The House That Cleans Itself is an excellent book aimed toward the "cleaning impaired."
Author Mindy Starns Clark's plan shows that trying to change ourselves to become great housekeepers isn't going to work -- we must analyze the reasons for the clutter and change the house first to allow for the family's habits. She also stresses throughout the book that if a particular plan doesn't work for you, don't do it! -- and she offers alternatives to help take care of the problem.
The plan may come across as somewhat complicated to put into practice, but it also gives the promise that putting in that time and planning will lead you toward a house that can stay clean without tedium. Even if a reader does not want to follow the entire plan, this book contains many tips and suggestions that can help a person easily get the housecleaning manageable and to the point where one does not have to be embarrassed if anyone drops by unexpectedly. This includes some simple tips like keeping containers nearby of different types of cleaning wipes to handle an immediate problem when you just don't have the time to get into a full cleaning mode, or keeping more than one set of cleaning supplies, one on each floor or
one in each bathroom, for example.
The book also includes many reader-supplied "most embarrassing messy house
stories", which, besides being entertaining, let us all know that we are not the only ones who consider this a formidable task.
Ruth (NewRuth) reviewed The House That Cleans Itself: Creative Solutions for a Clean and Orderly House in Less Time Than You Can Imagine on
Helpful Score: 1
For some reason, I could not get into this book. It may have helped me to like the author if I had read the forward "A Better Way" followed by Chapter 22 "My Journey to Clean." The book isn't a total waste, since there are some good ideas in there. On the other hand, I am sorry that I purchased it new instead of waiting on the PBS wishlist.
Anyone who thinks that a house can really clean itself is delusional, but this book does set forth a good plan for how to arrange and organize your home to work with how you and your family live in the home first rather than the standard organizing mantra that has you changing your behaviors to fit a set plan.
Ms Starns Clark brings you a plan that has you look at your house as it is at its worst. In fact, if youve just cleaned, she advises you to not clean and wait a week or two to put the plan into action. The goal is to rearrange your home to accommodate you and your familys habits first and then do changes that require that you change your behaviors to fit the home.
Examples, if when coming into your home, everyone just drops their coats on the floor there rather than walking around the corner to a closet, put a coat tree or hooks there so everyone has a place to hang their coats immediately upon entering the home.
She does incorporate the work of other organizers, like the Fly Lady, but she once again tweaks them. The Fly Ladys mantra is to shine your sink every day. The author realized that a shiny sink wasnt a motivator for her, but she did find something that was a motivator for her and made sure that she kept that place organized and clean on a daily basis.
Overall, I think the book offers excellent advice for getting your home set up so that it stays clean and organized with less effort on your part.
There were some things that I think would have been improvements like some photos of her work as she went through her home. I think it would have also been helpful to cover suggestions for getting other family members to be more involved and to actively participate in the process.
I will warn you that the books do have a Christian theme. Each chapter starts with a bible verse that is related to the chapters subject. This is easily skipped for those who are not Christian (or who are, but arent interested in making everything about Christianity.) There are two parts in the book that have a specific Christian focus and, if you are not Christian, you can just skip them, or read them and use them to incorporate your own faith into the organizing process.
This book would be great for someone who hasn't read a 1000 other home organizational books. For me, it was boring and drug out. Ms. Clark recommends tons of great things that I have actually read in tons of other great books. I feel this book would be a great help to someone who can muddle through it but for me it was a waste of the money I spent to buy it.