Big Book Sale

 Just a heads up, I've got a big book sale on my website right now, offering The House That Cleans Itself--and most of my other books--for half price. Grab them while you can!


Sometimes It Pays to Be a Pessimist

I heard a great quote today that I thought I'd share, one similar to the advice I give in The House That Cleans Itself. This was from professional organizer Star Hansen, who says:

"Make your maintenance systems for your laziest day."

In other words, don't set up your household organization so that it only works on those days when you're feeling energetic and organized and efficient. Instead, think forward to your most difficult days, when you're feeling tired or overwhelmed or just lazy. Set up all of your systems with that person in mind, and you'll be far more likely to use the systems you set up!

I couldn't agree more. We all prefer to see ourselves in the best light, but when it comes to household systems for organization, it pays to be pessimistic about our future behaviors. As I always say, make the easy choice the clean choice, and you'll do it far more often than not. 


Basket Winner

And The Winner Is...

Congrats to Susan Peters, winner of the house basket giveaway. Enjoy!


Free Basket Giveaway

I just found the cutest basket at Home Goods and thought it would make a perfect giveaway for readers of my The House That Cleans Itself blog! It's about 10" high and 9" wide and would make an adorable addition to any House That Cleans Itself.

Simply click on the "ENTER To Win" button, below, to enter. But be sure to do it by June 30th. After that, I'll use a random number generator to pick a winner, whom I will announce on this blog on July 3rd. 

Good luck, and don't forget to check back!

Use This For That #2


Have you ever been at home, found a small, sticky, mess, and wished you could just squirt some water on it? Maybe a stubborn glob of food on the floor? A dirty threshold of a doorway? Bird droppings on an upstairs window screen?

That last one was the mess that inspired the idea for this "Using This For That" post, where we talk about alternative uses for various items around the home. 

In a house where we used to live, I opened the curtains in the upstairs bedroom one morning and discovered a big glob of nasty white bird droppings had spilled down the window screen. A while later, I went outside to get the hose and spray the poop off--only to find that the window was up too high and the water pressure wasn't good enough to reach the mess.

So what's a girl to do? Frustrated, I put the hose away and marched back upstairs, all the while wishing I had some portable method for spraying water from inside the house. Not like the gentle, "spritz" kind of spraying, but more like a strong, hose-like spraying.

And then it hit me.

A few weeks before, I'd bought my kids a little pump for filling water balloons. The way it worked was this: You filled the bottle with water, screwed on the top, gave it 5 or 6 pumps of air to build up the pressure inside, slipped the balloon on the nozzle, and pulled the trigger. The water came out so hard that it managed to fill the balloon. 

If I didn't put a balloon on the nozzle, I realized, it would still spray out water, really hard, and I could direct it to where I wanted it to go. So I decided to give it a try. 

I grabbed the bottle, filled it up, gave it a few pumps, went to the open window, and pulled the trigger. Voila, the bird poop washed away in seconds. Better yet, I had discovered a handy new tool to use all around the house and anywhere outside that my hose wouldn't reach.

Here's a clip to show you how it works. (Though don't gross out, this is a reenactment, using mayonnaise, haha, not actual bird poop!)

I'm sure the makers of that little water balloon pump never imagined it would be used as a cleaning tool, but there you go. A big part of turning your home into a House That Cleans Itself involves creative problem solving—and sometimes the best solutions may be right under your nose. 

Happy squirting!