Enter to Win a Free Book by Mindy

Greetings and welcome to The House That Cleans Itself blog. I'm so glad you're here! If you've been a reader before, or if you take the time now to peruse the archives, you'll see that I haven't been actively posting for a long while. I'll explain why in a sec, but first I wanted to let you know that I'm back and will be posting on a regular basis from here on out. I hope you find the information to be helpful!

Why the break? It's kind of a long story (which I'll probably share on here in the near future), but the bottom line is that in April of 2011 I suffered a brain injury and had to eliminate all but the most necessary computer tasks from my schedule. Now, more than a year and a half later, I'm still suffering from some lingering side effects of the injury, including daily headaches, but I am able to spend a bit more time on the computer than before. I've been wanting to take up blogging again, and now that the revised and updated version of The House That Cleans Itself has just been released, I thought it was the perfect time to jump back in with both feet.

To kick things off, I've decided to give away some books. One week from today, on February 1st, five entries will be chosen at random using a number generator. Winners can choose to receive ONE of the following:

The House That Cleans Itself (original version) 
The House That Cleans Itself (revised version) 
A Pocket Guide to Amish Life 
Under the Cajun Moon 
The Amish Midwife 

Here's all you need to do to enter:

 1. Answer one of the following questions in a comment to this blog:

What is the messiest area in your home right 
now--and why do you think it got that way? 


 If you win, which of the above books would 
you like to receive--and why?
2. Be sure to include your email address with your post.

3. One entry per person. Your comment must be posted by 11:59 pm on January 31st, 2013.

4. Winners will be notified via email and can then supply a mailing address for us to send the book.

I do hope you'll enter--and that you'll help spread the word that I'm back and posting again. I've got so many great ideas to share, and I bet you do too. Thanks so much for stopping by, and I'll see you again soon!

Mindy Starns Clark


  1. Messiest room in the house? My husband's office I can't see the carpet in there anymore. And it's messy because he's a packrat and won't throw out anything and won't let me near the mess either. Like I might make it worse or something :-)

  2. My messiest room is definitely my bedroom! If I'm stressed about other things, my room definitely shows it. It's been a stressful week at school...therefore my room is a disaster, which then stresses me out even more. It's a vicious cycle. Better go clean it now!!

  3. The messiest room in my apartment is my entire apartment! Being a busy college student living with three other guys, cleaning isn't always on the top of our to do lists. As a result, if we don't clean for a day or two then our apartment gets very messy. Then when it gets very messy, we don't want to put the now large effort in necessary to clean it. Once it gets out of hand we end up cleaning it, but it has to be exceptionally messy for that to happen. I wish that we would care more about having a clean apartment, but not strongly enough to actually keep it that way.

  4. The messiest room in my house is definitely the kitchen. I am a college student with two roommates sharing an amartment. Our kitchen is one of the smallest rooms in our place and gets cluttered easily. Our sink is not very big and we have little counter space. We do what we can with what we have, but the layout is less than ideal. Not to mention, who does the dishes is always a battle!


  5. The messiest part of my apartment is definitely my room. Since I am a college student, there are many days when I am away from the apartment from 6:30 am until 8 pm. By the time I get home from a busy day of classes and work, I just want to do my homework and get into bed as quickly as possible. I find that it takes too much effort to actually get my clothes into the laundry basket and leave them on the floor. I finally find some time on the weekends to tidy up, but then by the time Sunday night rolls around, my room is just as messy.

  6. The messiest room in my house is definitely my bedroom. I have been super stressed out and busy so I never find time. Hopefully when my life slows down I will become more and more organized.

  7. Messiest area in the house--definitely the kitchen. It seems as if ten minutes after I clean it, we are back at square one of messy. Living in an apartment with three other busy girls certainly doesn't help the equation, but I believe that since we are all constantly cooking for ourselves, or our friends, we can never get ahead of the mess.

  8. I'm so sorry to hear about your brain injury, Mindy! I hope it heals completely really soon and your headaches cease. :)

    I would love to read "A pocket guide to Amish Life"... I've read all the other ones. But I also would love to own "The House that Cleans Itself"... probably the revised version... because I've only checked it out from the library before and it would be nice to actually have the book for good. :D

    I hope you write some more mysteries soon! You are my favorite mystery writer EVER!



