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Sidetracked Home Executives(TM): From Pigpen to Paradise

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  899 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
Two sisters share the system of organising household chores that they created to make managing a home less time consuming and more efficient, in an updated handbook that explains how to reduce chaos and clutter and achieve organisation in the home.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published February 1st 2001 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 1979)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,514)
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Jeanette
Apr 07, 2010 Jeanette rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010
I am, apparently, the epitome of a Sidetracked Home Executive. I was going through an old box of books that should have been donated eons ago when I came across this book and spent the next hour reading it instead of taking said box of books to be donated.
This book is laughably out of date and somewhat complicated in its card system. But the more I read the more I recognized a bit of myself. I am easily distracted only it is not by soaps it is by the internet. "I am just going to pop on the com
...more
Denise
Dec 30, 2008 Denise rated it really liked it
I discovered there's actually a name for people like me. People who lose track of time, or have no concept of time to begin with. People with good intentions and great enthusiasm but little follow-through. People who chronically procrastinate, can be extremely organized in some ways but suck at housekeeping, and are never on time.

I used to think that name was "loser". Or "lazy bum", or "complete failure as a mother". Now I know better. I am a SHE, a Sidetracked Home Executive.

I found this book o
...more
Jenny
Apr 16, 2008 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People struggling with their surroundings
After being a reader of the Flylady Flylady and hearing how this book changed her life and helped her out, I was amused several years later to find this book, well-worn and 1982 print among my mother's stack of books to get rid of. I decided it was worth the read.

This book outlines a filing card organizational system (ah the days before computers) to help the prepetually distracted keep on top of their housework and chores. It details ideas for how to categorize your chores (things that should b
...more
Vicki Davis
May 18, 2012 Vicki Davis rated it liked it
Shelves: organizing
This is a good book, and inspired "Sink Reflections," which is, in my opinion, a better book for those struggling. I've found this a useful book and keep it on my bookshelf because it talks about habits. If you get into this method (which is a good one for stay at home Mom's) I recommend getting the Home Routines app or the Motivated Moms app for your mobile device to track everything. They recommend using Index cards in their system and it just isn't practical or necessary any more and I did us ...more
Julia
Dec 29, 2014 Julia rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people that like systems and are overwhelmed by managing their house
Shelves: owned
I read my mother-in-law's copy of this book long ago and was intrigued by the elaborate index card system they describe for staying on top of the housework. Although I never got around to actually implementing it then, now with a growing family, meals to be made, dog to be walked and still two full-time jobs, it's time to establish a System. Plus, I LOVE systems!

This updated version is great too. They discuss upgrading to a computer system over index cards and clarify the potential pitfalls with
...more
Sharon
Aug 25, 2015 Sharon rated it it was amazing
This is great and definitely one I am going to be keeping and using for years to come. Very simple and straightforward, easy to understand and begin using right away. They speak plain simple English and get right to the point without making anyone feel like a failure or feel worthless. Lots of people have lack of organization and that doesn't make them less of a person they just need some simple advice and a workable plan to change. It only takes 21 days for a specific action to become a habit s ...more
Suzanne
This is a useful book if:

- You enjoy adding to your repertoire of a variety of organizational systems.
- If you enjoy setting up a variety of systems of organization.
- If you have a passion for index cards.
- If you have gotten off track in keeping up your home and you need a boost.
- If you want an excuse to go to the office supply store instead of straightening your home. ;-)

This book has helped me twice, both times to recover from housework burnout and get back to my cottage keeping roots.

