Before holidays or parties, my mom used to run around frantically yelling at us to clean our rooms ‘company clean'. Company clean was the cleanest our house could get, it wasn't an everyday organizational clean-it was a dust the blinds, and get on your hands and knees to clean the dust off the moldings kind of clean. It was intense, and no fun at all. If you have a house full of Thanksgiving Day guests coming for dinner, and don't have time to scrub from top to bottom, here's a few tips for faking "company clean" in the busiest rooms of the house. No one will ever know the difference.
Family/Living Room: Save this most-lived in area for last. When you are ready to straighten up, do three things. First, get a box or shopping bag, and put everything you don't want in the family room in the bag. Second, corral books and magazines and make neat piles. Fold blankets and move them out of the way of where people will sit, and then fluff up couch cushions. Vacuum the floor and couch cushions, and dust. 15 minutes and you're done.
Kitchen: When you first start cooking, fill up your sink with warm soapy water. As you finish with a pot or mixing bowl, dump it in the sink. The warm water will start cleaning the dishes for you. Before you go to sleep Wednesday night, load up the dishwasher and run it. Throw out everything that is trash, empty the trash can and put out the recyclables. Take a bag or box, and gather up everything that's in the kitchen that belongs somewhere else. Lastly, mop the floor. I know, it's the last thing you want to do, but that means all you have to do is sweep up before the guests arrive the next day-not wait for a wet floor to dry. When you wake up in the morning, unload the dishwasher and put everything away you don't need that day.
Bathroom: This room is what it is, so scrub that toilet and sink. Windex the mirror and mop the floor. If there's a rug, shake it out or vacuum it. Better yet, you can even wash and dry it the day before if you have time. Don't bother with the shower, if guests can't see it. Make sure there's hand soap and a hand towel, and put away all personal items.
Hosting a dinner is a lot of work, but it should be fun, too. Don't stress out over every dust bunny hiding under the couch, the key to a successful dinner is one where even the hostess enjoys herself. Cheers!
What's your least favorite house chore?