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The House That Cleans Itself: Creative Solutions for a Clean and Orderly House in Less Time Than You Can Imagine

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  445 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
The House That Cleans Itself is a true housekeeping guide for the housekeeping–impaired! It boldly takes on the reasons behind chronic messiness and why ordinary home–organization books won't work. Using the methods of "horizontal thinking," this book teaches readers how to set up a home so efficiently and logically that it seems to clean itself.

More than a how–to book, T

Kindle Edition, 242 pages
Published (first published June 1st 2007)
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Jun 21, 2011 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book and highly recommend it to anyone dealing with clutter. I am transforming my home into a place that is more organized and (more importantly) easier to clean. I like the practicality of this book, and although I cannot implement all her suggestions, I like the plan and have been motivated by her Christian perspective.

My favorite nuggets in the book are: 1) the reasons people like me hold on to things for years 2) the idea that every item in my home takes time as I interact with
Jul 25, 2010 Janis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most organizational books are written by naturally neat people imparting their methods to the rest of us. This can be helpful, but often such people don't understand WHY others are disorganized--and so such solutions are only temporary help.
Clark professes her own disorganization and her method to keep her house "clean enough." There is a lot of advance work (and work after the initial purge/clean), which may dissuade many from even starting. Even with that, there are some helpful nuggets. The m
Mar 04, 2010 Ange rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've probably enjoyed reading this self-help house cleaning book more than any other that I've ever read. I enjoyed the author's personality coming through, the funny little stories at the end of each chapter, the short chapters and new perspective on changing your house to fit your behaviors and not necessarily your behaviors to fit your house. I have never known a house cleaning or do-it-yourself book to be so religiously inclined or spiritually uplifting either but I found the faith-filled te ...more
Feb 04, 2010 Kristi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book for the "Housecleaning Impaired". For someone with ADHD, this book has great ideas for cleaning and organizing, with an empasis on simplicity and common sense that really works. I applied the technique to my entire house and it really works for me. Now we are relocating and it is much easier to get the house ready for the market than if I had not implemented these things!
this book at the start was overwhelming and added more work to already needing to clean your house. i could nor finish. made me feel guilty.
Jun 17, 2017 Serena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This isn't my usual go-to read, but I'm really glad that I picked it up. Some of her ideas about housekeeping have already helped me keep my home cleaner. One of her most useful thoughts is the idea that the home must be changed to match the owners' behavior, and not vice versa. Also, to combat clutter, it's helpful to remember that each and every thing we own consumes a portion of our time. Its value should be equal to or greater than the value of the time that we spend on it. A useful read!
As emotionally baggage-laden as house cleaning can be, an approach this encouraging and empowering can really be useful. The author's starting point is that the cleaning that happens most frequently is cleaning that is easy, convenient, and that most closely matches the ways that household members already function and interact with the space. This approach requires the least number of new habits, and is most maintainable.

The author doesn't give a system so much as a set of problem solving tools
Feb 23, 2017 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not the kind of book I would normally choose to read (I'm admittedly bad at keeping a clean home, but I also don't feel the desire to read about cleaning) but it was chosen for my book club. I found it to actually be really helpful and it had several ideas I want to implement. I love that it was written by someone who was bad at cleaning for other people who are bad at cleaning as well. It makes it much more attainable.
Apr 27, 2009 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't get enough organizing and cleaning out around here. Love this books strategy of making your house fit your family's lifestyle or behaviors. It's helped me solve problems we've had for years like our messy garage and not being able to access decorations or my kids clothes. It's helped me clean out every drawer, every closet, every cupboard and not spend money! I've freed myself of stuff that I haven't touched or needed for years. I had the best garage sale the other day!
Oct 06, 2010 Robyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I was totally impressed by this book. I was looking for some tips on keeping my house clean and I found a totally new way to look at my home, myself and my family. Plus the author is religious and included scriptures and making God a partner in your quest for a clean home.
May 27, 2015 Elisabeth marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help, next-up
Someone recommended this as a good companion book to The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
Nov 03, 2016 Bookish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, read-2016
I am not what I would call housekeeping impaired, but there are still lots of great tips to be taken from this book. The author's standards are very high, both in decluttering and in cleaning, and I would wager my standards will never be hers, but the overall concept of arranging your home to function with your family instead of trying to force certain behavior changes makes a ton of sense. I will definitely be implementing some of her ideas.
May 08, 2017 Cosette rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book would be about living in a home occupied by fully functional robots. Such a let down.
Jan 31, 2011 Theresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Anyone who thinks that a house can really clean itself is delusional, but this book does set forth a good plan for how to arrange and organize your home to work with how you and your family live in the home first rather than the standard organizing mantra that has you changing your behaviors to fit a set plan.

Ms Starns Clark brings you a plan that has you look at your house as it is at its worst. In fact, if you’ve just cleaned, she advises you to not clean and wait a week or two to put the plan
Oct 25, 2010 Holly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The overall principle of this book was interesting: change your home to fit your habits instead of vice versa. The basic idea is kind of a no-brainer, for instance, if shoes end up all over the floor by the front door, than provide a receptacle for them near the door.
What she does not address well is how to instill these habits in others, particularly children. In addition, many of her suggestions will simply not work in a home with babies and toddlers. (will anything, really?)
I found the first
Oct 13, 2016 Lindsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I skimmed over a lot of this book (I just don't have the patience right now for wordy self help books... I feel like they are all too long and contain so much fluff), but I did find the book really helpful. The basic idea I gleaned from the book is to arrange your house to accommodate your habits and tendencies instead of the other way around. I've always just tried to change my behavior (or my family's behavior) to fix problems in our home, but this isn't very realistic. For example, when I fou ...more
Jan 26, 2017 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
For some reason, I just love reading about cleaning and organizing—way more than I enjoy actually cleaning and organizing. I found this book at a thrift shop and had to pick it up.

