This little book provides 200+ money-saving household hints and suggestions for organizing your life, including tips and strategies for time management, clutter control, home repair, kitchen and laundry short-cuts, beauty advice, and a simple personal filing system. It is a miscellany of information, some useful and some less so, put together in a disjointed (albeit alphabetical) fashion and delivered with the fervor of a true believer.
Much of Massengill’s advice is predicated on avoiding embarrassment should guests appear unannounced and make judgments about the condition of her home, yard, or personal appearance. She is clearly a Type A personality with vital energy and a “can do” spirit whose personal mission is to share her skills, expert problem-solving ability, and experience.
The book has some obvious flaws. Repetition, malapropisms, typos, and poor grammar could have been corrected by a more thorough edit, and simple cross-references would have made this a more accessible reference. In addition, although at least 30 entries include disclaimers noting that the author has no “financial or commercial interest” in any name-brand products, the author regularly touts, without disclaimers, the value of Rubbermaid storage bins and Ziploc plastic bags for getting organized – an odd editing inconsistency.
The Polished Woman most resembles a combination of Hints From Heloise and dated women’s magazine columns issued by a down-market Martha Stewart with a preference for garage-sale Shabby Chic and “silk floral arrangements everywhere.” There is no mention of e-tools, apps, or personal organization software, although occasionally a website or online resource appears. While it is smart, down-to-earth, and embodies good old-fashioned values, readers should be aware that it isn’t as sophisticated or urbane as the “Polished” in the title might imply.
BueInk Heads-Up: Recommended for fans of the reality TV show Clean House or readers looking for a more personal approach than Organizing for Dummies.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.