Your carpets are stained, have strange odors, and don't look like they should. You're ready to change your dull and drab flooring back to fresh and pristine. And that requires a professional's touch. When carpets are heavily stained, have pet stains and odors, or don't respond to spot treatments, the pros can solve your dirty dilemmas.

Deciding to call in the experts is the first step to getting clean carpets. But it's not all that you need to do. Before the carpet cleaning technician comes to your home, you need to prepare. Even though the pros will do most of the heavy work, some careful preparation can make the service easier - and quicker - for everyone.

What should you do to prepare your home for a professional carpet cleaning? Take a look at these easy-to-follow tips.

Look for Specific Stains

You already know that your carpets are dirty. That's why you called the pros in the first place. But where are the specific stains? It's likely that some areas are worse than others. Even though your entire living room carpet may seem dull and slightly dusty, the carpet cleaners will need to pay special attention to the pet stains, food and beverage stains, and any other areas that are more soiled than others.

Walk the carpets and look for issues that you'd like the pros to focus on. Write a list for yourself, noting the particular problem spots. When the technician arrives, review these areas before the cleaning gets underway.

Clear the Room

It's impossible to completely clean carpets that are covered in clutter. Your child's playmat, the mountains of toys, and your pet's bed will all get in the professional's way. Start by decluttering the room, removing everything that's on the floor, and putting it away.

Clearing the room doesn't mean sliding the toys and other items against a wall or stacking them on the couch. If you don't have a closet to stash the in-the-way objects in, move them to a room that isn't being cleaned. Avoid storing these items anywhere that may interfere with the carpet cleaner's ability to work or move freely. That means keeping them away from the front door or any walkway areas.

Keep in mind, toys and pet items aren't the only issues here. Shoes, your umbrella, a stack of unread newspapers, blankets, or any other clutter can cause problems for the carpet cleaner too.

Move the Furniture

Do you need to remove the couches, dining room table, and bed from your rooms before the carpet cleaner comes? Most likely, you don't. The pros will take care of the heavy lifting for you. But if you have smaller or delicate pieces of furniture, such as your grandmother's antique end table, you may want to move them beforehand.

Instead of carrying heavy pieces out of the room, try moving them away from the walls or sliding them a few feet over. This position allows you to see what's under and behind them better. You can remove socks that are stuck under your bed or toys that rolled under the couch before the carpet cleaners arrive.

Remove Pets and Children

The carpet cleaners can't do their job if your family pet or your preschooler is running though the rooms. Not only do pets and people get in the way, but they also make a routine carpet cleaning dangerous.

The professional's equipment may seem enticing to a small child (or your pet may want to play fetch with it). Ideally, remove the pets or children from the home before the cleaners arrive. But if you can't have a relative or friend take the dogs or the children to another location, move them to another room.

Do you need a professional carpet cleaning? All State Carpet & Tile Care can help.