October 5, 2012 at 7:19 pm
by Christina Tynan-Wood
I dream of a future where tiny, trained robots will constantly clean up my house and pester my kids to do homework. I’m pretty sure that’s a future I will live to see. But meanwhile, I use the technology I have. Here are five tools I use to help me keep the house clean.
Audio Books on a Smart Phone
I like to queue up a good book on my smart phone – using either the Audible.com or Audiobooks.com apps — and let my mind enjoy the story while I clean. Sometimes, I get so caught up in the story that I clean under the fridge or in corners no one will ever see just to keep listening. Do I feel guilty about listening to a book for three hours on a Saturday? No. I’m working! And since I’m also wearing a BodyMedia FIT armband, I know that I’m also burning quite a few calories at the same time. Good headphones are key to making this pleasant. A pair that sounds great but allows a little ambient noise in so I can hear someone talking to me makes the work easy. I like the UrbanEars Medis, which also happens to come in awesome colors.
A Wearable Pocket
Problem: How do I hold onto my phone while I’m cleaning? I have to throw myself into the work to really get that calorie burn (and a clean house). And my smart phone is a little big for my pocket (if I had one of those in my cleaning duds) so the Armpocket is super handy. It straps to my arm, keeps headphone wires out of the way, lets me access the phone’s screen, and keeps my phone from dropping in the toilet. The Extrme i-30 will hold a big phone (like my Nokia Lumia 900 or the Galaxy S3) securely. And, if I decide to go for a long walk instead of cleaning, it will also hold a little cash and ID.
A Virtual Yard Sale
I have a cash-hungry teen and a lot of tech clutter. So I recently introduced that teen to the electronics sale site Glyde.com and handed him a big box of cast-off games and game players. He sat down and listed them for sale. This site is super easy to use. So I didn’t have to trust him (much) to remember to ship the games when they do sell. When someone buys an item he has listed, a pre-addressed, postage-paid envelope shows up in our mailbox. This is hard to miss and easy to deal with. He just drops the correct game or gadget into the envelope and drops the envelope in the mail. Our clutter is dwindling and he has is pocketing a steady stream of cash. Or rather, he is loading it onto to his Paypal Student card.
Motivating my Teens
Getting teens to do chores is a chore. But I don’t have much trouble with it because I control the flow of information to their phones, tablets, and computers. And I’m a bit f a tyrant. Room a mess? Bad attitude? I’ve asked him to take the trash out three times and he is still laughing at silly YouTube videos? The information highway – at least as far as that teen is concerned – comes to a screeching halt the second mom is displeased. My husband recently explained how I do it at his new blog. But the key is having the right Wi-Fi router and knowing how to use it.
Cut the Paper Clutter
I also send all my paper clutter to the cloud (online storage) so I can access it from where I am – even if that happens to be Paris – but I never have to move it from one spot in the house to another or find a place to file it. For more details on how I do that, check out my recent Family Tech column – How to Go Paperless at Home — where I share all my secrets.