The most recommended homemaking books

Who picked these books? Meet our 6 experts.

6 authors created a book list connected to homemaking, and here are their favorite homemaking books.
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Book cover of Housewife

Tim Newburn Author Of Orderly Britain: How Britain has resolved everyday problems, from dog fouling to double parking

From my list on the changing nature of our everyday lives.

Who am I?

I’m a criminologist who is increasingly at least as interested in social order as I am in crime. In part I think this can be expressed as a concern with what glues us together rather than what pulls us apart. What particularly makes me smile, and draws me in, is the ability that some writers and researchers have to find the fascinating and the remarkable in the everyday. Whether it be what we wear, how we speak, or when we sleep, there is just as much to learn about our contemporary society from such matters as there is from who’s in parliament or how our financial institutions are behaving. 

Tim's book list on the changing nature of our everyday lives

Tim Newburn Why did Tim love this book?

I read this book as a student in my teenage years. To say it was an eye-opener is both to underestimate its impact on me and to reveal just how little I understood, or simply took for granted, about women’s lives (including my mother’s). Oakley’s book, published in 1974, explores the role of the ‘housewife’ and the nature of ‘housework’ and places both in their historical and social context. At heart, it helped puncture such male-oriented myths as the idea that there was something intrinsic to such activity that made it “women’s work” and that it wasn’t the equivalent of real work. In short, using in-depth interviews with young mothers (four of which are used as case studies here) it made housework visible as something to be considered alongside, and in some respects in the same way, as we might think about other forms of labour.  

By Ann Oakley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Housewife as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Confessions of an Organized Homemaker: The Secrets of Uncluttering Your Home and Taking Control of Your Life

Joni Hilton Author Of Housekeeping Secrets My Mother Never Taught Me

From my list on home organization.

Who am I?

I’ll admit it: I love the domestic arts. As a natural klutz, I knew sports would be out and I focused on organizing, cooking, gardening, cleaning, and decorating. My mother knew all the old-fashioned tricks and I collected the new ones. Today I have several thousand followers on my youtube channel, where I share life hacks, housekeeping hints, and even motherly advice as the Youtube Mom. One of my sons said that none of his buddies knew how to do laundry, cook, iron, etc., and suggested I have a channel to fill in the gaps for Millenials. Having hosted a TV talk show in Los Angeles, this appealed to me right away. And, you guessed it, lots of moms and grandmas write in as well, saying they never knew those tricks themselves. It’s truly gratifying to share these time-and-money-saving ideas.

Joni's book list on home organization

Joni Hilton Why did Joni love this book?

This is a terrific book by a woman who has toured extensively lecturing on this topic. I love to include humor, and so does Schofield. You’ll be highlighting lots of her ideas, and wondering why you didn’t think of them sooner. For example, she keeps the can opener by the canned goods, to save steps. Duh, right? A mom of five, Deniece knows plenty!

By Deniece Schofield,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Confessions of an Organized Homemaker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The secrets of uncluttering your home and taking control of your life: hundreds of ideas and techniques on how to unclutter their homes and take control of their lives.


Book cover of Breathing Room: Open Your Heart by Decluttering Your Home

Lisa J. Shultz Author Of Lighter Living: Declutter. Organize. Simplify.

From my list on getting rid of clutter.

Who am I?

I speak from experience because within the decade of 20092019, I downsized from my enormous home and cleared out both of my parent’s houses. I felt like I was drowning in stuff when I added up all three houses. Lighter Living is a collection of my insights from, and candid reflections on, my journey of owning less. The benefits of lighter living are so broad and deep that they can’t be boiled down to one end result. My hope is that you will find the process of consolidation to be satisfying and fulfilling. That was my experience. My choice of a lighter lifestyle has brought me a greater sense of well-being. In a world that often seems stressful and chaotic, that’s a feeling I cherish.

Lisa's book list on getting rid of clutter

Lisa J. Shultz Why did Lisa love this book?

I love the concept of being able to breathe easier in life and at home. The first part of this book is about getting clear on the intention of decluttering each room. I appreciate that each chapter offers a blessing for that room as well. The second part of the book dives into spiritual decluttering: heart, mental and emotional clutter, relationships, roles, and responsibilities. I particularly love the concept of passing your clutter through the three gates of meaning: "Is it true to my intentions? Do I use it? Is it kind to my heart and spirit?" I enjoyed the gentle nature of this book.

By Lauren Rosenfeld, Melva Green,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Breathing Room as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Breathing Room, Dr. Melva Green, expert on A&E's Emmy-nominated series Hoarders, along with Lauren Rosenfeld, creator of the popular blog Your To Be List, help you find emotional healing and spiritual renewal through the unique practice of decluttering. Whether it's clothing that no longer fits or relationships we've outgrown, we all have burdens and attachments that manifest themselves in our physical living space.

