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It happens to the best of us. You get a last minute call from friends or family that they are coming into town soon but your apartment is a mess. Whether it is the day before, an hour before, or minutes before their arrival you’ve got major tidying up to do. Before you decide to freak out, blast some music, prioritize what needs to be done, and get to work with these quick clean up tips:
Lets start with trash. Empty all the trash from the kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms. This will hopefully eliminate any lingering smells hanging in the air and create a more visually appealing environment. If it still stinks, sprinkling a bit of essential oil or carpet freshener in the trash can can help neutralize the odor.
Next let’s tackle the clutter. If you have enough time, try to clean up and organize things all in one shot. If not, group like items together in designated spots (such as shoes and magazines) and clear off all major surfaces, even if that means throwing some miscellaneous items into drawers temporarily. If it comes down to it, hide clutter in a room you know your visitors wont enter and go back to it later…what they don’t see wont hurt them. Just remember, in the future, having a designated spot for everything in your home makes this step a lot easier and eliminates the follow-up work later on.
On to the kitchen. The first thing you want to tackle is any dirty dishes. If you have the time, hand wash and put them away; If not, get them in the dishwasher. Wipe down all surfaces, then make sure you have enough clean glasses and dishes on hand for whatever you plan to serve your guests- the last thing you want to do is pull dirty dishes out of the dishwasher to clean with your guests looking on.
Employ a little smoke and mirrors! A light dimmer or flickering candles go a long way to disguise any untidy corners left undusted or decluttered. Next, tackle any lingering smells with some incense, scented candles or by boiling water with either lemon, lime or orange in it. If you have any carpets in your home, maximize the efficiency of your vacuuming by sprinkling the carpet with baking soda first and letting it sit for a few minutes. The baking soda will absorb odors stuck in the carpet fibers and then the vacuum with carry the baking soda and any other debris away. This is particularly useful for pet smells that pet parents may have gone “nose blind” to.
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Dust, baby, dust. Take care of any visible surfaces with a quick dusting, then shine up any wooden surfaces with an eco-friendly cleaning oil. Having a little orange oil cleaner on hand makes for a quick fix you can use to make almost any surface shine while giving off a subtle, fresh scent.
If all else fails, break out the wine! This will help you loosen up and will distract your guests from any laundry piles or pet-hair tumbleweeds rolling along the kitchen floor…not speaking from experience or anything…
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