Someone on Pajiba recommended How to Keep House While Drowning by KC Davis and when I looked it up I saw a lovely YouTube video by the author that was so warm and smart and inclusive that I immediately put the book on hold with my library system. Truth be told I have become an unabashedly mediocre housekeeper over the years and share that task pretty equally with my husband and teenage daughter. Our family motto is “Pura Satis” which my cousin, who has a Masters degree in Classics, assures us means “Clean Enough”. I wasn’t sure if I was the target audience for this book but I wondered if there might be some good tricks we could incorporate into our routine.
The subtitle if the book is A Gentle Approach to Cleaning and Organizing and it lives up to that description. It’s sweet, supportive, and wryly humorous. The author welcomes us into her world and invites us to look around to see her own struggles and imperfections as a way to look back with love at our own. This book is really more of a hug than a revelation. Yes there are some tips and strategies and reframing of some unhelpful expectations. But mostly it reads like a meditation on letting go of perfectionism.
It’s short, like a lightly padded outline of a book; to summarize it would be to basically write the book again. But this is actually a positive feature. I imagine if you are metaphorically drowning then short and sweet prose in easy to understand chunks is preferable to dense, demanding, exhortations on the right way to do things.
“You don’t exist to serve your space; your space exists to serve you.”
“This is not a journey of worthiness but a journey of care.”
“Anything worth doing is worth doing partially.”
In fact I did pick up a few tips that I will try out on the next cleaning day. But mostly I just enjoyed spending a few calming hours with KC Davis.