Once
...more
Nat
Jun 23, 2015 Nat rated it really liked it
Shelves: home
This is a well-written, funny, albeit dated book that made me feel immediately more motivated and competent regardless of whether or not their system works. The fairly anal system that they ultimately prescribe isn't the only part of it that is motivating (although the system can be discouraging in its complexity of getting it all set up, too). The tone is encouraging and helps remind you why you want to be on top of things in the first place. I also appreciate that it's much more realistic abou ...more
Melissa
Sep 25, 2015 Melissa rated it really liked it
This book was a recommendation from Larisa's about 2 years ago! I need someone to do this with. I don't think I am a pig-penish kind of girl by nature but with three young children in a two-story house it is hard to know where to begin. Add morning sickness to that equation and I am getting my bootie kicked! Dishes and laundry have to be done regularly to survive but there are many jobs that we look at from across the room and wonder when we'll have time to get to those. This is a great book for ...more
Christina
Mar 16, 2011 Christina rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-christina
This book, originally written in 1977, is one of the first of its kind to help housewives develop a cleaning system. It's written as a humorous story told by two previously very messy sisters who challenged each other to get their act together at home and came up with a very simple and doable "card system" for housecleaning routines. In the years since their original meetings, they have written books and taught this method to thousands. This was a fun quick read and it reminds me a bit of the Fl ...more
Nichole
Nov 08, 2014 Nichole rated it really liked it
Interesting.... I learned so much about myself from reading this book and that's what made it comical for me :) I probably would have rated the book only 3 stars based on overall content but I picked up too many gems about my sidetracked nature post-kids for me to rate it as such.
Strange the abundant review responses about the book being outdated - of course, it was first published in 1979.
Anyway, enough sidetracking, time to get to work!
Karen
Sep 26, 2014 Karen rated it liked it
Shelves: homemaking
I get the impression that this book was one of the first available for helping homemakers get control of their lives, but it's rather hilarious now. First of all: I am not setting up a massive system of index cards with which to run my family. Second of all: this edition mentions that computers may become helpful at running our homes and here is some software that might help. It's a bit dated, is what I'm saying.
Missy
Jan 14, 2016 Missy rated it liked it
I read this more out of curiosity than anything. I've recently been learning from FlyLady and she said this book was her inspiration way back when. A lot of things that made perfect sense when this book was written are quite dated today. The "slob sisters" transformed their homes and helped a lot of women to do the same. It has some good advice, but I prefer FlyLady's streamlined and simplified system.
Kari
Mar 04, 2015 Kari rated it liked it
Good. Not as much information as I would like, but very inspirational. I've set up my card file and am going to work with it for a few months. I had the original copy, not this updated version, so maybe the newer one has a more specific breakdown of the set up. As it is, I had enough to get started. Could have done without the last chapter, but it was a quick read.
Netta
Sep 09, 2014 Netta rated it really liked it
The humor makes the cold hard truth about myself easier to swallow. Although their self-descriptions are not exactly like me, their ways of thinking hit home! And their process encouraged me and lead me to FlyLady (updated version of their ideas).
Very useful, encouraging and funny!
I'm so glad I read it!
Stacey
Mar 26, 2008 Stacey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the neatness challenged, or anyone who wants more time and less housework.
Recommended to Stacey by: talk radio I think.
I picked up this book awhile ago because I'm neatness challenged. I read it through and was very entertained by these two "local girls make good," but didn't really do anything with the information.

About two months ago I realized that I was not willing to live with all of the clutter anymore, so I started with this book. I haven't implemented the card system that they show in the book, but have used their method of decluttering.

Fully 1/2 of everything in my house is 100% unnecessary, and has t
...more
Jayna
May 07, 2014 Jayna rated it it was amazing
At times, I wanted to glance over my shoulder to see if Pam and Peggy were spying on me. I fit the description of a sidetracked home executive from the beginning!

This book has inspired me in my homemaking endeavors. I am going to be implementing their system to see if it works!
Melinda Hammontree
Mar 21, 2014 Melinda Hammontree rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
This book is a bit out of date, but I find it so much easier to read then anything by fly lady. My mother had a similar system to housework and organization, and I tend to follow what I saw growing up. That said, the ideas and system presented in this book work quite well. This book is easy-to-read, funny, and to the point.
Nina
Mar 12, 2009 Nina rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who needs a schedule of house tasks
Recommended to Nina by: Kathleen
I read both because I got the older version before I got the newer one, not much different. Those of you who know me well, know that I have always struggled to stay organized. I have an organized mess, easy for me to find most things not so easy on the eyes and spirit. This is a great book. Glad to know that I am not the only one who gets sidetracked. I do alot during the day but because I get distracted I have very little to show for my work. I have not implemented the system because I have cho ...more
Jennasmeeks
Jun 21, 2010 Jennasmeeks rated it it was amazing
I might actually be organized in a couple of months! Which is an enormous feat for any of you who have ever seen my desk and/or bedroom. This is really an amazing and motivating book! It's great because they start off the book telling you about just how bad they were before they got organized. They really bring you into their world. I felt like I was going through the transformation to order with them and so I really do feel like this is something that I can do to keep the house clean and order ...more
Susan B
Jun 04, 2012 Susan B rated it really liked it
I love this book. It's a little outdated, but it's still good stuff.

