People Who Have the Cleanest Homes Always Vacuum First

Who’s with us?

It's a controversial viewpoint, but one many a neat freak stand by firmly: To get your home the absolute cleanest, you should be vacuuming both as the first and final step in your cleaning process. Perhaps it sounds a bit counterintuitive, getting the vacuum out when there are dust bunnies still lurking around at higher elevations, but there's certainly a case for clearing the initial layer off the floor before you begin the rest of your regimen, no matter how much we hate to admit it.

We've all been there—it's wall cleaning time and hair, fur, or dust is clinging to your cleaning cloth, only detaching itself once it has a prime-time spot on your white walls. That's the moment when you realize you might have been better off with the fingerprint smudges. To avoid this most irritating scenario, give your high-traffic or mess-prone areas a quick once-over with the vacuum. It doesn't have to be perfect, but the rest of your clean will be greatly improved even if you just hit the problem areas like the corners, areas around the tubs and toilets, and even the baseboards themselves.

1950s Woman Vacuuming
Getty/George Marks

If you have a handheld vacuum, also take it to the fridge drawers, your stovetop, and your dryer lint trap in this first round. It will keep a good bit of the crumbs and dust off your floors and make the rest of the clean to follow that much easier. Wiping off your lower cabinets will be a tidier and quicker process too, without fear of your wet cloth dragging along grime if it accidentally sweeps the floor while you're cleaning the toe-kick areas.

Before you cry foul on this suggestion to add yet another step to your to-do, know that it's particularly helpful for those who have high-shedding pets. We all know that when the fur starts flying, it'll cling to just about everything, even soaring to the top of that just-dusted sideboard. Which means, you're putting in the work without a full payoff in the end.

Of course, for many of us, time is of the essence, and you might not be able to bust out the vacuum twice in one day. In those instances, the best thing to do is just quickly clean up any obvious fur balls, crumbs, etc. and then carry on with the clean. You can catch everything else when you zip around the vacuum after the rest of the house is shined and primed.

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