Vicki sent me this topic idea and it’s a timely one for the season since we all get unexpected guests around the holidays. It’s best to be prepared and so, here we go with 10 Favorite Housekeeping Shortcuts.
- Put things away every time you use them. This is my #1 thing because it’s the thing that will make the most difference. Are you done with those pants, that newspaper, that dish? Put.it.away. Don’t leave it out because you’re going to wear it, read it, eat from it again tomorrow. Put.it.away.
- Straighten up the cushions and pillows on the couch. This little thing will make your family room instantly fresh.
- Sweep the floor. As the owner of a yellow lab we have tumbling tumbleweeds on a regular basis. Giving a quick sweep of the kitchen floor cleans this up and it makes a remarkable difference.
- Wipe the counters. No crumbs and sticky spots!
- Clean the bathroom sink every day. Rinse out that toothpaste and clear out those stray hairs. Give a little shine to the faucet and wipe up the water that (other people in your family) splash around. While you’re in the bathroom, clean the mirror of that sink and wipe the toilet seat. I keep paper towels and Windex in the bathroom vanity to make this quick and easy to do.
- Run the dishwasher. Empty it right away. An empty dishwasher means you can put dirty dishes in there and no one will see them. There is nothing worse – to me – than dirty dishes in the sink or on the counter.
- Go through the house with a box or laundry basket and put everything in there that doesn’t belong. You can mostly avoid this if you follow rule #1 up there.
- Keep cheese in your fridge, crackers in your pantry, and maybe some frozen hors d’oeuvres in the freezer. Having a snack to offer your guests will make them completely forget about their surroundings.
- Light a candle or three. I have Yankee Candles in the living room, bathroom and kitchen. I light them and things instantly smell better and look cozy and inviting.
- Freshen yourself up. Go put on a fresh top and some lipstick and fluff your hair. You will feel better AND look better.
And there you have it. Most of my tips are pro-active so that you aren’t scrambling at the last minute to keep things picked up. I nag my family constantly about this stuff but it really does makes things look better and reduces, well, my stress anyway. The bottom line, though, is that if someone is dropping by it’s because they want to see you. Not your house. Not your floors or your sticky counters or your piles of laundry. They want to see you. So put a smile on your face, give them something to eat and drink, and relax.
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