Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Not So Quicker Picker Upper

I live in constant fear that I am turning into a 1950's era housewife. While I don't don pearls to fold the laundry, and you'll never see me taking a toothbrush to my grout, I do spend a fair amount of time investigating ways to make my home run in a more smooth and organized fashion. A lot of my waking hours are devoted to civilizing children and moving clutter from one place to another.
It's probably why I don't post to this blog as often as I could. If I wrote about every day's concerns and triumphs, there's a danger this site could look a lot like Hints from Heloise. As much as I enjoy caring for my family and as rewarding as it ultimately is, I try to use this spot to remind myself I have other interests and skills as well.
But (you sensed there was a but coming, didn't you?), there are times when it's all just a little too much, and I need to share. Witness the silly putty debacle of a month or so ago.
I have never claimed to be a spectacular housekeeper. I don't think my house is particularly dirty, but I also do not clean bathrooms or floors quite as regularly as they probably should be. And forget about dusting. I just really don't do it. I do vacuum my main living spaces quite frequently, though not daily.
I don't get to my upstairs bedrooms and hallways quite as often. It just doesn't seem to need it as much. Add to the fact that J's office is up there, and N. naps for a chunk of every afternoon, the moments when it's possible to make that kind of noise are just pretty limited. So, I'll admit it had been a couple of weeks since I'd hauled the vacuum upstairs.
My particular vacuum has this feature called "Intelliclean" that uses some sort of dirt sensing technology to figure out just how filthy your carpets are, and to adjust the intensity of the sucking and brushing. It goes from green to light orange all the way up to an angry red. Red means lots of dirt. There are times when it is pretty satisfying to see that change from red to green, and feel like I've actually made a dent in the battle against dust and pet hair.
I don't always wait for the level to go down to green, figuring that I'll be vacuuming again soon, It took a lot of wrangling to get all the stuffed animals, books, blankets, and assorted plastic detritus cleared out of the kids' rooms this time, so I figured I might not get back to it again too soon. So I spent nearly an hour running my vacuum back and forth over the same tracks, hoping to see that little meter turn green. I counted on one area, and it took 25 passes, only to go back to orange a little bit later.
I'm a little suspect of this function, though I'm not sure what reason the manufacturer would have for making me feel as if I have to my vacuum back and forth repeatedly to get it clean.
So my question for you is, do you have such a feature on your vacuum? If so, do you pay attention to it? And if you don't, how many times would you say you move over the same spot when you clean?


mep said...

I have no such feature on my vacuum, but that is because ours if a piece of crap that I bought at Target that has absolutely zero suction power, much less the gumption to get red and angry.

You know I'm with you on always trying to figure out how to run a home smoothly. I wouldn't call you Heloise if you shared your triumphs and failings in this area . . . just saying.

The Gregor Family said...

get a Dyson and you will never worry again. I'm in love with mine :)

Actchy said...

I am finding a kindred spirit in you, E..., through this post. I could have written the entire thing. Well, except for the vacuum feature. In the summer, when we moved, I retired my old, worthless Costco bargain vacuum and did a ton of research. I suspect Acey's eczema is dust-related. I ended up with a Miele cannister and we are having an amazing love affair. Worth every penny (though it cost many pennies...)