Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Bagless Vacuum Review

 Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Bagless Vacuum Review
 
You know you’re a grown-up when things like new vacuum cleaners really get you excited.
 
Once upon a time, before marriage and home-ownership, I would have laughed at the idea that the arrival of a new vacuum would cause me to stalk the UPS man. New boots? Definitely. A vacuum? HAHAHA, no. Clearly, adolescent me would have beaten adult me senseless.So that’s exactly what happened when I found out that Shark was sending me a Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Bagless Vacuum to review. I had seen it in action last year, and was super impressed by the demonstration.
 
Between moving, school starting, and life insanity, I just never got a chance to look any further into it. However, when I knew my package from Shark was en route, I turned into an obsessive UPS stalker. My ears perked each time I heard a vehicle larger than a car cruising down our street. I had given up hope, convinced that the people at the UPS sorting facility had taken my wonderful new toy home, when it showed up during a late afternoon nap.
 
I was busy doing a happy dance and unboxing it when my kids started arriving home from school, and they all shook their heads and rolled their eyes at me.But, for real, anyone who owns a home knows you need a decent vacuum. Anyone who owns a home, a husband who hates using plates when he eats, 3 crumby kids, a dog whose favorite pastime is shedding, AND 3 cats who seem to rain fur like confetti in Times Square on New Years Eve… well, they REALLY know you need a decent vacuum. One that doesn’t clog. One that doesn’t lose suction. One that just WORKS. Enter the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Bagless Vacuum.Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Bagless Vacuum ReviewOur floors are a mixture of different flooring types, including hardwood, carpet, linoleum, and tile. I’m always skeptical about vacuums that work really well on one surface, because it seems to come at the expense of working well on a different type of surface. However, the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Bagless Vacuum really shined in all areas of our home.

The Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Bagless Vacuum is actually 3 vacuums in one: an upright, a lift-away pod with powered brush roll and a canister with caddy. I honestly can only speak to using it as an upright and with the lift-away pod. I was a little bit confused by the concept of the caddy, considering the ease of use of the other two options. However, the piece to use it as a canister is easily stowed away somewhere (in my case, the garage) so it’s not getting in your way if it’s not your thing.

For those of you with hardwood and linoleum, there is a  “Hard-Floor Genie Attachment” with a washable microfiber pad. Imagine a Swiffer pad on steroids having a baby with a great vacuum. It not only sucks up the crumby bits, but does a great job dusting up whatever is left on the floor. The pad washes up very well, although I did use a lingerie bag just to be on the safe side. The pads retail on the Shark site for $9.95 each, so I’d like to keep mine from any preventable mishaps.

Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Bagless Vacuum Review

The Good

  • Fingertip controls on the handle means all of the options are right at hand. No more using your big toe to switch between hard wood/carpet modes (I can’t be the only person who does that!) or trying to remember which side of the vacuum body the power button is on.
  • Powerful suction, even when the dust cup is full or nearing capacity.
  • There are LED lights on both the wand and the front of the floor unit to illuminate all areas. I’ve found this especially useful when using attachments in corners or behind things.
  • The “lift-away” aspect - this makes vacuuming stairs a BREEZE.It’s also a helpful bargaining tool for getting little boys to help — I just tell them it’s a proton pack and they’re busting dirt.
  • The actual design of the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Bagless Vacuum makes it almost impossible to clog up. Even when teenagers are being careless and vacuuming up things they should have picked up off the floor. There are no weird unreachable places — everything is accessible via easily removed hoses.
  • The accessories ROCK. Everything from the dusting brush (which is great for molding) to the powered pet hair brush works fantastically. It comes with an accessories bag to keep it all in.

The Not-So-Good

  • As someone who has in the past used a “professional” model of the Shark, the dust cup seems a little bit small. Maybe we just make too much dirt, but I’m not a fan of how many times I have to empty it.
  • …because emptying it is kind of messy. I don’t blame Shark for this, because it seems to be the way with the bagless varieties. My husband finally made me start emptying it in the garage or outside so I wouldn’t leave a trail of dirt a la Pigpen.
  • The filters are a bit strange, so you won’t be able to use the triangle filters from the old Sharks in this. These are a cylindrical shape, and have a replacement cost of $12.95 each on the Shark website. I like to have more than one filter set on hand so I can have a clean one when it’s time to wash them. 
  • Finding a storage spot for the canister caddy. Not a huge deal, but if you’re limited on space the last thing you want is more things to stow somewhere.

Overall, my experience was, and continues to be, a positive one. You can check out the full range of amazing Shark products over at the Shark Clean website, or connect with them on Facebook or Twitter.

Organize Your Closet in 3 Easy Steps

Organize Your Closet in 3 Easy Steps

2015 is upon us, and I’ll bet if your closet looks anything like mine, you could use a little help getting things in order.

