Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cleaning Up the Clutter by Emilie Barnes

Harvest House Publishers (March 1, 2004) 176 pages

Most women feel overwhelmed as they juggle raising a family, pursuing a career, and keeping a home. Emilie Barnes comes to the rescue in Cleaning Up the Clutter: Easy Ways to Keep Your Family Happy, Healthy, and Organized.

Emilie shows readers how to...

Get the house clean and keep it that way
Involve family members in helping with chores
Plan healthful meals that save time and cut grocery bills
Helpful organizational tools and charts add to the usefulness of Cleaning Up the Clutter. Readers will be able to sort through the chaos to discover more hours in each day as they create a positive home environment.

Formerly titled Simply Organized and Simply Dinner.

My Review:
This isn't a detailed book on organization. Emilie has some wonderful tips and tricks scattered throughout, and I have came away with lots a new ideas to help in my organization quest. BUT, it's very short and sweet. For the most part, you'll be left on your own to decide HOW to organize. For certain projects, though, she gives a lot more detail. Pages 1-94 is apparantly the book that was formerly Simply Organized and the rest of the book is recipes, so it was apparantly Simply Dinner. I was a bit confused as to why half the book was recipes when it was a book on organizing, but I understood a bit more when I saw the description.
It also seems like a lot of the advice she gives is more for parents of children that are a bit older. At one point, she mentions that a 3 year old should be able to unload the dishwasher with some help, and a 5 year old can set the table(with the good china... don't leave it packed away). I guess I need to work on my parenting skills. While my son is 2 and 1/2, I don't see him maturing enough in 6 months to help unload the dishwasher. I'm jealous of you moms who have did such a wonderful job of teaching your young ones to do some jobs!!! :)And even though I don't have any good china and if I did I would totally understand using it with my family, and not just for company, I'm not sure I would let my 5 year old loose with it. And just to point out for those of you who may be new here, my son isn't even close to the level he should be for his age, so I probably don't understand the full capabilities of a 3 year old. (???)And also, I totally believe in getting children to help out even very early, just with realistic chores. The rest of her chore advice, for both adults and children, seems to target parents of older children, though.
While some of the advice was great, some was just not realistic for me. It is still a wonderful book that can be bought very cheaply, so it's definitely worth what you could get it for.
I like Emilie Barnes' books. I have a couple more waiting on my shelf to be read, so even though I did enjoy reading through this book, I hope the other one I have on organization will help me even more in my quest.



  1. I need to work on my parenting too! My ten year olds are just now doing dishes (probably a little late). If I get my 8 year old to pick up his toys and his own room, I feel like I've accomplished something. I should probably be a little more strict in that area!

  2. I'm definitely not strict enough in the cleaning area!! My little boy will just throw anything and everything in the floor and we haven't been able to make him understand to clean it up. If he would, it'd sure help this momma out! :)
    I will be proud if my sons help do the dishes at 10!! :)