If you’re thinking about replacing your old, broken-down vacuum cleaner, get ready for a dizzying array of options at a huge variety of price points.
Budget or high-end models, bagless, cordless, robotic, allergy-friendly — today’s vacuum cleaners aren’t like your grandmother’s heavy old upright model.
Cordless vacuums offer a lightweight, versatile alternative to the bulky corded appliances of the past, and the newer models can handle all types of flooring and other cleaning projects with the same power as a corded vacuum. The lighter weight and maneuverability are great for homes with lots of stairs. But buyers should be aware — these vacuums often have lower debris collection capacity than their corded counterparts, and without regular charging, a low battery could interrupt your housecleaning.
A high-end model like a Dyson V15 is priced around $700, while a more affordable cordless vacuum like the Moosoo M X6 still offers great cleaning power for a much more affordable $90.
Bagless vacuums substitute the traditional vacuum bag with a clear chamber where debris collects. When the chamber is full, simply dump it in the trash. They’re a lower waste and less expensive to operate than vacuums that require bags, but for allergy sufferers, the increased exposure to allergens — especially when emptying the chamber — might make this a non-starter. A higher-end model like the Sharp APEX costs around $390, while the Bissell Cleanview will run you about $80.
Robot vacuums, unlike humans, never forget to vacuum the carpet and can usually be relied upon to find hidden crumbs behind the sofa and those pesky clumps of pet hair. Some of the latest models can even mop and empty themselves. But the dust collection bins have limited capacity and the robots aren’t ideal for multi-level homes with lots of steps. If you’ve got deep pockets and want a robot that empties itself, try the iRobot Roomba s9+, which retails for about $950. The iLife A9, however, still does a good job on the low-pile carpet for a more affordable $220.
If you have asthma or allergies, you may want to purchase a vacuum with a HEPA filter to keep the air around the vacuum free of flying dust, dirt, pet hair, dander and other indoor air pollutants that might go airborne while you’re sweeping. The Miele Complete C3 canister vacuum offers HEPA filtration and a sealed air system to avoid kicking up extra dust particles and runs about $1,100. The Hoover WindTunnel 3 High-Performance Pet upright vacuum also offers HEPA filtration, as well as extra features to get pet hair off the floor — all for about $200.
Details that make all the difference
Local store owners have an innate sense of customer service. Naturally and spontaneously, they never miss an opportunity to demonstrate the advantages and benefits of shopping close to home. More often than not, they know our names by heart and those of our parents or children, bringing a warm and friendly dimension to our daily shopping.
Better still, they remember our tastes and our expectations in detail. The butcher, for example, knows exactly which cut of meat to serve to one customer and which to serve to another without forgetting their favorite type of ham and how thick it should be sliced. Of course, these little details are not essential to our survival, but they contribute toward improving our quality of life and making our shopping experience much more pleasant.
Moreover, the proximity of goods and services makes our daily lives easier and allows us to save considerable amounts of time and money. Even though the ticket price may sometimes be a little higher at a specialised neighborhood store, reducing the number of trips we make to large urban centers weighs the scales considerably. Indeed, once the cost of gas is added to the bill, some price reductions do not justify the trip. At the end of the day, buying local is often our best option, in economic as well as in human terms.
4 tasks a master electrician can do in your home
The comfort and safety of your home largely depend on having a well-functioning electrical system. Are you thinking about making some improvements to your property? Here are four tasks a master electrician can do for you.
1. New installations
Electricians can route electrical cables to the appropriate places, install new junction boxes and connect fittings while ensuring the finished results are fully compliant and safe.
2. Electrical renovations
More complex than new installations, electrical renovations require an electrician to work in tight spaces like walls and attics. These areas are often closed off and sealed with insulation. Electricians can also correct defective installations or improve your setup to meet your electrical needs without increasing fire hazards or risking circuit breakdowns or overloads.
3. Device installation
Are you thinking of installing an elevator, sliding gate, or automatic door in your home? These are just some examples of devices you can trust a specialized electrician to install for you.
4. Smart home conversion
Home automation allows you to remotely control many elements in your home, including surveillance cameras, lighting, heating, and air conditioning. Converting your home to a smart home requires the integration of several technologies. Therefore, you’ll want the expertise of an experienced electrician to do it right.
Do you have a project in mind that calls for electrical installations in your home? Contact a certified electrician in your area to discuss your needs.
Academic success needs… a routine!
The return to school is one of the most difficult times of the year. Indeed, returning to a fixed schedule and a stricter lifestyle can be very arduous and can generate a lot of stress in a family. This doesn’t take into account the numerous small clarifications you will have to make to reassure the little one who’s starting kindergarten and the older child who is dreading the move to high school…
As a parent, it’s crucial to properly prepare for the beginning of the school year to ensure success. An excellent way to find a certain balance at this time of year is to establish a fixed routine. In fact, this will give children a feeling of security and will avoid a lot of useless stress. A routine makes chores more quickly, leaving more time for playing or other activities. To help you establish a routine, you could write it down on paper in the form of a chart and stick it on the fridge, asking the children to actively participate by decorating it and sharing their ideas with you.
