Saving time goes hand-in-hand with smart storage, and here is a gadget that qualifies as one of the great Storage Ideas in Boston.
“Strategy is the art of making use of time and space…
Space we can recover, lost time never” ~ Napolean
Lately, I have stumbled upon a few gadgets that have made my life a lot easier. Most importantly they have saved me time. I have increasingly become frustrated with certain tasks that occupy a great deal of my time. One of those is cleaning. I still view it as a luxury to have someone hired to clean my home, so I have always been curious about the robotic vacuum, Roomba. Here are my thoughts after spending the summer with Roomba.
Over the summer, bare foot kids and dogs constantly track dirt and sand into our house. Every day, twice a day, my wife and I would sweep and vacuum. It never felt clean. The price is a bit high, $300-$900 depending on the model. A reconditioned one on Ebay for $280 on a Model 650. The reviews were good, so I bought it. I didn’t want to bring a lemon home to my wife. I would never hear the end of it so I had it delivered to my office, and I set it to clean that night once I had gone home from work. When I arrived at work the next morning, the floors looked incredible. Roomba was at its dock, recharging having spent the early morning hours working. You wouldnt believe the amount of dirt it collected. Far superior to our human efforts lugging a loud vacuum around during working hours. I was confident and brought it home that night. It was a hit with my wife, and the kids loved it to. It has saved us a ton of time already and changed the way we clean the house. Some tips:
- Declutter your floors to allow Roomba space to maneuver. This has the added benefit of making you get rid of floor clutter. High pile area rugs may be too tall for Roomba to drive over. If your curtains hit the floor, Roomba may get tangled in them. I would suggest raising the entire curtain rod, or shorten the curtains. Roomba does a great job at getting dirt, dust and pet hair. It does a great job not sucking up things like extension wires and small toys. The only problems have been from loose strings.
- Works best in large rooms. The Roomba we got is perfect for about 400 – 600 square feet. It is not ideal for navigating an entire house. We have Roomba docked in the largest, highest traffic room. When we need one of the bedrooms vacuumed, we simply carry the bot into the room and shut the door. It’ll vacuum while you make beds, fold laundry, yada yada yada.
- The parts do wear out. But, replacement parts are easy to come by online and not expensive. With a little bit of maintenance, our Roomba is in good shape after a year.
Torus water bowl with reservoir.
I have a thirsty dog. For me, this mean constantly refilling her bowl. Sometimes, she has to seek out other water in the house if I forget to fill the bowl. After a little research, I found the Torus dog bowl from Heyrex. Many other products have an unsightly water reservoir above the bowl. The water storage in the Torus is distributed around the bowl. This makes the bowl more attractive and has the added benefit of weighting the bowl down so that it doesn’t get nudged by the dog, kids, or Roomba.
- Has ability to lock the water in the storage area to easily transport the bowl if you are traveling with your dog.
- Replaceable carbon filters if you are using suspect water sources (I don’t use)