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Could you live without a vacuum cleaner? We thought ours broke because it wouldn't turn on for weeks. Just for kicks, I plugged it in yesterday, and the vacuum suddenly sprang to life, startling and nearly sucking up a nearby cat. I decided to just put it away. I like not vacuuming. It's peaceful, and at 68dB, ours is too noisy for apartment living anyway (just shy of a Hollister store). I took some photos of our home in its resting state; I haven't vacuumed in over three weeks, and I haven't steamed the sheets lately, either. There's a single tuft of cat hair in one picture. I think it looks okay.
I'm not convinced vacuuming is better than sweeping. Many Dyson homes are dustier than mine. Vacuum cleaners spew particulate matter, leaving a lingering smell behind. They don't kill or remove mites (we have bare hardwood floors, lots of sunlight, and good ventilation anyway). Even the most thorough vacuuming doesn't beat hand-dusting- a flour sack towel slightly dampened with cider vinegar removes grime better than suction. My grandma makes me stick a blanket under my knees so this doesn't cripple me later. I wipe furniture, shelves, and household objects, then scrub baseboards and floors in the direction of the wood grain. This takes less time than dragging the vacuum out, fumbling with the cord (think Kirby from Brave Little Toaster), and comforting a terrified Kar afterward. Who needs a mop or duster?
When we first got the cats, my husband really wanted a Roomba- there was enough fur flying around to knit companion cats. He soon discovered the cat brush removes lint better than plastic disposable rollers, and frequent bathing and grooming prevents shedding. Some of my friends have severe cat allergies, yet none experienced reactions during our vacuum-free period, even when one forgot to take her medicine. It may come in handy should fleas ever enter the household; for now, the vacuum languishes in the closet. My socks look incredibly clean after ditching it! They used to collect big lint balls on the soles, left behind by a high-end, glowingly reviewed canister model. These days, it's like they just came out of the wash. What about you? How do you keep bare floors clean: vacuum or broom?