I like to have a clean house. But I don’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 some ear buds  put on a good book (via the Audible app on my phone) and get to work. But I have to actively chase away thoughts about what I’d rather be doing. And sometimes I do the thing I’d rather do and ignore the dirty.

I’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.

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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 – wasting my time without actually getting the house cleaned – or paying someone and still having to clean up what they missed after they leave. This, apparently, is a service area that’s fraught with problems. According to the Handybook.com survey, nearly 42% of consumers surveyed say they’ve dealt with a maid, plumber or handyman who was an hour or more late—and 6% have fell victim to a household service provider who never showed up at all. When asked how the service provider’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 service isn’t available yet where I live so I haven’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. When I was CES, I watched — mesmerized — as the Winbot (pictured) 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….

3 thoughts on “I Long for a Robot Housekeeper”

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  2. Why don’t they deliver milk anymore?! Someone needs to get on that!

    This is the one thing I love about having a teenager who can drive. He loves to go to the store because it’s all new for him and he can buy the junk I won’t. I text him a list and text money to his Paypal account and he is happy to it. He is not named James and he sometimes comes home with the wrong thing but it works for me. 🙂

  3. You can hire someone to clean the outside windows pretty cheaply. I get mine done every other month. You don’t have to be home and it makes cleaning the inside ones a snap, as you don’t have to open them and risk your life reaching out of them. I wish I had a chauffeur, someone to run errands and do the shopping. My fantasy is to give him (it’s always a James in my fantasy) a list and say, James, go get this stuff, please. I spend more time running errands and shopping than I do cleaning, and it’s way more tiring. I shop online as much as I can, but doggone it, they just don’t deliver the milk anymore!

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