I promised I would read and report on Life's Too Short to Fold Fitted Sheetsby Lisa Quinn. While there are a few good tips in the book, I can’t in good conscience recommend it; it is unnecessarily crude. In an attempt at humor, the author comes off crass and even at times downright vulgar.
The book begins by explaining the struggle many women face in attempting to balance kids, work, home, husband, social lives, and even personal hygiene. While feminist and author Helen Gurley Brown taught that women could ‘have it all,” Ms. Quinn confesses, “Here’s the brutal truth, ladies: you can’t have it all.” She talks about all the pressure she felt in her own life while trying to “be the perfect picture of domestic bliss at work,” and she says that her dirty little secret was the she was living a lie, since she could never pull it off in her own home. “The daily grind left no time for forcing bulbs, alphabetizing my pantry, scrapbooking, origami napkin folding, or even keeping the house very clean, for that matter. I didn’t entertain as much as I liked because I dreaded the effort...I could barely get dinner on the table for my family three nights a week. I was no domestic diva. Instead, I was an overwhelmed working mother of two, and I felt like a complete fraud….Maybe I just didn’t have the time (or the desire) to keep up the facade anymore. I couldn’t help but suspect that other women out there felt as smothered as I did by the pressure to be perfect.”
Out of this newfound realization to enjoy life more and stress less about housekeeping and entertaining, Lisa Quinn developed some shortcuts. I found her last-minute cleaning checklist helpful. Here’s her list of “The Top 10 Things You Have to Clean—in Order—if Company is Coming in 30 Minutes”:
1. The toilet
2. Clutter (Stick it in a basket with a lid, a laundry hamper,the oven, etc. Just get it out when guests leave, and deal with it then).
3. Floors (spot clean)
4. Dust quickly (she says Kleenex with lotion work great in a pinch)
5. The fridge (check to make sure there are no nasty spills)
8. Your Bed
10. Spray a non-toxic cleaner by the door so it smells like you cleaned, even if you didn’t really do all that much
She also shares some housekeeping shortcuts using everyday items, like salt. Did you k you can prevent ants from entering your home by sprinkling salt over doorways and windowsills? Apparently ants won’t walk over it. You can slip one of those mis-matched socks over your hand and use it as a dust rag. An ice cube tray in your dresser drawer doubles as an earring holder, and a silverware tray is a perfect place for necklaces. Good tips!
The book also delves into answering some decorating and entertaining dilemmas, offering very manageable tips. She shares several recipes using a rotisserie chicken, which I thought was helpful since working with raw chickens is messy, time-consuming, and requires quality cleanup to remove the bacteria.
While there are take-away tips, the language in this book is coarse and the humor borderlines on vulgar. If you still want to read it, please know that up front. It’s sad, because it ruins an otherwise good book.
I recently read a review of Organic Housekeeping in Parents magazine. I checked it out from the library. So far, I'm impressed. It seems to focus on getting back to the old-fashioned way of cleaning (using baking soda, vinegar, and other more frugal and environmentally-friendly products). I'll keep you posted!