When I was a little girl, I was confident that I would not have to clean up after myself as an adult. It wasn’t that I thought I would be rich enough to afford a live in housekeeper (though of course in my mind that would also be true, dahling). Rather, I was certain that pretty much everybody would have a robot maid, just like in the Jetsons.
Let me be clear; I WAS CERTAIN.
Time passed. I was getting older. The new millennium came. College was ending for me and I was facing…THE REAL WORLD! Soon I would have to go out and purchase my robot maid since I would be living on my own.
Only, it turns out that robot maids still didn’t exist. WHAT?!?!?! Yes, as a 21 year old, I was genuinely dismayed. So I sucked it up and learned how to do basic housekeeping, but only to bide my time until those robot maids hit the market.
And then it happened.
ROOMBA! While it wasn’t a robot maid, it gave me sooo much hope for the future! Roomba would be the first step toward fulfilling my dreams. It only does the vacuuming, but hey, that’s a start.
I didn’t get a Roomba for the first few years it was out, because it turns out that robot maids are pricey. But when we realized that we were ready to start a family last year, it made our Christmas 2008 wish list. I simply didn’t feel right about bringing home a bundle of joy in 2009 without my pseudo robot maid to help out around the house.
My husband has very generous and kind parents, and because of them, Roomba was under the Christmas tree last year. Yippee! I remember the moment when I realized that I would NEVER have to vacuum again. It was beautiful.
When we got our lovely vacuuming robot home, we put him right to work! Our Christmas tree had dropped quite a few needles, so we thought this would be the perfect test. Roomba vacuumed in our living room (an average size living room) for 45 minutes, running around seemingly at random looking for dirt. Roomba wasn’t as loud as a standard vacuum, but he wasn’t quiet, either. That’s ok, as long as the job gets done, right? Well, the job didn’t really get done. The little tray that holds the dirt/debris filled up, so we had to stop and empty it. Then it went back to work for maybe another 20 minutes (after being charged, because it has also run out of energy). It still didn’t get everything up. But we forgave it and decided that Roomba was probably ideal for more everyday vacuuming. To be fair, it isn’t every day that we have tree needles all over our floors.
The weeks passed, and we kept hope alive for little Roomba. But what we found was pretty consistent with our experience on day one. Our findings were as follows:
1.Roomba takes FOREVER to clean a room (20 minutes, at a minimum).
2. Forget about staying in a room while it is being vacuumed. It is too loud and Roomba will run into you.
3. Roomba gets tuckered out pretty quickly and has to be recharged after doing 3 average size rooms. Having to constantly recharge the Roomba really lengthens the amount of time you spend trying to get your house vacuumed. We try to vacuum the whole house on one day, and it really does take all day to get it done.
4. Roomba DOES NOT do well if you have a house that actually gets dirty. We have 2 cats. Roomba gets cat hair stuck in it on a regular basis, and has to be cleaned out. The debris tray is also teeny tiny, which means that you frequently have to empty the bin.
So basically, Roomba is ideal for someone with no children, no pets, no mess, who lives in a 3 room house and doesn’t mind leaving them while vacuuming happens.
Oh my little robot maid, I had such high hopes for you, but what I’ve found is that just getting out an upright vacuum and doing the job myself is much less of a hassle.