So, you've been working like mad so you can take a few days off over the holidays and Christmas shopping like a champ in your free time. Now it's days - or maybe hours - from when your family will be descending on your home, and it looks like a Ronda Rousey fight just took place in your living room. When you don't have time to call a housekeeper or do a top-to-bottom overhaul, you need tips for quick fixes to pull it all together.
1. De-clutter in a pinch
"If you have heaps of laundry and a mishmash of toiletries in the bathroom but no time to get to them, throw it all into the bathtub and close the curtain or door," said KCET.
2. Or, throw it all under the bed
This hidden space is great for all the stuff you don't have another place for.
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3. Utilize your trunk
Still don't have enough space for all the extra things hanging around your house? They might not seem like a big deal to you on a daily basis, but, when hosting guest, those extra jackets and shoes that hang out in the entry and piles of papers that seem to end up on every surface can look unsightly. Grab a box or bag, pack it up, and load it into your trunk until everyone is gone.
4. Clear your drain
No one wants to see your ball of hair while they're taking a shower. Get in there with some gloves and a good bathroom cleaner and banish any sign of your tresses, along with empty shampoo containers and visible soap scum.
5. Throw a quartered lemon into your garbage disposal
It helps impart a fresh smell in a place where not-so-fresh smells like to congregate.
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6. Make the rest of the kitchen smell good
"You can erase any lingering cooking odors (yesterday's fish dinner, last night's microwave popcorn) by hardly lifting a finger: Simply fill a saucepan with 3 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 cup of water, and allow to boil for several minutes," said Good Housekeeping. "Then, if you like, switch it out for a sweet-smelling simmer pot, with aromatics like oranges and cinnamon sticks."
7. Steam your microwave
A bowl of water in the microwave for three minutes is a popular and easy trick for softening stuck-on food, making it easy to wipe everything away.
8. Run a dryer sheet along your baseboards
It's a super easy way to get them clean and dust-free. They're also great for collecting any dusty bunnies and dog hair left on the floor after you've swept or vacuumed.
9. Don't ignore the doors, drawers, knobs and handles
Giving them a quick clean and shine will remove grime and fingerprints.
10. Clean the walls
Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are great for removing fingerprints from walls and doors, plus getting grime off of moldings, mirrors, shower doors, and cooktops. Cleaning bonus: kids love using them; just make sure they're old enough to understand it can be toxic if ingested.
11. Buy extra household supplies
You can never have enough toilet paper and paper towels when guests are over and you're making a big meal.
12. Break out the crayons
A simple roll of butcher paper and a bunch of crayons will transform an unsightly card table into a joyous kids' table.
13. Flip your mattress
If you're having overnight guests, this will help freshen up a saggy bed.
14. Flip your comforter
The solid underside of a patterned comforter can make something old and tired look clean and neutral.
15. Spray and walk away
Giving dirty countertops, a grimy bathtub, or a food-covered cooktop a good spray of cleaner and then cleaning other areas while they spray does its work is a good way to double down on results with half the effort.
16. Deodorize your rugs
"You don't have time for a deep cleaning, but make sure your carpeting is fresh and odor-free by dusting it with a bit of baking soda. Wait 15 minutes, then vacuum the powder (and the stink) away," said Good Housekeeping.
17. De-squeak the doors
"Squeaky doors are annoying and they may be difficult to open or close if the hinges are not lubricated," said Do It Yourself. "WD-40 or another safe lubricant can solve numerous squeaky or sticky problems around your home."
18. Make a run to IKEA
Realizing you no longer have service for 12 doesn't have to be tragic. Three sets of this neutral STROSA 12-piece dinnerware will only set you back $36.
You can also pick up 20-piece silverware sets for $7.99. (Keep in mind IKEA is closed on Christmas.)
19. Get those pictures hung
If your house is anything like mine, there are pictures in frames that have been waiting to be hung for days weeks months quite a while. Now's the time to get them up on the wall. It will really pull together your décor.
20. Throws and pillows are your friends
A couple of well-placed blankets and pillows can hide a multitude of sins on a stained or worn couch.