As a working mom, I have this one product to thank for keeping my house clean
Between working and homeschooling, who has time to vacuum?
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As a busy working mom to a young child, I was already feeling like I was drowning before the pandemic and subsequent quarantine. Yet, I managed to keep my home relatively clean pre-COVID.
Living with a child who loves glitter, a dog who loves to shed everywhere, and a husband who loves to eat snacks and leave his crumbs in our TV room floor, I was pretty impressed with the system I had in place to keep our home orderly and tidy. Before the pandemic, I didn’t appreciate how simple it was to keep a home clean when my husband and child weren’t home with me 24/7.
When our “normal” changed in March, my drowning feeling was put into overdrive. Working from home, homeschooling, and serving every meal out of my kitchen meant that certain things had to go to the wayside. Exercise came to a halt. Sleep? What’s that? And my home was certainly not ready for a surprise visit from my neat-freak in-laws. We were surviving, not thriving.
I do recognize that having a messy home is not the end of the world. But it is just so nice to have a clean floor and a crumb-free rug. For some reason, it helps calm my mind. But there was a zero-percent chance that I was pulling out my vacuum multiple times a day (or even daily) to achieve a sparkling-clean floor on top of the laundry list of other things that I had to accomplish each day.
I knew that I needed help, but the assistance options have been limited due to social distancing precautions. After lots of research, I decided to treat myself to an iRobot Roomba 7+. Yes, it is on the pricier side, but I was at the point that my sanity was worth any cost. And since my purchase, I know that it was a worthy investment.
What is the iRobot Roomba i7+?
This robot vacuum, which ranks tops in Reviewed’s list of best robot vacuums, is so much more than a hands-free floor cleaner. Yes, it will pick up even the smallest speck of glitter or the largest chunk of dog hair, but it has features that came as a surprise and are wonderful to have for fried working/homeschooling parents like myself.
For one, instead of using bristles to pick up debris, the vacuum has dual rubber brushes that prevent random hair and string from getting caught (and I get to avoid picking them out). Also, it detects dirtier spots on the floor. So, when my daughter breaks out her sparkles for her latest masterpiece, I don’t have to cringe at the thought of the messy aftermath. I know that my trusty Roomba will take care of any “oopsies” during her creative process.
This robot vacuum can be set to automatically enter a specified room at an exact time each day. It has the ability to map out my home and know where to go when I want my dining room floor cleaned, for example. Since my playroom always seems to look like a bomb went off, I appreciate the vacuum’s ability to give that space some extra love automatically.
The coolest feature of the iRobot Roomba i7+ is the automatic dirt disposal. The Roomba’s base contains a dirt disposal bin and once the robot goes “home” to the base, the debris is sucked into it. Why is this amazing? I don’t have to bother remembering to empty the collected dirt after every vacuum run. One less thing to think about is always welcomed in my book, especially these days.
How the iRobot Roomba i7+ has made my life easier
Although our days have been chaotic, my family still manages to have some semblance of structure by continuing to eat dinner together at 6 o’clock every evening, By that time, the TV/playroom has been well-loved from our day and is due for a spruce. No matter how hard I try to avoid it, there is always a crushed Goldfish cracker or a craft supply that finds its way into the crevices of my rug.
The Roomba is programmed to clean the playroom/TV room floor during dinner time since I know it will not be occupied. It is truly a “set it and forget it” situation—at 6 p.m., while we are sitting down to dine, I hear my Roomba travel to the playroom, clean up the crud on the floor, and then go back to its base for a recharging session.
It is like I have secret helpers that take care of our high-traffic room when they know we won’t be in there. It doesn’t affect anybody’s schedule and we get to enjoy the rest of the evening in a clean(ish) room. Bonus? The clean base dirt disposal lets me get away with forgetting to clean out my Roomba receptacle until the bin is full, which happens around every two months.
Is it worth it?
Although my life still feels like it is upside-down, it is nice to feel like somebody is helping me manage at least one aspect of my home, even though that “somebody” is a robot and not a human being. In a year filled with stress and challenges, it is an amazing feeling to have one thing taken off of my to-do list every day. If only they made a robot that can empty the dishwasher too.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.