Step 1: Decide how big the area you need to mulch
When you decide how big an area in your garden you need to mulch, you will be able to calculate the number of bags you need to purchase. One bag covers 16 square feet based on 2 inch thickness.
Step 2: Rake or pull out all weeds (including roots)
It is important that you rake/pull out all weeds, including its roots, prior to laying mulch. Do not lay directly on top of existing weeds. When you pull out all weeds, the soil is should only left with weeds seeds, which the mulch will prevent from germinating.
Step 3: (Optional) Soil elevation
Do a quick analysis whether the area you intend to mulch pools water or floods easliy after a heavy rainfall. If it does, then you may need to elevate the level with additional soil or sand till it drains well enough. Otherwise your mulch will have a tendency to float away.
Step 4: (Optional) Install a mulch perimeter border
The function of a mulch perimeter border or an "edging" is to contain and protect the mulch from migrating out of its area. It also helps you develop an mental design of your mulch garden, so you know exactly where to lay your mulch. Edging border tools such as rubber border, garden stones, bricks, rocks, etc can be used for this purpose.
Step 5: (Optional:) Lay a base layer of black plastic sheet mulch
Some might prefer double protection, and choose a layer of inorganic mulch such as black plastic sheet mulch as a base layer. These perforated sheets allow water to pass through. On top of the plastic sheet, they can apply organic mulch such as wood chips to complement the look of garden.
Step 6: Allocate mulch bags to different areas of your garden
By first placing your unopened bags equally divided to all areas of the location you intend to mulch, you will reduce your "bag carrying" workload by making sure each area has the correct amount of bags to lay with.
Step 7: Lay the mulch and spread it evenly with a rake
Open the mulch bags in the surrounding vicinity and evenly rake the mulch to a thickness of 2-3 inch. Lightly water to settle the mulch in place. Do not allow mulch to touch the trunk of a tree.