Outwitting Housework: Tips, Tricks, and Advice

Overview

The idea is not to spend all your time cleaning. The idea is to clean efficiently, to clean well, and to only clean the things that need it. We all know or have heard about people who are so obsessed with cleaning that that is just about the only thing they do. The fact is that maintaining a home does require a lot of work. It can consume your life if you let it. Outwitting housework means being in control of your house, as opposed to your housework controlling you.
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Overview

The idea is not to spend all your time cleaning. The idea is to clean efficiently, to clean well, and to only clean the things that need it. We all know or have heard about people who are so obsessed with cleaning that that is just about the only thing they do. The fact is that maintaining a home does require a lot of work. It can consume your life if you let it. Outwitting housework means being in control of your house, as opposed to your housework controlling you.
Thank goodness for Outwitting Housework. It's full of practical tips, like why Monday is the best day to clean the floors, and Saturday the best day to do the children's rooms. It explains why changing the lighting can make as much difference as reducing clutter, and it will help frazzled homemakers organize their cleaning for maximum efficiency. Rosenberg explains how mastering housework is a process, an overhaul of the way one approaches the care and maintenance of a home. Along those same lines, she points out that keeping your home neat can offer gratification that goes beyond the obvious-it can buoy the spirit and clear the mind.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592283491
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2004
  • Series: Outwitting
  • Edition description: First edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.32 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author


Nancy Rosenberg, author of Outwitting Stress, has written more than two hundred magazine articles and appears regularly on radio and television. Rosenberg and her family live outside Seattle, Washington.
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Table of Contents

Introduction xi
Chapter 1 Just the Basics: A Housekeeping Primer 1
5 Basic Principles for Outwitting Housework 2
Where to Begin? Getting in the Right Frame of Mind 4
Baking or Barbecuing? 5
Make Time for Yourself 6
4 Ways to Add Hours to Your Day 9
The 80/20 Rule 10
Realizing Your Value 11
Getting Organized 12
Advice from the Pros 14
Enlisting the Troops 15
To Hire or Not to Hire Help 17
Make Your Home a Haven 19
Chapter 2 Clutter Control 25
What's Your Clutter Style? 26
Reduction Strategies for Prudent Possessors 33
Determining Your Clutter Ratio 37
The Essential Bookshelf 37
Training Your Eye to Spot Clutter 38
Know Your Weaknesses 39
Fighting a Compulsion to Collect 40
Clean, Empty Boxes Are Signs from the Universe 41
Fling Shui 42
Picture This 43
The Ultimate Clutter-Busting Strategy: Have a Garage Sale 44
Chapter 3 Start in the Kitchen 47
Realize the Potential 48
Easy Kitchen Decor 48
Clean as You Go 51
Preemptive Menu Planning 52
Develop Good Cleaning Habits 53
A Zen Approach to Dishwashing 57
10 Tips for an Uncluttered Kitchen 60
10 Tips for a Sparkling Kitchen 61
Your Secret Weapon: Baking Soda 62
Lemon Aid 65
Extend the Life of Fresh Produce 65
Clean-Out-the-Refrigerator Recipes 66
Cool Tips for a Clean Refrigerator 68
The Perfect Pantry 69
Chapter 4 How to Keep Bathrooms Shiny and Clean 73
Bathroom Clutter Busters 74
Keep an Eye on Bathroom Hot Spots 77
Using Space Wisely 78
More Storage Solutions 80
Keeping It Clean 81
Products to Make Your Bathroom Sparkle 83
Let These Products Do the Heavy Lifting 85
Tips for Bathroom Maintenance 86
Carmen, the Bathroom Master 89
Simplify with Easy-Clean Bathroom Decor 91
Chapter 5 Bedroom and Laundry 93
The Restful Room 94
Appraising Your Decor 94
Developing Neat Bedroom Habits 95
Clutter-Busting Your Bedroom 97
Dust-Busting Your Bedroom 99
What Do We Have Here, Under the Bed? 100
Sickrooms and Messy Patients 101
Closets: Making the Most of the Space You Have 102
Culling a Full Closet 103
Laundry Cycle, Start to Finish 106
Clean Clothes Syndrome 108
Seasonal Laundry Tips 110
20 Stain-Busting Secrets 111
Chapter 6 Common Living Areas 115
Stay on Top of It 116
A Place for Everything 117
Too Much Stuff? 121
Start Smart with Forgiving Furnishings 121
How to (Easily) Clean the Living Room 125
How to Dust: The Basics 126
Fast Fireplace Fixes 128
Scents and Scentsabilities 129
Chapter 7 Fantastic Floors 131
Outwitting Filthy Floor Surfaces 131
Choosing Floor Surfaces Wisely 134
Rug Mania 136
Vacuum Cleaner Basics 138
A Lesson from the Japanese: Take Off Your Shoes! 141
Hardwood Floors: A Primer 142
How Often Do Floors Need to Be Cleaned? 144
Chapter 8 Order Out of Chaos: The Home Office 147
Admitting the Problem 149
The Essential Filing System 150
The Family Notebook 152
Making Your Home Office Work for You 155
Make Your Office a Haven 158
Chapter 9 An Entire Chapter Devoted to--You Guessed It--Kids 161
Babies and Their Stuff 162
Toddler Tips 166
Mother's Helper (4 to 8) 170
Babysitter Know-How 174
'Tweens (9 to 12) 175
Teenagers (13+) 176
Motivating Kids to Help 178
Should You Pay Your Kids to Do Housework? 180
Chapter 10 Pets, Vehicles, and Other Mobile Messes 183
Cats and Dogs and Birds, Oh My! 184
Fur and Feathers Running Amok 185
Tips for Keeping Your Car a Clean Machine 189
30 Ways to Keep Your Vehicle Looking Great 190
Chapter 11 The Great Outdoors 195
Perennially Pleasing 196
Be Prepared 197
Zone Defense 198
Time-Saving Tips for a Healthy Lawn 199
Hire a Teen 199
Spring Cleaning 101 201
Summer Solutions 202
What You Need to Know about Swimming Pools 204
Sand Solutions 207
Easy Outdoor Furniture Maintenance 207
Get Those Windows Clean 208
Deck Maintenance Tips 211
Autumn Checklist 211
Chapter 12 Garage, Basement, Attic, Shed 213
If You're Not Using It, Throw It Away 214
Everything Needs a Place 216
Keeping It Clean 218
7 Home Repairs You Can't Ignore 219
Chapter 13 Entertaining with Ease 221
Plan Ahead 223
Different Types of Entertaining 223
15 Tips for a Great Party Menu 229
Keeping Holiday Decor Simple 230
Adopt a Realistic Holiday Strategy 233
Common Holiday Stains and How to Remove Them 234
Less Is More 235
A Few Final Thoughts 236
Chapter 14 Source Guide 239
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