If you want a step by step tutorial on how to clean a particular item this may not be the right fit for you, though it does offer helpful solutions for common situations, but if you want inspiration in being a better housewife and mother and small steps you can use to get closer to that goal in a spiritual as well as material fashion, buy this book! I am biased, I admit. Linda was my second boss ever and a very dear friend to a homesick 19 year old. I owe the fact that my house full of 6 young daughters aged 1-13 years is not a worse mess than it is to her careful grounding in the basics of cleaning.
But I think I can truly say that anyone who wants to feel a little more effective and liberated as a housewife and mother, or cleaner in general, will find joy in reading this book and find that they can do the same jobs as ever in a gladder spirit because they find more meaning in them. We are too often tied down into the routine of things we ‘have’ to do…toilets, kitchen sinks, laundry and forget to step back and say “what does it mean?”.
Thank you Linda, for helping me find freshness in my vocation as mother. Thank you for a the sunlit mornings in the Betriebsbuero talking about Elizabeth Goudge and Laurens Van Der Post and and why microfiber cloths were so handy and a hundred and one other things.
After inheriting stuff and more stuff from family members who have passed away, I found myself getting more and more crowded by clutter and the clutter made it difficult to clean. I wanted help in breaking through this increasing mess and creating a lovely space. I loved all the spiritual, soulful discussions of cleaning – it created the foundation for the rest. Having lived in Europe, house gnomes and kitchen witches were normal and not weird to me.
Anyway, this approach has been monumentally helpful for me in a way that has been effective and rewarding. It created a paradigm shift for me and my relationship to my space, my home, the items that I chose to have there, and how I maintain them. I was able to find happy owners for much that I did not need and am able to cherish meaningful items that had been buried in “stuff”. I still have a bit to go, but I have finally been able to break through all of this – something that several other clutter removal and cleaning books were not able to inspire me to do.
Lara Finee, United States
Linda came to give workshops to us (Camphill UK) and it was brilliant. I love the she works, as if she is talking to you personally. She has taken on a vital mission: to make people aware of the meaning and value of cleaning. And she does this in an absolutely inspiring and meaningful way.
Masha, Camphill UK
From the observations of the 5th grade students of the Steineriana Maria Garagnani School of Bologna:
Linda explained to us in English how she became an expert in cleaning and caring for the environment. Then Linda had us do an exercise: Each of us had to discover a spot in the class to clean. Then she taught us how to clean our bench with microfibre cloths: she told us to clean the top part first, then the side part and finally under the bench and so she gave us a spray full of water and everyone with their own cloth washed and dried their bench. For the stains that didn’t go away we used some kind of natural powder, made from dolomite stone.. It was a wonderful and delightful experience to spend a memorable hour with Linda Thomas! (MM, 11 years old)
Steineriana Maria Garagnani School of Bologna:, Bologna
Then Linda spread a spray (with water in it) and showed us how to clean the surface: You do some kinds of it from the top towards you. But if there was a pen mark that didn’t go away, Mrs Linda Thomas had a white powder that you put on the rag and rub a little, then it went away: Vienna chalk. It was an important day with the teachings of Linda Thomas! (NR, 10 years).
We all happily cleaned the desks together. After washing my desk I felt very good…. (GS, 11years old)
Now Mrs Linda Thomas has retired, but she travels the world to teach how to clean without polluting chemicals….
We also observed parts of the classroom that were a bit dirty, messy or dusty…. (At the end Linda greeted us because she had to go to another class; it was very nice and I hope she will come back! (MF, 11 years old)
I have recently hit some bumpiness in my life and coupled with the start of the New Year something compelled me to google “Rudolph Steiner and house keeping”. Up came your article.
What a joy and honor to have read it! Thank you so much. I am a Waldorf teacher in Portland Oregon in the United States. What you wrote about effected me so much in so many way. I see transformation in my feeling and thinking (and hopefully willing ) not only in my own personal life at home but that of my family, the students at my school and the whole school community.
Sending you much love and gratitude!
Kim Sinclair, Waldorf teacher in Portland Oregon
I would like to share with you all the range of good feelings that I was left with after the conclusion of your Romania tour. I have very good feedback from all 5 cities and everybody is grateful and they feel enriched by what you have to offer. I must thank you for your energy and willingness to do the entire project and for all the gifts you offered.
I am very happy that it was such a success
Zoltán Andras,, Buccarest
On Saturday, at the moment when you mirrored us with what hard and furious movements one should not clean, I suddenly saw my mother and my 2 grandmothers in front of me. They were cleaning (“scrubbing”) like this. I had stored the movement pattern in my muscle memory since early childhood, exemplified in it by the hardness of the war and post-war generation. And suddenly I understood everything.
When you then showed us how lovingly and effectively you cleaned the table afterwards, I recognised what my body always longed for, for supple, swinging movements, sensing the material of the table under the thin cloth. I longed for this love and devotion. In consequence and inspired by your perception exercises, I am now trying this new way of cleaning at home in small steps, playfully trying out how I want to clean, how I can clean. Thank you so much, dear Linda, for this gift, this peaceful experience that I was able to experience in your seminar.