How to Make Your House Look Clean When Last Minute Visitors Drop By

 woman cleaningThe phone rings. It’s your relatives.

They are in the area and they thought they would drop by to say hello.

Is it OK if they come to visit in about 15 minutes?

You say that is fine and hang up the phone, and then look around in horror at the state of your house. How will you ever make it presentable for guests at such short notice?

While you might keep your house generally clean, there are always times when it is a bit cluttered or grimy. If you have last minute guests on their way and you need to make your house look tidy even when it is not, here are some quick-clean tips:

  • Clean the shiny surfaces of the house, such as mirrors, stainless steel sinks, and stove handles. These shiny objects will make the house look cleaner and will attract attention away from the other not-so-clean surfaces.
  • To avoid streaks on your mirrors, use a squirt of window cleaner and wipe it dry with newspaper.
  • If you need to clear away a lot of clutter quickly before your guests arrive, find a shoebox or some other container and sweep everything into it, then place it out of sight. When you have more time, you can sort out all of the clutter and put it where it needs to go.
  • Your guests will almost always use the bathroom at least once during your stay, so give this room a quick once over. Wipe the sinks and mirrors and give the toilet a quick scrub. Clear away all hair brushes, toothpaste, and other clutter from the counter so that the surface looks more spacious.
  • If you have a pile of dirty dishes and don’t have time to clean them, just hide them in the dishwasher for now. Don’t have a dishwasher? You can hide them in the oven, but don’t forget about them and turn the oven on!

Above all, don’t worry too much. If your guests are stopping by on short notice they will understand if your home isn’t looking absolutely perfect and they will forgive you. Do the best you can, and then relax and enjoy their company.

How to Defeat a Chaotic Laundry Pile

Laundry PileHave you forgotten what the floor of your bedroom looks like because it is constantly under a carpet of discarded clothing? Do you let your laundry pile up until sorting, washing and folding it becomes a full day job? Here are a few tips to tame your laundry chaos and make cleaning your clothes much easier:

  • Get into a laundry routine. As a general rule, the number of people living in your house equals the number of times per week you will need to do laundry. If you live on your own you can get away with doing a wash every week, but if there are three or four people you will have to do laundry almost every other day. The longer you leave it, the harder to handle it becomes.
  • Use small and study laundry baskets in each bedroom, and encourage your kids and your partner to put their dirty clothes directly into them rather than on the floor.
  • A larger washer and dryer will allow you to wash more clothes at once which makes doing laundry more efficient and can save you time.
  • If you teenager is in the habit of wearing a pair of jeans for two hours and then throwing them in the laundry hamper, teach them to wear their clothes a few times until they are actually dirty before washing them. Unless they are stained or the wearer is sweating heavily, clothing can be worn 2-4 times before needing to be washed.
  • By the age of 12, you can start teaching your kids to do their own laundry.
  • Cut down your wardrobe to only the essentials. If you have fewer clothes, you will have less washing to do. Don’t have more clothes that you can fit into your closet!
  • Keep some hangers in your laundry room so that you can hang up clothes that you don’t fold immediately before they get creased.

Here’s a quick video with some additional tips:

These are a few ways that you can make the chore of doing laundry more manageable and spend more time on having fun!

How to Make Cleaning the House More Fun

The dust bunnies in the corners are starting to stare back at you, and you need to take a running jump onto your bed to make it over the mountain of dirty clothes.

You forget what color the floor in the kitchen was originally under all of the dirt, and you have gottenHouse Cleaning Made Fun into the habit of eating dinner straight out of the pan because all of the plates have caked on grime.

You know that you need to clean the house, but you never get to the task because cleaning is so boring!

Cleaning the house is certainly not as exciting as horseback riding down the beach, skydiving, or going to a music festival, but it doesn’t have to be the most un-enjoyable thing in the world either.

If you can make cleaning a bit more fun and entertaining, perhaps you won’t put it off for so long?

Also, if you are having fun when cleaning you will work quicker and be less distracted, so that your house will be sparkling clean sooner and you can get on with the more exciting things in life.

Here are some tips for spicing up your cleaning routine:

  • Set up an open garbage can or recycling bin across the room as a basketball hoop, and see how many scraps of junk mail, food wrappers, and other junk you can toss into can without missing. Try to break your own record!
  • Break the task into small jobs and reward yourself after you finish each one. For example, if you wash all of the dishes on the kitchen counter you can enjoy a chocolate, or if you organize your entire closet you can go out to a movie.
  • Try to beat the clock! Give yourself a deadline for finishing each task and try to get through it as efficiently as you can. The faster and more focused you are, the sooner you are finished and the more free time you have.
  • Try a new cleaning product. For example, did you know that there are cleaning slippers with scrubbers on the bottom for washing the floor with your feet? These sorts of unusual and quirky cleaning implements will turn your household chores into a fun game.
  • Crank up your favorite tunes and do a little dance as you clean. It will put you in a happy and productive mood.

Make cleaning more fun, and before you know it your home will look fantastic!

That wasn’t so bad, was it?

Make Your House Look like a Million Bucks on a Miniscule Budget

What can you do if your home is looking tired and drab, but you can’t afford to give it a full makeover?

Sprucing up your home can be expensive, especially if you are buying all new furniture and décor. However, it doesn’t have to be.

When you can get beautiful items for cheap, and use your own creativity and hard work, it is possible to create a beautiful home that looks like a million dollars but doesn’t cost it!

Video Decorating Tips from Thom Filicia, host of Style Network’s “Dress My Nest”:

 

Always Buy Used

Have you ever walked around a new furniture show room and fallen in love with the beautiful couches, tables, chairs and décor but let out an unhappy sigh when you saw the price tag?

