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Sidetracked Home Executives(TM): From Pigpen to Paradise
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Sidetracked Home Executives(TM): From Pigpen to Paradise

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  759 ratings  ·  113 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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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This book is laughably out of date and somewhat complicated in its card system.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
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
Apr 16, 2008 Jenny rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Vicki Davis
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
Dec 29, 2014 Julia rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Jun 23, 2015 Nat rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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
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!
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.
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.
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!
Mar 26, 2008 Stacey rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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.
Mar 12, 2009 Nina rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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!
Funniest self-help book ever--just reading their story is a hoot! Some great ideas, but even better laughs!
This book had a major impact on my childhood in a positive way. Good memories.
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
Fun and useful read about tackling your home organizing problems
A gem of a book. Helped me set up a system to organize my home that I could relate to.
Even though the prose and info is dated (like from the seventies), this is a funny read and a useful book. A lot of the writing is just filler material -- the only important part is a chapter that tells you how to organize a file box system of notecards for cleaning your house. I've set up the system, and with a few modifications of my own, am using it successfully. It's a brand new idea for me, and it's really keeping me organized! I'm glad to have read this book. Maybe I'll update this review ...more
Jo Oehrlein
Their premise is that most books on organization are written by the Born Organized. These sisters admit they were slobs – they had good intentions, but it never worked out quite like they thought it should. Their organization method is based around tasks, with each task listed on a 3x5” card and identified as daily, every-other-day, weekly, every-other-week, monthly, or seasonal. The card deck is kept organized with dividers that show you the current day’s cards. Finish your cards and you’re don ...more
Sunshine Moore
I listened to this on audio. Very funny and quite motivational. However, I ended up buying a paper copy for the appendix, which has all the lists of things to do. They refer to it in the audio - that's a little frustrating. Oh well, overall, there are some good tips in there - a card file will not work for me though, as I seem to obsess on the cards and their order. I do use an electronic to-do list that serves about the same purpose. And if nothing else, it proves that there is HOPE for me!
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YNAB Book Club: The SHE Homekeeping System 2 30 Sep 14, 2014 12:54PM  
  • Confessions of an Organized Homemaker: The Secrets of Uncluttering Your Home and Taking Control of Your Life
  • Sink Reflections
  • Organizing Plain & Simple: A Ready Reference Guide with Hundreds of Solutions to Your Everyday Clutter Challenges
  • Clutter's Last Stand: It's Time to de-Junk Your Life!
  • The Messies Manual: The Procrastinator's Guide to Good Housekeeping
  • Saving Dinner: The Menus, Recipes, and Shopping Lists to Bring Your Family Back to the Table
  • When Do Fish Sleep? : An Imponderables' Book
  • Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House
  • The Tightwad Gazette: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle
  • Organize Yourself!
  • Eliminate Chaos: The 10-Step Process to Organize Your Home and Life
  • One Year to an Organized Work Life: From Your Desk to Your Deadlines, the Week-by-Week Guide to Eliminating Office Stress for Good
  • 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
  • Time Management from the Inside Out: The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule--and Your Life
  • Organize Now!: A Week-By-Week Guide to Simplify Your Space and Your Life!
  • Dare to Repair: A Do-it-Herself Guide to Fixing (Almost) Anything in the Home
  • Speed Cleaning
  • Secrets of Simplicity
Get Your Act Together: 7-Day Get-Organized Program For The Overworked, Overbooked, and Overwhelmed, A Sidetracked Sisters Happiness File The Joy Of Being Disorganized The Sidetracked Sisters Catch Up on the Kitchen The Mouth Trap: the butt stops here! Low-Carb Edition

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