Spring Reading: The Lost Art of Housekeeping. A Clean House is a Happy Home


Clean kitchen!!!

Tis the season for Spring cleaning. This weekend will mark the official first day of spring and it’s a nice time to get everything cleaned up after a long and nasty winter. Here on the west coast we have had very nice mild weather so I can’t complain about how awful the winter was. It is definitely nice to open up all the windows and get some nice fresh air flowing through the house again.

Back in January I reviewed Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying. If you haven’t read this book yet please go buy it or borrow it from the library. After reading Marie’s book I went through the whole house and got rid of so much unnecessary stuff. Getting rid of stuff is only half the battle, once the clutter is gone it’s time to clean. I was looking for a book with instructions on how to really clean your home. There are a ton of books about organization and such but not many give you the instructions on how to clean a house. That’s where The Lost Art of Housekeeping by Jan M. Dougherty comes in. Jan is a professional cleaner who has perfected the art of housekeeping. This book will tell you exactly how to deep clean your whole house, what tools to use and how to maintain it once it is clean.
The first step is to remove everything from the room that isn’t bolted down. You take these items outside or to the bathroom and spray them down.
Jan’s method has you following  the “path” and clean one “slice” at a time which means start in once place and move around the room left to right (or right to left if you prefer) top to bottom. You clean each area only as wide as the length of your arms. After you go around the room then you finish with whats left in the middle and you are done!
Jan has only a few products that she uses to clean the whole house. White vinegar, Soft Scrub with bleach and Krud Kutter. I bought and used the products that she suggested. Normally I try to use cleaning products that are environmentally friendly. I was pleasantly surprised that Krud Kutter is non toxic, biodegradeable and generally safe for humans and animals. I probably won’t buy the Soft Scrub again (too many fumes)  Krud Kutter and some elbow grease gets rid of soap scum just fine in my opinion. I bought all the products she suggested on Amazon. I made a trip out to Target to get my supplies but my daughter decided to have a huge toddler meltdown in the middle of the store so we high tailed it out of there and I just bought everything I needed online.
The Lost Art of Housekeeping is a very funny, useful book. The methods in the book really work and I have been working through my house room by room getting each one nice and clean. If you need a manual to finally lean how to clean your house, and how to keep it clean, then this is the book for you.  I highly recommend The Lost Art of Housekeeping by Jan M. Dougherty. By the time you are finished reading this book  you will already be reaching for the vacuum.

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8 Responses to Spring Reading: The Lost Art of Housekeeping. A Clean House is a Happy Home

  1. Rosa says:

    Thank you, Crafty Little Gnome: this is just what I was looking for! After reading and “implementing” the Marie Kondo book I was looking for someone with a professional cleaning method … and you provided it! I bought the book yesterday and have already read it. I am going to buy the supplies, minus the Scrub with bleach – because of concerns similar to yours.
    I have one question. I have never used the Swiffer Mop. Am I supposed to attach the White Terry Cloths to it, or use the ones they provide?
    Thanks again for your post.


    • I already had a swiffer mop. It was the smaller one and so I didn’t bother to buy the bigger one. I also had another mop that is very similar to the swiffer mop and comes with a microfiber pad. I would try out the terry cloths and see if that works well enough before you buy the swiffer cloths. Might as well save some money!! Happy cleaning. Let me know how it works out for you!


  2. alex says:

    First of all, what a great post! These tips can definitely help maintain an already organized/clean house. helps me a lot


  3. Rosa says:

    Update on my comment. Once again, I owe a clean house to your post: thanks again! You really understand what it takes to have a clean house with this book, and you see the results.
    Having said that, while the Marie Kondo book is the gift that keeps on giving, in the end I kept tweaking so much in the Lost Art of House Cleaning book that I am left with the very useful Path Method, the advice “clean until it’s clean” and undiluted vinegar. I just can’t get used to working with so little water, and instead of continuously terry cloths, I keep rinsing them and carry on until they are too dirty. I also have substituted the Krud Kutter with a solution of half soap dish and half vinegar. Fantastic for the bathtub and bath sink.
    So: all natural with the products, but her method and her elbow grease.
    Btw, love your beet pickled devilled eggs!


  4. Mariah C. says:

    Keeping the house clean is really the formula for having a happy family! Lovely post! Thanks!


  5. Yasmin says:

    Lovely post! I’m spending a lot of my time to keep my home clean! Thanks for sharing!


  6. Pingback: Fall Cleaning | Crafty Little Gnome

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