Sunday, July 23, 2023

14 Days to Opening Your Front Door to Guests

When I first found decluttering videos on YouTube I was so attracted to Dawn (see my Aug 2022 post The Minimal Mom) but now that I am actually in the process of decluttering -- as opposed to deciding that it would be a really good idea -- I am watching a lot of Dana K White's videos. So I wanted to share the ones I like best. And here are the links to her books!

Dana has a very simple 5 step process for any location you want to tackle (obvious trash, taking things that already have an established spot in your home to that spot right away, donation items, etc.) and the best thing about it is that she believes in "Progress and ONLY Progress" and you can declutter using her method for 2 minutes or 2 hours and still be able to stop at ANY time and you will NOT have made any area of your home worse in any way.

This was a revolutionary concept to me because I was always the kind of person who emptied out a shelf, drawer, or entire room and then put it all back one piece at a time (see my Aug 2016 post Emptying a Child's Room).

The problem with this? When you have a family, job, etc. that kind of project can easily get derailed and then you are left with an exploded diagram of a space that, while it wasn't tidy, at least everything was jammed into it compactly so it sortof fit. Now things are much worse than they were before!

Repeat that for 7 or 8 years and you have a real situation on your hands. (And here I want to give a shout-out to Cass from Clutterbug for her absolutely hysterical video about how NOT to deep clean your home.)

I really like Dana's "One Hour Better" series where she visits real people, chooses one problem space, and walks them through her method with the timer set for one hour -- it is amazing to see how much better it is at the end of that hour -- and her "14 Days to Opening Your Front Door to Guests" where she creates a plan for when people are going to come and visit you!

UPDATE: August 9, 2023


I want to share that I think that Marissa from A to Zen Life is the BEST person to binge watch and/or have on in the background while you're decluttering. I find her soooo inspiring, and she's a recovering emotional hoarder so she really can talk honestly about the pain that can come up when you are choosing to let things go. Both of her parents died while she was still young and her childhood home burned down, so she spent many years holding onto everything that was left. Now she lives in the most minimal home I've ever seen and she is extremely happy and has a lovely husband and two adorable boys.

Get inspired with Dawn, figure out your Clutterbug type with Cass, get serious with Dana, and then body double with Marissa while you get it done!!

This post contains affiliate links to materials I truly use for homeschooling. Qualifying purchases provide me with revenue. Thank you for your support!

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Lucy Fitch Perkins and the Twins Books

Tracking down a free PDF of The Dutch Twins (see previous post) has made me realize that a LOT of these vintage books are probably online for free.

When I was a child we had The Dutch Twins (her first book), The Eskimo Twins, and The Puritan Twins. I cherished them all. These books by Lucy Fitch Perkins (born in 1865) are unquestionably dated today, but still achieve their original goal of making children curious about how other children live all around the world. I think many of these titles are well worth tracking down!

And, according to this Los Angeles Times interview, The Dutch Twins was the book that made Beverly Cleary -- who detested the first grade early readers she was given in school -- start reading as a child and come to LOVE it!

this book, for sale on eBay, includes a signed letter
from the author to the child, dated 1931!

Here are all of the Twins books Lucy Fitch Perkins wrote, with links to the ones I have found online for free:

Geographical series

The Dutch Twins (1911)
PDF from
audio recording from LibriVox

The Japanese Twins (1912)
PDF from

The Irish Twins (1913)
HathiTrust digital library

The Eskimo Twins (1914)
PDF from

The Mexican Twins (1916)
PDF from

The French Twins (1918)
PDF from

The Scotch Twins (1919)
PDF from
audio recording from LibriVox

The Italian Twins (1920)

The Swiss Twins (1922)
PDF from

The Filipino Twins (1923)
HathiTrust digital library

The Farm Twins (1928)

The Pickaninny Twins (1931)

The Chinese Twins (1934)

The Norwegian Twins (1933)

The Spanish Twins (1934)

The Dutch Twins and Little Brother (1938)

The Dutch Twins Primer
HathiTrust digital library

Historical series

The Cave Twins (1915)
HathiTrust digital library
audio recording from LibriVox

The Spartan Twins (1918)
PDF from

The Puritan Twins (1921)
PDF from

The Colonial Twins of Virginia (1924)

The American Twins of 1812 (1925)
HathiTrust digital library

The American Twins of The Revolution (1926)

The Pioneer Twins (1927)

The Indian Twins (1938)

The Belgian Twins (1917)
PDF from
audio recording from LibriVox

Note: I have moved The Belgian Twins to History because it takes place during WWI. Lucy Fitch Perkins wrote in the Preface, "This story of two little Belgian refugees is based upon the actual experience of two Belgian children, and the incident of the locket is quite true."

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Booklist for the Netherlands

Third Grade in Waldorf Education is a time when we study housebuilding and interesting shelters around the world, and today I talked with a student about the floating houses of the Netherlands. She was enchanted, and asked that we spend more time learning about this country! So here is a list of books about the Netherlands. If you have more titles, please share them!

The Biomes of the World cards from Waseca Biomes include plant & animal cards for the wetlands of Europe, and fundamental needs of humans cards for Amsterdam.

This post contains affiliate links to materials I truly use for homeschooling. Qualifying purchases provide me with revenue. Thank you for your support!