October 28, 2015

Saying "Goodbye" to Stroller Clutter with the StrollAway #Review

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I love coming across new baby gadgets and accessories that make my life easier as a parent. We currently own three strollers. I keep the most versatile and lightweight one in the mommy mobile, but have two others that were taking up a whole lot of space in our house. 

I try to keep things organized and have a tendency to cringe at the sight of clutter. I know messes are going to happen, especially with a little one in the house, but I like having a particular spot for everything. This includes finding the perfect place to stow two extra strollers, so they're not constantly in the way. Upon further research for some good storage ideas, I came across the StrollAway. This nifty invention is a hook, but not just any hook, it is the first and only over the door stroller hanger.


HOW THE STROLLAWAY CAME TO BE: 
After the birth of her son Billy in 2004, like most new urban (New York) moms, Mary Ann Schwanewede found herself overwhelmed by a whole lot of new baby gear in very little apartment. When it came time to use her brand new stroller, she assumed that there would be some sort of system to store the stroller when not in use. There was no convenient place in the family apartment and her building did not allow anything in the hallways, as it clutters the public spaces, and is a fire hazard. 
Without thinking much of it she trekked to the baby gear store and asked for 'a hook to store my folded stroller' . The salesman looked at her blankly and said no such thing existed. She found this hard to believe; she couldn't be the only one in this city of 8 million, many of whom are parents, to have this problem. Everywhere she looked in her downtown neighborhood she saw a parade of strollers, 'where was everybody putting them?', she wondered. 

After much formal and informal research, Mary Ann came to realize that this was a storage issue that had not been addressed. She also came to realize that suburban moms had complaints about storing their strollers as well. Many said that they no longer had room in the garage for their cars as the strollers had taken over! 


I'm not going to lie, I was a bit skeptical at first. I asked myself, "Can this thing really hold our strollers, one of which is a bit on the heavy side?" I will get into more detail with the answer to that, but first here are some things you should know about the StrollAway:

  • This over the door hook is made of heavy duty steel construction, so it is sturdy enough to hold most stroller models up to 40 pounds.
  • It slides right over the door and also includes a spacer to adjust to various door widths. 
  • The two hook arms actually swivel left and right (in and out) to adjust for different size strollers. They even fold flush to the door when you're not using it.
  • It was nominated as a finalist in the 2015 Cribsie Awards for Handiest Stroller Accessory



The StrollAway is one of those "Why didn't I think of that?" products. Who would have thought something as simple as a hook could help so much?! I love that there was no drilling, anchoring, or special installation involved. Simply place the hook over the door and you're done. It keeps strollers off the floor and out of the way. Not only is the stroller out of sight, but it frees up more space in your home. 


We currently have three strollers:
  • Chicco Cortina SE stroller (part of the Chicco Cortina SE Travel System)
  • Jeep Cherokee Sport Stroller 
  • Summer Infant 3D Lite Stroller

I first started off with something easy, the Jeep Cherokee Sport Stroller, since it's fairly lightweight (almost 13lbs). Having the single bar handle on this stroller made it simple to just hook it onto the StrollAway without a problem.



The big test would be the Chicco Cortina SE Stroller. This is the mother of all strollers...at least of the ones we own! Now don't get me wrong, this stroller is awesome (we're a Chicco family), but it's quite bulky and heavy. After taking up a lot of space in the room off from our garage, I decided to make a special place for it in our storage closet. This kept it out of the way, but really took up space in an area where I could be storing other items. That was the main reason why I couldn't wait to try the StrollAway. I was honestly worried that it wouldn't be able to hold this giant, but surprisingly it did. Needless to say, I was pretty excited about that!


With a little adjustment of the hook arms to compensate for two handles (reminiscent of an umbrella stroller), I was also able to hang our Summer Infant 3D Lite Stroller without any issues. I typically keep this stroller in my car for travels, but it's nice to know that I can use the StrollAway to store it in the house if needed.

If I had to change one thing about this product, it would be the notches that help change the hook arms to different positions. These notches are supposed to keep the arms in place, but are a bit on the shallow side. When you go to lift the stroller onto the hook arms, they have a tendency to move out of position. I would sometimes have to lift the stroller out a bit with one hand, while readjusting the hook arms back to the position that I needed them in. Making the notches deeper or even having the option to lock them into position would fix this very minor flaw. Either way, this would not sway my decision to purchase another one of these hooks, because they're super convenient to keep around!


The StrollAway is an extremely handy accessory to have. It's even strong enough to hold our most heaviest of strollers, which is a huge plus. If you're short on space in your home (it's perfect for renters in smaller apartments), or simply want to put extra use to the space that your strollers are taking up, then the StrollAway is a must have.


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