When it’s 4 in the afternoon and your husband calls to say he forgot to tell you last week he’s invited a co-worker and his wife over for drinks tonight, you want to throw the phone and his invitation out the window, but you’ve already started a whirlwind of cleaning before even hanging up on him. There’s nothing like an unexpected visitor to help get a messy house clean.
However, there are a few strategies for making that quick clean even quicker, and making your home look more classy and organized at the same time. Susan Baldrige, an interior design writer for Lancaster Online, suggested 4 ways to get your house ready without feeling like a hurricane in a handbag.
1. The 2 minute clutter snatch.
Don’t even bother trying to sort through the clutter. When time is of the essence, you can’t sit around sorting stray socks or packing toys neatly into their respective cubbies. Get a laundry basket, bucket, or other large container and toss all those odds and ends into it to sort later.
2. The pet hair scrub up.
If you haven’t had the chance to vacuum your furniture in a while and your cat or dog loves to lay out on it and scratch themselves luxuriously, don’t bother trying to untangle that vacuum cord now. Instead, don your rubber gloves, dampen them with water, and wipe them over any affected furniture. According to the Real Simple website, the pet hair will stick to the gloves to be easily rinsed off later in the sink.
3. The secret decor stash.
When kids are in the house (and husbands) it’s hard to keep things nice. Pillows get stained and worn, vases get used as bug houses, decorative ornaments get dropped and cracked, flower petals get plucked or shredded. That’s why Baldrige suggests putting all those accessories that match your accent color (and are relatively unbroken) out of reach until you know a visitor is on their way.
Baldrige said, “Get a couple accessories like pillows, pillow covers, small picture frames, a vase—anything that will unify the room with that color. Keep these in a box or cabinet . . . and whisk them out before you entertain.” These items will make the room feel organized and stylish, even if it only looks that way a couple hours each week.
4. The civilized smell.
It’s amazing what a difference the scent of a room can make. Even a clean room that smells of dust or dander can seem dirty. Light your candles or plug in your wax warmer as soon as you know people will be coming over so they have time to melt and spread their scent around.
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