The keep-it-clean plan for open houses
With a plan of attack, you can maintain a sparkling, show-ready house in just 19 minutes a day.
These room-by-room to-do lists will help you get the work done quickly so that your house is always in tip-top shape to welcome prospective buyers.
Kitchen, 4 1/2 minutes daily
Always start with the sink. "Keep it empty and shining," says Marla Cilley, author of Sink Reflections (Bantam, $15) and creator of www.FlyLady.net, a housekeeping Web site. A sparkling sink becomes your kitchen's benchmark for hygiene and tidiness, inspiring you to load the dishwasher immediately and keep countertops, refrigerator doors and the stove top spick-and-span, too.
Wipe down the sink after doing the dishes or loading the dishwasher (30 seconds).
Wipe down the stove top (1 minute).
Wipe down the counters (1 minute).
Sweep, Swiffer or vacuum the floor (2 minutes).
Bathroom, 2 minutes daily
Make cleaning the basin as routine as washing your hands. But don't stop there. Get the most out of your pre-moistened wipe by using it to clean around the edges of the tub and then the toilet before tossing it.
- Wipe out the sink (30 seconds). Wipe the toilet seat and rim (15 seconds).
- Swoosh the toilet bowl with a brush (15 seconds).
- Wipe the mirror and faucet (15 seconds).
- Squeegee the shower door (30 seconds).
- Spray the entire shower and the curtain liner with shower mist after every use (15 seconds).
Bedroom, 6 1/2 minutes daily
Make your bed right before or after your morning shower. A neat bed will inspire you to deal with other messes immediately. Although smoothing sheets and plumping pillows might not seem like a high priority as you're rushing to work, the payoff comes at the end of the day, when you slip back under the unruffled covers.
- Make the bed (2 minutes).
- Fold or hang clothing and put away jewelry (4 minutes).
- Straighten out the night-table surface (30 seconds).
Family room, living room, foyer, 6 minutes daily
Start with the sofa because as long as it's in disarray, your living room will never look tidy. Once you've fluffed the pillows and folded the throws, you're halfway home. If you pop in a CD while you dust, you should be able cover the whole room by the end of the third track.
- Pick up crumbs and dust bunnies with a handheld vacuum (1 minute).
- Fluff the cushions and fold throws after use (2 minutes).
- Wipe tabletops and spot-clean cabinets when you see fingerprints (1 minute).
- Straighten coffee-table books and magazines. Throw out newspapers. Put away CDs and videos (2 minutes).
By Real Simple
I'd like to find someone who will help me to clean all my house with this speed. 1 hour - $20,
19 min. is ... a great bargain !!!
I'd like to find someone to clean my house with this speed . 1 hour $20, but for 19 min.... it's
a great bargain.
I think the point of the article is that if you clean up after yourself, as the mess occurs, you don't have an overwhelming job.
My dad was a building contractor, who did a lot of business from his home office. He considered our home to be a "model home" so we had to keep it tidy. To this day I wipe out the sinks when I use them and dry the faucets. My 15-year-old stainless sink looks brand new. Same goes with the stove: after cooking, remove the drip pans, throw them in the dishwasher and wipe the stove top; it stays looking new. A lot of people don't realize that you can lift the top of the stove to clean up boil-overs.
My biggest problem is cat hair. No matter how hard I try to clean it up, there's always a cat hair dust bunny floating around.
- takes 5 min to clear out dishwasher and reload.
- greasy sink can take a few minutes.
- hair and pet hair in bathroom can slow things down a bit.
- takes 10-15 to get under all my furniture in family room.
- coffee table needs dusting and good glass cleaning from kids 10 min.
- takes 10 min to shake out pet hair from sheets and reassemble. my bed is in corner and I must climb around the edges.
- dog bed must be organized and dog toys put away.
- BIG discrepancy: Article says 19 min?! how can that be in the dust your family room says by the 3rd song on the cd you should be done dusting...3 songs are 15min!! 1 min to dust is really unreasonable and it takes longer to get out my supplies and put them away also. I would say it's closer to 45 min in my one bedroom apt maybe 30 on a good day. Also this spell check won't let me type a small V only a capital keeps saying I'm making a spelling error. Anyone else haVe this problem?