Thursday, October 20, 2011

I, Robot

I'm not a great house cleaner. I have a habit of setting stuff where it doesn't belong. Every table has stuff on it, the floor has stuff on it. Stuff piles up because 1) I have too much of it and 2) I hardly ever notice it.

I mean it...even if I put something in my path so I'll remember to take it to the correct room, I just walk over that thing for about a week. I don't notice it, I don't see it. And if I don't notice it for a week, I probably don't actually need it.

Discovering Minimalism allowed me to really see my stuff for the first time. And what I saw was scary! It's taken me almost a year to force myself into the habit of really seeing my possessions. It was hard at first, and it's hard still. It's not something that comes naturally but through lots of practice, it's slowly becoming a habit.

I mentioned cleaning at the start of this post. I'm a terrible cleaner. It's hard to dust when your tables are cluttered by junk. It's hard to vacuum when there are tiny piles of stuff on the floor. And while I'm getting better, I'm still not perfect.

The reason I'm writing this today is to tell you about one thing that's helped me to be a better cleaner, both of stuff and of dust/cat hair. We got a Roomba! Before you think it's not very minimalist of me, just know that 1)vacuums are a necessity when you have three cats and 2)the Roomba takes up a fraction of the space our old vacuum cleaner required. We bought an older model and it works like a dream.

Both Ian and I had forgotten about Roombas until we saw this on our favorite show, Parks & Rec:

We opted to skip the DJ attachment, though.

Anyway, since we don't want the Roomba to get caught on anything, we have to pick up the floor before setting it to run. Consequently, we now try to keep as little on the floor as possible. And while it's vacuuming, we can be doing just about any other thing we want...things that are more important than vacuuming.

Lately, I've been using Roomba time to take a good look around the house and really see my stuff. I've gotten rid of quite a few unnecessary things and have managed to keep our tables and surfaces mostly clutter-free. By the time Roomba is done cleaning, I've managed to pick up pretty much the entire living room and kitchen.

So, to sum it all up:
1) Having fewer possessions makes it easier to keep your house clean and tidy.
2) You can change a bad will probably be hard but you can do it if you actually want to.
3) Roombas are cool and do the work so you don't have to.
4) DJ-Roomba is flippin' sweet!