Before I knew Heather, I knew her blog, Home Ec 101. It’s a cleanly laid out site that breaks your household tasks down into simple categories even I can understand: Cook It, Wash It, Clean It, Fix It. What else do you need to know?
For me, apparently, a lot more.
So you probably have some sort of idea (because I seem to be writing about it at least once per week) that I’m moving. And part of the moving process is getting the house ready to sell. And the process to do that involves clearing out some of the clutter and making your house look way cleaner and more organized than it really truly is.
It also makes you look at your lifestyle choices and think things like…
“Yeah, I probably should clean under there way more often.”
“I wonder if anyone will really notice that stain on the carpet.”
“Why did I ever buy a book on organic homecooking that has recipes for brains?”
So I’ve had a bit of a reawakening. I’m rethinking my whole housekeeping strategy. I’m learning how to live with less and how to live cleaner. But I need help. And Heather’s book could not have come at a better time.
You see, Heather wrote a book called, appropriately enough, Home-Ec 101: Skills for Everyday Living. And I was asked to review it. Knowing that I need all the help that I can get, I was only too happy to oblige.
Here’s what endeared me right away. This is structured like a reference book, not a read-straight-through-from-beginning-to-end kind of book (although you might want to do that anyway because it’s so chock full of knowledge and it’s awfully amusing). I flipped through the book and the first page I came to read:
Dear Home-Ec 101,
What is the best way to clean diarrhea off of carpet? I’ll spare you the exact details, but let’s just say it’s pretty heinous.
Poopy in Peewauket
Believe it or not, I have needed the answer to this exact question. I’ll spare you my exact details but let’s just say that it involved an aging dog and a lot of carpet… the day before Thanksgiving.
The book is organized in the same style as the website. Four simple categories. For me personally, I don’t need to read the Fix It section. I just call my husband. He seriously can fix anything. Anything. So I skipped that. For those of you with those not-so-handy husbands, forget about them and just figure out how to do it yourself. You’ll be much happier and life will be easier.
The section that resonated the most with me was Clean It. Why? Because as I might have mentioned, I don’t have the best housekeeping skills (Spoiler alert: You can pretty much use white vinegar to clean everything). The book not only gave me specifics but it also laid out what I’m supposed to be doing on a regular basis.
Yeah, apparently if I clean consistently and regularly, then I don’t accumulate the disaster that I’ve been dealing with for the past few weeks.
Then I moved on to Cook It. I’m a pretty decent cook when I try. I actually like to cook and I know my way around the kitchen. And yet, I can still learn about meal planning. Something I’ve never attempted other than “You want hot dogs tonight?” I can also find tips like this one about shopping at warehouse clubs:
Be Careful With Bulk Purchases
While some things like toilet paper don’t have an expiration date, they do take up valuable storage. Be reasonable with your purchases.
Are you listening, honey?
And finally, there is a section on Wash It. I have to admit that I have my own rules for laundry: make my husband do it. Seriously, we learned a few years ago that I absolutely loathe doing laundry and he doesn’t mind it. I actually like to vacuum and clean floors and he hates it. So we have this understanding.
There’s also my rule about never dry cleaning anything. I just can’t be bothered. Or hand washing. It’s too much work. Now do you see why I let my husband do the laundry?
So let’s get back to the book. I loved the book. Everything about it. It’s nicely laid out, fun to read, and apparently Heather has a wicked sense of humor, especially when it comes to cleaning.
Disclosure: I was sent a complimentary copy of this book for review. This post also contains affiliate links.