No matter how big or small your home is, let’s face it – the last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time cleaning it. You want to put in the minimum effort required to achieve the maximum result. Believe it or not, it’s possible to get your place guest-ready in 30 minutes.
First, make sure you have the right tools. My top three are a microfibre cloth (you can wash it up to 500 times), a great vacuum with attachments and a good all-purpose cleaner. Focus your attention only on high-traffic areas, like the kitchen, bathrooms, and entryways, and on surfaces at eye level (leave ceilings, corners, light fixtures and baseboards for heavy-duty cleans). And don’t forget points of contact like door handles and light-switch plates: Germs harbour there because of so much use. Finicky guest will always notice your points of contact.
Remember that products often need time to soak in and break down dirt, so spray the heavily used areas first and then start working your way around the rest of the space. Imagine each room like a clock: In the kitchen, make the sink your 2-o’clock point and start at 1 o’clock, cleaning the sink last. Then, clean each ‘hour’ in a clockwise motion from the top to the bottom (that’s how dust settles). Using this method, you won’t miss a spot. And utilize both hands: Whether you’re using the left to pick things up while the right dusts underneath or using one hand as your ‘wet cloth’ hand and the other as your ‘dry cloth’ hand for quick washing and buffing, you’ll be amazed. It can literally cut your cleaning time in half.
For the perfect finishing touch, open all the windows a few hours before company arrives; it’s an easy way to keep your place smelling fresh and clean.
1. Get organized: 6 minutes
Collect stray items in a basket to redistribute later (1 minute collecting per room; 5 minutes to put away).
2. Dust: 5 minutes
Wipe eye-level surfaces with a microfibre cloth.
3. Open windows: 1 minute
Instantly deodorize and freshen up the house.
4. Straighten up: 2 minutes
Fluff pillows and fold throw blankets.
5. Do the floors: 2 minutes
Use a broom or hand-held vacuum to remove dust and crumbs.
Melissa Maker is a Toronto-based cleaning expert and president of Clean My Space. Follow her on Twitter @CleanMySpace.
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