Cleaning and the Meaning of Life: Simple Solutions to Declutter Your Home and Beautify Your Life

Cleaning and the Meaning of Life: Simple Solutions to Declutter Your Home and Beautify Your Life

by Paula Jhung

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"The most thorough, fun-to-read book to show you the path to organization, simplicity, comfort and peace of mind."

Phyllis Diller

"I highly recommend this bright and powerful book for clearing clutter and bringing joy to our lives."

-Alexandra Stoddard, Things I Want My Daughters to

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"The most thorough, fun-to-read book to show you the path to organization, simplicity, comfort and peace of mind."

Phyllis Diller

"I highly recommend this bright and powerful book for clearing clutter and bringing joy to our lives."

-Alexandra Stoddard, Things I Want My Daughters to Know

"This delightful book brims with clever ideas and fun-to-use tips."

-Harriet Schechter, Let Go of Clutter

Are you stressed by a mess? Do drifts of paper cover your desk? Has a toxic landfill consumed what your kid calls a closet? Is your home a pain to maintain? Take heart. Interior designer Paula Jhung takes the mess out of domestic so you can clear a path to a clean, serene and beautiful home. Not your average guide to dusting faster or scrubbing deeper, these playful and practical tips for outwitting the dirty work will free your time, lift your spirit and guide you to a Promise Land of balance, freedom and well-being.

With her unique LIFE plan: Lighten Up, Invest in Comfort, Forget Perfection and Enhance Flow, she'll show you elegant, inexpensive ways to create a stay-clean home so you spend more time enjoying it than maintaining it.

She also dishes the dirt on:

  • Recognizing and curing TMS – Too Much Stuff Syndrome
  • A Procrastinator’s Guide to Purging
  • The 7 Secrets of Highly Effective Closets
  • The Kama Sutra of Cleaning
  • Your Astrological Cleaning Style
  • The Art of Hiding a Mess
  • Creating a Private Retreat
  • Giving a Home Heart and Soul

With wit and warmth, Cleaning and the Meaning of Life opens the door to a harmonious home and a fulfilling life.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Jhung's credo is, "If I can control the mess around me, I can find serenity within." To this end, the author of How to Avoid Housework and Guests Without Grief spells out her philosophy of LIFE: Lighten up, Invest in comfort, Forget perfection and Enhance flow. Realizing that many readers feel "clobbered by clutter," Jhung advises them to "lighten up" by cutting back on clothing, books and paper by trading or borrowing clothes, using the library more and reading newspapers online. "Investing in comfort" means installing high-quality storage units and creating serene places around the house to rest and meditate. "Forgetting perfection" involves using more print fabrics, which don't show wear and tear, and learning how to do the "twelve-minute two-step," a quick tidy-up that results in a home that is "not exactly House Beautiful" but "looks good enough to kick back in without feeling guilty." Finally, "enhancing flow" advocates paying attention to environmental mood lifters, like fragrance, soft pillows and gentle lighting. Jhung's strategies for "taking the mess out of domestic and the irk out of work" are fun to read and easy to implement. By keeping some very simple goals in mind-a low-maintenance home, greater everyday comfort, more peace of mind-she provides motivation for readers to tackle their spring cleaning with gusto. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Health Communications, Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

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Read an Excerpt

TMSû Too Much Stuff Syndrome

ôWe want everything.

We want it bigger, louder,

shinier, faster, and we want

it now. Instant gratification is

as American as drive-through

microwave apple pie.ö

ùDennis Miller, comedian

Life was free of TMS when home was a campfire in a snug cave, a few furs on the floor, maybe a nice hunting scene on the wall- the kind of artwork that stayed when we moved. But with progress came possessions; possessions that in time took on such importance, they followed us in death. Burial pits grew into mounds, mounds grew into chambers, chambers became the great pyramids that held more treasure for the future life than what was meant for the current one.

Sort of like the self-storage units we rent today. Today, we could give any pharaoh a run for his money with all theôtreasuresö we own. But itÆs gotten to the point, for many of us, where the treasures own us, not the other way around. Instead of enjoying life, we spend much of our time servicing what we do have or shopping for what we donÆt.

Sages through the ages have always known that owning more than we need weighs us down and compromises happiness. The Buddha warned his followers who coveted worldly goods, ôThose who have cows have the care of cows.ö Jesus believed that we canÆt fully love one another when weÆre preoccupied with the acquisition of things. ôDo not store up for yourselves treasure on earth, where it grows rusty and moth eaten,ö he cautioned. ôFor where your treasure is, there will be your heart.ö Taoism teaches that we canÆt live in the moment when weÆre burdened with possessions from the past. Its founder, Lao-tzu, summed up the secret to happiness when he pronounced, ôHe who knows he has enough is rich.ö

Even when we know we have enough, itÆs not always easy to let go.

I know. IÆve held on to the excess much of my life. I grew up in a home that was so stuffed with stuff it was suffocating. Not good stuff, mind you, but dreck. Little was discarded because of the family motto, ôWe might need it someday.ö There was also, ôWe paid good money for this,ö and the ever popular, ôThis could be worth something at some point.ö That last motto could have been part of the family crest, if we had one. It would be inscribed under an illustration of baseball cardsùthe ones we could never find because on every horizontal surface sprawled layers of junk only a family of devout savers could hold onto.

The time we spent looking for things was mind-boggling, and trying to clean was a joke. Maintaining the place took

twice as long as it should have, yet it always looked so messy it was embarrassing to have anyone over.We suffered

from an acute case of TMS, and I longed to be free of it.

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Meet the Author

Jhung is the author of award-winning How to Avoid Housework (Fireside) Guests Without Grief (Fireside) and co-author of Entertaining at Home (No-Brainer's Video Guides to Life) Cerebellum. A regular contributor to Family Circle, her articles have appeared in dozens of publications including House Beautiful, Home, Bridal Guide, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Herald, Women's World, Cosmopolitan and Women's Day. She has appeared on HGTV, Bloomberg News Radio, Party at Home, Today in New York, and scores of other television shows across the US and Canada. Her books have been picked up by the Literary Guild and Doubleday book clubs and have been excerpted in hundreds of publications including The Chicago Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, Newsday, Reader's Digest, Child and Redbook. She is an interior designer who owns CleanDesign, a low-maintenance, high-comfort decorating service. She lives in California.

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