We live in a tiny, two-bedroom flat – but somehow, we have two vacuum cleaners (they were given to us, I’m not some weird shopaholic). Even more odd: neither of them works too well. Vacuuming is one of S’s favourite things to do, so I usually make sure the floor is clear and let her get on with it – but the other day I realised that it’s not necessarily that she’s a small child and therefore not very good at it – I think perhaps the vacuum cleaner doesn’t pick anything up!

Our carpets upstairs were all brand new when we moved in, so they have that horrible “fluff” thing going on. A year later, there is still fluff everywhere. S calls it “pips” and enjoys attempting to vacuum them up – but often that involves sitting on the floor with the end of the attachment in her hand, as she picks up the pips one by one and feeds them into the tube. I think perhaps it’s time to look at buying a new vacuum cleaner.

I think it’s possibly my own fault. Despite having 2 vacuum cleaners, I’m not big on housework. During the day while S is not here, I am busy working. When she is here, I’d rather spend my time with her than cleaning. When we do decide to tidy up, we often get distracted by something pulled from a pile of paperwork or found under a table. If we eventually get the floor clear enough to vacuum, S demands that she be allowed to do it – and then takes as long as possible doing it, so that I end up giving up and going off to do something else (usually washing up).

I am also really bad at emptying the vacuum cleaner – I think because use of it is not a regular thing! I got a cylinder vacuum cleaner that had those bags that you change, when I moved into the old flat. When I’d had it a year it suddenly occurred to me that perhaps I should change the bag in it! These days both of our vacuum cleaners are the kind where you just empty the cylinder and then carry on but I always just peek at it and think “it looks a bit full, but we’ll just use it one more time before we empty it…” And then by the time we go to empty it, all the fluff and dirt is basically stuck in there and you have to get all sorts of sticks and gubbins out to try and coax it out!

So I’ve made a rule for myself: if I’m actually going to shell out my hard-earned cash on buying a vacuum cleaner, we have to use it regularly so that it’s not suddenly inundated with a week’s worth of toast crumbs. And we have to empty it regularly too. In fact, I might make it a habit that we empty it after every use, just so that it’s definitely done.

Maybe I should just get a cleaner… do they bring their own vacuum cleaner with them?!

Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.


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