Automate All The Things – Life Edition


Virtxpert

I have been spending an awful lot of time lately trying to figure out how to automate routine tasks at work, but thought the same process could (and should) be used to automate routine tasks in life.  Now I’m not talking about things you actually enjoy doing, the boring stuff that you have to do but you’d rather not be.  First step, determine some of the routine things I have to do at home and what are some solutions to not having those tasks take up to much of my time.

Here is my list so far:

  1. House cleaning:  vacuuming, mopping, laundry, dusting
  2. Grocery shopping
  3. Yard work:  cutting the grass, cleaning the gutters

The first part of the list was fairly easy to knock off.  We purchased a Roomba 630 to handle the vacuuming, and while there is a little bit of “prep” before kicking off the Roomba, its certainly a lot less time than vacuuming the entire house by hand.  Typically we run our Roomba 2-3 times per week before leaving for work in the morning; depending on how dirty the floors get we might put the chairs on top of the table before kicking it off.  To handle floor washing, we purchased a Mint, now known as a Braava.  We went with the slightly more expensive model to get the included reservoir tank – add some water and a little floor cleaner and away it goes.  The Braava I generally run 2-3 times in a row, on a single charge it can handle roughly 1000 sq ft (minus what furniture takes up).    We don’t have a lot of surfaces to really dust, so not sure even something like this would be worth while, but for $40 I might try it.  Not sure there is anyway to automate laundry, well we aren’t doing it by hand so thats a good step.

Grocery shopping is one I struggle with, we aren’t to far from a Market Basket (about 20 minutes) which is very inexpensive compared to Roche Bros., Shaws or Stop and Shop.  Right now I lose about 1.5 – 2 hours ever Sunday driving here, fighting with a store full of people and driving back.  There are grocery delivery services available, but most of the items are easily $.50 to $1 or more each compared to Market Basket; not a lot until you multiple that out to 50 or 100 items depending on what we need that week – it adds up quick!  I have looked into using Amazon and my Prime membership to order a lot of various house hold goods (paper towel etc…) but with the lack of fresh food options locally I still need to head out to Market Basket (some of the meat options can be as much as $4-$5 more each compared to MB!), so why not just get it all done at once.

I think the yard work options are on the way, there are some automated lawn mowers but they are quite expensive (and not sure I’d want to own something driving around aimlessly with a sharp spinning blade on it) and on the gutter cleaning side I opted for safety over automation.  There are some gutter cleaning robots (again by iRobot, and no they didn’t sponsor this post) but I went with gutter covers, I’m all set with climbing up 2 stories to get leaves out of my gutter.  The covers have been well worth the investment so far.

That’s my list, pretty short.  What else can I automate at home?

Automate All The Things – Life Edition