the bar in my kitchen. They just gravitate there...and I am so used to seeing that pile of papers that it doesn't even register anymore. That's Slob Vision. I could list other areas of my house where Slob Vision routinely makes an appearance, but I want my friends to still set foot in my house so I'll leave it at that. But throughout the book she talks about fighting that obstacle to cleanliness, and it really hit home.

Now, as I've mentioned before, I like books that detail the hows of a subject. Say it's a book about insomnia, I want it to give me realistic hints and tips that I can actually try in my day-to-day life in an effort to sleep better. Give me a list of essential oils to put in my diffuser, some suggested meditations to do before crawling in bed, a list of Youtube videos of ambient music, what foods to avoid before bed, etc. I am very picky on this point. You're probably not going to see a 5 star nonfiction book if it doesn't detail the How. This book gave me some serious hows to work with.

White starts the book very simply with doing your dishes, and then progresses to bigger tasks. She even delves into deep cleaning and decluttering, along with a great chapter on how to get rid of the items you're purging from your house. She covers E-bay and consignment shops along with thrift stores and yard sales.

I probably wouldn't recommend Audiobook as the perfect format for How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind, mainly because it's a book you'd probably want to go back and reference particular bits and pieces of later on..and it's harder to do that on Audible. But the author narrates it to perfection, and I really enjoyed listening to it at work. I just think for this subject I should've gone with a different format.

But this was very much a 4 star book in my slobbish eyes, even though I've never called myself that before. I'm definitely going to go to her website and see what she has going on over there. It also looks like she has a podcast, which I'll need to put in regular rotation. Hopefully I'll be able to put into action her tips and get my house under control. My neat freak husband has had to put up with a lot over the years and deserves a consistently neat and tidy that doesn't have a pile of papers on the kitchen bar. Mind you, he gets a little too excited by vacuum cleaner marks in the carpet so I think God put us together for a reason.

So, is your house immaculate all the time? Does cleaning come naturally to you? Or are you good at projects, like me? Let me know in the comments here or over on my Facebook page.

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