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Stop the (home advice) madness!

Posted by: under Decoration and design Updated: February 2, 2010 - 7:15 AM

Maybe it's the snirt outside and the ice ruts as deep as ditches, but a vague ennui has settled over me and I'm pretty sure it's not just the weather. Call it the Achievement Gap, or the Law of Escalating Expectations. But these home-centric e-newsletters I subscribe to are not improving my life -- they're critiquing it!

It started innocently enough. Sure, I'd like to get ideas from Real Simple each week on how to streamline my life (and 21 Ways to Enhance an Entryway!). Of course, I'd welcome  Better Homes and Garden's tips on fashioning a bed headboard out of an old door (and 32 Easy Style Ideas!). And why wouldn't I want five great chili recipes from Midwest Living (and 20 Super-Easy Houseplants!)? The answer, obviously, is that I didn't have the foresight to see the oppression coming (to say nothing of the relentless pop-up boxes trying to sell me a subscription). I'm a classic over-achiever. Before I knew it, I'd clicked my way to a daily stream of cheerful advice, from these sources and others, that constantly ratchets up the stakes for how I should spend my free time (and tone my triceps!). Why make a sugar cookie cutout when you can really express your love for your family by constructing a heart-shaped triple-layer marzipan sculpture with spun sugar accents?

The rub here? Though a lot of what comes in these newsletters makes me snort out loud, a lot of it is great stuff. Practical stuff. Beautiful stuff. There's just never enough time in the day, especially when you're trying to figure out how to get that ink off  your favorite blouse (Wait! Didn't one of those newsletters address that, sometime? When was that?)

How do you manage the daily email barrage? And the expectations for a fabulously decorated, meticulously cleaned and appropriately,nutritiously fed household? Most women -- and a lot of husbands -- I know are working harder to  make it go and get it done. What's your strategy? (And yes, I've already started to click "unsubscribe.")

 

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