Monday, June 23, 2008

Push-Button Living

Well, well. That last post is a study in why I shouldn't write and post late at night. That point could have been made in about 1/3 as many words. Sorry. And THAT is exactly my point this morning. Do everything you have to but don't do more than you have to.

I realized a while ago that my house cleaning during the week has devolved to "if it can get done by pushing a button, then I do it. Other than that, it waits until my days off." And of course now that school has started, I don't have days off. This could become a problem!!

I push the button on the dishwasher and my dishes get clean.
I push the button on Red October, the vacuuming robot. (He's red. When he's finished vacuuming or runs out of charge, he just stops wherever he is, which means I have to go looking for him. Hence, the Hunt for Red October.)
I push the button on my automatic shower cleaner. (He doesn't have a name, you'll be glad to know.)
I push the buttons on the washer and dryer. Sadly there is no button to push that folds the clothes. This is a terrible design flaw.
Obviously, I have stuff in the toilet tank which means I don't have to clean that.
My coffee makes itself in the morning and serves as my alarm clock.

There is a floor mopping robot, but I haven't talked myself into spending the money for it yet. I undoubtedly will at some point, since I seem to be shameless about these matters. There's even a gutter cleaning robot. There is a lawn mowing robot, too. I don't have those, either. Moving away from the robot idea, there are dishwashers that are cabinets, so your dishes are put away when they're finished washing -although I can't really see how that works exactly, unless every single cabinet is also a dishwasher.

Here are some more things a busy person could really use:
Closets ought to be, in some magic engineering way that I don't understand, washers and dryers. You hang your clothes up, and once a week they get washed and dried where they hang.

There ought to be a dusting robot that will crawl around over the floors and baseboards and furniture.

And what, for heaven's sake, are we going to do about windows? SOMEONE has to do them, and it's apparently not me. Someone please design a button I can push for that -and don't tell me that the Windex bottle comes with a button to push. I've heard that it does, but buying the bottle seems to be insufficient. Necessary but insufficient, as the logicians say.

So, what accommodations do you use that allow you to live in something other than squalor? I've considered hiring a person to deep-clean my house, but my "hiring people" budget has been used up with the lawn-mowing crew. Can I really work full time, have a big house, return to the university, see my friends, work out periodically, knit and do the occasional creative thing.... and live to tell the tale? (The thought does occur to me that once I'm finished with the thousand crappy details of getting divorced, that should free up some time.)

I concede that I can't do absolutely everything. I'm saying that I don't want to do everything. The things I'm willing (oh so very willing) to let go of are the homemaking tasks I never liked anyway. I'm not (yet) willing to let go of the idea of living with some sort of grace and intention, though. So what are the tricks you know?


Renee said...

Maybe your budget could accommodate hiring people once every 2 months? You could have window cleaners come this month, maybe a deep cleaner the next time. Even if these things don't happen super regularly, just having them happen everyone once in a while can be a great thing.

BTW, when I was in grad school, laundry did not get folded or put away. There was a dirty basket and a clean basket. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices. (Fortunately most of our clothes are knits that don't wrinkle easily. Of course, anything you want to wear that's too wrinkled you just throw in the dryer for 5 minutes...)

Elisa said...

Andrea, I really doubt you are living in squalor, unless you've acquired a couple of large dogs, or you're throwing big parties every weekend. Aren't you working pretty much all the time? When are you home to make a mess? And windows? You're supposed to clean your windows? :)

Lisa :-] said...

Sorry...I don't know any tricks. I live in squalor.

highflyinsm said...

my laundry basket has become my dresser!! I take the clothes out of the dryer and put them in the basket, then i take them out of the basket and put them on me. in the same way the drying rack has become my closet!!

otherwise i have no help, I to only clean things during the week that can be pushed a by a button or turned by a dial in the case of my dishwasher.

the only reason anything in my house is dusted is because of pledge dusters, i can walk around the house while i talk on the phone and drag it over everything as I walk, hence it is "clean" by my standards. :)