Home Improvement

Household Hints Book

Sidetracked Home Executives: From Pigpen to Paradise by Pam Young, Peggy Jones, Sydney Craft Rozen (Editor) Sidetracked Home Executives: From Pigpen to Paradise
by Pam Young, Peggy Jones, Sydney Craft Rozen (Editor)

Paperback: 165 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.55 x 8.03 x 5.25
Publisher: Warner Books; (February 2001)
ISBN: 0446677671

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Customer Reviews
I liked it, but it was a bit overwhelming for beginners, February 19, 2003
Reviewer: wimbini from Austin, TX USA
I read it but I needed something much more remedial. I found Sink Reflections to be much more helpful for someone at my level of housekeeping.

Helping keep me sane!, January 17, 2003
Reviewer: Julie from Fayetteville, NC United States
I just love this book! I have been using this system for 2 weeks now, and already I notice a change in my life. I am more relaxed, more organized and can focus on the things I WANT to do. Much of the book is funny accounts of the author's battles with clutter and disorganization. This is entertaining, but I wanted to get right to the heart of things. I am using their 3 x 5 index card plan. Basically, they want you to put all the chores that need to be done on index cards, filed with different colors according to how often they need to be done (daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally). You file the cards behind the appropriate date in an index card box. Each day, you just need to look at the cards to see what you need to do. I find it very helpful in that I get busy right away on what needs to be done and don't worry about other chores, because I have them scheduled for another day. The book has a chart at the back suggesting various household chores that need to be done, and places for you to add your own. Before using this system, I often felt overwhelmed just thinking about all the things that needed to be done, and ended up not doing anything at all! It really helps me to focus on what needs to be done and avoid wasting time. Now I have more time to do the things that I want, and I am happier and better organized. It is an easy system to apply and can be adapted to the areas where you are more or less organized. I highly recommend this book!

Works well - for some, December 21, 2002
Reviewer: kangarex from Keokuk, IA United States
Pam and Peggy certainly know what it feels like to be living in total chaos, and they use that understanding to good effect in this book, showing step by step how they got organized. They don't take any knowledge or organizational ability for granted, and they have great senses of humor. Their card-file system will probably work for most people who are SHE's (Sidetracked Home Executives) because of their creativity, or just general distractedness.

If, however, you are a SHE because you're a frozen perfectionist, someone who never cleans because you don't have time to do it RIGHT, this is not the book for you. The card-file is wonderful - except that I'm entirely capable of spending the next 6 months making sure I've got the file system perfect without ever actually doing any of the stuff on it. There's also nothing to prevent you from overloading yourself with nit-picking chores and burning out. If these sound like things you would be prone to, then I would recommend "Sink Reflections" by Marla Cilley instead. She uses much of the same material as Pam and Peggy (she credits them as her inspiration), but her program is specifically designed for those of us who try so hard for perfection we get nowhere.

If perfectionism isn't your problem, then by all means go with Pam and Peggy. They're great fun to read, and however bad your house is, they will understand.

A woman's work is never done?, December 3, 2002
Reviewer: AmyLeone from Hershey, Pa USA
How often have you felt that way? You finish vacuuming, and you see the blinds need cleaning and the cabinets too. It never ends! The beauty of this system is that you only schedule a certain amount of chores each day, giving you the possibility of actually finishing! It took me about four hours of uninterrupted time to set up the card file but it was well worth it.

Another problem I had is my teen daughter asking "Mom, what chores can I do to earn money?" and not knowing what to say. The cards serve as memory triggers for those of us who have increasing responsibilities combined with decreasing brain capacity. I had trouble understanding the system but worked through it - apparently the pink cards are for anything you do outside the home.

For those of us who are Julie Morgenstern fans, the weekly plan that the slob sisters use interleaves nicely with Julie's suggestions for dividing your time into zones. You have a quiet day, a shopping day, a couple cleaning days, etc.

