Dear Julia, As a married woman I have certain duties and obligations now. Laundry, dishes, ironing, vacuuming and cooking are things a proper wife should do, right? Just kidding!

What, did you think my kitchen would be clean now that I’m married? Ha! In fact, I’m ignoring a pile of dishes left over from Monday’s dinner now! That, and two giant piles of clean clothes in the bedroom, my desk area has become a catchall for everything I don’t want to deal with and I am currently writing this post from my chair in a rather untidy living room.

But in reality, I don’t like a messy living space. I prefer my rooms tidy and my kitchen sparkling. I just have a hard time maintaining that in the real world. Sure, I can clean and scrub and iron (in fact I often enjoy it). What I can’t do is seem to keep the place looking as if I’d just done those things. And it’s not like I have to do it all on my own. When we got back from our honeymoon and I had to go straight back to work Ian scrubbed the tub and cleaned the kitchen. He also likes ironing and won’t say no to vacuuming. But then we slip back to lax ways. I think part of it might be our current living and working situation. We have odd hours and when we do have time off, we’d rather not be cleaning. Plus, we’re moving soon and have a roommate and the effort just seems Sisyphian. But, in planning for the move and setting up our own home together I just bought a book that might help me tackle the unknown world of cleaning. Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House (as seen above). Here’s what others have to say:
it is as much about housekeeping as Moby Dick is about fishing. It’s about doing mindless chores mindfully… There is something attractively nerdy about Mendelson’s obsession with getting to a deep technical understanding of whatever needs to be done. So much good-spirited lore swims in this book, that you can pick it up anywhere and find yourself reading hours later about the absolute best way to iron. Ordinary chores are given a new life. I haven’t seen such behavior-changing information in ages.” – KK.org

a ‘compendium of knowledge’ and ‘comprehensive reference book’ that will make keeping house ‘far more enjoyable’ and will ‘answer all your questions.'” — ApartmentTherapy.com

Mendelson is a lawyer and philosophy professor who had a secret love of housekeeping manuals and cleaning her house. This book is her magnum opus of how to set up and maintain a clean home using both common sense, science and obviously some elbow grease. I’m unabashedly excited about getting it in the mail. And now, off to combat the dishes! I’ll update you on my success once her book arrives (and we have our own place in Austin).