I like to have a clean house. But I donâ€™t like to clean it. I seem to have no choice in the matter. I either clean it or I watch it get dirtier and dirtier. So I don someÂ ear budsÂ put on a good book (via the Audible app on my phone) and get to work. But I have to actively chase awayÂ thoughts about what Iâ€™d rather be doing. And sometimes I do the thing Iâ€™d rather do and ignore the dirty.
Iâ€™m apparently not the only one stuck in a loveless relationship with a vacuum cleaner. According to a survey by Handybook.com (a cool site that lets you automate the entire process of finding someone else to clean your house — or fix things in it), 34% of consumers have gone one month or more without cleaning their bathroom in the past year.
I’ve tried paying someone to do it for me — the next best thing to a robot slave. But nothing makes me madder than waiting around for a no-show housekeeper â€“ wasting my time without actually getting the house cleaned â€“ or paying someone and still having to clean up what they missed after they leave. This, apparently, is a service area thatâ€™s fraught with problems. According to the Handybook.com survey, nearly 42% of consumers surveyed sayÂ they’veÂ dealt with a maid, plumber or handyman who was an hour or more lateâ€”and 6% have fell victim to a household service provider who never showed up at all. When asked how the service providerâ€™s tardiness affected the respondent emotionally, 42% said it made them feel frustrated and 22% said it made provoked anger.
I spoke to Handybook CEO Oisin Hanrahan recently. He told me that Handybook built a set of tools for their service providers that helps keep them on schedule. It reminds them of their appointments, urges them to get there on time, and shows the homeowner a map of where the house cleaner is as the appointment time approaches. The serviceÂ isn’tÂ available yet where I live so I havenâ€™t tried it. But it sounds promising. Almost as promising as a machine that will spend every minute’s of its existence making my house spotless.
Until I can try Handybook.com, I will have to be satisfied with my dreams of cleaning robots.Â When I was CES, I watched — mesmerized — as the Winbot (pictured)Â cleaned windows on the show floor. It was soothing. I pictured it working on the windows while tiny nanobots scurried through my house like programmable Army ants. All of this happening while I was out shopping. Some day maybe….