Here’s a way to do that: Gift someone a Roomba.
The only regret I have about buying a robot to vacuum my floors is that I didn’t do it sooner.
Now, when my dog is shedding becomes visible, I just push a button on the Roomba and it goes to work. It vacuums the floor and then returns to its docking station to charge, all without intervention (usually). It’s much easier than pushing around a vacuum.
In some ways it’s superior to a regular vacuum. It cleans hard-to-reach areas like under a sofa. It also picks up a lot of dirt that regular vacuums leave behind.
It amazes me when I run it in the bedroom after the floors have just been vacuumed. It still manages to fill up with dog hair and dirt.
The only complaint I have is that it tends to get stuck underneath the lip of cabinets. The Roomba is just the right height to get wedged underneath.
A robot vacuum won’t replace your regular vacuum, but it’s a great tool to clean the floors between visits by the maids.
What to buy and where to buy it
There are two well-known brands of robot vacuums: Roomba and Neato.
Roomba is the most popular, but Neato is a more efficient cleaner. The Roomba takes a seemingly random path around your floor. It can be annoying to have it travel to a corner and pick up some of the dirt, only to skip nearby dog hair and travel to the opposite side of the house. Sometimes it takes 15 minutes for it to return to the spot it missed.
I did the homework before last Christmas and went with Roomba, but the Neato might be just fine for you.
I recommend getting at least an 800 series Roomba. Maintenance on earlier Roombas was quite extensive. Since the whole point of a robot vacuum is to save you time, why buy one that requires constant upkeep?
Other than emptying the waste bin, the 800+ series robots require about 5 minutes of maintenance every 10-15 times you run them.
Pro tip: Save 20% on a Roomba using a 20% coupon from Bed Bath & Beyond. The coupon states that it doesn’t work on 800+ series Roombas, but that’s not encoded on the coupon.
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