I enjoyed cleaning my Logitech keyboard last week and thought I’d tackle my slow-operating vacuum cleaner today. I took the dust receptacle apart and saw (online) that you can run water through the filter. I noticed that it didn’t flow easily. On closer inspection, it looked like I would have to get in between the folds to get rid of the debris with a toothpick. After 5 minutes of that activity and pulling out a LOT of lint and detritus, I estimated it would take an hour or more to do the job right.

I immediately went onto the Hoover parts website, saw that a replacement filter would be $19.95, and ordered one. I will have to wait a few days before I receive it and can vacuum again. But, to be perfectly honest, my apartment has often gone two weeks between Hoovers. I opted to not spend my time picking at the filter, but putting it toward a more worthy endeavor – blogging. Surely my time is worth more writing to you than cleaning a vacuum filter–and far more satisfying. (If the filter had been $79.95, you might not be reading this now.)

With the increase of belt-tightening out there, I’m in favor of sharpening your pencil when it comes to expenses. But where do you draw the line?

My formula would factor in cost, satisfaction and results.

I loved the task of the keyboard cleanse (‘before’ photo below right). It continues to be rewarding, even as I type these words. Visually, it’s lovely to see only the black keys and no specks in between. I’m proud of myself for figuring it out, especially when the ‘shift’ and ‘enter’ keys continued to misbehave after I’d q-tipped the board. I revisited the video I’d watched and went a step deeper into the process–adjusting the tiny silver bar, and voil√†–it worked properly again.

As you go through your homes looking for areas to spruce up, consider what your time is worth, how much it would be to buy a fix rather than DIY, and most important in today’s atmosphere, will it be a satisfying effort?

Where else might you be spending your resources that would be most rewarding on this 39th Day of Social Distancing?


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