Sweeping vs Vacuuming/Hoovering

I’ve just had a personal epiphany. I’ve discovered a foible about myself that I never realised I had. I hate the thought of sweeping. I’ve been putting off sweeping the downstairs of my house (and upstairs for that matter) for at least a month, and things were looking pretty crumby.

This morning, I told myself “I have to do the sweeping today”. I’ve put it off way too long and I’m embarrassed by the way the house looks. Then I thought, “Well, the rug in the living area needs a clean too, so I’ll just pull out the vacuum cleaner (hoover) and give a quick run around on the floorboards after I’ve done the rug. Then the light bulb went on: I really hate sweeping, and would much rather run the vacuum around. You don’t have to go over spots more than once, you don’t have to find the dustpan and sweep things up afterward, you can suck up spiders and bugs without going anywhere near them, you can get right into corners easily. It feels more thorough to me. I ended up vacuuming the whole downstairs area of the house, including the laundry. Normally, I sweep the high traffic areas, and then put the broom away as quickly as possible.

So why have I been sweeping all these years? I grew up in a fully-carpeted house, so vacuuming was the norm. When I moved into houses that had slate and now wooden floors, as I didn’t grow up with these, I went with the theory that you sweep hard floors. No thought was really entered into it.

The moral of the story is: you don’t have to do housework in what you think is the conventional way. If you hate a task, think if there is a way you can do it differently that you won’t dread.

Do you prefer sweeping or vacuuming? Do you have household tasks that you do in a “conventional” way that fills you with dread? What things do you do “differently”? Let me know in the comments.


  1. I have a tiled floor in our little apartment and love to run the mop over – it’s so gratifying to have sparkling clean tiles! It’s always very dusty (even in the week between mopping) so I should be sweeping regularly, but I hate doing that. I just run the hoover over the tiles before mopping, and the broom stays outside!

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