Order is the shape upon which beauty depends. – Pearl Buck
Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook – The Essential Guide to Caring for Everything in Your Home, is an incredibly comprehensive and easy to navigate manual on how to keep your home looking and feeling its best. Martha Stewart shares her unparalleled knowledge of home maintenance and care in this book. With a total of 719 pages, even the most experienced homemaker is sure to learn something new. For those of you who are less experienced when it comes to properly taking care of your home – this book is the only one you will ever need!!
It begins by guiding the reader through what Martha calls a workable cleaning calendar and includes fantastic little check lists of what you need to do on a daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal basis to keep your house in proper order. I was pleasantly surprised by how manageable these lists were and how many items I had already incorporated into my own routines. Here is what Martha suggests you do every day:
1. Make the bed
2. Manage Clutter
3. Sort the mail
4. Clean as you cook.
5. Wipe up spills while their fresh
6. Sweep the kitchen floor.
The next section, “room by room” is separated into 12 chapters. Each chapter discusses a different room in the house and addresses a range of topics as they relate to the space. Next a section named “throughout the house” goes into specifics about routine cleaning and periodic maintenance that needs to be done in all of the rooms in your home. Things like vacuuming, moping, dusting, scrubbing, and taking care of floors, walls, ceilings, windows and window treatments. There is also a section on “comfort and safety” which addresses topics like, heating and cooling, electricity, home security and even living with pets.
Finally, the book ends with tips for moving and a guide to help you identify the different types of materials you have in your home so you can properly care for them.
The book has many beautiful and inspiring sepia toned photographs, including pictures from Martha’s own home. The picture above is of Martha Stewart’s kitchen in Bedford, NY.
Throughout the book Martha provides visual guides such as, checklists, charts, graphics and photographs that help to summarize the information in each chapter. This allows the book remain fun and easy to use despite it’s somewhat encyclopedic format.