Lady Liberty taking her stand against Fracking
Mrs. Green Clean Team Marching for Green NY
So you get a text message that tells you company is dropping by and they're only 10 blocks away. Don't panic. Take a deep breath, now panic and check out these 5 tips for making your house appear clean in a flash. That's right, I said appear. Who has time to really clean in 10 blocks?
1. Clean the Three T's: Toilets, Tabletops, the Television. What? The television? Yup! Most living rooms are centered around your tv and the amount of dust that hangs on it, your netflix stack and dvd box set pile that's off to one side could be tell tale signs of why the rest of your house isn't exactly spotless. Plus if you sit chatting in the living room, you'll be staring at it wishing you would have moved it. Toilets and tabletops are a bit more self explanatory, but important none the less.
2. Stash with Efficiency: When company drops in we've all been in a situation once or twice where things get tossed in a basket and shoved in the spare bedroom or closet. It's a quick solution, but it can be done with more efficiency so you can find your stuff later on. Add things to your basket according to the room they go in. That way when company leaves, you can remove the items easily without making 100 trips across your house or apartment to put things where they belong.
3. Pet Hair: Even if you have a sparkling clean house, if your sofa is covered with a layer of dog or cat fur, it suddenly looks less tidy. Keep a rubber glove or your favorite pet hair busting product on hand to knock it all down in a few sweeps.
4. Dishes Be Gone in Seconds Flat: Please don't judge me for this tip. Admitting that I've done it more than once is punishment enough alright? So here goes. Put your dishes in your oven. Wait, what? If you pile your dishes in the sink then it looks like you threw them all in there at the last minute as everyone knows you can't really wash dishes in that manner and you'll still look like a slight slob, even though you have clean counters. Instead, grab a baking sheet and stack like items together and slide them in the oven. They'll slide right back out, be prestacked and ready to be washed so you can recover from the guilt you just gave yourself for following through with this tip. Side note: don't preheat your oven... even by accident... until they're removed.
5. Spend 5 Furious Minutes on Your House Everyday: Isn't that cheating? We're talking about last minute company here, not preparing all week long for them to come! True, but think about how much you can clean in those few minutes before they arrive. 10 blocks isn't much. With traffic and parking and walking up your stairs, 5 minutes is a safe estimate. Bring that panic to your life every day and clean with the same intensity for just 5 minutes and your house will always look better for it. Plus, you still have time to watch Raising Hope without telling yourself you'll pick up on commercials.
Do you have a quick clean-up tip that helps you out when company calls? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says:
"For adults, allergies are the 5th leading chronic disease and a major cause of work absenteeism, resulting in nearly 4 million missed or lost workdays each year, resulting in a total cost of more than $700 million in total lost productivity." -http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=30
Quality cleaning services using mild products and HEPA filtration vacuums on a regular basis can help keep allergens at bay.
Chemical cleaning products are a huge asthma and allergy trigger, and are among leading causes for the onset of Asthma in adults and children.
Mrs. Green Clean will be setting up a booth at Aunt Katie's. Stop by our booth and learn how to make your own home made cleaning products!
In times past, when people kept their houses shut tight against the cold of winter, heated them with coal and oil and wood, and lighted them with candles, the coming of spring signaled a welcome opportunity to make a dingy habitation fresh again. On the first warm, dry day of the season, everybody in the family—that is, everyone in the family who had survived the ravages of the cold season—would pitch in to pull every stick of furniture and scrap of cloth outside. Then, armed with brooms and washrags, one squad of housecleaners would return to the house, sweeping and scrubbing every corner and washing down the walls, while another would air out linens, remove soot and ash from couches and chairs, dust books and paintings, and mend a few items on the run.
Today, the thought of taking a day or weekend to turn our houses upside down seems a near impossibility. Who has the time? Besides, our moderncentrally heated and cooled, climate-controlled homes don’t get oily, sooty, or smoky, and our washing machines and vacuum cleaners help keep the dirt from sneaking in.
True enough. Still, there are trade-offs: our houses are airtight, comparatively speaking, but they also can’t breathe. They’re full of chemicals and gases, from the components of floor wax to the microfibers of carpets, that our ancestors never knew.
Like secrets, homes benefit from sunlight and fresh air. So, in that spirit, let me propose April 16, the day after dreaded Tax Day in the United States, as a holiday devoted to making sick homes a little less noxious. In normal weathers, that day is warm and dry across much of the country, so it seems a good day for such a declaration. Watch, though: I will no sooner post this than a late blizzard will settle in to prove me wrong.
When a warm, dry day does come, the first order of business is to head to each bedroom, strip down the beds, and take everything that isn’t nailed down outdoors. Hang quilts, blankets, comforters, and mattress covers out on the line (or, if the neighbors are forgiving, spread them out on hedges or on the lawn) and let them bask in the sun for the day. Set up a couple of sawhorses and drag the mattress out for a good airing, too. You will be slaughtering dust mites by the millions, and a jolly massacre it will be.
The next step is work your way from the top of the house to the bottom, dusting and then sweeping or vacuuming every corner of the room. Fling open the windows wide, and let fresh air circulate; it’s amazing the difference a day’s airing can make for a house that’s been shut up all winter. If, that is, your house will allow you to open windows at all, as no hotel built within the last ten years seems to permit.
It’s time now to do some heavy lifting, literally: move the stove and refrigerator and give the floor underneath a good scrub. Self-cleaning ovens don’t need much maintenance these days, but microwaves do; if you’re not in the habit of giving yours a weekly sponging down, then put two cups of water into a Pyrex bowl, throw in two lemon halves, and turn the oven on high setting for ten minutes. Then take a fresh washcloth (always preferable to a sponge) and scrub the oven rack and walls, taking care not to skip the ceiling. Give it a second scrubbing with half a cup of plain white vinegar diluted in half a cup of warm water, then add another cup of water to the bowl and turn the oven on for another ten minutes. The lemon will remove the smell of the vinegar, and your oven will be like new.
Now for the windows. Dust and vacuum the drapes, blinds, and shades. Wash the windows inside and out. Again, a mixture of white vinegar and warm water is as good as any commercial cleaner; I will refuse to feel guilty if this advice brings the window-spray conglomerates to financial ruin.
You’re probably ready for lunch now. Take a break. Then give the house a quick once-over. Do you have smoke detectors? Now’s the time to change the batteries, which will usually last a year. Do you have a ceiling fan or a chandelier? Now’s the time to climb up on a stepladder and remove dust from the top of the fan blades and crystals.
Ready for a cup of coffee? It’s probably time for one. You already know that spring cleaning is made all the easier by keeping up with the cleaning chores daily, weekly, and monthly throughout the year. A legion of self-improvement, time-management, and uncluttering consultants and web sites stands ready to dispense advice on just how to do that, one of the ironies of this age of consumption and of the constant hurry to acquire the money to acquire more stuff.
Now it’s time to head to the bedroom closets, the garage, the basement—or maybe it’s time to send your loved ones in to do that terrible work, or even to hire someone for the job. There’s no shame in that; give them the dignity of a Shaker broom, though, to lighten their load. While you’re relaxing, read Cheryl Mendelson’s excellent book Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House, at once improving your mind and adding to your to-do list. However it gets done, life will seem a little better, I warrant, if only because cleaner.
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