The fresh smell of line-dried laundry practically leaps off the pages of Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook. In this massive guide dressed in an easy-to-clean plastic dust jacket Stewart combines the efficient techniques learned at her mother's knee with up-to-date information gathered by her formidable lifestyle team for maintaining every room of the home. She starts with step-by-step explanations of basic cleaning tasks (there are ways and then there are better ways), followed by room-by-room and periodic home maintenance tasks and shortcuts (clean when dirt is fresh, straighten as you go), helpful for those who didn't learn by family modeling. Practically everything else about the home is covered, too: buying a mattress, storing wine, organizing a tool shed, preserving digital photos, emergency preparedness and moving house. While the book often reeks of Stewart's iron the sheets perfectionism and fetishistic obsessions (most people can select a light bulb and wash a blanket without a page of instruction), it still makes an excellent one-stop-shop for cleaning up a messy act.

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