Love it or hate it, vacuuming is a household task you can't really escape and one that makes a big difference in both seen (bye-bye dust bunnies) and unseen (see ya, pet dander and pollen) aspects of cleanliness. I personally vacuum in one way or another just about every day. Whether it's a quick sweep of crumbs with a cordless after dinner or a thorough dust-zapping with the crevice tool, these tips will help make your vacuuming easier more effective.
1. Dust before you vacuum.
This is the main reason you clean "top to bottom." Dusting before you vacuum ensures that you don't get your freshly vacuumed rug, well, dusty. Also that the dust you displace from shelves, knick-knacks, the mantle, the light fixtures, and other what-have-yous is cleaned up.
2. Pick up all the stuff.
It's quite frustrating to get into vacuuming mode only to have to interrupt yourself every few strokes to pick up the errant LEGO or penny. Pick up the big things as well as the little things that, tempting as it is, you know you shouldn't vacuum.
3. Turn on the lights.
Illuminating the area you're cleaning will not only help you pick up dirt, crumbs, etc. that are visible, but will also help you see where you've vacuumed and where you haven't yet so you can do a thorough job.
4. Bring attachments with you.
More often than not when I'm vacuuming, I see dirt I can't get to — but I don't stop what I'm doing to get the attachment I need. Do yourself a favor and bring that upholstery brush and crevice tool with you when you set out to vacuum a room. And then pat yourself on the back when you leave a room that's as vacuumed as you could vacuum it.
5. Follow up with spot cleaning.
Taking care of your carpeting and rugs involves more than just regular vacuuming. Once you have your fluffy, just-vacuumed rug, scan it for any discolorations or spots and take care of them. I have three small children, two cats, a dog, and a husband and my absolute favorite carpet spot cleaner is Folex, which we buy by the gallon.