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Ten On Tuesday

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.

drink and snack for carole knits

  1. 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? Don’t leave it out because you’re going to wear it, read it, eat from it again tomorrow.
  2. Straighten up the cushions and pillows on the couch. This little thing will make your family room instantly fresh.
  3. 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.
  4. Wipe the counters. No crumbs and sticky spots!
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Do you have some tips to share? Make sure you add your link by clicking the button at the end of this post. And if you want to receive the Ten on Tuesday email, click here to sign up.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. I didn’t really have anything to share this week, but your tips are good ones. (Don’t you wish others in the family would do them as well?)

  2. Your #1 is key! This would be my #1, too. Also, clean up as you go in the kitchen. My other rule is to fold the clothes the minute they come out of the dryer. It’s a pet peeve to find basket of clothes or towels smashed and wrinkled. It takes more time to get the wrinkles out than it takes to put them in. Your house must always be in great shape!

  3. These are all excellent tips! I do try to adhere to most, but when things get busy, often slide ~ which only adds to the stress! Thanks for the reminders, especially at this time of year. We need all the nudges we can get. 😉

  4. Good tips, one and all. I am also a clean-up-as-you-go person so our house is usually tidy. Dust bunnies are another story. As are cobwebs thoroughly laced with cat hair.

  5. The way you wrapped this up was particularly true–people come to see you, not to do a house inspection. The tips are great. i especially like the basket idea–It really saves running between rooms time which is totally a time suck!

  6. There is not a single thing ont hsi list that I disagree with! Oh, and yes, make sure you straighten those cushions! Ha ha!

  7. It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks but DH and I are trying to keep the mail from piling up on the kitchen table. And the dirty dishes from sitting on the countertop!

  8. Thank you! I know it’s not the most exciting topic, but I’ve rather enjoyed picking up a few tips, a little refresher, and knowing that I am not alone. 🙂

  9. I really am enjoying reading these posts and especially love your take on “getting ready for unexpected visitors” (maybe a future topic is 10 things to have on hand to entertain those guests”?) Thankfully it’s pretty easy to keep a house clean when there are just 2 of us (and often 1 of us) plus a little dog who doesn’t shed … and we pick up, and tidy up, and generally don’t make much of a mess. A warm welcome at the door should make up for whatever I’ve missed, right?

  10. Great list! I especially agree with the sweeping. I have to do it every single day. I have a chocolate lab and a jack russell. Between the two of them shedding, it’s a wonder either of them still has any fur left on them! LOL

  11. Good advice–and I follow almost none of it, though maybe I should start with #1 and keep going. There are so many of us, and there is always something left out!
    I have to say from your openr photo I thoughtthe advice to keeping things clena was going to start with “take a good slug of bourbon…and get out the vacuum”

  12. #5 – We bought a house with a ceiling to back of sink mirror in the major bathroom. My husband brushing his teeth is worse than a canary taking a birdbath. The mirror was spotted pretty quickly. One of the first things we bought for the counter was a nice paper towel holder. The paper towels sit on the counter where they can be used to dry hands, but more important the damp towel from drying hands can then be used to wipe the mirror clean. 🙂 Win-win

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