If you’re like me, you need all the time you can get to pull the holidays together while still maintaining your sanity.
I have come up with a few tips to help you clean your house as fast as possible before the relatives or friends appear.
1) Follow a system: Work each room from top to bottom, left to right, finishing each area completely before moving to another one. For the family room or living room, hiding the remote control will prevent candy wrappers and glasses from magically appearing there. If no one is watching television there won’t be any forgotten snack messes. Trust me on this one, without a remote either they won’t watch television at all or they will watch one channel like a zombie…they are NOT going to walk 10 feet across the room to change the channel! Also, place a small wooden fence around your sofa and declare it a “dust bunny preservation area.”
2) Don’t overscrub: Nearly everything manufactured in the past 50 years is covered with a thin veneer of plastic laminate. Scrubbing creates scratches in the plastic and eventually lets it come completely off. Instead, add a little baking soda to a small amount of Formula 409 and rub gently with a soft cloth.
If your house is like mine, you might also consider encasing the overstuffed and overused furniture in plastic and just spraying the whole thing down with a waterhose!
3) Stay ahead of the bathroom mess: Liquid soap or shower gel will not leave behind a scummy residue the way bar soap will.
In my house, I am currently trying to develop a sensor in the shower wall that will automatically sense the faucet being turned off, wait two minutes and spray the entire shower down with Clorox.
Also, placing additional rolls of toilet tissue on a chain hung from the ceiling right beside of the toilet will ensure that no one needs to yell, “Hey, can somebody bring me some toilet paper?” It will also stop the argument of whether the paper should roll from the top or from the bottom.
4) Keep the outside out: Place an oversized doormat at each entrance. Try to encourage everyone to take off their shoes at the door.
At my house, that often means making sure I have new socks to hand out to visitors but at least they clean my floors while they’re here! Also, neither of the above ideas work if you have a dog that loves to splash around in mudholes every time she has to potty….again, trust me on this one!
5) Place small containers in each room for those things that keep winding up there but don’t belong there. At the end of the day, have everyone take their belongings to their own space if it has found its way to the container. Surely someone will claim the broken crayons, bubble gum wrappers and assorted pens, pencils and screws that wind up there. (Fact: it’s possible that no one will claim the dried out frog remains you found under the recliner!)
I hope I’ve helped a little!