5 Quick Housecleaning Tips

Let’s face it—unexpected guests can make even the most fastidious people panic a little about what they think is a messy house. Fortunately, there are a few easy things you can do in an hour or less that will make your home appear cleaner than it really is—and we’re not talking about just throwing everything into a junk drawer or hallway closet.

Clear the clutter

Pile books and magazines neatly on the coffee table. Put dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Straighten up kitchen countertops.

Wipe down bathroom surfaces

Give sinks, counters, and mirrors the once-over with a cleaning rag, and spend some time making sure the toilet is free from stains and odors.

Deodorize and vacuum

Sprinkle some baking soda over the carpet and then, after 15 minutes, vacuum.

Take out the trash

Empty the garbage cans in both the bathroom and the kitchen.

Add a pleasant scent

Rather than spritzing a chemical air freshener into every room, try simmering cinnamon sticks and half an orange in water. You can kill two birds with one stone in the kitchen, too: Use a halved lemon to clean chrome surfaces, then pour lemon juice in the drain and run some of the rinds into the garbage disposal.

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