When you start to look anywhere other than the brand new furniture stores for your home furnishings and décor, you will be amazed at how much cheaper buying used items can be.

  • Auctions: If your city has an auction house, head down and see what you can find. Sometimes auction houses will have estate sales or foreclosure sales, and there will be many good quality items on the chopping block. It comes down to luck and timing, but if there is an item that you want that no one else is interested in, you can snag it for an absolute steal!
  • Ebay, Craigslist, and other Websites: Why go buy a brand new chest of drawers, when someone in your city is trying to get rid of theirs because they don’t have room? The items you find on these websites can be of good quality, and are certainly cheaper than buying new.
  • Used Furniture Stores: Every now and then, spend an afternoon hunting through thrift shops and seeing what you find. It’s never a guarantee, but you will usually discover a great little item that is good as new and suits your décor perfectly, and it will only cost a few dollars!

Get Creative

You can save a lot of money on home décor if you take the time to put in a little creative effort yourself.

For example, you can spend a lot of money on expensive patterned wall paper, or you can take an afternoon and a couple of different colors of paint and sponge your own unique pattern on the walls.

Rather than buying expensive art or photos for the walls, print out your own photography and use a simply but cheap frame. Doing the hard work of decorating by yourself will also save money on labor costs.

Making your home more beautiful doesn’t need to cost a lot of money, as there are many ways to cut down the costs of decorating.

 

The Five Minute Tidy: How to Keep Your House Clean in a Few Stolen Moments per Day

The weekend is finally here and you are exhausted from a busy week. You are looking forward to sleeping late and lounging around thefive minute tidy house, enjoying your day off. However, the sink-full of dirty dishes is staring you in the face, the shower is in desperate need of a scrub, and the dust creatures under the couch are starting to growl at you. Oh well, looks like another Sunday will be spent cleaning the house again!

So many of us are so busy during the week that we leave our housework until our day off when we finally have time to commit several hours to giving the home a good clean. However, there is a clever trick to remember that will help you keep your home clean throughout the week and reduce the amount of time you have to spend scrubbing and dusting on your precious days off.

The Five Minute Tidy

The Five Minute Tidy is the idea of taking advantage of any small burst of time within your day, even if it is only five minutes, to clean or tidy something in your home. There are many moments throughout our day to day lives when we are waiting around for a minute or two, whether it is for our dinner to heat up in the microwave, for the computer to boot up, or between commercial breaks during our favourite show. If you can take advantage of these small moments, you can keep your house tidy through a serious of many short cleaning sessions rather than one big one on the weekend.

You can do a five minute tidy in any room, but here are some ideas for the kitchen and the bathroom, two of the most daunting rooms to clean!

Five Minute Kitchen Tidy Ideas

Waiting for the popcorn to pop? You can:

  • Wipe down all counters and surfaces.
  • Clean the food from the oven elements.
  • Sweep the kitchen floor.
  • Open up the fridge and throw away anything that has expired.
  • Wash and put away a few dishes.

Five Minute Bathroom Tidy Ideas

Waiting for your bath to run? You can:

  • Wipe the toothpaste stains from the sink.
  • Clean the bathroom mirror.
  • Organize the bathroom cabinet.
  • Scrub the toilet.
  • If you are taking a shower, you can even take a bottle of shower cleaner with you and give it a spray as you are getting out!

If you can get in the habit of doing a five minute tidy whenever you find a spare moment, when the weekend rolls around you will discover that you won’t need to spend your entire day off cleaning because everything will already be done!

Got Junk? How to Tame an Unruly Cluttered Garage

Your garage seemed innocent enough when you first moved in to your home, but now it has grown into a cluttered jungle of junk which Junk in Garagehaunts your dreams.

It begins as a covered space to park your car, but your garage soon becomes a dumping ground for any odd objects and a place to store the odd few tools and things that didn’t fit in the house.

Broken lawn furniture, toys that your kids haven’t played with in years, tangled webs of garden hoses, half-finished DIY projects, garbage bags of clothes that you meant to donate to charity, and that hammer you borrowed from your neighbor are all stacked precariously in dusty corners.

It’s getting to the point where you can barely even squeeze the car in, and something needs to be done.

Taming a garage that has gone out of control is a big job, but if you have some helping hands and a day or do to dedicate to the task, you can hack your way through the mess and turn it into a space that works for you.

Get Rid of the Junk

The very first step is to get rid of anything that doesn’t need to be in your garage in the first place. Although it is tempting to hold onto stuff for sentimental reasons, be brutal in your elimination of junk.

Is it broken and not worth fixing? Throw it away. Have you not used it in the last year? Give it away or sell it. Is it something you borrowed from a neighbor? Give it back.

Keep only the tools and other items that you really need and use often. It is much easier to organize your belongings if you have less of them.

Once you have removed everything out of the garage, this is a great opportunity to give everything a good sweep and scrub so that you have a clean space to work with.

Create a New System for Storage

If you want your newly clean garage to stay clean, you need to create an organized storage system for keeping everything tucked away where it should be. For example, you can get a pegboard for the wall where you can mount rakes, brooms, tools, and hoses neatly without taking up floor space.

If you often work on projects, bring in a table or a cart to work on with drawers for storing your supplies and tools. Keep seasonal gear or other objects in sturdy plastic tubs. You can even get special hooks for bikes and kayaks so that they can be stored hanging from the ceiling.

Congratulations, you have transformed your savage and untamed garage into a practical and efficient storage space!