Correct Vacuuming: A 10-Step Guide

An exemplary home (vacuum not pictured). Photo: Philipp Berndt

Step 1.

First of all, I can’t believe you need to read this guide. Take some time out to reflect on how you got to your age without knowing how to vacuum correctly. Allow 15 minutes for reflective journaling if you’re under 20; half an hour of meditation and a stiff drink if you’re under 30; and a 7-day life coaching program if you’re under 100. I’ll wait here.

Step 2.

Name your vacuum. Names that denote brawn and forceful cleanliness, such as The Lint Leviathan, Dr. Dust Bunny Homicidal Maniac or The Forensic Strip-Down work well.

Step 3.

Find a pair of headphones, grab your phone, and select a playlist to get your adrenals questioning what the absolute hell is going on. I recommend Music For Ferocious Vacuuming on Spotify.

Step 4.

Find an electrical outlet equidistant to all of the rooms in your home. (You don’t want to unplug and plug in your machine each time you enter a new room like an utter amateur.) Unless you live in a Tokyo or New York City apartment, this is harder than you think. Allow one hour.

Step 5.

Plug in your sucking machine and turn it on. Ignore the funny smell that it emits as it revs up. Though probably hazardous, this is common.

Step 6.

Showtime! Your job for the next one to 10 hours (depending on the size of your home) is to remove all loose objects on floors and surfaces. Show little, if any, mercy.

Step 7.

When all loose items are vacuumed away, unplug your machine and attempt an upright position. Allow 10 minutes to complete the stance. I hope you remembered to switch arms from time to time as you vacuumed, because if you didn’t, you’re really going to pay for that tomorrow.

Step 8.

Call the chiropractor to see if they can fit you in sometime this week.

Step 9.

Damn, you forgot to dust first. Honestly, that’s my bad — I forgot to put that step in earlier. You really need to dust before you vacuum — everyone knows that. Dust the house, then go back to Step 3. and go through the list again.

Step 10.

Hooray! Look at your new digs. Minimalism is great! Did you really need that twenty-dollar bill or your great grandmother’s earrings that fell onto the floor as you repeatedly rammed the dresser with the floor nozzle? Do you feel hollow inside after accidentally sucking up that cute honeybee? Was it dead or alive? This isn’t the time to think about it! Congratulate yourself for achieving a spotless home.

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