The stories are funny and relatable. These are real women struggling with real issues. The solutions are practical. As low tech and silly as they sound, index cards really do work as a task management system. Most importantly, their book inspires me to put the book down and go DO SOMETHING. Each step is really simple and easily accomplished... even on a shoe string budget. But they add up to something pretty powerful.

The ideas i
...more
Chris
Apr 08, 2015 Chris rated it really liked it
I really like this book. It's a real quick, real friendly read. I like doing hands-on crafty things. My favorite part of this book is the walk-through for setting up your own file box of chore cards.
Bonita
Aug 30, 2014 Bonita rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book gets my butt in gear to clean better than anything else I've read. I don't need the individual cards anymore since the kids are older, but I still enjoy the stories and pep talks. It's like visiting with old friends.
Kyra Moore
Jul 20, 2016 Kyra Moore rated it it was amazing
Shelves: home
This was a great book. Even if your house is not that messy and you just don't know where to start, then this book is for you. If you want a really clean house but do not think you have time, you have to work , or just can not get organized read this book! It will change your life!
Amy
Jan 25, 2011 Amy rated it it was ok
Shelves: didn-t-finish
It's probably not fair for me to rate this book, because I didn't finish it. I decided my time would be better spent elsewhere. In the beginning I found it somewhat entertaining and humorous. It is incredibly dated, which was amusing to a certain extent, but it also was a turn-off for me because it does NOT fit my lifestyle at all. Once I got to the chapter about the whole filing system, I gave up. It seemed way too complicated for me (and I could see myself spending hours trying to perfect my s ...more
Jennifer Moss
Mar 01, 2015 Jennifer Moss rated it it was amazing
It really helped me put my house in order - I'm not done, but I'll never be "done" - it's kind of a change of habits!
Cathy
Jun 25, 2014 Cathy rated it it was amazing
Funniest self-help book ever--just reading their story is a hoot! Some great ideas, but even better laughs!
Kristen
Jan 08, 2016 Kristen rated it really liked it
Shelves: reread, 2015
First read in 2000. First I had read of the index card system which I really loved when I used it.
Erin
Jan 09, 2015 Erin rated it really liked it
This book had a major impact on my childhood in a positive way. Good memories.
Kim
Oct 09, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-books, self-help
This gave me some good ideas and some motivation to develop a plan for getting my housework done a bit more efficiently (or done at all). I had no desire to make index cards for everything, so I am using my Google calendar and various to-do lists to stay organized. This is written more for stay-at-home moms, so some of the ideas are not really feasible if you work outside of the home 40 hours a week, but there is still useful information here, and it is humorous and well-written. I highly recomm ...more
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YNAB Book Club: The SHE Homekeeping System 2 31 Sep 14, 2014 12:54PM  
  • Confessions of an Organized Homemaker: The Secrets of Uncluttering Your Home and Taking Control of Your Life
  • Sink Reflections
  • Clutter's Last Stand: It's Time to de-Junk Your Life!
  • Organizing Plain & Simple: A Ready Reference Guide with Hundreds of Solutions to Your Everyday Clutter Challenges
  • The Messies Manual: The Procrastinator's Guide to Good Housekeeping
  • When Do Fish Sleep? : An Imponderables' Book
  • Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House
  • Saving Dinner: The Menus, Recipes, and Shopping Lists to Bring Your Family Back to the Table
  • The Tightwad Gazette: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle
  • Eliminate Chaos: The 10-Step Process to Organize Your Home and Life
  • Organize Yourself!
  • One Year to an Organized Work Life: From Your Desk to Your Deadlines, the Week-by-Week Guide to Eliminating Office Stress for Good
  • Home-Making
  • When Organizing Isn't Enough: Shed Your Stuff, Change Your Life
  • How to Organize (Just About) Everything: More Than 500 Step-by-Step Instructions for Everything from Organizing Your Closets to Planning a Wedding to Creating a Flawless Filing System
  • Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean
  • Building Green: A Complete How-To Guide to Alternative Building Methods Earth Plaster * Straw Bale * Cordwood * Cob * Living Roofs
  • Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want

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