Do you remember color or paint by numbers? I do, I had a lot of fun with those as a kid. It taught me how to color and do things in their proper order. I imagine that my kids will use these as well one day. Now that we’re all grown up though, things don’t come with that instruction manual anymore. Well, today I’d like to help you a little bit. While the cleaners and materials change with floor care, the basic principles stay the same. So, I present floor care by numbers.

1. Gather your things. Whatever you’ll need for the task at hand, get it together before you start. This will make the whole process a lot smoother for you. It will also help you to avoid a bind where you are missing a cleaner you thought you had.

2. Plan. In the immortal words of Col. John “Hannibal” Smith, “I love it when a plan comes together.” Make a plan of attack before you start, that small amount of time you take in the beginning will save you a ton of time on the actual work. Plus, if you’re working with another person, you won’t be tripping over each other.

3. Edges and Corners. These areas can sink your whole project. They are often overlooked and once the rest of the floor is done, they are very noticeable. Ensure you take care of these areas well.

4. Sweep twice, coat once. If you are applying wax or some kind of coating, make very very sure that you have swept thoroughly. Nothing ruins the beauty of a freshly coated floor like a renegade hair or piece of dirt that is now waxed into the floor.

5. A dab will do ya. A very common mistake is using too much coating or having your cleaning mixture too strong. It will greatly effect the way the floor looks when you are done. Ensure you are following the manufacturer’s instructions as closely as possible. If it seems like their instructions would make a weak mixture, use it in a test area first and then judge. Usually, the products are much stronger than we give them credit for.