In each chapter, Green and Rosenfeld focus on a different room, showing how each one represents a corresponding place in your heart. The bedroom is for peace and intimacy. The kitchen is for comfort and creativity.…


Book cover of The Pocket Butler's Guide to Good Housekeeping: Expert Advice on Cleaning, Laundry and Home Maintenance

Laura Calder Author Of The Inviting Life: An Inspirational Guide to Homemaking, Hosting and Opening the Door to Happiness

From my list on making and running a welcoming home.

Who am I?

Laura Calder is a recognized advocate for living well at home. She is the author of four cookbooks and received a James Beard Award for her long-running television series, French Food at Home.

Laura's book list on making and running a welcoming home

Laura Calder Why did Laura love this book?

How to run a house is no longer part of our education system. The only way to learn this vital skill – one that helps make the whole of our lives run more smoothly - is by educating ourselves. This compact book teaches us everything from how to clean a room to how to fold socks to how to descale a shower head. It’s like having your own butler to turn to for advice whenever you need it.

By Charles MacPherson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Pocket Butler's Guide to Good Housekeeping as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Everyone's favourite butler is back! Get your home spic and span with Charles MacPherson's expert tips and tricks for everything from polishing silverware to organizing the garage.

After over 30 years as a professional butler and household manager, Charles MacPherson knows a thing or two about keeping a home clean and organized. He has poured his vast knowledge and expertise into this pocket-sized volume, perfect for easy day-to-day reference or to guide your next marathon cleaning session.

Everything you need to know is here. With step-by-step instructions for cleaning, organizing, and maintaining every room in your home, The Pocket Butler's…


Book cover of Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things

Jennifer Howard Author Of Clutter: An Untidy History

From my list on to read when you’re decluttering.

Who am I?

I didn’t choose clutter as a topic—it chose me. Around the time Marie Kondo became a tidying-up sensation, my mother suffered a breakdown and could no longer live in her dangerously cluttered house. I’m an only child, so it fell to me to figure what to do with it all. So much stuff! It got me wondering: How did clutter get to be such a huge problem for so many people? The books on this list helped answer that question and made me feel less alone in the struggle with stuff. I hope you find them useful too.

Jennifer's book list on to read when you’re decluttering

Jennifer Howard Why did Jennifer love this book?

Randy Frost and Gail Steketee have done groundbreaking research on hoarding disorder, and their work has helped shift the conversation away from the traditional shame-and-blame approach to the subject. In these case studies, they dig into what drives individuals to accumulate extreme amounts of clutter. Emphasis on individuals—each of these people has a unique, often fascinating story, and Frost and Steketee treat them with compassion and understanding. Stuff helped me understand that forced cleanouts and harsh interventions don’t solve the problem, they only inflict more trauma.

By Randy O. Frost, Gail Steketee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stuff as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

A New York Times Bestseller

Acclaimed psychologists Randy Frost and Gail Sketetee's groundbreaking study on the compulsion of hoarding, "Stuff invites readers to reevaluate their desire for things” (Boston Globe).

What possesses someone to save every scrap of paper that’s ever come into his home? What compulsions drive a woman like Irene, whose hoarding cost her her marriage? Or Ralph, whose imagined uses for castoff items like leaky old buckets almost lost him his house? Or Jerry and Alvin, wealthy twin bachelors who filled up matching luxury apartments with countless pieces of fine art, not even leaving themselves room to…


Book cover of Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash

Jennifer Howard Author Of Clutter: An Untidy History

From my list on to read when you’re decluttering.

Who am I?

I didn’t choose clutter as a topic—it chose me. Around the time Marie Kondo became a tidying-up sensation, my mother suffered a breakdown and could no longer live in her dangerously cluttered house. I’m an only child, so it fell to me to figure what to do with it all. So much stuff! It got me wondering: How did clutter get to be such a huge problem for so many people? The books on this list helped answer that question and made me feel less alone in the struggle with stuff. I hope you find them useful too.

Jennifer's book list on to read when you’re decluttering

Jennifer Howard Why did Jennifer love this book?

How many times have you tossed something in the trash without thinking about it? That throwaway mentality would be unrecognizable to earlier generations of Americans, who reused and repurposed and made do, because they had to. As I went through the process of emptying out my mother’s overstuffed house, I wondered when our things had gotten the better of us. Susan Strasser, a historian who’s also written about housework and consumerism, explains how and why Americans’ attitudes toward trash have shifted so radically since the country’s early days.

By Susan Strasser, Alice Austen (photographer),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Waste and Want as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An unprecedented look at that most commonplace act of everyday life-throwing things out-and how it has transformed American society.

Susan Strasser's pathbreaking histories of housework and the rise of the mass market have become classics in the literature of consumer culture. Here she turns to an essential but neglected part of that culture-the trash it produces-and finds in it an unexpected wealth of meaning.

Before the twentieth century, streets and bodies stank, but trash was nearly nonexistent. With goods and money scarce, almost everything was reused. Strasser paints a vivid picture of an America where scavenger pigs roamed the streets,…