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15 Minutes to Confident Hospitality

February 9, 2012

I want to do something a little different than usual. Since Thursday is my day to blog about cleaning tips, I wanted to start a series on home cleaning tips that can apply to and help everyone. These tips will cover everything from quick pick-ups to thorough spring cleaning (which is coming up too soon as far as I’m concerned).

Today, let’s take a look at one of the most basic topics – doing a quick once-over to prep your house for a surprise guest or another unexpected visit. Here are a few things that will take a grand total of fifteen minutes or less and that will make all the difference in the world.

Basay Basket from Crate&Barrel 

1. Pick up all clutter from the floor. If you are really pressed for time, put everything in one large basket or laundry basket and put it in the laundry room or some other room where guests are not liable to go. If you have a couple minutes, separate out garbage, toys and games to children’s rooms, clothing to the laundry hamper and magazines, books and newspapers to the coffee table. Personally, I like having a large decorative box under my coffee table that contains all my unread magazines. Since it isn’t see-through, it can be as messy in there as it wants to be.

Cedar Heights Butterfly Dining Room Set by Ashley Furniture 

2. Clear off tables and kitchen counters. There’s nothing that ruins a home’s image as much as the ever-present piles on counters and tables. These piles are typically filled with tons of papers that need to be read and filed but that may eventually just end up in the garbage anyway. Your best option is to file all these papers away as soon as you get them or to relegate them to an official “spot” where they can wait to be read. However, now is not the time to file them all. Best bet? Gather them into one or two piles and place them on a desk or in an office if possible.

3. Wipe off kitchen counters and tables. Nothing says “I wasn’t expecting company!” as much as sticky jam on the table and crumbs covering the counter. With a few swipes of a warm, damp washcloth, you can make your kitchen look so much more presentable.

4. Put dirty dishes in the dishwasher. No dishwasher? At least stack dishes as neatly as possible in the sink where they are somewhat more out of sight.

Embroidered Waves Pillow from Pier1 

5. Clean off living room furniture and replace throws and pillows. If you have pets, you might want to try the pet lint roller by Pledge. It works fabulously and can now be emptied of fur and reused multiple times. You can use it on throw pillows as well. Neatly fold throws or toss them nonchalantly over the backs of chairs. Pick up pillows and place them invitingly on couches or chairs. (What do you think of that pillow?)

6. Run a Swiffer duster over noticeable furniture, especially furniture at eye level when sitting or standing and dark wood. About one or two minutes of walking through the main rooms of the house, especially the living room and entryway, will make the house seem like it was recently cleaned. Remember that dust shows up quite noticeably on dark woods or solid color metals.

7. Run a Lysol wipe over the guest bathroom counter and sink and Windex the mirror. Don’t let your bathroom be an embarrassment to you. So many people forget to clean off mirrors but they reflect much more light when they do not have a coating of dust. Also, get rid of any toothpaste stains, makeup marks, hair and other things with a disinfectant wipe. If nothing else, use a moist paper towel to remove the worst of it.

Now you can open your front door and welcome guests with confidence knowing that while your house may look lived in, it is also a place you can have pride in. One last idea… a burning candle always looks cozy and relaxing and gives off a fresh scent. Use it as your finishing touch!

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From → Cleaning

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