Sidetracked Home Executives

Book cover: 'Sidetracked Home Executives'
Pam Young
Peggy Jones
Warner Books
Number of pages: 
165 pages

Pam Young and Peggy Jones were the original "slob sisters" and "SHE"s (Sidetracked Home Executives). Their homes were disorganized, untidy, and definitely not conducive to peace and joy -- until they found a way up and out of the chaos. To share their discovery with other SHEs, they wrote this now-classic book.

The book has two great strengths: Its authors write from their personal experience, which makes it easy for anyone else who is not "B.O." (Born Organized) to relate, and it is written with delightful humor. It is so engaging and motivating that, while reading it, you'll find yourself restraining an impulse to tidy a room or scrub a floor. Or maybe you shouldn't restrain yourself. In any event, the book will make you want what they have: a clean, organized, happy home.

To climb out of the chaos in their homes, Pam and Peggy realized that they needed a new set of habits. They devised a system of index cards, described in the book, with chores to be done daily, weekly, monthly, and semi-annually. They also describe index cards you can set up for your children, at ages 3, 5, 7, and 8, with suggestions for additional chores to add as they grow.

While nothing in this book is directed specifically at homeschoolers, there is nothing that couldn't work just as well in a homeschool family as any other. The ideas for children's file cards would be especially helpful in a homeschooling family.

This edition (2001) also suggests alternatives to the file card system. You could use your own PC to set up checklists, or, as the authors suggest on their website (, you could turn to Marla Ciley at for no-nonsense instruction in building new, more orderly habits. Marla read Pam and Peggy's book some years ago as she sought a way out of her chaos, then took their ideas (with permission) and ran with them on the web.

But no matter which system you think you might prefer, pick up this book if you are looking for an enjoyable and motivational introduction to the art of getting organized.

Additional notes: 

Copyrights 1977/2001

revised and updated edition; original edition: 1977

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