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This offer expires at midnight tonight, so don't delay.

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Handy Holiday Decorating Tip

Turkey time is over, and if you're like me, you're now faced with the monumental task of decorating your home for Christmas. I have a handy suggestion that should help minimize the mess during the holidays.

If you're housekeeping-impaired, chances are you have a lot of knick knacks or gee gaws or other general decorative clutter lying around--which means that by adding holiday decorations to the mix, you're going to make a bad situation worse and fall into serious stuff overload in your home. To keep that from happening, follow this simple rule of thumb: Don't try to have both your regular decorations and your holiday decorations out at the same time, but instead REPLACE the one with the other!

Wondering where can you store all of those regular decorations during the holiday season? Do what I do: Use the containers that hold the Christmas decorations! Simply trade out, and then let those everyday items stay hidden away in the containers until Christmas has passed. You can take them back out and put them on display again when you are ready to put away your holiday decorations.

Around here, we call this The Great Knick Knack Trade. The added bonus is that when it's time to put the regular stuff back out, I'm usually in the mood to do a little stuff-purging first.

I hope today's tip helps you to have a very merry Christmas-decorating season.


Happy Thanksgiving

Thought you might enjoy this photo of my (very thankful) shih tzu, Belle.

No doubt, she'll be nabbing some tasty scraps today under the kids' table. Hope you have a lovely day too!



Free Gift Wrapping with Special Code

Hi Friends, now that the holidays are here, I'll be interrupting my two current series in order to share some fun Christmas-related tips. To kick things off in the right spirit, I wanted to let you know about a special I'm currently running on my websites, and

From now through December 15th, get FREE GIFT WRAPPING ON EVERY PURCHASE!

Simply shop as usual, and at checkout enter this code:

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Oh, and be sure to check back here on Cyber Monday for some incredible online offers!


HTCI Interview Part 2

Here's more from my recent interview with blogger Kristina Seleshanko, who has been implementing the HTCI system in her home and blogging about it online at Proverbs 31 Woman.


How long did it take you to implement the method in your own home? And are you able to consistently keep your home clean and orderly?

Mindy: It took a long, long time to convert my house to a House That Cleans Itself, because I was starting from scratch with nothing but some ideas and a theory. If I’d had the book, lol, I think I could’ve done it in a few months. As it was, it took me a year at least, maybe a little more. But it was worth every minute, especially because in the end I was able to help others by sharing my own struggle.

I love the second question here, and I’m surprised how rarely anyone asks me that. The answer is yes and no. Yes, my house today compared to my house ten years ago is ridiculously better. We use HTCI thinking for every new item we acquire, every rearrangement of furniture, and so on. The order and cleanliness of this house, relatively speaking, is amazing.

However, the system does fall apart once in a while, and always for the same three-fold reason:

1. We acquire new stuff,

2. but we don’t get rid of any old stuff,

3. and we don’t assign a place for the new stuff.

In the book, I state that NO house can be consistently clean if there’s simply too much stuff in it. Given that both my husband and I are packrats by nature, that’s our biggest ongoing challenge. For me, it’s not that I have trouble getting rid of things, it’s simply that I don’t take the time often enough to do so. Sometimes, we do reach that tipping point and I know it’s time for a big purge. If that doesn’t happen, then after several months things will start to get out of control again. With a House That Cleans Itself, it’s easy to see what needs correcting and fix it, but I’d be lying if I said it’s something you do once and never have to worry about again.

In fact, over time, the most important lesson I have learned is that a House That Cleans Itself is more of an ongoing mentality than a one-time process. As long as we remember that, the system continues to work like a dream.

And lest anyone read this answer and feel discouraged, let me reiterate: I DO live in a House That Cleans Itself. My home is always fairly clean, and for those who have known me a long time, it’s SHOCKINGLY clean. But even at its worst, my house, compared to how it used to be, is like night and day. For me, that’s a dream come true.

Clean Travel Tip #2

If you love to preserve your vacation memories through photos, then you'll appreciate today's tip. It's a bit of a no-brainer, but I think it's still worth mentioning.

Whenever you go on a trip, if there's any chance at all you're going to want pictures of your room,
(perhaps because your accommodations are especially lovely or unique), then you should snap those pictures before you do anything else. I'm talking about before you unpack any suitcases or flop on the bed or anything.

Why? Because no matter how hard you try to keep this place neat, it's never going to look as good as it does when you first get there. So if you know you're going to want to preserve it in your memories and your photo album, then stash all suitcases, carry-ons, etc. right inside the door, take a moment to walk around and snap some pictures immediately, then put away the camera and go ahead and move in.

At this point, you may be asking just how, exactly, this makes your room any cleaner. It doesn't, actually, but it's still good advice for the housekeeping impaired! Trust me, as you look through the vacation pics years from now, you'll be very glad that you took a moment to do this first.

I'm sure glad I did at this gorgeous place, the Hanalei Colony Resort in Kauai, where we stayed this summer. Talk about a beachfront location!


We Have a Winner

The winner of the self-cleaning hairbrush is...

Sandi in California.

Congratulations, Sandi, and many thanks to all who entered!


My Latest Book Has Hit the Shelves

I'm excited to announce the release of my latest mystery novel, Secrets of Harmony Grove, from Harvest House Publishers!

Be sure to check out the following related links:
• Learn more about the book
Read the first chapter
Download book club questions
• Visit to see photos from my research and learn more about the Amish
• Enjoy, where I take turns with several other authors blogging about the Amish
Here's the trailer:

You can find Secrets of Harmony Grove wherever books are sold, or online from,, and more. Autographed copies can be ordered directly from my website.