Spring is in full force — with 80 degree days tempered by torrential rain tempered further by dry spells and brush fires here in New England. Gotta love the weather.
Spring cleaning is a chance to throw out the old and bring in the new. It is a chance to declutter and demessify your domicile. As a lover of gadgets and cleanliness (not extremely good at the latter) I decided to put out this little guide to gadgets that will not only help you be cleaner, they might axe some of the clutter on your desk and allow you to throw out a few monthly bills in the process. It’s spring, start anew!
IQAir HealthPro Plus
All the hundreds and thousands of dollars that people spend on devices and chemicals designed to eliminate allergens and make their homes smell better — it’s a waste. You need one product to improve the air quality in your home, and it’s the same device that hospitals use to purify air in some operating rooms. It’s the same company that’s been in business for 45 years. It’s not available in the Sharper Image catalog.
The Swiss-made IQAir HealthPro Plus is simply the best air purifier on the market today or ever.
Around 100x more powerful than a traditional HEPA filter, the HealthPro Plus eliminates particles down to 0.003 microns. It strips viruses, pet dander, dust mites, air pollution and harmful cigarette smoke. It allows you to live with a dog or cat despite your allergies.
It’s good for asthma, too.
Depending on where you live, an air purifier is a must-own device. Save yourself money, trouble, and failure. At under $1,000, this is an investment in your health. I’ve used the IQAir HealthPro Plus for months, and it’s the best air purifier you can own.
Altec Lansing inMotion Air — $179
You can take your iPhone, iPad, or other smartphone and Bluetooth devices and play your music in crystal clear, CD quality excitement with the Altec Lansing inMotion Air.
I’m a big fan of all things Altec Lansing. I’ve been reviewing their products since 1996, and I haven’t found anything to dislike. This is a great way to do spring cleaning, because it can replace a bulky bookshelf unit and all the wires that it brings. You also save energy by blasting you music without having to power up your home theater or PC equipment.
netTALK Duo WiFi
The tiny size and free Enhanced 911, 411, visual voicemail, call waiting, conference calling, and fax service make the netTALK Duo WiFi a great way to remove a monthly bill from your stack and ditch your phone company. You clean up by removing outdated equipment from your house and you REALLY clean up with the money you’ll save.
Honeywell with Febreze Freshness Cool & Refresh Fan
Fabreze is all the rage right now, and it’s no surprise that a fan maker finally caught on and incorporated “Fabreze Freshness” into a room fan. Honeywell’s Cool & Refresh Fan does both of what it says — it cools you off and makes a room smell better. It’s not a replacement for the IQAir HealthPro Plus, but if you have a room that the pets tend to stay in or a bedroom that needs a freshness boost, Honeywell has made a very affordable winner for only an astounding $30.
While we’re talking about fans, Honeywell would like to point out that 65 percent of Americans say that they get a better night’s sleep with a fan, while 73 percent use one at night for white noise. I had a fan in my bedroom — it was old, dirty, and didn’t look right in the room. Honeywell cleaned the room up and styled it up at the same time.
iHome iDM11B Wireless Speaker
There are wireless “sound bricks” you can get for your iPad or smartphone in the $99 and $150 range. This one does it for about $70 and sounds amazing. We know the iHome brand. We’ve been reviewing these guys since 2007. We like the quality and love the price.
The iDM11B is a Bluetooth speaker system with a rechargeable battery. No wires. No mess. Sounds great. Clean looking.
The speaker works with tablets, media players, smartphones, laptops, and anything else that works with Bluetooth. Great bass and crisp highs make this one a good value and a good way to clean up your desk.
Swingline Stack-and-Shred 60X
Talk about the ultimate cleaning device for any home, or office, or home office. You need a heavy duty shredder, and the Stack-and-Shred is the one. You can feed a few sheets up top, or you can open it up and toss in up to 60 pieces of paper for mega-massive destruction. It also takes out credit cards.
Everyone needs a reliable shredder in this day and age. The Swingline not only shreds documents but destroys them with cross-cutting blades. Try putting that back together again.
CBTL Americano single cup coffee maker
OK, I’ll say it, if you already have a Keurig coffeemaker, you can skip this section. But if you still have an old, 2006ish Tassimo single-cup coffeemaker, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s CBTL single serve beverage system is a great upgrade and a very interesting alternative to the Keurig.
I first encountered this system in an upscale hotel, and was pleasantly surprised. It makes a fantastic espresso and makes everything from tea to various shades and flavors of traditional coffee. It costs a little more than an entry-level Keurig, and New Englanders won’t be too moved by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf brand, which is much bigger on the West Coast. But if you still have a Tassimo, toss it and upgrade.