Monday

Solving the Shoe Problem, Part II

If you liked last week’s post about shoe covers, you’re going to love this product: The Shoe Inn Portable Shoe Cover Dispenser.

http://www.shoeinndispenser.com/shop/pc/viewCategories.asp?idCategory=3

The Shoe Inn website has a film that shows how it works. Though the large model obviously wouldn’t be necessary in a home, the portable version seems like the perfect addition to a House That Cleans Itself. You can watch here:

http://www.shoeinndispenser.com/products_go_video.asp

What I like about this product is that it seems like so much fun that kids (and husbands) wouldn’t mind using it regularly. Remember, even the best household products are pointless if they just sit in the closet. I have a feeling that placing one of these babies right by the door would ensure frequent use and far cleaner floors all over the house.

Let me say that this is not a personal endorsement for this product. I've never used one and have no experience with this company. I just found the info online and thought it was cool enough--not to mention applicable--to pass it along here.

Come back next time as we tackle more of your household challenges.

Tuesday

Solving the Shoe Problem, Part I

Lately, some of my favorite blog post topics seem to be coming out of conversations I’m having at social events. Yesterday at a Bible Study brunch, I chatted with an old friend about a problem she’s having in her home. Together we thought up such a clever solution to her issue that today I’m excited to blog about it.

“Mary” is an immaculate housekeeper and the very last person you’d think would need advice from me about anything. But she’s got one cleaning problem that she can’t seem to solve: a husband who comes home in dirty work boots and refuses to take them off at the door. He tracks mud all over the house, sometimes so badly that her mop water is almost black. Clean freak that she is, this makes her crazy.

Short of following her husband around with a mop—or banging him over the head with it—she couldn’t think of any way to fix this issue. So we brainstormed a bit as I tried to get down to the root of the problem. Was he simply being stubborn and inconsiderate? Was she being anal and unreasonable? Neither seemed the case.

“Have you made it easy for him?” I asked. “Put a big basket right by the door for the boots, put a chair or bench to sit on as he takes them off?” Her answers were yes and yes. “So why won’t he take them off?” I persisted.

“He says it’s too much trouble because he’ll be going out again and just have to put them back on.”

Ah. So there was the rub: The boots were too time consuming to get on and off. I suggested he consider trading in his lace-ups for slip-ons, but because of the kind of work he does, simpler boots or shoes were not an option.

“Well, what about shoe covers?” I asked. “You know, like doctors wear into surgery?”

Mary’s face lit up at my idea, and we talked about where she might find such a thing for her home. I suggested she start with a medical supply company, and she happily went on her way, excited at this potential solution.

This morning, just out of curiosity, I googled “shoe covers” and was astounded at the results. She shouldn’t have to look too hard; they’re everywhere! They’re cheap! They’re such a simple solution to a constant household problem that maybe we all should have some! You can click here to see what I’m talking about. Anti Skid Disposable Shoe Covers


Even in my house, where we usually lose our shoes at the door, there are times when these would come in handy. I have already ordered a pack, which I will split in half and keep stored near the front and back doors. They’ll probably get the most use on those days when we are working on some outdoor project that involves a bit of back and forth to the inside as well. Taking a few seconds to slip on shoe covers each time we come in certainly sounds easier than taking shoes on and off or tracking mud all over the house and then cleaning it up after.

I’ll use this idea at my house and let you know how it goes. In the meantime, be sure to check back next week to see how I’m suggesting my friend (and maybe you, if you have a similar problem) can take this idea to a whole new level.

Sunday

Labelmakers, Part 2

Last time, I talked about using a lablemaker to simplify your life. Today I'm going to show you one way I use my labelmaker in my house to keep the wires and cords organized in my office.

First, when I get a new wire, I type in a simple description of it on my labelmaker and then print it twice in a row without cutting in between prints.



Then I press the button to cut off the double label...



and wrap it around the cord, as shown:



Thus, the back of my computer currently looks like this:



and I can always tell which wire goes with which peripheral device.

The cords that aren't always in the computer but that I frequently use, such as camera uploaders and firewire cables, hang next to my desk, like so:



I'm sure there are prettier, more out-of-sight ways to store computer cords, but considering how often I need them, this is the most efficient way for me to do it. More importantly, it's the neater way, because I don't make a mess digging for cords every time I need one.

Perhaps this is a solution that could work for you as well?