I have taken this one step further and made a card file for shopping. Each item that I want to keep in stock is written on a card. The cards are divided into weekly and monthly. Once a month, I do a household inventory on all my monthly cards, and pull the cards that I need. Then I put my cards in my purse and go shopping! This system avoids the horror of running out of Miracle Whip.

The best thing that ever happened to me!, October 11, 2002
Reviewer: Joyce Fasig from Rolling Meadows, Illinois
After reading this book, and putting it to work for me through the 3 X 5 card system, the feelings of being overwhelmed went away. It really works! After all of these years of feeling like I was the only "slob" in the world, I found 2 women who loved their families, and having a neat, clean home - yet were sidetracked home executives! Just like me! I really related to what Pam went through - I could go on and on. This book is a BEST SELLER as far as I'm concerned. 5 stars indeed!

Less poetry, please!, August 31, 2002
Reviewer: lynnbodoni from Fort Worth, TX United States
While the sisters have some very good ideas and advice, the book would have been much better without a single line of poetry. I find myself reluctant to pick the book up again, simply because I don't wish to subject myself to that horrid poetry again.

If you can stand bad poetry, however, this book has an excellent method.

Sidetracked Home Executives: From Pigpen to Paradise, May 21, 2002
Reviewer: jennylovescountry from Hampton Roads, VA
To put it simply, this book will change your life! I first implemented this system 8 years ago after the birth of our 1st child (we now have three). I had quit my job to stay home with our son and I knew that I needed help when I would lay my son down for his nap and before I would know it he would be back up (it was actually two hours later, but it seemed like 15 minutes to me). I would not have even showered much less complete my long list of "Things to Do". My husband would walk in the door late in the afternoon and all I could say is "Is it 4:30 already". There was no dinner, no clean laundry, and the house would look like a tornado had hit it. So I went on a mission and I thank the Lord I found this book because it did change my life. I have more free time now, I am actually on time for my appointments, and my house is finally clean. Just read it and you will be hooked too! I am buying two more copies, one for a friend and one for me. I loaned my original to this friend and she can't find it. She is so sidetracked and unorganized she lost it before she could read it and could start the system. My only hope of getting my original copy back is her doing this system. Wish me luck!
If you have done this to someone you need this book too!

Great book!, April 16, 2002
Reviewer: berria from Newberg, OR USA
I loved this book. I read it when it first came out some years ago and it really helped me get better organized. It is also pretty entertaining and leaves you with the feeling that you're getting advice from a couple of friends. It is especially good for stay-at-home moms. Later books by the authors modify the system for working moms.

Life Saver!!!, February 27, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from Houston, TX United States
Since I discovered the Sidetracked Sisters in 1988 I've graduated 3 daughters from highschool, 2 from college and one from medical school. I've given 4 weddings, three of them in cities in which I did not live. I've moved seven times, attended 3 graduate schools, completed a Master's degree and started a Ph.D. I've managed to stay married to the same neatnic for 36 years and now have four beautiful grandchildren. If it were not for Pam and Peggy, I couldn't have survived (literally) one day beyond the day I first picked up this book. The card file grounded me and kept me going on days I feared either flying of the face of the earth or gettly buried in the clutter. By sharing the book with my own sister, we have kept reminding each other to "get back to the box" during times we were less than diligent. The principles shared by the authors are excellent management skills which I employed in my private practice as a counselor and have taught to clients suffering from conditions such as ADHD as well as to parents overwhelmed by what life's pressures are handing them. I've also used the "Happiness File" for years, I reread it every year in January, setting new priorities for the year and reviewing my accomplishments from the previous year. The book is an easy read and funny. Perhaps the greatest testimony to the efficacy of the system is that my pediatrician daughter and busy mother of one of my beautiful granddaughters has asked for a copy recently stating, "I didn't think I'd ever say this but I've got to find a better way to manage all I've got to do and it's worked pretty well for you."

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