Welcome back to another installment of How to teach kids to clean! This week we are going to focus on How to Vacuum Carpet! UGH! Right?
How to Get kids to vacuum is the million dollar question in itself. Common issues with kids vacuuming include:
- Large areas left unvacuumed
- Vacuuming so quickly only half the dirt was picked up
- Vacuuming around objects as small as a candy wrapper paper on the floor (not picking it up)
- Did I mention Whining?
Honestly, it would just be easier and faster for Mom or Dad to vacuum on our own. Do it ourselves, right?
It really would be easier. And faster. And less whining.
If we just did it ourselves, our kids wouldn’t learn. They wouldn’t learn the value of work. They wouldn’t learn how to vacuum. And then what? They move out of the house and are completely incompetent of keeping their living space clean.
We want better for our kids.
So, we drudge through the burden of teaching our kids to clean. And that includes teaching our kids how to vacuum.
Steps to teaching kids how to vacuum
*Special thanks to Shark for donating a Shark Liftaway speed vacuum so we could teach our kids how to vacuum! All opinions are our own. This article contains affiliate links to products for your shopping convenience.
Kids all do well with a schedule. So before you begin to teach kids how to vacuum it is ideal if you set up a vacuuming schedule. Have assigned days of the week when each room is to be vacuumed.
We often only vacuum our bedrooms once a week. So we set that day usually as Saturday because we have more time on that day.
But our main living spaces see a lot more foot traffic. So we vacuum those rooms 3 times a week. For us, that means Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
The stairs are vacuumed on Saturday.
This is just what works for our family and our schedule.
But having a schedule of when vacuuming is to be done, helps your child know what is expected of them and there is less fighting when the task comes due to be completed.
Step 1: Dust. Now you may be thinking this is an odd step. What does dusting have to do with vacuuming? Well, the reality is that even dust has to obey the laws of gravity. That means it will fall to the ground.
You don’t want to vacuum only to have dust from the table blow off and land on your freshly vacuumed floor! So always dust first!
Step 2: Pick up the floor. You can’t get a clean floor that is cluttered. First, you have to remove hindering objects. This includes shoes, coats, backpacks, toys, any trash, large food particles kids may have dropped. Anything bigger than a dime really needs to be picked up and put away or into the trash.
Step 3: Check the Canister/bag. A vacuum can’t do its job if it is already full of dirt. Always check the canister/bag before vacuuming.
I tell my kids to start with it empty. So if something is inside, they have to empty it before they can vacuum.
This is because an empty vacuum has better suction than a half-full or full vacuum.
Step 4: Use the right tool! If you are vacuuming the carpet, you need to make sure your vacuum is set for the carpet setting.
If you are vacuuming the tile/hardwood floor it needs to be set for that setting.
Same again, if you are vacuuming stairs or furniture you need the right tools!
We use the new Shark® Rotator® Powered Lift-Away® Speed. This is a brilliant design that families will all love! It literally can do all the tasks of vacuuming in one machine! Which means you don’t have to have multiple vacuums to get all the jobs done! Just one!
Remember step 1 of dusting? Yeah, add the right attachment and you can do the dusting with the Shark Rotator Powered List-Away Speed vacuum!
Add the right attachment and you can vacuum the tile/hardwood floor.
Again add another attachment and you are doing the floor carpet!
With the easy Life-Away feature, you can even do the stairs easily! It no longers becomes cumbersome and is very light!
It also lays much flatter than any other vacuum I have ever used. Which means it has the best maneuverability to get under furniture! Which means less furniture to move in step 7!
Other things you will love about the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Speed:
- 3 vacuums in 1 – Upright, Powered Lift-Away® and Canister
- Never Loses Suction Technology
- Powered motorized brush in all modes
- Hard floor cleaning with Dust-Away™ Pro cleaner head
- Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology®
- Fingertip controls
- Advanced swivel steering
- LED lights on floor nozzle to illuminate work area
- Onboard Tools: Duster Crevice and Pet Multi-Tool
- Home and Car Detail Tool
- Canister Caddy
Step 5: Vacuum in a pattern. Begin on the side of the room that is farthest from the door. Begin to vacuum the carpet in forward and back motion. All going in the same direction. Either North/South or East/West. And work your way back towards the door. We address how to go in a direction so you don’t loose your place in our How to clean a bedroom article.
Teach the kids to follow the patterns in the carpet so they can see where they have already vacuumed. I do this because Vacuums don’t clean absolutely up to the edge of the machine. So overlap slightly to ensure there aren’t mini strips left unvacuumed.
Have each pass slightly overlap the last pass to ensure every inch is vacuumed.
Step 6: Flip the Pattern. Now you will go over the same room again, but this time going in a different direction. If you went North/South last time, now go East/West.
By vacuuming in a different direction, you are able to access fibers that were trapped under the first pass thus removing more dirt.
Step 7: Move Furniture. Now that the main part of the room is clean, move the big furniture that was in the way beforehand and vacuum under them. Even though the carpet isn’t walked on, it still collects dust!
And if you have pets, they are often hiding under the furniture and therefore leave their hair and dander behind.
Once you have repeated the vacuuming under the furniture, move it back into place.
Step 8: Use a crevice Tool. For the same reason we overlap slightly when we vacuum, we also follow up using the crevice tool to vacuum along the entire edge of the room.
Start at the left side of the door, follow the baseboard and vacuum the edge of the carpet the entire way around the entire room. Finishing off back at the door.
This step doesn’t have to be done every time you vacuum. But at least once every 2 weeks. Dirt still collects in the edges and the vacuum can’t get the tiny corners.
Step 9: Clean Up. Empty the canister/bag. This way it will be ready for the next Vacuuming. Wind up the cord. Finally put the vacuum away.
Tips to Remember –
- Go slow. Vacuuming too fast won’t pick up the dirt. Allow the vacuum time to pick up the dirt.
- Don’t vacuum over the cord! The power of the vacuum bristles can damage the cord causing exposed wires. Keep it in one hand as you vacuum at all time.
- Watch the canister. Empty it once it reaches half full.
- Don’t hit the vacuum into furniture/walls/baseboards. It damages them.
The only thing left to do is praise your child for a job well done!
They will definitely need Mom or Dad to stand there with them as they vacuum the first few times. You will need to stay with them to help them with any questions or concerns. You can watch and give pointers. Help them see the designs in the carpet. It will take a trained eye to see it as casually as Mom and Dad does.
Have patience with them as they learn. I know that is much easier said than done.
I have 2 tween boys who love to try to get out of work by sheer whining power. Trust me. I know it is easier said than done to have patience!
Having a printed list of what is expected of your kids is much easier than having to repeat yourself over and over and over again. Thus why I made a simple How to Vacuum printable. You can print it out, laminate it and hang it up. Thus making it simple for kids to know exactly what is expected each time they do their chore.
Use our How to Vacuum Printable to help your child learn. Simply Sign up for our Newsletters.
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If you want to turn your task of the vacuuming chore into an easy task, consider the Shark® Rotator® Powered Lift-Away Speed.
Grab your own Shark® Rotator® Powered Lift-Away Speed from Amazon!
Do your kids know how to vacuum?
Share your pointers and tips!
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