S.H.E. Book Reviews

Interested in learning more about the Sidetracked Home Executives card file system? Authors and Sidetracked Sisters Pam Young and Peggy Jones have published six books explaining how to use 3-by-5 file cards for home organization.

Some of the titles in the list below are out of print, while others can only be purchased from the official S.H.E. Web site. Books in print may be ordered at a discount through Amazon.com. Look for out-of-print books at Amazon.com, through E-bay or online used booksellers:

Sidetracked Home Executives: From Pigpen to Paradise
(Warner 1981)

The sisters' first book, S.H.E. outlines the 3-by-5 cardfile system to move from "pigpen to paradise". Written at the end of the '70's, this is definitely a "Becky Home Ec-ky" presentation, but it contains the best description of the classic S.H.E. cardfile system. Readers learn to corral household management, clutter control, and cleaning using a 3-by-5 tickler system. The revised edition, published in 2001, adds some information about integrating the cardfile system with computer technology, but the addition is both outdated and sketchy.

The Sidetracked Sisters Catch-Up on the Kitchen
(out of print; Warner 1983)

A kitchen book, companion to S.H.E.™. The kitchen book is out of print, and it's not quite the blockbuster for the terminally sidetracked that S.H.E.™ became. Still, this book provides a way out of messy, disorganized kitchens and pantries, and offers help for menu planning and meal prep. Look for it at public libraries or used book stores.

The Sidetracked Sisters' Happiness File
(out of print; Warner 1985).

Also out of print, and it's too darn bad, too! The Happiness File (or HF to S.H.E.™ diehards) shows how to use the basic S.H.E.™ cardfile to achieve personal growth.

A month-by-month guide focuses on different areas for growth and order--and many S.H.E.s believe this is their best book. Even though it's out of print, this one is largely available in public libraries, while copies on E-bay routinely sell for $30 and up!

I'm Okay...but You Have a Lot of Work to Do!
(Permanent Press 1988).

Self-published, and it shows, I'm OK ... But You've Got A Lot of Work To Do! outlines P&P's infraction game, a method for family cooperation.

Largely republished as the 1993 title, Get Your Act Together, don't waste your time on this one unless you're truly S.H.E.™-maniacal.

Get Your Act Together: A 7-Day Get-Organized Program For The Overworked, Overbooked, and Overwhelmed
(Harper Collins 1993).

GYAT is a streamlined version of the Sisters' earlier works. It introduces a stripped-down version of the cardfile, touches on some of the Happiness File concepts, and reprints much of the earlier "I'm OK" book.

Some readers like the S.H.E.™ Lite treatment, others find it doesn't work for really stubborn Sidetrackers.

The Phony Gourmet
(HarperCollins, 1995)

Common convenience foods doctored with other common convenience foods are the staple product of P&P's first fling with a cookbook. Includes such "gourmet" tricks as "Aroma Only"--a method of making the house smell as if you'd been cooking all day.

Involving Bisquick and "frozen garbage", we'll spare you the remainder of the embarrassing details.