Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

‘Doing What Works’ host shares best home advice

By
From page HS4 | November 22, 2013 | Leave Comment

Some days I feel like a glorified Dumpster diver. I throw myself headfirst into the world’s big bin of home advice, rummage through the flotsam and jetsam and surface with a few nuggets I think useful.

I buff them into little pearls and serve them up each week — at the end of some cathartic rant like this — in newspapers across the country, including yours.

And I just met another woman who’s also made a quasi career out of second-hand knowledge — but on radio. Maureen Anderson hosts “Doing What Works,” which airs in 101 U.S. markets.

Like me, she interviews experts and teases out, well, what works. Together, we’re like the Reader’s Digest of better living.

Anderson recently asked me to be a guest on her radio show. “Geesh, I could fill lots of air time with what doesn’t work,” I tell her. But she wanted to interview me about a topic I sadly am an expert on — moving.

Having moved three times in three years, I’ve got that drill down. I can pack and unpack a 3,500-square-foot house faster than you can say “What’s the address?” So Anderson and I spent a fun hour on her show yacking about ways to save time, money, antacid tablets and swear words when moving. Here’s link to the podcast MaureenAnderson.com/images/stories/audio/102613hour1.mp3.

Shortly after that, a column idea hit me like a hand truck: Why not turn the tables and interview her about the best home advice she’s gleaned from her subjects over the years?

“What I most want to be known for is uncovering great advice, finding what works and incorporating that in my life so it works better,” she starts off.

“Sounds like me talking,” I say, “but more eloquent.”

“I’m the student not the guru,” she says. “I’m learning, too, and am just as interested in the advice as I hope the people listening are.”

She then tells me she came to this by way of … an engineering degree.

“Say what?”

“I know,” she says. “I’m about as far from an engineer as I could be. I can’t even use a can opener. But I thought a degree in engineering would prove that I’m not an idiot. You know, a lot of people look at journalists and say, ‘What do you know?’”

“True,” I say.

Then she asks, “What’s your day job? I should know this.”

“Uhh, journalist,” I say, then, after a flicker of awkwardness, add, “so I come by not knowing honestly.”

We laugh, because how can you not? Then Anderson shares these bits of home wisdom that work for her and maybe you, too:

  • Decorate with your gut. Let your intuition guide you when decorating. For instance, Anderson recently upgraded the ceilings in a house she’s renovating with a textured drywall treatment. She liked it so much she considered treating all the walls the same way. She called on her gut for advice. “I stood quietly in the center of the first room where the ceiling had been treated, and asked myself how I’d feel if all the walls were the same way. A current of fear ran through me.” She left the walls alone. The drywallers later reassured her that was the right move.
  • Let the sun shine in. “I need natural light,” says Anderson. “Lots of it. I’ve learned how much it improves my performance and mood.” Her south-facing house is flooded with sunlight most of the day, especially after she ditched the heavy drapes and replaced double-hung windows with casement windows. “I know better than to live or work in the dark.”
  • Tend to small comforts. Anderson also recently learned the importance of a good chair. “I had a long string of radio shows where I didn’t like how I sounded. I came off sounding strained. Then one day I sounded OK again.” It took her a while to figure out her better sound was due to a new, comfortable desk chair. The old one wasn’t comfortable. “I was stunned by how much better I felt and sounded.” She quickly replaced her home office chair, too, and noted: Small changes can make a big difference.
  • Break it down. Clutter is decision postponed. “When I see piles spring up, I chip away at them until they’re gone,” she said. “If you break something down into bite-sized chunks, you won’t dread tackling them.”
  • Plop, plop, fizz, fizz. After talking with a guest who billed himself as America’s Favorite Housewife she began practicing his tip: Drop an Alka-Seltzer tablet in your toilet bowl 20 minutes before cleaning it. The bowl will sparkle for weeks.
  • Presentation is (almost)everything. Anderson recently interviewed a former Disney employee. Both remarked on how good and inspired they always felt at the theme park and realized that’s because Disney is all about presentation. “Anything that needs painting they paint,” says Anderson. “A tree grows an errant branch, it’s pruned. Everything looks spotless all the time, which shows that those running the place really care.” Since then, she’s been striving to translate that good, caring feeling into her own home. “I pay better attention. I’m more conscious of what I can do to make the ordinary special. I serve dinner on the pretty dishes. It shows I care.”
  • Laughter is the best décor. “What I love most about the people I live and work with is the laughter! There’s so much laughter in our house. It’s the best decor money can’t buy.”

Amen, sister.

Syndicated columnist and speaker Marni Jameson is the author of “House of Havoc” and “The House Always Wins” (Da Capo Press). Contact her through marnijameson.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

.

News

Goodbye LUPPU, hello LRPU

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
Past due state taxes bring arrest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 6 Comments

 
Sanford trial: Prosecution, defense rest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Woman, dog back from Oso

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 7 Comments | Gallery

 
 
 
DA candidate to remain on ballot

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A9

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Benji and the Bickersons

By Matthew Margolis | From Page: A10

 
CPCSD seat unfilled

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

Lew Uhler backs Ranalli

By News Release | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

 
.

Letters

District 4 candidate

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 8 Comments

 
Open meetings

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 5 Comments

Volunteers and homeless camps

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 14 Comments

 
Bicycle events and traffic control

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 4 Comments

Evacuation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 3 Comments

 
.

Sports

Savannah Stephens can swing the bat

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
King of the West roars into Placerville

By Gary Thomas | From Page: A11

First and goal: Bunt etiquette

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

 
Oak Ridge suffers tough 2-1 setback

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

Jennings wins national title

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Roundup: April 17, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Prospecting

Plantastic sale this Saturday

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Spring art brightens government center

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Things to do: April 18, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

 
Time out: A grand time at Grand China

By Earle Camembert | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Temple Kol Shalom hosts Passover Seder

By News Release | From Page: B3

 
Student art featured for Third Saturday

By News Release | From Page: B3

Promenade in high style

By Historic Old Sacramento | From Page: B4

 
Sac State Presents ‘Gypsy’

By California State Unversity, Sacramento | From Page: B4

Friday nights are engaging at the de Young

By Fine Arts | From Page: B5

 
Hats On For the Kids raises money for children

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B6

See what is inside the vault

By Center For Sacramento History | From Page: B6

 
Eggstravaganza

By Fairytale Town | From Page: B6

Gallery tips a hat to Dr. Seuss

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B7

 
Museum presents ‘Diesel Days’

By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B7

Engagement: Adam Frega and Wednesday Bienusa

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Air Force Airman Brian Polk

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

Cal Stage presents a season of challenging productions

By California Stage | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Army Pfc. Kyle W. Beasy

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

KVIE calls for artists

By Kvie | From Page: B9

 
A Couple of Blaguards tell tales

By Harris Center for the Arts | From Page: B9

America’s ClayFest II celebrates a rich history

By Blue Line Arts | From Page: B14

 
Fine Arts Museums feature two shows

By Fine Arts | From Page: B15

See wildflowers on train ride

By Railtown | From Page: B15

 
Easter at Northstar is family friendly

By Northstar California | From Page: B15

.

Essentials

Crime Log: March 28-30

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Arthur W. Cornell

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frank “Bud” Kraus Jr.

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Roy Cluness Chaix

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frederick Wilbur Heymann

By Contributor | From Page: A2

.

Real Estate

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

 
Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

 
Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

 
Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

 
EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments

.

Comics

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
Horoscope, Saturday, April 19, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Friday, April 18, 2104

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
.

Home Source

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments