The House That Cleans Itself: Finishing Up

NOTE: Mindy Starns Clark, author of The House That Cleans Itself, has kindly agreed to an interview here at Proverbs 31 Woman. If you have questions for her about her book or about home keeping in general, please email me and I'll be sure to include your question in our interview. For the past month or so, I've neglected The House That Cleans Itself. I've just been too busy working on my book, canning, and school prep. The good news is, although I haven't cleaned in over a month, my living room (part of which I had treated to Mindy's plan) has held up just fine. Yes, toys are everywhere, but other than this, what I'd already tidied stayed tidied up. For example, the table that used to be piled high with books still only contains devotional material. The basket for library books and "long books" I'm reading to my daughter still only contains those materials. And the flat surfaces are clutter free. My kitchen, which I had treated to Mindy's system, didn't fare quite as well, but that's only because there's still canning stuff everywhere that I'm not going to put away until I finish up that project. All in all, I'm delighted - and happy to finish reading The House That Cleans Itself and start implementing the process throughout the rest of my home. The last few chapters of the book are all about implementing the strategies explained in the previous chapters. Mindy helps us work our way through our homes, offering specific advice for common trouble spots (including newspaper pile up, kitchen spices, the cords to electronics, mail, and beauty products). She even offers advice on keeping the kids occupied while you clean. Mindy also explains how to do little tasks every day to keep the house clean. "Clean every day??" some of you may be thinking. "Okay, you've lost me there!" But as Mindy explains, and as I've discussed before, many home keeping tasks take only a minute or two to complete, yet make the house seem so much cleaner. Mindy suggests - and I fully concur - improving your mindset about cleaning by giving your kids a stopwatch and letting them time you doing typical tasks, like wiping down the counters or picking up the clutter on the bathroom counter. Often tasks we build up in our mind really take very little of our time.

Mindy also discusses ways to deep clean your house, including dividing the work fairly among family members or making the task more manageable when only one person is the cleaner. Mindy devotes an entire chapter to dealing with paper clutter in a way that really works for those who can never make traditional filing systems really work for them. She ends the book by offering up her own journey from "messed to blessed." Yes, it's going to take me quite a while to make our home a house that cleans itself, but all that hard work will actually save me uncountable hours of work in the years to come!
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