Independent Living Search

Vacuuming Floors


  1. When you are first learning, don’t move your arms and feet at the same time! This generally keeps those with orientation difficulties from getting lost.
  2. You need to be careful when you vacuum and not bang into the furniture, as it will damage it.
  3. Check for objects on floor (e.g., shoes and cords) before you vacuum. Some prefer to vacuum barefooted as it helps them notice debris.
  4. If you accidentally vacuum over something, turn the vacuum off immediately and get help.
  5. Divide room into sections, using furniture and walls as reference points. If room is large and there is a great deal of open space in the middle of room, a couple of chairs can be used to mark off a boundary line.
  6. Grasp handle with preferred hand and hold cord in other hand. Beginning at outer edge of first section, push vacuum in a back and forth motion across the floor as far as the arms will comfortably reach (right to left or left to right). Stop hand movement.
  7. Take a step sideways: repeat motion working towards destination.
  8. Step backward one or two steps; repeat motion working back to point of origin.
  9. Continue in this way until section has been covered. If the area is large and landmarks are far apart, then you may choose to clean the same section, the same way, in a crosswise pattern.
  10. Continue to next section, overlapping each area as it is vacuumed.
  11. Replace furniture as each section is finished.
  12. Replace equipment in storage place.
    Vacuum under furniture carefully. The vacuum will only go under the furniture so far. If you have to push the handle down to make it go further under, you will be sucking air as the motor and roller will lift off the floor.

Banging into the furniture can leave marks on the furniture and may damage it.

* Make sure to vacuum along the walls – turn vacuum sideways in the area or use canister vacuum or use a damp cleaning cloth.