Do not underestimate how pervasive drywall dust can be. It has the ability to get everywhere. It will put a layer of fine white powder on everything. When you are planning on dry sanding, you need to protect the area.
Containing the mess is a good idea with any repair project. Cover the floors before you start. Drape plastic over the doorways and seal them with blue masking tape. Put walk off mats down wherever you will be going in and out of the area.
Another silent enemy is your heating and cooling system. Cover up the registers and cold air returns. Dust that gets sucked into you heating system can wind up spreading through the whole house. Even when you use dustless drywall sanding techniques it is a good idea to isolate the area.
Drywall projects are among the messiest you will get involved with on your home. The other problem is that it normally takes place inside of your home.
Dustless Drywall Compound
A few years ago a new product was introduced to be used in the war on drywall dust. Dustless drywall compound made its debut and dustless drywall sanding took a giant leap forward. The United States Gypsum company started producing a light weight dustless drywall compound.
Light weight drywall compounds have always been a friend to do it yourself homeowners. They are easier to work with and require less sanding than the older standard compounds. Adding dust free technology to an already popular compound was a great innovation.
Dust free does not mean mess free. The way the compound works is that the dust particles stick to each other forming larger particles that fall harmlessly to the ground. This residue is easily swept up and disposed of. The fine white dust that becomes airborne is not a factor.
With this product, dustless drywall sanding has never been easier. Most home supply stores carry this compound. The USG brand is called "Sheetrock Joint Compound - with Dust Control". It is sold in one gallon and three and a half gallon pails.