Sweeping a floor is not rocket science, but no one was born knowing how to operate a broom. First, choose the broom based on your flooring. If you have a new, smooth floor a broom with synthetic straw is your best bet. If your flooring is textured or worn, choose a straw broom. In either case I have found brooms with an angled head are best for reaching under cabinetry.
Before you start, turn off any overhead fans, there are few things more aggravating than trying to chase down floating debris. Personally, I like to remove chairs, pets, and small children* from the room, rather than trying to sweep around them, unless I’m just doing a “quick get the obvious spots” sweep.
There are two tactics when planning your strategy:
1)Perimeter method – begin along the walls and corners sweeping all dirt toward the middle of the room, spiraling inward. I find this method useful in square rooms.
2) End to End method – Start at one wall and work toward the other, pulling the pile along with you until the far wall is reached. I find this one useful in rectangular rooms as well as hallways.
The actual sweeping motion is fairly simple. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and grasp the handle near the top with your dominant hand. Your other hand should be holding the handle somewhat near your waist. The straw should make full contact with the floor, but not bend. If you press too firmly you may scratch the floor with grit and weaken the straw. Too little pressure and the dirt will be left behind. Use short strokes and work the dirt into a pile, being careful not to track back over the swept portion until the room has been swept. Sweep the debris into a dustpan and dispose.
Replace the furniture and allow the children and pets to return only if you care to repeat the process in the near future.
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*The attraction of dirt to animals and children is never more evident than when the crumbs and dust are concentrated in one small pile. Children have been known to be attracted from neighbors’ homes to poke at paper shreds and dustbunnies. A closed door is only a temporary solution and be prepared for much wailing and gnashing of teeth as the union is denied.