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Houseworks: Cut the Clutter, Speed Your Cleaning, and Calm the Chaos
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Houseworks: Cut the Clutter, Speed Your Cleaning, and Calm the Chaos

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  186 ratings  ·  43 reviews
America's leading housekeeping expert shows you how to de-clutter, organize, and clean your home, with easy-to-remember tips for every job, from keeping your bathroom clean and doing the laundry to sorting out paperwork and organizing the family photo album. Where there is hope, there is help. You can win the chore wars! Author, founder, and editor of the top-ranked websit ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley) (first published January 1st 2006)
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Oh, wow, this is definitely a keeper and a great household management reference book, hence, not a one time read.

It has so many tips, checklists, organizing, cleaning and decluttering plans, it's a real wealth of information on just about any household topic. It even has food storage guidlines for fridge, freezer and pantry, which I find really useful.

It is divided into useful chapters on clothing, rooms, surfaces and systems, paper and finances, cleaning and planning your home. It also has fo
I have sticky notes, sticky notes everywhere. This book is definitely a keeper for reference. Here is a small sample of Ewer's suggestions that I marked.

I liked the recipes for green cleaners.

"The quickest and simplest route to a clean house is to schedule cleaning tasks on a daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal basis." (Page 68) I'm thinking about starting mirror Mondays, toidy Tuesdays, and wood floor Wednesdays.

I liked the fresh food storage and pantry storage guidelines. I have always wonde
joy *the clean-reader extraordinaire*
hands-down the best organizing manual i've ever picked up. it advocates practical, widely-applicable streamlining techniques. digestible chunks of info. great ideas. easy to read in small bursts. good pictures and useful charts and forms. *and wow, have i overused my 'ands' here*
anyhoo, if you have piles of clutter forming around your house, or simply want to brush up on how to keep the family zoo a little cleaner, this one has my recommendation.
Elke Ursin
This book had some fantastic tips in it! My favorite is the quick way to get some cleaning done by setting aside 10 minutes and getting one box for stuff to put away somewhere else, one box for stuff that needs to be filed or stored, one box of stuff to give to charity, and a bag for garbage. Set your timer for 10-minutes and just do as much as you can in an area. When the time's up, then go put away the box of stuff to put away and you've made some major progress. There are some great cleaning ...more
Megan Larson
Oct 21, 2009 Megan Larson rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those frequently frustrated by household issues
Shelves: how-to
Why did I not know until now that there are books out there that teach you how to "speed the cleaning, cut the clutter, calm the chaos???" I think I speak for many moms of young kids, wives of men (God bless them), and generally busy women, when I say that it gets discouraging to see persistent organizational problems or even chaos around the house when you have a decent brain that could work out solutions to all those problems, except you're just...too...tired.... woah, I think I just fell asle ...more
So I only got through the first half of this book before I had to return it to the library, but the first half was exactly what I needed. I love that she explains that clutter is a behavioral problem, and so fixing it needs a behavioral change...not lots of expensive tubs, shelves, and racks. I definitely garnered some great information that I have been applying in my life.

**Update: I again got this book from the library to finish the second half. I was pretty disappointed. I still really liked
Freda Labianca
After reading this book, I learned that I am well organized and clean by nature. I thought there would be more tips in the book that I didn't already do, but majority of this book is how I live my life.
The storage guidelines and treating stains were the most useful things I took from this book, though all the information I found very valuable. Not everyone is as organized as I am, and this book is a great tool to get there. So for all you hoarders and busy-bodies alike, this book is designed for
I love, love, love this book. Halfway through I had to buy my own copy. I highly recommend it to anyone else who may struggle a lot or a little with keeping your house organized and clean (like me). If I can implement half of what she talks about I'll be doing great. I know I will never clean quite that thoroughly and often because it's not worth the time to me but I'm excited to start and I can't wait to be organized for the first time :)
De-clutter, organizing the cleaning, gain free spaces, focus on practicity over "I want it all under one roof" are things in the past... in my life.

I read it with curiosity & attention.

Nothing out this world the advices, but comes with "bonafide attitude": common sense at the end of the road.

