House Works

I am in the happy anticipation phase of spring cleaning: imagining how great it's going to be to have things organized and tidy and freshly-scrubbed. And this book, Houseworks: Cut the Clutter, Speed Your Cleaning and Calm the Chaos, is just fueling the fire.

I actually ordered it from Amazon the last time I was on a serious cleaning/organizing kick (over a year ago!) but I picked it up again this week and was impressed again by its sound advice (which I'm actually going to try and follow this time around. Ahem.)

The author, Cynthia Townley Ewer writes in a clear and calming style: she breaks things down into reasonable steps and has a lot of good ideas. And she's not without humor. In the introduction she tells the story of how she realized she had problem with organization.

It was Christmas eve and she was recently divorced with two small kids. She had been out visiting family and returned to find the window by her front door broken. She called the cops and they came and checked it out. "Lady," the cop said, "I don't understand. Your deadbolt held but somehow they got inside and ransacked the upstairs."

The rooms were "knee-deep in crumpled photocopies, legal pads, fabric scraps, piled clothing, holiday wrap, stacked files, spilled coffee and dirty dishes." Ewer then had to confess, extremely embarrassed, that she had actually left things that way herself. (Ouch!)

After that Ewer worked hard to develop good habits and methods for keeping things clean and organized. She started a website,, and then wrote this book. I know it's kind of silly to read a book about cleaning instead of spending the time, you know, actually cleaning but she does have some good ideas. And sometimes I just need a little inspiration and motivation.

(I know I haven't posted photos of E recently. I'll get some up later this week, so hang in there, grandparents!)

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