Amazing Housekeeping Inventions
By Mindy Starns Clark
Ever since someone tied some hay to the end of a stick and called it a broom, mankind has been searching for new and better ways to eliminate the drudgery of housekeeping. The industrial revolution and the widespread use of electricity led to the invention of a wide variety of tools for performing ordinary household tasks. In my own lifetime, the advent of the two-career couple necessitated a whole new wave of convenience-related cleaning tools and products. These days, the market offers a dizzying array of cleaning-implement choicessometimes more than we can keep up with!
So what's your favorite housekeeping invention to come out within the last few years? Here are a few contenders worth considering:
I don't own all of the above (though I'm eager to try a robot!), but if I had to pick my personal favorite from the list, I'd choose my rechargeable vacuum cleaner. Light as a feather, this handy little unit picks up the dirt almost as well as my regular vacuum cleaner but with far less trouble and no irritating cords to get in the way. As long as I remember to charge the battery once in a while, it's always ready to spring into action. Thus, I'm more likely to use it when I "just have a minute"as opposed to waiting until cleaning day to get my floors clean.
Of course, now that we have a new puppy in our house, my kids would probably vote for the Swiffer WetJet as their most necessary cleaning tool. The WetJet is simply a battery-operated mop with a bottle of cleansing solution attached to the handle. When the puppy piddles, all the kids have to do is wipe up the mess with a paper towel and then hit the area with the WetJet. It's easy as pie (as long as they remember to wash their hands when they're done!)
Now that I think about it, as much as I love my vacuum and my WetJet, you'd have to struggle pretty hard to get me to let go of my disposable wipes. I don't admit this proudly, because I know that there are more eco-friendly options for keeping a house clean. Still, I think that when used in moderation, wipes can be an invaluable tool in the busy mom's cleaning arsenal. In The House That Cleans Itself, I devote almost an entire chapter to showing you how you can set up a small "cleaning station" in nearly every room of your house. Pretreated wipesfor glass cleaner, stainless steel, countertops, and moreare an important part of these stations. By making such tools convenient and useful, you may just find that your house stays cleaner longer with far less effort. After all, if a dirty counter needs wiping, aren't you more likely to do it in a stolen moment if there's a handy pack of counter wipes conveniently waiting nearby?
I'd love to hear your thoughts about the inventions listed above as well as others I may have omitted. Read my blog and post your comments by clicking here.
And be sure to check back in the future for more info on the latest and greatest housekeeping tools. I plan to test and review a variety of handy gadgets, to find out if they're just hype or if they really do make life a little easier.