In my last post, I said that a house that cleans itself is a house that is set up so logically and so efficiently that it practically cleans itself. So how does this translate to the down-and-dirty world in your home? I have a number of answers to that question, but we'll begin here by taking a look at our first option, a common technique known as Creative Problem Solving.
Creative problem solving involves isolating a problem then thinking outside of the box to find solutions to that problem. It takes a bit of experimenting and tweaking, but eventually you can solve most of the biggest messes in your house by simply circumventing those messes and preventing them from happening in the first place.
Before I walk you through an example of creative problem solving and how it works, I'm going to give you an assignment: Right now, take a look around your home and think of some area that tends to get messy or stay messy more often than others. In a comment to this blog or in an email to MindyStarnsClark@aol.com, tell us WHERE: the room or area, WHAT: the nature of what constitutes the mess, and WHY: why you think it's happening. For example, you might say
WHERE: The kitchen table
WHAT: My kids do their homework there, then they leave behind scraps of paper, glue sticks, crayons, and other related detritus.
WHY: Because they think that once the homework is done and put away in their backpacks, the mess they leave behind is going to magically clean itself.
WHERE: The master bathroom
WHAT: My husband uses a towel then tosses it on the floor where it sits, damp and stinky, until I pick it up and carry it to the laundry room.
WHY: Because he's lazy and doesn’t do his share!
WHERE: The car
WHAT: I tend to treat it like a roving junk-mobile, and it's always full of papers, clothes, tennis gear, fast food wrappers, and stuff like that.
WHY: Because it's a lot of trouble to clean out a car and I just never seem to have the time.
Get the idea? Tell us about one of your problem areas. Then we can talk about how to approach such problems for good—the House That Cleans Itself way!