Apart from basic chores, here are a few essential components of a back-to-school routine:
- Make lunch the previous evening,
- Choose clothes for the next day,
- Establish a precise time to do homework and another for relaxing,
- Agree on bedtime and establish a ritual to help them to sleep well.
You should also think about what activities will be allowed during the week and which can be included in the routine. Why not agree on a time and duration for watching television or for playing on the computer? You should also set aside time to talk to your children about their day, successes, and fears. For the children who find this more difficult, it’s good to establish a motivational system with rewards linked to concrete successes, like offering stickers or special treats, for example.
As a parent, get into the habit of staying informed of your children’s academic progress. Don’t hesitate to demonstrate your availability to collaborate with teachers, particularly if your children are experiencing certain difficulties. Why not choose a moment in the routine to learn about academic progress or difficulties weekly? This step will help you to watch over your children and stay connected to their needs. Above all, they’ll feel that with this routine, they can count on your presence.
Lastly, it is particularly important to congratulate your children for them to feel involved and important in a routine’s success. A child who starts school with the security and comfort of a well-established routine will have a better chance of academic success throughout the school year. All the best for the new school year!
The 5 most durable fence materials
When building a new fence, you must pick high-quality, durable materials to ensure it lasts for years to come. Choosing poor materials can lead to an ugly, sagging fence that’ll be expensive to repair. Here are some of the most durable fencing materials on the market.
1. Wrought iron. Ornamental iron fences can last hundreds of years if regularly maintained. In fact, some of the wrought-iron latticework found in the French Quarter of New Orleans dates back to the 1700s. However, iron is prone to rust and must be regularly repainted.
2. Brick or masonry. Fences built from brick or concrete can withstand the test of time. However, these materials are pricey and must be installed by professional masons.
3. Aluminum. Lightweight, rust-resistant, and easy to install, aluminum fences are a sure bet for any climate. Aluminum requires little to no maintenance and can be painted to match your home’s exterior.
4. Vinyl. A relative newcomer in fencing material, vinyl can be designed to resemble wood and metal. It doesn’t rot or rust and is resistant to pests. All you need to do is wash it down once a year to keep dirt and debris at bay.
5. Pressure-treated wood. Wood fences are timeless. Fortunately, pressure-treated wood can last many decades with annual upkeep, such as painting and staining.
Consult a fence professional to discuss what type of fencing material is best for your property.
Note-taking methods for college freshmen (and everyone else)
For plenty of incoming freshmen, college is a rude awakening, a place where bad habits are laid bare, and those who make it to class and take good notes are the ones who come out ahead.
To make it to class, just go to bed at a reasonable hour and set an alarm.
To take good notes, try some of the following strategies:
The outline method is one of the most popular and intuitive ways to take notes, with a traditional outline format that most students are familiar with. Place major points furthest to the left (I, II, III), and indent more specific points under each major point (a, b, c).
The Cornell note-taking method is a popular way to organize notes into summaries. Divide your page into three sections, with the left margin reserved for cues, the bottom reserved for summaries, and the bulk of the page left for notes. Write prompts for your notes in the cues section and a summary of your notes at the bottom for quick review. You can divide your sheet yourself or use Cornell templates, which are available in paper and digital format.
The mind map method dispenses with linear notes altogether, with a central concept in the middle of the sheet and the notes written as branches that radiate outwards. Mind maps work well with visual cues (like images and icons); for some learners, are a great way to provide an overview of a topic. They can be created on paper or with digital programs that allow users to link additional files.
4 tips for thrift shopping
Millions of tons of clothing, shoes, and textiles end up in landfills every year, contributing to water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The trend of fast fashion has led to a proliferation of clothing produced and thrown away. One remedy is to shop at thrift stores when you need to buy clothes. Keep these shopping tips in mind to renew your wardrobe with fantastic finds.
1. Sell or donate first. Before buying new ones, get rid of unwanted clothes by bringing them to a consignment store or donating them to a charity thrift shop. You’ll free up valuable closet space and earn a few dollars.
2. Create a list. Look through your wardrobe and decide what you need. It’s best to visit your thrift store with a clear goal in mind. Aimlessly meandering through the aisles wastes time and could entice you to buy items you don’t need.
3. Dress appropriately. Not all second-hand stores have fitting rooms. Therefore, wear something comfortable, so that you can try on clothing over the clothes you’re already wearing. Even if there are dressing rooms, you can avoid waiting in line by trying things on in the aisle.
4. Use a tailor. If you find a shirt or jacket you love but doesn’t fit quite right, don’t let that stop you from buying it. You can always take the item to a tailor and get it fitted properly.
Reusing existing clothing is a way to curb the negative impact of textile manufacturing on the planet, so wear your second-hand clothes with pride.