I don’t know why it took me so long to get this book. It took years for me to decide to order it, and another three months to actually read it. Do yourself a favor if you haven’t read this one and read it as soon as possible.
Sandra Felton is one of Us. As I was reading the book, I kept feeling flashes of recognition. She pegged me exactly. In fact, at one point, she mentioned how a Cleanie would pick up a speck of lint from the carpet, while a Messie would pass it by and decide it was time to vacuum (with the unspoken assumption that she would not get around to the vacuuming.) As I read that, I remembered the tangled ball of thread on the living room floor that I hadn’t bothered to pick up because I was going to vacuum (eventually.)
This book is inspiring, not necessarily because of her tips and advice, but because she acknowledges one thing that so few others do: this will always be a battle for us, and most of us will never be Cleanies. Most of us don’t even want to be Cleanies! We just want to be average. It is refreshing to have a book tell us how to be an average housekeeper.
The book goes over both the Mount Vernon and the Mount Vesuvius methods of organizing. Don Aslett might shudder at the very nearly dash-and-stash method of Mount Vesuvius, but Felton also reminds us to DO something with the boxes. I plan to use the Mount Vesuvius method on my bedroom and the Mount Vernon method on the public areas of the house, more for maintenance than for core decluttering (most of the clutter has already ended up in my bedroom anyway.)
The New Messies Manual doesn’t really focus on the cleaning aspect of housecleaning. You’ll need another resource for that. But Felton does give tips on how to schedule cleaning and how to organize your day so you can get the cleaning done and still have a life.