Tips to make your home pre­sentable for the hol­i­days

Dayton Daily News - - L!FE - By Rox­anne Washington The (Cleve­land) Plain Dealer

You’ve in­vited guests over for a hol­i­day get­to­gether, but now you re­al­ize there isn’t time to clean your home to the spick-and-span pre­sen­ta­tion you’d like it to be. Now what? Who bet­ter to ask for quick cleanup hints than Heloise?

Heloise, the na­tional do­mes­tic dilemma go-to ex­pert via her monthly col­umn in Good House­keep­ing mag­a­zine, daily news­pa­per col­umns and guests spots on na­tional tele­vi­sion and ra­dio shows, says don’t panic. Cut a few cor­ners, and the im­por­tant rooms — the ones in which your guests will gather — can be quite pre­sentable.

“My motto is quick-clean only what your guests can see,” Heloise says dur­ing a tele­phone in­ter­view from her home in San An­to­nio, Texas.

First, fo­cus on spa­ces guests ini­tially will see, be­gin­ning with the en­trance, whether it’s the front, side or kitchen door.

“Go out­side the en­trance, close your eyes for five to 10 sec­onds, and then open them,” Heloise says. “What do you see? Is the door han­dle grubby-look­ing? Is the wreath ratty? Are there doggy-paw or nose smudges on the glass?” Cob­webs on the ceil­ing? If so, clean ac­cord­ingly. If the en­trance hall­way is junky with boots, toys or what­ever, gather it up, stash it in a large bas­ket or sturdy shop­ping bag with han­dles and put it in a closet or the base­ment. Don’t worry about putting ev­ery­thing away in its proper place. You can do that later. Or not.

The same prin­ci­ple ap­plies to other rooms where stuff is strewn about.

The bath­room is one room that mer­its para­noia about how clean it is. If you have wa­ter spots on the fix­tures, shine the chrome with a used fab­ric-soft­ener sheet for shine. While you’re at it, Heloise ad­vises, keep a few in the bath­room at all times. When clean­ing a bath­room sink, use a cot­ton swab to clean the small area be­hind the tap.

Wip­ing down the coun­ters (not mar­ble) and the mir­ror with a half vine­gar/ wa­ter so­lu­tion leaves a nice, clean scent. The same holds for kitchen coun­ters.

If you’d like more of a pleas­ant scent, shake a few drops of an es­sen­tial oil of your choos­ing on a tis­sue, and drop it in the bath­room waste bas­ket. The scent will linger for hours.

Top-dust fur­ni­ture — wooden din­ing set, the buf­fet, the cof­fee ta­ble and end ta­bles — in rooms where guests will gather.

“My best friend is the up­hol­stery at­tach­ment of a vac­uum cleaner, be­cause it quickly sucks up all vis­i­ble dust,” Heloise writes in her lat­est book, “Handy House­hold Hints From Heloise” (Ro­dale, $17.99).

Dusty blinds? Use an old sock, or one that has lost its mate, as your wip­ing tool. Slide the sock over your hand, and wipe the slats with ease. Footlets or golf socks work best.

Pet hair eas­ily comes off of couches and other up­hol­stered fur­ni­ture with a mi­crofiber cloth. Any­thing rub­ber­ized such as kitchen gloves works well, too.

When there isn’t time to clean your home to the spickand-span pre­sen­ta­tion, fo­cus on spa­ces guests ini­tially will see. Be­gin with the en­trance to your home.

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