When I got my first apartment when I was almost 20 I was giving a hand-me-down vacuum from my aunt. It worked great but now, 4 years later, it no longer locks into place when you stand it up and the cord has been chewed on by the dogs and it is time for it to be retired. I made a deal with Pat, he could buy a set of tools if I could get new cleaning stuff.
First I went out and bought the Rubbermaid Reveal & Shark 2-in-1 Hand and Stick Vacuum.
We have laminate and tile floor through most of the house (everywhere other than the bedrooms) and I was really tired of the broom and dustpan but couldn't find anything that really worked well at picking up all the dust and junk. My mom bought the Shark and told me it's a must have, now I know why! It has super powerful suction and the coolest thing is you can take off the canister and it becomes a little handheld suction machine! I'm also a fan of the bagless on this because I'm constantly vacuuming up dust bunnies and don't want to spend an arm and a leg for bags all the time.
Next was my big purchase. A new vacuum! I was overwhelmed at all the options but I knew I wanted something light, and used bags (I know, totally contradictory from what I just said about the Shark). I read tons of reviews and truly considered splurging and getting a Dyson but then I came across this jewel:
I cannot wait to use the canister on the stairs as I've been searching for an easier way to clean that monster! I quickly put it together and went and vacuumed Kimber's room and I'm in total vacuum love! It is ridiculously lightweight (like 12 lbs) and has massive suction ability. It even automatically adjusts to the height of whatever you are cleaning at the time. We have frieze carpet and it looks kind of worn in high traffic areas but this magical device brought it back to life.
I highly recommend all these items!