Spring Cleaning for Normal People: introducing my first ebook

My computer’s desktop is cluttered with documents, and my fridge needs to be cleaned out. I’ve pulled far too many late nights the past few weeks, and I’m looking forward to some much-needed quality time with my family this weekend. All this is rather ironic, to be honest.

It’s ironic because today I’m releasing my first ebook, and my home has been on the backburner while I finalize its details. And the irony lies in the fact that it’s a book about decluttering, cleaning, and organizing. Laugh with me, will you?


I love to declutter. This makes me a nerd, I understand, but it’s still a task I truly enjoy. It’s cathartic to go through the stack of papers on my desk and get rid of all I no longer need. It’s freeing to sort through my closet, and pillage the contents I no longer wear for charity. When I was in college, I loved the last day of class, when I could strip my notebooks clean of jots and twiddles I no longer needed.

This rather unusual recreation came in very handy when we moved overseas, and we needed to whittle down our possessions as much as possible. And then I started this humble blog when I realized I had more thoughts than I knew what to do with on keeping a decluttered home and living a simple life.

So now, I’m releasing my new ebook, Spring Cleaning for Normal People: The Simple Mom Guide to a Decluttered Home (Any Time of Year). It’s a fun, easy-to-read guide for overhauling your home in around 10 days. It involves a simple declutter-clean-organize rhythm of injecting new life into your home, giving you room to stretch your legs and breathe again in your own abode. And I’m selling it for $7.

springcleaning8.jpgThe book won’t make you a candidate for the cover of Cottage Living.

It won’t permanently clean your house, thus ending your career as a home manager.

It doesn’t bring you a live-in maid.

But it does give you a little encouragement when you want to add more square-footage to your home without hiring a contractor.

I’ll cut to the chase and tell you what’s inside:

• Part One: Stuff – A short essay about our consumer culture, and the headache behind having too much of it.
• Part Two: A 10-part guide to spring cleaning your home – decluttering, cleaning, and organizing all the main rooms of your house. Included are:

  • checklists for each room
  • printable templates to inventory your food, your clothing – anything you like
  • a daily game plan to keep you motivated and encouraged
  • recipes for making your own natural household cleaners
  • reflection questions to get you thinking about the why behind home keeping
  • ideas for future projects when you’re in a “diy” mood

This 68-page, instantly downloadable book works beautifully in a Home Management Notebook, and you can print the checklists and templates as often as you need them. In short, this is meant to be an encouraging, helpful guide to kick-start your goal of a simpler home.


Here’s what a few readers have said so far:

“Simple Mom’s spring cleaning guide is a gem for home managers. I think that the skill of cleaning well is being lost (at least, it has been for me!), and her guide is a simple and helpful primer for those of us who have a few things to learn about the subject. Best of all, she makes a normally overwhelming task seem lighthearted and manageable. I’m definitely planning to implement several of her tips into my own household.”
Shannon from Rocks in My Dryer

“The forms provided are great and I am loving everything about it. It makes me want to clean, and that is not an easy task.
Amy from Mom Advice

“An excellent spring cleaning guide that is completely realistic.  It’s about making your home a place you can enjoy living in – not turning your life upside down to have a clean home.”
Rachel from Small Notebook

“I’m finding out that once you start to reclaim *surfaces* – beautiful, bare, dust-free, uncluttered, wood surfaces – it is inspiring and even addictive! … And the gleaming dark wood made me want to see our other surfaces bare, too, so I have plowed right on with filling up boxes to give and sell. I know this may sound cheesy, but I feel like I can breathe again, when I look around and see empty table-tops!”
Sarah, co-creator of Pear Budget and stay-at-home mom of 3

Here’s a few free screenshots of what’s inside:


Head here to buy and download your copy.

(Edited to add: When you buy the book, the download link will come to you through an email from a third-party vendor called E-junkie.  And if you choose to pay by echeck, it will wait to send you the link until it clears.)

And as always, the Daily Dockets, Weekly Checklists, Grocery Lists, and Preschooler’s Chore Charts are completely free and can be downloaded here.

Check back on Simple Mom next week for thoughts on organizing your photos, a menu plan for September, and my latest dilemma on productivity – online, paper, or both?

Alright, I’m off to clear off my desktop, and then I think I’ll break out Candy Land for a quick game with my daughter.

Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

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  1. Yay! Just what I need….my purchase has been made. I went to post a button/tag (not sure what you call it) on my blog but the image isn’t showing up. Any suggestions?
    Can’t wait to get started on the book!

    Jen A’s last blog post…Summer Feet?

  2. Congratulations! I am so happy for you!

  3. @Jen – Thanks! I’ll look into the buttons right away, and I’ll let you know when they’re fixed.

    @Ali – Thanks, friend!

  4. @Jen – The code is now fixed, so the buttons should work. Thanks for the heads up!

