Friday, February 8, 2013

Broom vs. Vacuum

I actually hate carpet, so when I've had the choice, we've lived places with hardwoods or other non-carpet flooring. Carpet is gross; even well-maintained carpet holds an enormous amount of dirt. When we did our first round of renovating on this house, we pulled out the carpet and put in pine board floors and Marmoleum.

Jason felt it would be too cold and bought couple of rugs. The rugs added color, we could clean them, and sitting on the floor seemed more inviting. They also meant I used the vacuum pretty much every time I wanted to clean the floors.

Then we had the fire, and the firemen did not take off their dirty boots when they were looking for our cats in the smoke filled house. They walked across the rugs with an urgency for which I feel only gratitude. The thing about a fireman's boots is they tend to be quite dirty, and as I discovered, it tends to be a type of dirt that just doesn't come out of a rug. So, I looked at that stained rug a couple of years, and I tried turning it this way and that to see if I can hide the stains some.

This fall, I got rid of the rugs, and I switched to using a broom. I like sweeping; it's quiet and kind of soothing. The children are able to talk to me while I sweep and I can hear what's going on around me. The vacuum creates a curtain of sound that's pretty hard to penetrate. I can see what I'm collecting with my broom and whether I really do want it to go in the dust pan. My fantasies of someday being offgrid do not include a vacuum cleaner.

The only problem is the spiders. We have many spiders around our house, and I do not actually mind. However, the cobwebs do bother me. I've swept down cobwebs and swept down cobwebs. Then I noticed that within a day of sweeping them down, there were just as many if not more; the spiders were getting the upper hand. I realized that they had not been such a nuisance before because I probably killed a fair number of them when I vacuumed down the webs. So, I pulled out the vacuum.

It took two hours to vacuum our small house, but the cobwebs are gone, the furniture is vacuumed, the floor vents are clean, as are the insides of the cupboards and the bookshelves. The floor is noticeably cleaner than when I sweep. I think I'll have to work out some rhythm for using the vacuum, like maybe once a month. Between times, I'll use the broom.