Good Housekeeping Home Skills: Master Your Domain with Practical Solutions to Everyday Challenges

Good Housekeeping. Hearst Home, $25 (224p) ISBN 978-1-950785-20-9

The Good Housekeeping team delivers in this impressive handbook hundreds of ideas and tips for “how to ‘home’ better.” The advice comes in six sections: “Prep & Cook” covers must-have kitchen equipment, pantry stocking tips, and easy recipe substitutions; “Clean & Organize” features a bathroom-tidying checklist and DIY cleaning solution recipes; “Decorate & Renovate” teaches readers how to “brighten” their kitchen and “cozy up” their living room; and “Maintain & Repair” offers tricks for fixing appliances and getting rid of indoor allergens. “Enjoy the Outdoors,” meanwhile, takes on yard care and gardening (with a nontoxic weed killer recipe), and “Entertain & Celebrate,” considers less-glamorous aspects of party planning: make taking out the garbage during and after easier by lining a trash bin with several bags, the authors advise, and turn the thermostat down before guests arrive, as the crowd will warm things up. The advice on outfitting one’s kitchen and building pantry meals is excellent, but it’s the extras that set this apart: each chapter includes clever new twists, such as repurposing a shoe rack as a vertical herb planter and using toothpaste to clean silver. This thorough home companion will reward readers over and over. (Mar.)