  5. congratulations and thank you! i just picked up my copy, it looks wonderful and i have high hopes for putting it to good use when my daughter goes back to school next week.
    best of luck with your e-book!

    heather’s last blog post…a very brief hello… and jam

  6. This is great! I will be making my purchase as soon as I get home from class. Based on your home management series and other things you have shared with us I know I will love it!

    Lucie’s last blog post…Getting Back in Shape – Find Your True Inspiration

  7. It looks great, and very very useful!

    Kelly from Almost Frugal’s last blog post…Frugal Gift Giving: Gift Ideas

  8. I am so so so excited to read the book! 😉

    Alli {Mrs. Fussypants}’s last blog post…Voting, Funnies & CAKE!

  9. Thanks for the book! I can’t wait to read it. But first, I’ve got to go knock some things off my list…

    I really do appreciate your wonderful site. It has been, and continues to be, very helpful in my new semi-organized life.

  10. This looks great! I am so glad that I found your site. I am going to download the book as soon as I get home from work tonight.

    Anna’s last blog post…New Memberships

  11. Congrads on the launch of your e-book.can’t wait to read it 🙂

  12. Ordered it and can’t wait to read it. Well…I can’t wait to follow your advice.

  13. Thanks so much, to all of you. I look forward to hearing what you think of it!

  14. I really want to buy this, but I have a bad habit of buying all things home-organizing-cleaning (see stack of Motivated Moms, FlyLady, etc). Somehow, I can’t seem to purchase self-discipline on the internet. What makes this one different? Give me one good reason and you have my $7 ( I really just need a good excuse to buy it).

    HollyRhea’s last blog post…Growing up

  15. @HollyRhea – Please don’t buy it if you’re looking for the tool to end all tools for your home. This is a 10-step system to use several times a year when you sense a nagging need to purge and revitalize your home. I honestly don’t know much about those things you mentioned, so I don’t know how they compare! I suppose you can ask those who have bought it, and see whether they think it was worth the money.

    Anyone who owns it, feel free to share your thoughts! 🙂

  16. Congratulations on the new book!

    Org Junkie’s last blog post…We are rounding up the entryways today!

  17. @HollyRhea – I know what you mean about loving to buy the inspiring books, but hating to implement the systems… I’ve tried to do FlyLady, myself, and just couldn’t get in the habit of working on a ‘zone’ every single day, even if it was only for 10 or 15 minutes. What I appreciate about Simple Mom’s Spring Cleaning guide is that it tells me *exactly* what to do, in manageable bites, over a finite period of time (not every Monday ever after), with the result being that I right away feel more on top of things. I think one of my main problems in getting a workable cleaning system is that our family has way more stuff than we actually need or use. I’m so overwhelmed by our piles and lack of order that I can’t swiftly decide what to do first. And I don’t want to feel like general tidying has to always be a massive Cleaning Project. So I know the clutter needs to be dealt with before I’ll ever get on top of basic cleaning. FlyLady addresses clutter with her Fling boogie, but that always felt rather random to me – run around and pick 27 (or however many) things to get rid of. Simple Mom’s approach is much more purposeful, I’m finding. If I just have time to deal with my pantry, one evening, I empty it out completely (onto the eating table), and then choose what’s going to go back in. This is so much more methodical and thorough than my usual approach. It’s a lot easier to clean the space when it’s empty, and I’m way more ruthless when I’m having to choose what to put there (rather than what to take away). And it opens up the opportunity to centralize like-things, and organize the shelves logically.

    So that’s my main reason that this guide is totally worth it! But in addition to that, I really appreciate Simple Mom’s tone – she’s honest about the consumer-overload-mess that our culture is steeped in, but encouraging and realistic and upbeat about gently extracting ourselves.

  18. Excellent work, Sarah Park. I’m buying mine now. (and when my husband asks me why I bought more cleaning paraphernalia, I’ll make him read this.)

    I lack continuous self-discipline, but I’m great at fits and spurts. Emptying out the entire pantry in one fell swoop is exactly the sort of cleaning I do. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    HollyRhea’s last blog post…Growing up

  19. Simple Mom is awesome! Your advice and encouragement is always right on the mark. Off to buy my very own copy now. 🙂

    Sarah Bray’s last blog post…Archive of Thomas Jefferson’s Papers

  20. Oh poo…I have to wait because I paid by eCheck. (Hint for the rest of ya: use your credit card or PayPal balance so you can download right away!)

    Sarah Bray’s last blog post…Archive of Thomas Jefferson’s Papers

  21. Brilliant! I really appreciate you blazing the trail. Thanks for all your inspiration. I’ll pick up a copy this weekend; I’m in “cleaning frenzy” (as my DH puts it) getting us ready to start school. Your ideas and help are great!

  22. Bought the book this morning and am enjoying reading through it. Two things you might want to fix. The link to the bookbinding repair doesn’t work. The apostrophe is coming out funny. I recognized this and changed the URL after getting an error message, but other’s might not know what’s wrong. This might be a computer or browser-specific error so if you need help to see if a revision works, drop me an email and I’ll be happy to test for you. I use FF on a Mac, but have access to Windows as well.

