From My Library: Home Comforts

homecomfortsBook InformationHome Comforts

Author – Cheryl Mendelson

Publisher – Scribner (2005 – $22.00 print, $16.00 digital)

This book is one that I go back to again and again, and I’ve given it as a wedding gift to more friends than I can count.  I’m not a born homemaking maven and I’m not one of those women who loves cleaning, but this book has been a valuable tool in helping me keep house.  More importantly, it has done much to help me make our house a home.

Home Comforts is not a book that I’d recommend reading from cover to cover all at once. It’s pretty much an encyclopedia of home keeping, and it’s the kind of thing that you will find yourself pulling off the shelf again and again whenever you forget something your mother taught you or simply come across some new conundrum.  Not sure how to remove stains?  Oh boy, will Mendelson teach you how to remove just about any stain!  That includes all the crazy messes that come with infants and toddlers.  We inherited a cream colored throw rug, and a tip from this book actually worked for getting strained beets out of it (don’t ask.)

Since my mother is not a seamstress and my own sewing skills are somewhat on the beginner level, the section on choosing fabrics which details what different fabrics can be good for was interesting.  Even if you don’t sew at all, this is helpful knowledge for decorating.

In addition to helping solve practical home dilemmas (how to make a bed with hospital corners, how to clean and store linens, etc..), the author also provides safety tips. This book has a whole section on food safety, as well as information on emergency preparedness and other health issues.  And then there’s the segment most other homekeeping manuals lack: the legal section.

My nerdy little lawyer heart lit up when I found the portion of the book dealing with homeowner’s insurance/liability, contracts, privacy law, and other related topics. Here, the author was speaking my language!  Not only that, but she provides information that many readers will find food for thought as these are topics many folks do not prepare for, but consider only when there is a crisis.

This book is not a strict list of the 1001 things one must do in order to have the “right” sort of home. Instead I felt as though the author left me armed with the information to make choices about what would be the best uses of my time in keeping the home, and the information contained here will fit in well with a wide variety of housekeeping styles.

It’s obvious that the author is passionate about her subject and her love of homekeeping shows in the extraordinarily detailed information contained in this book’s 800+ pages.  I recommend adding this book to your reference shelf if you even plan to keep a home, whether single or married. Rating – 5 stars.


2 thoughts on “From My Library: Home Comforts

    • So true! I think it’s sad to see some of these skills getting lost. Even if housekeeping sounds a bit ordinary, those little touches really do make a house feel like home. I was a bit rebellious when I was a teen who didn’t want to do her chores, but I appreciate these ideas so much more now.

      Liked by 1 person

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