Book Review: How to Keep House While Drowning: A Gentle Approach to Cleaning and Organizing by KC Davis

I’m a homemaker, and I’m…kind of only a fair-to-middling one, to be honest. My house does NOT look like something out of Better Homes and Gardens; my meals are never perfectly plated; there are usually piles of books and toys and laundry waiting to be folded scattered in inconvenient places all over; my cobwebs have cobwebs. I’m no Martha Stewart. But I’m also always looking to improve my skills, even though I’m already kind of maxed out in terms of time and ability, so when I heard about How to Keep House While Drowning: A Gentle Approach to Cleaning and Organizing by KC Davis, LPC (S & S/Simon Element, 2020), I put it on my list immediately. Drowning? Absolutely.

This book truly is a gentle way to figure out what kind of housekeeping routine works for you, no matter what your hurdles. Depression? Chronic pain? ADHD? Sensory issues? This book covers how to get things done with all these and more, in a relaxed, friendly way that won’t leave you feeling ashamed, but rather, empowered, and confident. It’s not going to leave you with a magazine-shoot ready house (unless you follow their advice to call in outside help if it’s affordable). It will, however, make you realize that if you’re pulling rumpled clothes out of a laundry basket instead of hanging them all up, that’s okay. If you’re entirely tapped out and all you managed to do today is heat up a frozen pizza and serve it off paper plates because you can’t imagine having the energy to do dishes, that’s okay. It’s okay to set up systems that serve you during your hardest times, and this book is an excellent coach when it comes to getting you to stop the negative self-talk that keeps you from even trying to make a dent in your chores. (We all know that voice. It’s a really stupid voice.)

I’m happy to report that most of the things in this book are tactics I’ve learned to implement myself over the years, either through trial-and-error or with outside help. The parts about the inner voice really spoke to me, however, and I’ve been focused on watching how I speak to myself lately. I’ve also been taking the opportunity when I have the spoons for it to be kind to future me (emptying or loading the dishwasher at night, for example, so morning me has fewer things to do), as the book suggests. It helps.

If you struggle with getting it all done, or getting ANY of it done, you need How to Keep House While Drowning. It’s a tiny book, but it might just change everything for you.

Visit KC Davis’s website here.

Follow her on Twitter here.


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