Fake a Clean HomeFriends coming over in T-minus 30 minutes? Save yourself a freak-out with our cheater's guide to speed-cleaning.
Do a pass-through of key rooms, picking up clutter as you go. Forget about putting things in their proper places. Just collect any of the following and put in a closet: Catalogs, bills, and newspapers Pets' toys Handbags and shoes Sports equipment Stray DVDs
Time: 4 minutes
2. WIPE DOWN
Slap on your gloves and carry all of these items in a small cleaning caddy so you can easily move from room to room.
Spray an all-purpose cleaner on your kitchen countertop and wipe away grime with paper towels or a microfiber cloth.
Remove fingerprints from stainless steel surfaces using a glass cleaner, specialty cleaner, or plain water and a cloth.
Wipe down the dining table and other surfaces like a china cabinet or server (if you have hardwood, just remove dust with a damp rag or microfiber cloth).
Spray the bathroom sink, vanity, and counters with an all-purpose disinfectant.
Wipe down the outer edge of the tub (it's something all guests will see) and pull the curtain or shower door closed.
Clean the mirror with vinegar and wipe with newsprint (odd but it works). Paper towels leave a fuzzy residue.
Spritz all outside surfaces of the toilet with disinfectant before moving inside. Wipe clean.
Lift the toilet seat lid and spray cleaner on the top and bottom, then squeeze bowl cleaner under the rim or pour in a cup of cleaner. Use a toilet brush to scrub under the rim and inside of the bowl. Flush.
Time: 10 minutes
1: the action of using a Swiffer
2: a lifestyle choice for Nest editors
Swiff your coffee table after spraying it with an all-purpose cleaner. Next, tackle the TV (including screen) and entertainment center and quickly swiff any frames and collectibles on display. Then, swiff the floors in the kitchen, living room, and bathroom -- and finish up by defurring couches and chairs with a lint roller.
Time: 5 minutes
Clear out the sink. This is self-explanatory. Just put dishes into the dishwasher.
Empty the wastepaper basket in the bathroom.
Take out the trash.
Time: 2 minutes
Put out fresh hand towels, a box of tissues, extra TP, air freshener, and hand soap.
Do a chair count and haul out the extras.
Replenish your table with fresh placemats if there are stains on the current set, or flip them over to the clean side.
Fill the napkin holder.
Time: 4 minutes
Take out serving dishes and wine glasses (check for smudge spots) so they are within reach when guests arrive.
Fluff and arrange wayward throw pillows and push in couch cushions that may be off-kilter.
Make an instant centerpiece by throwing fruit or vegetables into a decorative bowl in the center of the dining table.
Dim the lights and light candles. Nothing hides cleaning imperfections better.
Put on your game face. People are at the door!
Time: 4 minutes
Photo: Antonis Achilleos
cleaning & organizing: bring order to your home
Counter space. No matter how big the kitchen, you hardly ever hear anyone complaining that there's too much of it. Especially in a compact kitchen, clear counters are a precious commodity worth fighting for. Luckily, there are lots of smart storage ideas that can help you reclaim lost counter space. Here are 16 great solutions that are just begging to be a part of your kitchen expansion. By Tracy Anderson
So, you think your house is clean? Well … you might have to think again! If you're like most people, there are areas that you never even think about cleaning, unlikely places where dirt, dust, and germs may be lurking. Even if your home has its share of "dirty little secrets," you're not alone: A 2012 survey sponsored by Kenmore found that nearly half of Americans -- 49 percent -- say they cut corners when vacuuming by skipping areas underneath or behind furniture, and clean only when they see visible dirt on the floor. Because identifying the problem is the first step toward a cure, here are some commonly overlooked areas of the home that should be added to your housekeeping regimen -- and some tips on how to maximize your cleaning efforts.
Spring is here, which means it's time to purge your home of junk. To help you get started, here are 20 things to get rid of now.
A stylish solution for every busy spot in your house.
Tidy up and add some flair with one (or several!) of these $20-and-under finds for your home.
No matter how clean your home may be, it's probably still a little dusty. Dust is a pervasive problem that everyone has to deal with every day. It's more than an annoyance, however. For individuals who suffer from asthma, allergies, or other breathing problems, dust can compromise their health and their quality of life. Dust is composed of many elements, including tiny particles of dirt, pollen, mold spores, dead skin cells, hair, and fabric fibers, as well as airborne pollutants such as wood ash, chemicals, and vehicle exhaust. Minimizing the amount of dust in your home can make a huge difference in air quality and help prolong the life of furniture, appliances, and household electronics. Keeping your home as dust-free as possible requires vigilance and consistency, including establishing a regular weekly cleaning routine. Here are some simple suggestions on how to cut down on the amount of dust in your home.
Far too often, grass gets the short end of the stick. We trample on it, force-feed it fertilizer, and cut the poor stuff within an inch of its life — all while doting on our roses and tomatoes. But focus your attention on sod for a second, and its design potential will sink in.
A clean bed means more than washing your sheets and pillowcases.
A new high-speed dryer for your body could mean you never need to towel off after the shower again.
This polar vortex of a winter is finally starting to thaw out, which means only one thing: Spring cleaning is upon us. As we get ready to deep clean our homes and reorganize our garages, it's time to consider your wardrobe. Your closet--probably overflowing with clothes you no longer wear--needs to be cleaned out. Clearing our your wardrobe can be a daunting task, usually causing anxiety about what to keep and what to toss. When it comes time to editing your wardrobe, it can be difficult to part with particular pieces. If you haven't worn an item in a number of months or it doesn't fit, a good solution to tossing is to consign items. Who doesn't love the idea of putting a little cash back in your wallet while making room for fabulous new pieces? Check out these 11 tips that will help alleviate the stress of spring cleaning and make room for those fresh pieces your wardrobe desperately needs. It's time to shake off those winter coats and shimmy into some spring dresses. By Corri McFadden
The kitchen is often the heart of the home, but for small-homeowners and apartment dwellers, it can also become the bane of your existence when space is at a premium. To maximize every inch of precious countertop, check out these 12 essential items that will make your life in the kitchen less cluttered.