Monday, June 05, 2023

Seriously folks, this is an important discussion. I visit many homes, and I have decluttered several thousand bags of donations, trash and recycling from clients’ domiciles. Occasionally I will drag out the client’s vacuum cleaner and help get the dog hair cleaned up from under the couch. I am amazed at the number of upright vacuum cleaners I come across in clients’ homes. Simply put, I don’t like them. They are heavy, bulky and hard to navigate once you need to remove hose 1 from clamp A and attach to clamp B to use hose 2 to reach under the bed. And one more thing—emptying the canister is often a nasty and messy job, which requires that I wear a mask.

I often ask clients how they decided to purchase their style of vacuum cleaner. Typically, it was from a shopping network where the presentation was sexy and fun, and the price was right. They had the bonus of making a new best friend with the television hostess. I am not dissing shopping from my television. I am the first to admit that over the years I have purchased many products from one network, whose hosts and hostesses I like. I admire their ability to speak for 20 minutes at a time about a new foundation, crock pot, sweater or pressure washer.

In 1999, after 24 years of marriage, it was time to replace the vacuum cleaner (tank) that my mother purchased for our first apartment. I went to a local vacuum cleaner store and did my shopping there. No Consumer Reports, no research at the library and certainly no Google searches for the best models. My shopping consisted of visiting a brick & mortar store and listening to a good old-fashioned sales pitch on the varied selection of vacuum cleaners on display. The result was a change of brands, but still a tank, and the luxury of being able to use it that same day because it came home with me in my car.

I get asked all the time from clients, “Which vacuum cleaner should I get?” “What vacuum cleaner do you use?” I share my experience with vacuum cleaners in my ranch house with a large garage and small basement/laundry room. I have the good vacuum cleaner (tank) on the main floor and it’s tucked away in a closet, out of sight when not in use. I have a small, inexpensive tank in my garage stored right next to my vehicle. It is always plugged in to an extension cord so when I pull into my garage every night I can vacuum my car. I also have the same model tank in the basement so that my cleaning lady does not have to run up and down stairs with the good vacuum and schlep cords and attachments from floor to floor.

Replacement bags for the main-floor model are stored in the linen closet; replacement bags for the small tanks are stored in the closet in the basement.

I would love to know what’s in your home—email me at [email protected] I look forward to having my opinion challenged and perhaps taking my blinders off about upright vacuum cleaners. For now I remain devoted to my tanks.

Happy Vacuuming!

By Eileen Bergman

 Eileen Bergman is a professional organizer, a proud member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD). Eileen is listed in the resource directory for the Hoarding Disorder Resource and Training Group. Eileen may be reached at 973-303-3236 or [email protected].



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