Chores are done and dusted now that Sarah-Kate’s embraced technology. She shares how she keeps a clean home without doing any housework.
Maybe I was Cinderella in a past life, because I came into this one loathing even the faintest whiff of domestic duties.
This is more complicated than you’d imagine because I insist on things being clean – I just don’t want to be doing the cleaning. Unfortunately, I don’t have servants, if you’re even allowed to call them that these days. And if you are lucky enough to have them, which I don’t.
I will iron – at a pinch – if someone else gets out and puts away the ironing board. But it’s a rarity. And I will launder, if pressed, but my hand-washing pile is a joke. Things lie there until I need to wear them again, at which point I pluck them out, dab at them with a wet sponge, throw them on then eventually return them back to their useless pile where they can remain for periods of up to two years.
But vacuuming and mopping is something I resent doing with every fibre of my being.
As a freelancer, my home has been my office for more than two decades, and there may have been some suggestion early on in the piece from a certain quarter that while I’m there I could perhaps tidy the place up a bit.
Anyone who has worked in an office will know that you are not required to wash the windows just by sheer dint of being in the building. And so it is at home. As a result of any suggestion to the contrary, I basically downed tools on the domestic front and never picked them up again.
But having a new puppy in the house has sorely tested my mettle because my fear of cleaning has been at war with my fear of dirt. So, on occasion over the past four months – and when I say on occasion, I mean every day – I have been forced to reach into the dark abyss of the hall cupboard and pull out the stick vacuum cleaner.
Yet no sooner have I cleaned up the dirt and sand and leaves and twigs and other garden and outdoor detritus than our little (20kg and counting) muppet bounces back in, flinging mud every which way and then some.
This is an eye-twitching exercise if ever there was one. I love that dog, but those giant, muddy paw prints are like a stain on my soul. How can I concentrate on the mountains of work piling up on my desk when the hallway looks like the contents of Noah’s Ark have just paraded down it?
Enter the robot, a real game changer. Now, while the stick vacuum looks on bitterly from its cupboard, a small round machine not much bigger than a short stack of LP records cleans and mops as directed from an app on my phone. I can’t begin to imagine how it knows where to go and what to do, but it has a camera that you can actually use to spy on occupants of the house while you’re not there as it cleans the floor.
Try getting an actual person to multitask like that and hoover under the coffee table! Most of the time modern technology makes me want to go and live in a cave in Siberia, but this baby makes me thankful I’m alive.
Most of the time modern technology makes me want to go and live in a cave in Siberia, but this baby makes me thankful I’m alive
The dog, not so much. I think he and the stick vacuum might be plotting an uprising. If robomop ends up face down in the toilet, I will know just where to point the finger…