15 Steps to Vacuuming Once a Month – Part 3

If you want to vacuum just once a month, you should follow the steps in my last two posts, plus the following:

8. Not to be mean, but it really helps to limit your pets to certain areas of the house. Our shih tzu, Belle, happily lives in one half of the downstairs, with toddler gates to prevent her from going any further. This prevents an accumulation of dog hair in every room of the house, and it also limits her movements when she tracks in dirt or leaves from out back. This might be harder with an older dog, but because we started Belle this way as a puppy, she's never known any better and is perfectly content in "her" part of our home.

9. When choosing new floors and floor coverings, think camouflage! Why install dark carpeting if you have a light-colored dog? Why have a beige mat at your back door if the dirt in your yard is primarily red clay? Think about the nature of the messes that accumulate on your floors—and then make your flooring choices accordingly, with the art of camouflage as your first priority.

10. Taking the above step to the next level, if you are doing any sort of renovation, remember that you should never choose flooring that you haven't first tested for its ability to hide dirt. In fact, the next time you replace a floor with linoleum or tile or even hardwood, try this handy test:

- Choose six patterns that you really like and that coordinate well with your decor
- Ask for (or purchase) 1' x 1' samples of all six patterns
- Put the samples on the most mess-prone areas of your house, such as the kitchen floor in front of the sink and stove.
- Forget about them for a week or two and DON'T clean them.
- At the end of the test period, take a close look at each sample to see which one hid its splotches and splatters best. Upon close inspection, you may be amazed to find that the one you thought was the cleanest is actually the dirtiest.
- Choose the dirt-hiding winner for your new flooring pattern.

A handy hint: In my experience, the best floors for hiding dirt feature a speckled mix of browns and beiges and grays. The single worst kitchen floor I have ever had to deal with was a "checkerboard" of alternating black and white 6" squares. Whatever hid on the black was clearly evident on the white and vice versa. What a nightmare!

Come back next week for more steps.


  1. duh, didn't think to look for you to have a blog! cool! thanks for sendin my Sarah in the Parsonage extra copies!!! you rock.... or I'll try out my new phrase... you are better than crack! *smile* You might have to know me to know the humor in that phrase! *smile*

  2. First time here...coming from Sarah's blog. Yeh, she's a good promoter! Get tips. I think I'll be adding you to my favorites.

  3. Poppin' over from Sarah's blog, too! She's pretty excited. I'm just hopin' to win one of the books you so kindly sent her way! Thanks! I look forward to reading more!
    -J, aka ShalomSeeker

    P.S. I'm the perfectionist you mentioned a few entries ago. I'm working hard on it!

  4. Here from the parsonage. Sarah won't shut up about you :) What a good thing. I plan on winning the book in her next giveaway, but if I don't, I plan to buy it. Sara's posts have really made me want it, and I'm not just saying that!

  5. Wow! I am so glad to see you sharing your ideas in a blog! I discovered your book through Life in the Parsonage-Sarah. And I gave one of your books away for my 100th post giveaway! I'm still waiting for my copy to come. I'll be adding you to my blog list now. Be ready for more readers! ~Mindy

  6. I tried to win your book on Sarah's Life in the Parsonage as I am "teaching" Organizing and Managing Your Life (Closets, files, papers, etc.) I need to get my own house in order so I thought that if I had to teach it, I would learn how to help myself. I did not win. May I have your permission to use notes from your blog to help teach the class? Thanks Arlona

  7. I'm so glad Sarah from Life in the Parsonage talked about you. Because I need your help!

  8. Mastering the art of camoflauge...I like that idea! Thanks for some great tips. I've always wanted a black & white checked floor, but now you've got me thinking otherwise.

    I'm visiting from Sarah's blog, Life In The Parsonage. She's been gushing good things about your book.