    Second, but actually first, I would love a table of contents to appear on the left side. For instance, I wanted to look at the recipes in Appendix A. To do so, I opened the thumbnails and started guessing. It was even harder to find my way back to where I’d come from. A TOC would enable me to jump to the Appendix or to any specific chapter.

    By the way, I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you formated it to fit on a screen. I always end up viewing things to fit on the screen right to left, then scrolling a ton to see an entire page. If I put the whole page on the screen, then the text is way to small. These pages are PERFECT. I’ve never seen another PDF that did this (admittedly, I’ve purchased less than a dozen eBooks from bloggers however). I s’pose it’s because most people intend their readers to print it out–you don’t, and I almost never print out eBooks. So we’re a perfect match. 🙂

  23. @Ann Marie – Thanks for the heads up about bookbinding – I’ll look into it asap.

    As far as the TOC go – you can click on the page numbers listed, and it’ll take you right to the page. I know what you mean about having them on the left-hand side. I’ll see what I can do for future editions.

    And you’re welcome about the formatting! That was actually Charlie of Pear Budget fame’s doing, so he’s the one to thank. I love it that way, too.

    You can still easily print it for your Home Management Notebook or whatever – so yeah, online or print should be fine.

  24. Another copy sold! I totally NEED this….

    Lisa’s last blog post…Loving Limits

  25. At the risk of sounding extremely stupid, I paid for it but I can’t for the life of me figure out how to access this book… Help!

    Mikki Roo’s last blog post…quesadillas

  26. Cornélie says:

    Dear Simple Mom,

    I have a problem: I love to declutter, and have been decluttering for a about a year now… but can’t find anything else to declutter (I love that word! ) except for my husband’ s stuff… and he won’t let me !!!! 🙂

    Any idea?

  27. Bought my copy this morning and am reading it now. It’s wonderful! Thank you for all of your hard work to make life easier for the rest of us! I’m going to blog about it and hopefully send some more customers your way!

    Larra’s last blog post…And the Winner is…..

  28. Hey, I bought my copy but unsure how to receive the actual download as it did not come with the PayPal confirmation.


    Beth Young’s last blog post…Probably because.

  29. Darn, I accidentally paid by eCheck! I’m so mad! ha. That’s why I can’t view my purchased product, because it hasn’t cleared. Darn the eChecks!

    Beth Young’s last blog post…Probably because.

  30. Congratulations, looks like a super practical book! Great work!

    Happy day,

    melissa @ the inspired room’s last blog post…Fall Nesting Week Invitation

  31. @all – The e-book is sold through a third party called E-junkie. They should send you a “thank you” e-mail with the link to download your copy. Let me know if you have trouble with it!

  32. Sounds great! I love to clean too…..sometimes. Don’t worry, I guess I’m a nerd as well!

    hair4myprincess’s last blog post…The Best Giveaway YET!!

  33. Congrat’s on your first ebook! It sounds like a must-have for any stay at home mom.

    Aimee’s last blog post…A Summer Tart and a Confession

  34. OOOH…this sounds wonderful! I love your blog and visit it often. I am bad about commenting and am trying to be a better visitor, lol. Anyway, I am about the most unorganized stay at home mommy I know of, so this might just help me get my stuff together!

    Congrats on getting this book done!

    Irene’s last blog post…10 Things Millionaires Won’t Tell You

  35. Wonderful. I’ll be ordering soon.

  36. I’m so excited about this book. I’m in the process of moving back to the US and I can’t wait to use all those cleaning checklists when I get into a new place. Moving definitely inspires me to declutter, thanks for all the great advice. Your blog has been such an inspiration for me to live simply, great job on the book! I just reviewed it on my brand new blog.

    Megan’s last blog post…A Review of Spring Cleaning for Normal People

  37. Congratulations! This is great, and the topic you’ve focused on is so gosh-darn useful!

    Sara at On Simplicity’s last blog post…Three Things You’d Save in an Emergency

  38. I am so happy for you!!! I have been doing flylady for over a year. I love it. I’m sure I’ll be able to add to it using your book. I am a nerd too, I LOVE to declutter. It’s like food for the soul. 😉

    xoxoxoxo girlfriend!

  39. Hi.
    Like HollyRhea, I read much more about cleaning than I actually clean… It was Sarah Park’s comment that convinced me I need to get me this ebook. I’m looking forward to it!

  40. I finished reading this a few days ago and am working on a schedule for starting in on this this coming weekend. But I’m confused about one thing: What about the dining room? It’s my first room (so that my dining room table is clear for the central location spot) and I realized I didn’t have a check list for it! (I’ll make my own based on the ones you provided of course.)

    But I recommend adding the dining to the second edition 😉

  41. Congrats on your first eBook! Best of luck with it!

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