Liv­ing & Coach How to fake-clean a house. Plus, “My part­ner’s gain­ing weight. How should I en­cour­age him to get healthy with­out up­set­ting him?”

A cheat sheet for when you need to spruce up – fast!

Glamour (South Africa) - - La Une -

We’ve all left clean­ing up be­fore a party ’til the last minute. But as long as your house isn’t a to­tal dis­as­ter, it only takes a few min­utes to make it look pulled to­gether. Clean­ing pro Les­lie Re­ichert shares her speed-clean­ing check­list.

de­clut­ter ruth­lessly

Put your post, pa­pers, shoes, pet toys – any­thing on the floor, a counter or a ta­ble – in a bas­ket and re­move it from the room. That will im­me­di­ately make any space look cleaner. And des­ig­nate a ‘no ad­mit­tance’ zone where you can store ev­ery­thing out of sight and shut the door. Mine’s the up­stairs bed­room.

Fo­cus your ef­forts

Fig­ure out the messi­est part of a room and clean that first. For many peo­ple, it’s the kitchen coun­ters. I have a 16-year-old son and dogs, so for me, it’s the floors – I hit them with the vac­uum cleaner for a few min­utes.

zero in on sinks

A clean sink makes the rest of the kitchen or bath­room look tidy. Put dirty dishes in the dish­washer, wipe the sink (in­clud­ing the tap) with a damp cloth, and then dry it with a pa­per towel or mi­crofi­bre cloth. It cre­ates the same spot­less look as a four-step pow­der-and-scrub process. In the bath­room, fold the tow­els nicely and stash any­thing per­sonal out of sight, like your tooth­brush or creams.

be a closer

Shut cup­board and bath­room doors, shower cur­tains, toi­let seats, draw­ers and cabi­nets. Fin­ish by straight­en­ing pic­ture frames and pil­lows. That in­stantly makes your home look well or­gan­ised and un­der con­trol.

set the Mood

Dim the lights and light a scented can­dle. If you can’t see the mess, it’s not go­ing to bother you as much.

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