The word "hack" implies that you'll have to do a ton of work to get your household tech to multi-task. But this trick couldn't be easier. To turn your extended-handle vacuum cleaner into a lean, mean screw-lost-in-the-shag-rug finding machine, just grab for a cheap pair of pantyhose.
Our apartment has that standard-issue beige carpet in the living area. Blech.
We're pining for hardwoods. And not just because of the clean look. Every time I drop a teeny screw assembling IKEA shelves or my boyfriend loses a contact lens, we're left wishing there wasn't a thousand places for it to hide.
Luckily there's this tip from a Lifehacker commenter: If you need to find a small lost item in your carpet or shag rug, reach for your vacuum and a cheap pair of pantyhose.
First, stretch one leg of the pantyhose over the end of the vacuum tube. Then, vacuum over the area where you might have dropped that screw.
Instead of getting sucked up into the vacuum, it'll get caught in the pantyhose. Probably along with some dust bunnies—just toss those out!