How to Keep House While Drowning: A Gentle Approach to Cleaning and Organizing (Hardcover)
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If your ability to keep your home clean is suffering due to mental health problems or lack of support, this book is for you. These things are already hard; external circumstances make them even harder. How to Keep House While Drowning works to untangle the feelings of shame and worthlessness that may come with an unclean or messy home. When I learned to let go of those feelings, tasks that seemed insurmountable became just a little bit more doable. Let K.C. Davis help you, too.— Mattie
An NPR Best Book of 2022
USA TODAY Bestseller
This revolutionary approach to cleaning and organizing helps free you from feeling ashamed or overwhelmed by a messy home.
If you’re struggling to stay on top of your to-do list, you probably have a good reason: anxiety, fatigue, depression, ADHD, or lack of support. For therapist KC Davis, the birth of her second child triggered a stress-mess cycle. The more behind she felt, the less motivated she was to start. She didn’t fold a single piece of laundry for seven months. One life-changing realization restored her sanity—and the functionality of her home: You don’t work for your home; your home works for you.
In other words, messiness is not a moral failing. A new sense of calm washed over her as she let go of the shame-based messaging that interpreted a pile of dirty laundry as “I can never keep up” and a chaotic kitchen as “I’m a bad mother.” Instead, she looked at unwashed clothes and thought, “I am alive,” and at stacks of dishes and thought, “I cooked my family dinner three nights in a row.”
Building on this foundation of self-compassion, KC devised the powerful practical approach that has exploded in popularity through her TikTok account, @domesticblisters. The secret is to simplify your to-do list and to find creative workarounds that accommodate your limited time and energy. In this book, you’ll learn exactly how to customize your cleaning strategy and rebuild your relationship with your home, including:
-How to see chores as kindnesses to your future self, not as a reflection of your worth
-How to start by setting priorities
-How to stagger tasks so you won’t procrastinate
-How to clean in quick bursts within your existing daily routine
-How to use creative shortcuts to transform a room from messy to functional
With KC’s help, your home will feel like a sanctuary again. It will become a place to rest, even when things aren’t finished. You will move with ease, and peace and calm will edge out guilt, self-criticism, and endless checklists. They have no place here.
About the Author
KC Davis is the bestselling author of How To Keep House While Drowning. A licensed therapist, she is the creator of the popular Struggle Care website and Instagram, and the Domestic Blisters TikTok, where she shares her revolutionary approach to self and home care for those dealing with mental health issues, physical illness, and hard seasons of life. Across platforms, KC has more than 1.5 million followers. KC has been featured in The Washington Post, Oprah Daily, Slate, Well + Good, Good Inside with Dr. Becky, Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris, among dozens of other media. She recently launched the podcast, Struggle Care, which is available on every podcast platform. KC Davis lives in Houston with her husband and two daughters.
“…Davis’s work is honest and funny. But most notably, it is kind...She handles conversations around relationships, mental health, addiction, food, and body image with care and vulnerability.”
— Sarah Wheeler
“The funny hacks Davis has come up with along the way to make her own life work better—veggies in the fridge door, a rack for dirty dishes as well as clean, a family closet to cut down on trips to put away clean clothes—are not meant as prescriptions, but as inspiration.”
— Rebecca Onion
“Davis encourages her followers to see their chores not as moral obligations but rather as care tasks they deserve. As you get started, she suggests asking yourself, ‘How can I make my home serve me better?’”
— Jacqueline Pinedo
“How to Keep House While Drowning: A Gentle Approach to Cleaning and Organizing covers topics such as building momentum by cleaning in short bursts and calming rituals that can help you deal with feeling overwhelmed. Her solutions encourage people to let go of perfectionism and help those with mental or physical illness, or who are going through a hard time, have a healthier relationship with their homes.”
— Jura Koncius
"This is the kindest, gentlest guide to the Sisyphean tasks of cleaning, grooming and generally keeping oneself alive. Part pep talk, part guidebook, KC Davis’ tips are aloe vera for a burned-out brain."
— Lauren Migaki
"An honest and compassionate exploration of the many traps that leave us feeling like we've failed, How to Keep House While Drowning is filled with hard-won advice that will change the way you view your space, your habits, and (most importantly) yourself." --Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy, authors of No Hard Feelings and Big Feelings
"How to Keep House While Drowning" acknowledges the less-frequently addressed challenges many people face that keep us from easily keeping up home care such as depression, ADHD, postpartum, or simply a lack of support. This short guide introduces six realistic principles from a professional counselor on how to approach home care without trying to conquer countless to-do lists.” – Business Insider
“We all struggle to balance the many demands on our time, energy and sanity from time to time. This short, easily-read volume has solid tips for coping... In the context of this book, making your housekeeping more manageable can enhance the functionality of your life.” – Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS, MCCWC
“If keeping up with chores feels like a full-time job, licensed therapist and How to Keep House While Drowning author KC Davis has a subtle, but radical, approach to help you manage the demands of housekeeping... In fact, she says homes do not have to look like the cover of an interior design magazine to serve their function—so embrace the mess.” -Oprah Daily
“In her book, "How to Keep House While Drowning," Davis explains how to be gentle with yourself while also caring for yourself and your home in a way that works best for you. Her gentle approach to care tasks is what keeps people coming back. It’s the validation that we all need.” -Jacalyn Wetzel, Upworthy