Sweeping a chimney is a very messy job and can cause damage to flooring and furniture if not done correctly.
A good chimney sweep places sheets over the floor and furniture in the immediate vicinity of the fireplace opening and hearth before sweeping the chimney.
The fireplace opening is usually screened off as well, and the chimney sweep will sweep the chimney through this screen. The chimney needs to be swept through its entire length using brushes and rods.
The soot and dust that falls down will fall behind the screen, once finished a vacuum is used to clean up all soot deposits which will then be removed from your home.
Your furniture, fixtures and fittings do not need to be removed but you may wish to take some precautions to protect light coloured carpets and furniture before you sweep your chimney.
At all times you should be wearing protective clothing and shoes.
It is far easier to employ a professional chimney sweep who will have all the correct equipment to prevent damage to your personal items.