Start by removing every item from the room in which you’ll be working. Remove furniture, rugs, decorative items and fixtures. This will keep paint spill and splatter as well as dust and debris from causing any damage to them.
Seal off the room as much as possible so that dust from sanding doesn’t spread throughout your house. Cover the room’s doorways, vents and electrical outlets with plastic sheeting and use masking tape to fasten the sheeting in place. Every opening should be closed or covered to avoid spreading dust throughout your home. Open windows in the room to ventilate and remove some of the dust and residue that will be in the air.
Check the floor for any nails that may be protruding. Sharp objects such as these can destroy the sandpaper on a sander, forcing you to change it out. This will make the job longer than it needs to be. In addition, these protrusions can be a safety hazard. Using a hammer or nail setter, pound any protruding nails below the surface of the floor as far as you can get them. Thoroughly sweep and mop the floor before starting any of the work. Apply painter’s tape to baseboards to protect them from accidental touches of a paintbrush or roller.