Independent Living Search

Right-hand Sweeping Technique

  1. Sweeper should survey the area to be swept. Pick out specific landmarks (i.e., stove edge, table leg, corner of counter, edge of sink). Try to mentally break area into sections.
  2. Locate broom and dustpan. Put dustpan in a chosen spot; which is easily accessible and just out of immediate sweeping area. Feel the bristles on the end of the broom and identify the side with the longer bristles. This side should always be pointed away from sweeper.
  3. If sweeper is willing, she should remove her shoes and socks. This will make her much more sensitive to the dirt on the floor.
  4. Go to designated area of room. Sweeper’s side should be near the designated landmark (wall or counter).
  5. Grasp top of handle with left hand and middle of handle with the right. Now place sweeping surface of broom in corner (remember long end of bristle always goes away from sweeper). Be sure bristle surface of broom completely hits floor and is parallel to end wall. This is done easily by loosening grasp on handle; the sweeper should be able to feel this.
  6. Now gently pull broom parallel to area facing and just in front of left foot. (A brisk motion would make dirt fly and be harder for sweeper to locate). Be sure you have a landmark just in front of your left foot. This is very important, as sweeper will come back to this point in a few moments. (The landmark does not have to be permanent. The sweeper might put a can on the counter just in front of her left foot).
  7. Sweeper’s left foot is also a landmark as the dirt is now just in front of it. Now take a half step or broom width step back, reach with broom to right and repeat gentle sweeping motion leaving dirt in front of left foot. Repeat this process 3 or 4 times.
  8. Now reach broom out directly in front of left foot and gently pull broom towards your left foot. There should be an accumulation of dirt in a line parallel to back wall and directly in front of left foot. *Four or five strokes should be sufficient.
  9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 until sweeper backs up to end of room. Sweeper now has the option of picking up the dirt or leaving it in a pile. If dirt is left in a pile, be sure it is clearly land-marked.
  10. Sweeper should now return to spot where she marked her original stopping point. Repeat steps. (Note: there should be about a six-inch overlap over the area just swept).
  11. When picking up dirt, if student has difficulty using the dustpan; a damp paper towel or cleaning cloth works well. They can also use a Dust buster.