Saturday, July 5, 2008

Book Review: The House That Cleans Itself

This year at MOPS we had a guest speaker come talk about home organization. I did happen to miss several meetings this year, but a meeting on housekeeping wasn't going to be missed no matter WHAT ailment I may or may not have had on this particular day.

The speaker went over a number of home issues such as clutter, use of space, aesthetics, routines, etc. But, for me, the best piece of information she shared was about a gem of a book entitled: The House That Cleans Itself by Mindy Starns Clark. It was written for the perfectionist who happens to also be organizationally challenged. Yes, ME!

Clark's process may take you a couple weeks to 6 months to complete, depending on your home. You start with a 3-ring notebook, paper, and several interesting assignments. The reader keeps documentation along the way as they examine their home and discover the root of most messes. One of the first assignments in this book is to draw a floor plan of your entire house, garage and yard. Another unique assignment is to take pictures of every space in your house after letting it get dirty for a few days (some of us had to wait less time than others). Eventually you will use these pictures and outlines to apply the CONVERT system which will, at least in theory, revolutionize the way your home works. Every member of your house, from young to old, can productively work with this system once the routine gets established.

Some of the ideas in this book were so simple. I thought more than once, Now why didn't I think of this?! You'll re-examine the type of furniture and household items you purchase right down to the color, texture, and quality. Every detail affects the chemicals, tools, and time you spend on each item in your home. You'll re-consider where you put each cleaning supply, as well. Through Clark's suggested use of "stations," a family can eliminate losing precious utensils from pencils and pens to other necessary items like staplers and tape. I instantly discovered several valuable stations needed in my own home and am working to create them as time permits. They're already making a significant difference for us.

I'm still at the very beginning of the CONVERT process, but it's reassuring to see the larger picture--that glorious light at the end of the tunnel. It helps keep me focused and excited about the final product and ongoing maintenance. If things continue to move along, this looks to be something I will wish I had purchased long before I had a home of my own so that I could have avoided years of organizational and cleaning frustration. I really do hope that's the case.

For more information on The House That Cleans Itself, visit Mindy Starns Clark's website by clicking HERE or her blog by clicking HERE.

See two of my angels hard at work below:

1 ♥ thoughtful comments ♥:

Shay said...

Hi Shaye!

I have to admit I've been stalking you, I hope you don't mind ;) I'm loving your page, I think out of everyone I check you blog as much as I do!!! I LOVE IT! I learn so much from your blogs too. Okay, just wanted to leave a comment, because I know how much fun they are to get!

P.S. Don't you just love FEED-JITS? I just wished, everyone would drop me a comment that stops ;) Laterz, Shay

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