April 10, 2020

Lockdown home cleaning sends book sales soaring


Are you struggling to get out of your coffee stained pyjamas every day? Is your washing up pile ever growing, the hoover languishing in the cupboard, empty wine bottles collecting dust?

Well shame on you. Because according to bestselling author Mrs Hinch, now is the time to be to de-cluttering, guys! Pull on those marigolds and get cleaning!

I’m afraid tidying has become a trend again—a trend sending book sales soaring. Forget Hilary Mantel and David Walliams—The Little Book of Lists is currently the UK’s bestseller (…well, as far as we know as closed bookshops equates to inaccurate sales data). What is as plain as day is that all three of Mrs Hinch’s cleaning books are currently all in Amazon UK’s top 10.

In January we wrote about the new year, new clean-you craze, introducing you to Instagram ‘cleanfluencer’ Sophie ‘Mrs Hinch’ Hinchcliffe, who has 3.3 million followers on Instagram and a nearly entirely grey/silver house. Her first book, Hinch Yourself Happy was a monstrous bestseller months before it was even published in April 2019, thanks to pre-orders from her enthusiastic fans. This was followed by The Activity Journal in October, and last week out popped The Little Book of Lists. Because, according to Mrs Hinch: “Nothing feels better than ticking off those boxes and putting down my crystal pen at the end of a productive day.”

I mean, I would argue I feel quite satisfied with my vat of red wine and family size chocolate bar sat in front of Netflix, but each to their own.

Charlotte Hardman, Hinchcliffe’s publisher at Michael Joseph told the Guardian:

“There is so much that is beyond our control right now, but cleaning is something that we can do, not only to make happy homes, but also to help ease anxiety… Sophie has built up an incredible community where followers can feel connected and together in this time of isolation. She is like a ray of sunshine.”

Tidying guru Marie Kondo is also back. Her first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up sold more than 10 million copies, spanning a Netflix show. Her new book Joy at Work was co-written with Scott Sonenshein, a business professor at Rice University.

For many of us, our work lives have changed dramatically, if we’re still lucky enough to have jobs, with many working from home and others putting their lives at risk in the service and health industries. Therefore finding joy in work could either be viewed as timely, or the last thing on our minds, depending on circumstances. This book is more than just thinking about de-cluttering your desk space, it also tackles how we manage time, emails, decision-making, digital data and meetings. Professor Sonenshein told the Financial Times

“People are trying to get work done when they don’t know the future, and also at the same time combining work with kids at home. People are facing unprecedented demands. So we need to strip down to the work we need to do, get the meetings out of work… As difficult as times are now it doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy the work we do have.”

In the UK at least, Kondo cannot outsell the digital sensation that is Mrs Hinch: our homes are our castles, dirty or clean. Decide for yourselves if you want to join the tidying revolution during lockdown. I’ll be on the sofa, thinking it over.



Nikki Griffiths is the managing director of Melville House UK.