Pardon the Interruption...

...But I've got big news that I couldn't wait to share. My publisher and I have been talking about coming out with a series of new books based on the HTCI principles, showing them in action in certain rooms, areas or categories, such as The House That Cleans Itself for the Kitchen, or The House That Cleans Itself for Newlyweds.

These books would be smaller (and less expensive) than the original, offering practical suggestions and solutions on a more specific basis. For example, The House that Cleans Itself for the Kitchen might deal with how to handle the following:
- counter clutter
- cabinet organization
- food storage
- piles of papers
- homework at the kitchen table
- the kitchen that also serves as an entryway
- items that migrate there from other rooms
- trash and recycling
- large appliances
- small appliances
- bulletin boards/refrigerator magnets
-and more.

And The House that Cleans Itself for Newlyweds might discuss what to do about:
- too much furniture
- not enough furniture
- geegaws, keepsakes, and mementoes
- compromise and negotiation
- learning to live with each other's cleaning styles
- dividing the household chores
- setting up stations
- how to share a bathroom
- organizing hobby areas
- when there's not enough closet space
- how to acquire new furniture and other items the House That Cleans Itself way
-and more.

Given the above, I'm trying to decide what rooms, areas, or categories these various books should focus on. Thus far, I've been thinking about:
The House that Cleans Itself for the Kitchen
The House that Cleans Itself for the Bathroom
The House that Cleans Itself for the Bedroom
The House that Cleans Itself for the Garage
The House that Cleans Itself for the Living Room
The House that Cleans Itself for Newlyweds
The House that Cleans Itself for Families with Kids
The House that Cleans Itself for Teens

Which of the above most appeals to you? Please let me know in one of three ways:

1. post your favorite(s) as a comment to this blog
2. email your favorite(s) to me at
3. go to and cast your vote in the official poll.

If you can think of even more great ideas for books in this series that aren't listed here or in the poll, please post or email as well. I also welcome requests for specific problem areas that you would like to see addressed in these books, such as how to keep under-the-sink cabinets organized or what to do when you have too many books/Legos/mail order catalogs/etc.

Thanks so much for your input!

And be sure to come back next time, when we continue with the current series on new housekeeping technologies.


Self-Cleaning Floors

Do you Roomba? Here's a video, in case you don't know what I'm talking about:

I have had no experience with automatic vacuum cleaners, but I would love to get comments from those of you who have.

When the Roomba first came out, I simply laughed. Back then, I didn't yet have a House that Cleans Itself and I knew such a thing could never work around here. After all, there's no way that a vacuum--any vacuum, automatic or not--could clean a floor if there's stuff everywhere, in the way.

Of course, that was then, this now. These days, my HTCI-friendly floors stay pretty clear most of the time, so perhaps I should reconsider.

So how about it? Do you have a Roomba? If so, do you like it? Why or why not?


Self-Cleaning Animals?

Just for fun this week, take a look at the "self-cleaning turtle":


Self Cleaning Paint

Here's an example of the lotus effect when applied to paint:

Cool, huh? Just imagine the possibilities--all over your house!

The Lotus Effect

Another exciting development in self-cleaning technology is based on what's known as "the lotus effect". See how water reacts to this lotus leaf?

That's because the lotus has a "superhydrophobic" surface. You see, when a drop of water hits a slanted surface, it will spread out and slowly slide off. But when a drop of water hits a slanted superhydrophobic surface, it actually retains its surface tension as a droplet and rolls off. As it rolls, if it happens to run across a particle of contamination (such as dirt), that particle will usually get taken along for the ride.

Watch this principle in action at the microscopic level:

This is the basic principle behind all sorts of new self-cleaning technologies, from glass to cars to walls. I can't find many superhydrophobic-based products that are actually out on the market yet, but there are plenty in the works. Here's one video that shows this principle in action: