Saturday, July 16, 2011

Express Housekeeping by Anna Shepard

Express Housekeeping provides detailed instructions on how to clean your house. Whether it's vacuuming, decluttering, doing the dishes, doing the laundry or cleaning every room in your house, this book shows you how to do it correctly and efficiently.

I really enjoyed this book. Reading it was definitely more fun than to do any housework.  It gave me some good tips on how to keep on top of the never ending list of cleaning jobs around the house. I'll be the first to admit that my house is not the cleanest on the block. I don't specialize in housework. I don't take pride in house where you could eat off the floor. Dust bunnies are my friends. Having said that, we don't live in a pigsty. We pick up after ourselves and don't leave things laying around. It's generally tidy, not antiseptic.

The book is filled with lots of great stuff. I really liked the pages picturing the cleaning kits, which show the items need to perform some of the many household chores. For instance, the Oven Kit pictures paper towels, cream cleaner, oven cleaner, laundry detergent, rubber gloves, baking soda and much more. There are also some explanation about what each item is used for.

The book also has some pretty good tip pages that offer a list of tips for doing a particular chore. Using the same chore above, the Oven Cleaning page features 10 tips including wearing rubber gloves, protecting the floor, cleaning the racks etc. The other type of page in the book has the specific steps to perform that chore. Again, sticking with the oven, the Clean the Oven page lists the steps to a clean oven that doesn't need a deep cleaning. That is, it just needs a touch up. I particularly like that the author included an approximate time for each task. A touch up on the oven should take about 15 minutes.

There are also sections on extra tips, what to do before you begin a particular task, what to do when, and lists of bare essentials that are needed for cleaning.

Like I said above, I'm not the best housekeeper. It's not surprising then that I learned a thing or two while flipping through this book. Did you know that you should air out the bed for 30 minutes (page 80) before making it in the morning? I didn't. I also learned how to properly wash whites so that they come out gleaming white instead of dingy, like mine sometimes do.

The table of contents is sparse and only lists the major section headings. The index is definitely more substantial and should be helpful in finding specific items in the book.

Highly recommended. 

This book would be great for those just starting out on their own or people like me who dislike housework and appreciate tips to make the job easier and less time consuming. Even seasoned cleaners might learn something.

For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit DK's website.

I'd like to thank those Chris at DK Canada for this review copy.

Express Housekeeping by Anna Shepard, Dorling Kindersley (DK), ©2011. ISBN 9780756671778(Trade paperback), 224p.


  1. haha, you sound like the same kind of housekeeper as me. The best trick I learned this year was to hire a team to come in once a month to do all the icky stuff I don't like to do. Now I just have to keep it tidy and clean up major messes as they happen. Money well spent, my girl!


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