I like that Clark thinks like a messy person (because she used to be one!). She understands how our minds work. Apparently a lot of us have ADD. I had a sneaking suspicion that I had a touch of it, and her questionnaire confirmed it. I don't have ADD strongly enough for it to be an actual problem, but enough that I ha
Laurie  Polomsky
I ask my students all the time, "What do good readers do?" One of the things good readers do is look at the title to find clues and information about if they might like the book. What about the title catches their attention? What can you say about The House That Cleans Itself? I was hooked from the get go. The title alone got me, the glittering stars spashed around the outside of the house, gleaming as if its been polished.
What I liked about this book was the concept that your life has a flow. H
Jul 17, 2013 Doug rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is great stuff. Kind of like "Getting Things Done" for housework: apply some rudimentary, bottom-up rules to what seems like a chaotic and miscellaneous collection of behaviors, but which actually fall neatly into place once you look at them right.

The most innovative thing about Clark's approach is that she essentially concedes to not trying to change our terrible habits and behaviors which led to our messy houses (if we were *capable* of being adults and changing our habits, we wouldn't ne
Feb 08, 2011 Wendy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. I can't say that I will do everything she suggested in cleaning my house but I have already started implementing quite a bit of it and my house is looking great. Actually, one of the most important parts of this book for me was her discussion on purging the house of all unneccessary clutter. I didn't do it the exact way she suggested but I purged my house and the difference is amazing. I love it! She also talks about setting up stations for different areas of one's hous ...more
Feb 14, 2014 Jessie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author offers many wonderful ideas and helps you feel better about yourself if you aren't so good at cleaning your house. She is very insightful. I will actually take away some good ideas from this book.

I can read this book and appreciate the bible verses at the beginning of each chapter. That is something the author adds that she finds inspiring. They are simple quotes that don't distract me. but I was blindsided by overarching religious nature of this book.

The reason I only gave it three
Jen Justice
May 11, 2010 Jen Justice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: home, part-read
Really liked the concept in this book of looking at the messes in your house and getting to the root of why they happen - then rearranging things to stop them from happening in the first place. Your house will "clean itself" because it makes it *easier* for things to go and stay where they are supposed to be. For example, Clark recommends making "stations" around your house where things usually happen - e.g. I made the decision to move our office desk to the front room of our house instead of in ...more
Jun 07, 2016 Helena rated it it was ok
The tone of the book reminds me a lot of the FlyLady's website (and this book does make mention of her briefly, though Clark calls her "Martha" Cilley and her name is Marla), but instead of focusing on decluttering (though she does talk about it), she focuses on the idea of changing the arrangement of your home to fit your habits, to make it easy to do the neat thing rather than the messy thing. The book was okay, but it made me realize that while I do have challenges related to clutter, procras ...more
Apr 22, 2013 Ruth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the first 12 chapters, I kept thinking she's talking a lot and not saying much. Somewhere around chapter 13, ideas started popping into my head about how I could organize my house so it's less mess-inducing. By the end of the book, I had several ideas and some inspiration, which made the read worthwhile to me. It remains to be seen if the book will have any lasting effect.
I will say that the book is probably better aimed at families with at least one child over 6 years old. If all your kids
Feb 08, 2017 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was informative and encouraging.
Jan 18, 2014 Dana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This is an incredibly helpful home organization book! It has wonderful tips on how to organize your home and some funny embarrassing messy house stories. It helped me to look at my house a bit differently and move things around to where they make more sense and are more useful as well as encouraging me to declutter things more. I have read a lot of home organization books and I think that this one is the most helpful and useful book of all the ones I have read. Since reading it, I have move ...more
I loved this book!! I have struggled with keeping up with the messes in my house so much and was reaching a breaking point. Then I read this book and started implementing its suggestions, and my house has been staying SO MUCH TIDIER. It's seriously like night and day. For anyone to whom keeping a house picked up does not come naturally, you definitely need to read this book.

Also an additional tip: be sure you are reading the 2013 version, not the 2007 version. The 2013 version is immensely bette
My house is always out of control with 6 people and 2 large dogs living in 2000 sq. feet. I needed something to help spurn me on my way to getting a more organized and clean space. The techniques she advocates like taking your proprerty and dividing it into individual cleaning zones helped me a lot. I'm currently in the de-cluttering and cleaning part of her CONVERT system and so far, so good. I've put down this book for now because I have 27 'zones' in my house and property and it may take a fe ...more
Jul 30, 2012 Fourborne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-book-list
I've read several creative solutions books of dealing with clutter and cleaning and I enjoyed this one alot. Very easy to read, she's added a few illustrations for the visual learner, and I like the lists of what to clean at the end of the book for the cleaning impaired. She also has words for the perfectionist that I found very helpful.I help people declutter and get organized, but I've never thought about applying spiritual insight to clutter to help them move beyond the mess. Each chapter ha ...more
Aug 08, 2015 Charell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Keeping on organized house has been fairly easy for me as it is a 'natural talent' of mine according to the author. But the title of this book lured me in and had to read it out of curiosity. As I read, I kept hearing tips that I already implement without giving a second thought which affirms my belief that I am good at housekeeping. I thoroughly enjoyed that affirmation!! Even though I didn't learn any new tips, I was inspired to look at my home with a fresh perspective and see if I can create ...more
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housekeeping, cleaning, organization 1 3 Oct 02, 2009 11:23AM  
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Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of more than 30 books, both fiction and nonfiction, and has received numerous literary honors, including two Christy Awards and RT Book Review Magazine’s 2012 Career Achievement Award. Mindy and her husband, John, have two adult children and live near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
More about Mindy Starns Clark...

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