It’s especially noticeable right after Christmas, when I’m looking for a home for the inevitable sweater-from-mom or scarf-from-child. I’m guilty of holding onto things for the sentimental value, but let’s be real, I’m not going to be wearing that red vinyl dress ever again. That was 15 years and many pounds ago.

So, let’s get to work and clean that closet out. Because do you know what happens to good little girls who organize their closets?

They have room for more clothes.

So, let’s organize your closet. It’s really not as hard as it seems.

Step One: A Hard Look

How much clothing do you really need? How much clothing do you actually have space for?

We often keep all of our clothes, compacting them tighter and tighter. Clothes we don’t wear are clutter.

Ten Things to get rid of NOW!
1. Anything with a stain, hole or tear
2. Clothing or accessories you like, but look funny on you
3. Purses you no longer use
4. Outdated clothing or accessories
5. Ratty weekend clothes
6. Clothing that does not fit
7. Worn-out shoes
8. Anything of a lower quality than your regular wardrobe
9. Sad misshapen lingerie
10. That good coat that won’t fit over your other clothes

(For real, number 6. I know it’s hard, but you really really don’t need that many pairs of sweatpants with a hole in the knee. You just don’t.)

Step Two: Where is your storage?

10 percent of the space of a home is allocated for storage. Therefore, a 1,500 square-foot house has 150 square feet of storage.

Where is this space?

Find it. Think creatively.

Is used appropriately?

Probably not. If it’s a disorganized dumping ground, you’re not doing yourself any favors.

 organize-collage

Step Three: Organize that Mess

Learn to maximize your space by consulting a redesign expert, studying home design books or visiting home organization stores. Or you know, that totally born-organized friend of yours. Chances are, she’ll be thrilled you asked her to help out.

Also, everyone say IKEA with me! If you don’t have an IKEA, check out organizational sites like the Container Store, Stacks and Stacks, even Walmart and Kmart have some handy organizational items once in awhile. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, I promise.

Everything should be visible at a glance because you wear what you see.

Some suggestions: shoe shelves, sweater shelves, hanging racks, and a wall rack for jewelry and scarves.

What about things that don’t live on hangers?

Shoes –
• Shelving
• Stacked and labeled boxes
• Racks for the door or floor

Scarves –
• Fold and store in transparent drawers
• Hang on a kitchen mug rack
• Hang on a pants hanger
• Clothes-pin to a regular hanger
• Hang over towel bars on the wall or door

 Jewelry –
• Plastic mesh wall grid
• Kitchen utensil divider
• Hardware store nail organizer
• Small plastic chest of mini drawers

Hosiery –
• Separate by color
• Store in clear bags in a drawer
• Store in shopping bags on a hanger
• Store in clear plastic shoe boxes

Handbags –
• Store flat, loosely stuffed with tissue paper
• Stack gently, so they don’t lose their shape
• Store in a drawer
• Try using a giant lazy Susan

Need More Space?

Look for storage in other areas of your home to store out-of-season clothing:
– Other closets,
– Guest room closet,
– Utility room,
– Under the bed in another room

Thanks Denise Dias from Kansas State University!

Reducing Plastic, One Step at a Time

Pack a lunch with EColunchbox

Reducing Plastic, One Step at a Time

Doctors and researchers have linked BPA in numerous studies to hormone and thyroid problems, behavior issues, obesity, cancer, diabetes, and even kidney and heart conditions. A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology furthermore suggests there is a strong link between exposure to BPA and the increasing incidence of asthma.
As consumer awareness surges, manufacturers of plastic products are seeking to avoid the use of the better-known toxins that are being rejected by consumers and use new and different chemicals in their plastics to obtain the performance needed for their products. (While it may sound laughable… will new chemicals with names like BPQ and BPZ be added soon?)

Plastic is all around us. It’s versatile, flexible, moisture resistant, durable, strong and relatively inexpensive. It’s unlikely to go away soon and in some instances it may continue to be the best material suited to the job, such as in medical applications when suitable alternatives do not exist. But at lunchtime there are better alternatives – eco-friendly lunchware made from natural materials like our ECOlunchbox Three-in-One: Stainless Steel Bento .

At ECOlunchbox, we believe that reducing dependence on plastics is a good way to safeguard our health – and the planet. While very few of us will ever entirely eliminate this omnipresent petrochemical material from our lives, we can lunch by lunch eat a little cleaner. We can avoid foods pre-packaged in plastics and packing healthy, organic meals in non-reactive and non-toxic food containers made from stainless steel, wood, glass and other natural materials that are healthy for people and the planet.

By ECOlunchbox, specializing in stainless steel lunchboxes, trays and artisan lunchbags.