Monday, January 21, 2013

Status Report on The House That Cleans Itself

Hooray and hallelujah! Got Google pictures figured out! I can again download through my computer. You upload to the Picasa Web Album and then the the blog post. * 

Review. Last September I start applying steps from The House That Cleans Itself, by Mindy Starns Clark. Mrs. Clark sends 15 free books that I distribute to those who want a copy. One even gets mailed to Australia and one to Israel. Mrs. Clark suggests you prioritize your messes and make a map. I did this here, my first post in this series where you can actually see pictures of the house being transformed to one that is easier to clean.
Before Living Room
Today's report completes Area Five and begins Area Six. When I got the rest of the extra books out of the living room, Area Five, I put away a few Christmas decorations and dusted. Because there is no coat closet for guests in our home, I had two decorative hooks installed on either side of the piano where guests can hang up their coats.

After Living Room

I have put away my Swedish nativity scene on my sheet music stand which was up all year. I love Swedish things and have a Pinterest Board I share with a cousin called "Swedish Things". There are two angels left on the piano. Might change out what is on the piano from time to time. What needs to be finished in the living room? New mini-blinds and again the rug cleaned.  Time to play the piano more now!

Hot spot for catching things
Here you see "before pictures" of the family room/living room, Area Six. This long room has a fireplace and big TV on the living room end. The den is on the dining room side, with the kitchen/ laundry room jutting out from the dining area and a convenient door to the garage which houses our gas guzzler SUV. So clutter ends at this hub of the house as you can imagine. Fairly often I clean up the dining room table, but this pictured wall opposite the kitchen is a disaster currently.

When area is finished, let the entertaining begin! I can put out a buffet on a covered pool table and use the dining room table and card tables for places for people to sit.

On the other end of this long room is a very long seating area that used to be an L-shaped couch. The middle section was removed, and this useful but old couch includes a queen-size pull out bed useful for company. Recessed lights were added some time ago.

Unsafe "Coffee Table" by Hubby
Safety is a huge consideration for the Alzheimer's ready home. My husband watches a great deal of movies on our TV and our dog is right by his side. While I am gone hubby is able to operate the DVD and video players in the family room side of Area Six. Now his collection has grown considerably. It overflowed the small coffee table with the racks along side the coffee table.  Not a safe situation and I have been known to knock over a rack while hubby swears at the mess I have created. Should he become unstable on his feet when he gets up, he could fall and injure himself. He does not want to walk to a vertical stand to get a DVD. He wants it all there by him while he sits in his spot on a long couch. He even has a pillow in back and a pillow for his rear end. We will not change this. But the dog can be retrained. His water and food dish do not need to be in this area because someone could trip over them. .

Hubby and I were having breakfast on Saturday, January 12, at Buddy Freddy's, a local Plant City landmark. I asked him about his shabby coffee table and vertical racks overrun with DVDs. Would he like to check out Ikea furniture for another coffee table? He was agreeable. We went to Ikea in Tampa and he sat on a comfortable couch while I went shopping. (He knows he can call me on my cell if he needs something and he doesn't like walking.) I took a picture with my iPhone when I found what I thought we were looking for and went and showed him the picture. The furniture has two long shelves and I choose the black model. He said yes to my selection and after lunch, the box for his new coffee table was slid into our SUV. It is actually a stand for a TV, to be repurposed for hubby's coffee table.

Ikea solution for a coffee table/DVD storage
At 3:30 that Saturday we met our friends Sally and Jake for a movie in Plant City. After the movie Sally and Jake came over for an impromptu dinner that included Swedish meatballs from Ikea and coconut muffins I had made with coconut flour, coconut oil and dark chocolate. Jake put the wheels on hubby's new coffee table and then he came over for the day on Monday to work on it.

It turns out it was very complicated task to complete the assembly and Jake sort of gave up working on it I observed when I came home from substitute teaching that Monday. The pictured instructions were not written in Alzheimer's; two other languages were involved in the pictured instructions that did not include English words--Swedes designed it and Chinese manufactured it. You needed a lot of carpentry experience to put the dowels and screws in the right places. Wednesday Jake's son came over and finished the coffee table and a few other projects. We aren't telling Jake that his son finished the job, because of Jake's MPS. What is MPS? Male Pride Syndrome. With Jake's memory, he will just think he put our coffee table together and again we will thank him for his help and he did indeed help, the wonderful gentleman that he is. My husband is wonderful also, in that he will keep secret who really put this together. Hubby is already enjoying it as you see below. This is his furniture. Also below you see my paper clutter by the fireplace that I work on while hubby watches TV.

More Safe Coffee Table My Husband Loves
Now Tuesday in the middle of the coffee table being put together, we had the meltdown written about earlier. That day hubby decided that he no longer wanted to go to the Senior Center with Jake on Tuesdays. Jake could just always hang out at our house, hubby reasoned. Well hubby has forgotten about his meltdown and rebellion and yes indeed will continue to go with his buddy Jake to the Senior Center on Tuesdays. Problem solved.

When all the "hot spots" and clutter in the family room/dining Area 6 get solved and dusted, we will be ready to entertain for dinner and playing pool without my embarrassment. Yeah!


* Paying $2.49 a month to have more picture space. See


  1. Love to see the pics back up & working!

  2. So welcome company coming to dinner tonight and have it all together, folks! Amazing what you can do when company is coming!

  3. That storage/table idea looks great! You are making marvellous progress.