Reader’s Lounge

by Laura Youells

This month’s selections spotlight organization, cleaning, and self-sufficiency. For projects big or small, these books offer great resources and advice.

The Complete Book of Clean: Tips & Techniques for Your Home by Toni Hammersley

This book is a go-to resource when it comes to cleaning any home. It all starts with a pep talk and a well-stocked caddy of brushes, homemade cleaning solutions and other goodies (perhaps chocolate). The pages include 246 steps to achieving the ultimate clean dwelling, complete with recipes, daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal chores checklists and a 30-day bag purge challenge. Think of Hammersely as an outside guide helping you dust, sweep and scrub your way to spic and span by going through your home room by room with a checklist and sharing homemade cleaning recipes for any style surface you may have.

Real Life Organizing: Clean and Clutter-Free in 15 Minutes a Day by Cassandra Aarssen

Kids or no kids, clutter around the house happens to the best of us. Author Cassandra Aarssen is a professional organizer who has helped countless clients de-clutter their lives and teaches college workshops on the art of organization. In her book, she presents a clever quiz to help you identify what kind of “clutter bug” you are and provides a checklist to help prioritize your to-do list into 15-minute tasks. She also throws in a variety of purging projects, such as the “21 Item Purge,” or “Donations Time Capsule.”

How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind: Dealing with Your House’s Dirty Little Secrets by Dana K. White

Dana White created the popular blog A Slob Comes Clean, in which she documents her “de-slobification process.” Within these pages, you will not find charts or checklists, but rather humorous anecdotes, advice and encouraging stories from others who are digging in and doing the work of shedding old habits and acquiring new ones. The book aims to introduce readers to “reality-based cleaning.”

They help reiterate the advice that Dana gives. After finishing this book, long neglected cleaning projects will appear a lot less daunting.

Just In Case: How to be Self-Sufficient When the Unexpected Happens by Kathy Harrison

Sometimes it takes an emergency to realize how much we rely on the daily work of everyone around us. Being prepared does more than help in case of an emergency; it also brings us peace of mind. This book condenses everything you need to know about how to survive when disaster strikes.  Harrison covers everything from what to do with children when the lights go out (hint: it involves board games) to how to manage in a house fire, ice storm or biological terrorist attack.


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