This weekend is a typical weekend in the Brain household, and a good part of it is spent cleaning. "Cleaning" means sweeping and mopping the floors; scrubbing the bathrooms; vacuuming the carpets; helping the kids put away their puzzles, games, train sets, dinosaurs, dolls, cars, trucks, etc.; changing the linens; and generally straightening.
Then you add to that the normal daily cleaning chores like doing the dishes, cleaning the kitchen, doing the laundry, putting stuff away, etc.
And what you find is that the average American household wastes a ridiculous amount of time every week cleaning. 20 hours per week is not an unreasonable estimate of total cleaning time here at the Brain household. Keep in mind that we have four kids, but I'd bet even a childless household spends an average of 10 hours per week.
This is extremely sad because:
- If you take 20 hours a week and multiply by 52, you get 1,040 hours of wasted time per year. If you got paid $10 per hour for that time, it represents over $10,000 in wasted time per year -- Roughly 20 man-weeks of totally useless time.
- The work of cleaning has absolutely zero redeeming value. Cleaning is a TOTAL waste of time.
Within 20 years -- 30 years at the most -- robots will do all of this cleaning work for most people. That's why people in 2050 will look back at us in the same way that we look at people in the 1800's. In the 1800's, folks were so primitive that they were milking their own cows by hand, churning their own butter by hand, making their own soap by hand, picking and weaving their own cotton by hand and so on.
No "normal" American living today in an urban or suburban environment can imagine milking a cow or churning butter by hand. This is incredibly primitive labor in today's society. In the same way, no one in 2050 will be able to imagine the incredible amount of time that we waste cleaning today. They will laugh out loud when we tell them about getting down on our hands and knees to personally clean each toilet.