  9. I would LOVE to win the revised version of The House that Cleans Itself because I just finished reading the original version from the library and I SO NEED to do this! Housekeeping impaired--you described me to a T! I am a homeschooling Mom of three little boys (under 5) and I need to get my house in order. A three week library loan isn't going to cut it, so I need this book!
    So glad to find your blog. So glad you're back.
    Melanie Nygaard
    my_rabbit_barn at

  10. Well the whole house is venturing into disgusting because we haven't had Bible study here two weeks in a row and I've been neglectful since no one will see it (famous last words).
    But the messiest room? That would be mine because for some reason I would rather sift through a pile of clothes on the floor than through dresser drawers. Perhaps I need to move the dresser to some other purpose and get me some nice-looking baskets to sit on my floor that I can sift through?
    Is there new helps in the Revised HTCI book?

  11. Hi Erin, isn't it amazing how stressful mess can be? Sometimes I don't even realize it until things are really clean, and then it's like a big "ah." :) Hopefully, the book will help you discover some tricks and techniques for keeping things neat even during the busiest of weeks.

  12. Hi Mikey, I hate to sound sexist, but probably one of the messiest things on earth has to be an apartment shared by four guys. :) I can only imagine! Unless one of you is a real neatnik, it almost always gets worse before it gets better.

    If I were a landlord renting to students, I think I'd install self-cleaning toilets in every bathroom. To see what I mean, check out my post "Gabe's Goals Live On" from July of 2010. Someday, I'd like one of those in my house as well.

  13. Hi Julia, thanks so much. Your kinds words really made my day! Currently, my husband and I are working on another mystery together. It's just in the plotting stages, but so far we're loving it. We're hope to see it released in 2014, but In the meantime I've got several Amish books in the works, including The Amish Seamstress coming out this summer, Plain Answers About Amish Life in the fall, and The Amish Groom near the end of the year. Whew! I love to write about the Amish, but I think I'll be ready for a mystery after all of that. :) Thanks again!

  14. Hi Melanie, thanks so much. I'm happy to be back!

    If you're a homeschooling mom of three boys under 5, then you need to read my post from January 2011 called "HTCI Interview Part 3." You can look through the archives to this blog or paste this link in your browser: As you can tell from the post, grace for moms with young children is a topic I'm passionate about. :) Best wishes to you!

  15. Hi Dzhennifer, (cool name, I assume it's pronounced Jennifer?) I hear ya. There is definitely help in the new book for this problem. Bottom line, some of us just aren't "drawer people." Our minds don't work that way. We need things to be visible and/or vertical instead.

    My solution was to put more shelving in my closet, divided into square foot sections. I had to sacrifice some hanging space, but it was worth it. Now when I do the laundry, I quickly fold and shove like items together into a single section on my closet shelves. Now the whole room stays cleaner simply because, for some reason, I find it way easier to grab a nightgown or sweater or jeans, etc., from a pile on a shelf rather than from a drawer. Go figure! Sounds weird, but it works for me. Maybe it can work for you too!

  16. Hey Caren, thanks for commenting. I mentioned the issue about your husband's office to my own hubby, and he had an interesting response, which I'm going to elaborate on in a future post. Thanks for some great fodder for discussion!

    Sorry to keep you in suspense, but I'll try to get that post up on the blog within the week so you won't have to wonder too long about what he had to say. :) FWIW, he's very wise, and his insight to this matter was really helpful.

  17. If I win, the book that I would like to receive is The house that cleans itself (revised version) because my room and home get very messy, very fast so I think the book might help me become more organized and clean.

  18. The room I have the most trouble keeping, um, inhabitable is the extra area in my bedroom. It's become the "don't know where to put it catch-all" spot. Because I don't know where to put things (I have no garage) I dump it there. I really need to learn "a place for everything and everything in it's place" and apply it!

  19. Messiest room in my house is my closet. All other closets are fine, but ours is the catch all. storage of boxes to keep for warranties, suitcases, boxes of crafts, storage for gifts I buy during the year for special occasions, esp. for the grandkids! I'm a packrat, but try to be clean and organized, but this one is uncontrolable.

  20. The Messiest Room in my Pad. Is the Kitchen. I am a 39 year old Bachlor and I have no pretty lady to eat with. As a result I am a sloppy eater who makes a mess out of eveything. Also the cati just inherited lie s to knoock around the metal water bowl and "ring: me like a butler.

    Anyone want to buy a CAT?

  21. SOOOO interested in your book!~
    My messiest... well shall we say the #1 messiest?
    all rooms are a degree of "messiest" Anyway our bedroom and home office are running neck and neck for the blue ribbon! Those two always get left for last in that "Declutter Dash" before someone comes to the door unexpected... actually those two rooms hold all the "dashes clutter" and then forgotten :(
    I realize I'm to late for the contest to win your book "The House That Cleans Itself (revised version) " Just wanted to sorta introduce myself :)