Two weeks ago I had an opportunity to head to Chicago to visit the International Housewares Show, courtesy of the Hoover Vacuum team. I was excited to go for a lot of reasons, but mostly because of what it meant for readers of this blog.
As I’ve dug into this topic of organization for the past 3 years, I’ve gotten really clear on the two things that are essential for organizational success.
The first is “right-sizing” the problem. Too many people give up before they even start because they are too overwhelmed by the thought of what they need to do; so shortcuts are key. Our monthly challenges have grown out of this insight (if you haven’t signed up for April yet, there’s still time!).
The second is tools. We all need items that make the chore of organizing and cleaning up, well, less of a chore. And I knew that’s just the kind of thing I’d find at the Housewares Show.
So, on Monday, March 12th, I kissed my boys goodbye and headed to the airport. 36 hours later, I was back home (and in my car heading to Philadelphia for a segment on the 10! Show), my brain swimming.
It was a whirlwind trip, we crammed a lot into those 36 hours! Imagine the biggest airplane hangar you can. Now double it. THAT’S how big the show was. It was pretty amazing. But, by far, the most interesting things were happening inside the Hoover/Dirt Devil booth.
An All-Star Team Passionate About Battling Dirt
Not only did I get to spend some time with the folks that are actually responsible for dreaming up the latest and greatest Hoover and Dirt Devil products, but I also had the pleasure of getting to know three other lovely bloggers (that’s them in the picture with me), who regularly conduct in-depth reviews of lots of cool products. I definitely encourage you to check out their sites.
Jessica Matthews of Jabbering Jessie
Onica Cupido of The Mommy Factor
Anne McGowan of Deal Wise Mommy
I always love to meet the brains behind big operations, as it gives me a good sense for the quality of the organization (i.e. do the really care about their customers or is this just a big schill). The Hoover team was unabashedly in the former camp. Not only were they lovely people, I can honestly say they are downright passionate about dirt (and making machines that will get rid of it easily)! Each member of the team I spoke with had personally used every, single machine they offer and knew the ins-and-outs of each. Their eyes lit up when they spoke about product improvements and how they put them to use in their own homes.
What I Learned About Bags vs. Cyclonic Technology
I have to admit, that I was never 100% clear about the difference in efficacy between the new cyclonic vacuum technologies and bags. Except the cyclonic options negated the need for bags and generally made clean-up easier.
The patient Hoover team helped me understand the difference. Both options are good – so you can’t go wrong, but there is a difference.
Bagless vacuums, which use cyclonic technology, have a clear, hard plastic containers that capture the dirt and dust. When the container is full, all you have to do is simply remove the top or bottom cover to dump the dirt out. They win high marks for ease of use – and for the fact that you an actually see what you’re sucking up. I personally love that aspect of them as I need all the visual gratification I can get from doing the cleaning chores. On the downside, to keep the filters functioning at their highest capacity, you do have to clean them out and/or replace them, which can get expensive (a new filter can be $20+).
Bag vacuums use high-quality material in their bags to capture microscopic dust particles, so they are great options for people with allergies or other respiratory issues. While you do have to replace bags frequently, they are relatively cheap (roughly $3 each).
3 New Products You Need to Know About
1.The Hoover TwinTank™ Steam Mop
I officially lust after this product (price $129). It is ideal for the everyday cleaning of all hard floors including laminate, tile, hardwood, engineered hardwood, vinyl, and sealed stone. Unlike competitors that rely on steam alone, Hoover provides a proprietary 100% biodegradable formula cleaning solution that allows the Hoover® TwinTank™ Steam Mop to OUT CLEAN other steam mops. Bottom line: it takes what I love about the Swiffer Wet Jet (you can toss your old “regular” mop) and ditches what I don’t (using all those pads is environmentally wasteful). The Microfiber Pads (price $19.99) are machine washable and reusable so you save money over the long run.
We got to test the efficacy of this item by seeing if it would get crayon marks off of a wood floor. I tested it once using the regular steam setting and a second time using a little extra boost of the cleaning solution. Both worked extremely well. In the first instance, I had to rub the mop head over the crayon marks about 5 times to get it off completely. The second, it literally lifted off the first time I ran the mop over it. Amazing.
Here’s a cool video that shows it in action.
2. Hoover Cyclonic Upright Vacuums
Ever wonder how powerful the cyclonic technology is in your vacuum? I do.
I got to see first hand how powerful the Hoover Cyclonic technology really is via two pretty incredible demonstrations.
If it can do that, imagine what it’s doing to the dirt on your floors.
3. Dirt Devil Whiskers
As you know, I am a big fan of delegating. What I love about this little Whiskers vacuum (price $169) is that it lets you do just that. It sweeps and vacuums tile, linoleum and wood flooring at the touch of a button. Simply place in an enclosed area, switch it on and you are now free to go tackle something else on your list besides vacuuming. It may not eliminate your need to vacuum entirely, but it will cut down on your need to do a big vacuum considerably.
So, that’s why when the team invited me to join the Hoover Insider program, I was thrilled to say yes. I’m excited about working with them over the coming year, sharing what I learn about their products here on the blog and of course offering some great giveaways to our buttoned up readers.