I need to get my camera up and working (i.e. buy some new rechargeable batteries for it, and charge them) so that I can show you one of the most amazing area rug upkeep things ever.
If you have an "oriental" area rug with the requisite fringe in your home, you know how messed up it gets, like a kindergartener's ponytail when she won't let her mom brush it. Ick. and so unsightly. But, when vacuuming said rug, stand on the wood floor side of the fringe and run the vacuum across the fringe, pulling back towards you. The fringe will get sucked up, and as you pull straight back, it will be laid out on the floor all nice and neat. You have to pick up the vacuum to put it back on the rug for the next section of fringe, but it looks so nice that its totally worth the 3 minutes it takes to not be down on the floor with a comb or something to smooth it all out.
Another cleaning lady secret from my childhood figured out. Vacuum the fringe. Go try it... your living room will look nicer for it.