For minimalist, useless (ie: me).

But for those with unlimited taste and ambition for material things, a Gods send!
I borrowed this from the library and I'm ordering a copy to keep at home. It's just that handy. This book is filled with fantastic tips, organized in a completely logical way. The author seems incredibly relatable, too, which I like, and it makes the advice seem more palatable. I've already been pondering where I want to start to bring order to our little slice of chaos.
I liked this book so much that it lives at my bedside now. I like organizing books. I like seeing simple ideas on how to make areas in my home function better. This book has a magazine quality in how the information is presented. I like to pick it up and look at whatever section of my home is bugging me and get inspiration on how I want to tackle the problem.
I found the book to be helpful in understanding some of my clutter and how to organize it better. It also inspired me to sort through closets, kitchen cabinets, etc. to organize those few areas that had me dumb-founded. The tips on cleaning seemed a bit extreme, but I guess there are people who need that. Overall I found it to be a good and useful book.
This is a well laid out book on tackling the organization of your home. She covers everything from how to clean to how to organize and how to effectively store things. I follow the FLYLady emails and I found this was incredibly similar, right down to using the same terminology in a lot of places, but as far as I know there are no official ties between them.
This is a great get-started sort of book. Some of the suggestions I've already started/implemented, others expanded my view of our current "habits". I really like that the author emphasizes thtat each household is individual & therfore the plan is individual as well. I enjoyed this read - took extensive notes & can't wait to implement them.
I've been a follower of Cynthia Townley Ewer for many years. This is a great book. My home is very organized, so I didn't find anything new in this book, but it was a pleasure to browse through each chapter.
Re-read before donating to my Friends of the Library book sale. This has some still useful tips on cleaning, decluttering and household organization. There are some areas that are outdated since the advent of the digital era and introduction of new products into our daily lives.
Some good info and advice, but still not a big fan of books written by people who vacuum and dust their whole house and scrub toilets EVERY DAY. I was looking for something a little more realistic, like how to keep your house "clean enough" when you are busy raising 5 kids.
This book has a lot of information. Everything is organized and gets into more details at each new section. This is the type of book that you would have to keep on hand to remember all the information. The author has a blog as well for you to get more information from.
Dillon Peck
This is for people who have children and don't know how to clean. I'm sure it would be extremely helpful for those folks, though!
I'm really messy and not naturally into how to organise things, or even that things need to be organised so this book was really good and helpful. Although to be honest I'm still messy, I'm probably disorganised too but I think I'm getting better!
She suggests some great ideas for systems to make everyday life easier. I would be lying if I said I'd cut the clutter completely as a result of reading the book but I raved about it so much that my sister went and bought a copy.
This is the best book I have read in this genre. Full of useful tips for cutting the clutter as well as household management tips, checklists and ideas.
The sections of this book that applied to what I needed were very good. The idea of a Household Notebook was nothing short of a revelation to me.
Good for cleaning tips, not so good for decluttering tips. The decluttering "after" photos look more like "before" photos.
This book was a wealth of information on organizing everything in your home. And lots of color photos, too, which I love.
Feb 28, 2013 Vex rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: ebook
The "STOP" sections were quite repetitive, but I liked the info on homemade cleaning solutions and how to clean properly.
This has a lot of great ideas to get organized. I will probably be reading it for the rest of my life!
Sep 14, 2009 Carrie marked it as reference
This book will magically transform my home in to an organized, calm, oasis. I can feel it!
pretty good and comprehensive, though nothing particularly novel or notable. would peruse again.
Good tips but I don't have enough time to be that organized... Someday... Maybe.
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Cynthia Ewer (Richland, Wash.) is publisher of, an information resource for home organization and management. She is author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Organized, Fast-Track, and of Houseworks: How to Live Clean, Green and Organized at Home.

Cynthia's Web site has received numerous awards and media mentions since its debut in 1998, including the coveted USA Today HotS
More about Cynthia Ewer...
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Organized Fast-Track Houseworks House Works: How to Live Clean, Green, and Organized at Home The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Organized: Fast-Track

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