Creative Solutions for Household Problems, Part 2

It's time to do some creative problem solving for the issues that plague us most. As you review my suggestions, notice how most of the changes that I suggest are primarily made to the house, not to someone's behavior. This is the bottom line for a house that cleans itself: You set things up so that the house does the work instead of you!

Let's start with a simple one:

Where: the kitchen floor

What: hubby's shoes and dirty socks

Why: Because that's where he puts 'em when he gets home from a hard day of work. Every day.

Mindy's suggestion: Get an attractive container, such as a basket, that's just big enough to hold his shoes, and a small lidded trash can (which will serve as a laundry bin for his socks). Put these two items side by side exactly where he usually leaves his shoes and socks, and tell him that you need him to make one small change to the routine: His shoes go into the basket and his socks go into the can. Even if you have to put these things in the middle of the kitchen, do it: The key is to put them exactly where he always kicks off his socks and shoes anyway.

After several weeks, once he has formed the habit of putting his shoes and socks into these containers rather than on the floor, move them slightly in the direction where you wish they would go (closer to the wall or around a corner or whatever.) Keep an eye on how well he continues with the habit of using the containers rather than the floor. (If he starts using the floor again, you moved them too far, too fast.)

Eventually, you should be able to relocate the containers to a more suitable place without ever asking him to form a completely new habit. In the meantime, though I'm sure you don't want a basket and trash can in the middle of the kitchen floor, at least you are making steps toward fixing an irritating problem. You'll also see that shoes in a basket and socks out of sight in a can are preferable to what you have now. Just don't forget to grab those socks on laundry day!

One final note: If it sounds like I recommend training a husband the way you might train a dog, please know that this is also how you train yourself. If you have a bad habit of putting something where it doesn't belong, you should follow the same procedure I've described above. The whole reason things like shoes end up in the middle of the floor is because it's a mind-less process, something you do without even realizing it. In your more coherent moments, however, you can containerize and relocate any misplaced mess. The key is to do it gradually, not all at once.

Check back next time for another out-of-the-box solution to a household problem.

1 comment:

  1. Creation light up the house
    I think one of the keys to be a good housewife is getting some pretty house wares. To be a housewife, you have to do lots of housework every day, and in my opinion, the house wares we bought from the supermarket or other hypermarket are all the mass commodities, which have the same feature: cheap and ugly. Every day you have to face to the square soap or the square furniture, I am afraid that one day we will become square in shape.
    But there is something named creative household in this world. The creative household includes the creative soap, furniture, table wear and so on. The other day I saw some soap in the leaves’ shape online. They are so fantastic, and they also have the soap in lemons’ shape, there are several soap shapes, which could certainly light up your life and make your daily work to be a happy and enjoyable one. If you want your house to be natural, you could choose the leaf soap and some growing green furniture. If your husband is a big boy and likes everything that could recall his memory of childhood, you could Sony Play station Controller soap and the DIY furniture. If you often have the theme party in your house, you could prepare some rubber wristbands soap and the guest could wear them as the decoration and use them as the soap. When you go out, you could bring the ring soap with you, and then you could wash your hands anywhere you like.
    With these creative house wares, your life will certainly be changed. Every day when you wake up, the housework will not annoy you anymore. Imagine that you will spend all the day with these beautiful things, which should be called art works rather than house wares. With them, you are no more the Cinderella beside the stove, but the Cinderella at the ball. And your life will then full of passion.