Raise your hand if you hate to clean!!! I’m raising both, can you see them?? LOL. I would so much rather be doing just about anything than cleaning… except maybe cooking. I’m just pitiful, aren’t I? If you’re like me, you want the appearance of a clean home without all the elbow grease. Even Cinderella took her chance to get away from it; am I right?
So of course I’ve found the easiest ways to do just about everything involved with cleaning. It’s called streamlining — getting rid of the complicated, the unnecessary, and the impractical, to get the job done with a minimum of muss and fuss and time. That is the entire point of this blog, whether we’re talking about cleaning, or cooking, or homeschooling, or “any and everything” else in life. I’m all about making things easier, so I can get back to
reading my book other, more enjoyable activities. :-)
Today I want to tell you about THE TRICK for making it look like you have a clean home. This is for those times when someone is coming over and you have limited time to get the house ready. Or the realtor calls to tell you there will be a showing in an hour. Totally been there! In those situations, if you do nothing else to clean your house, do this, and it will make a world of difference. I’ve seen it time and time again. And I’ve had lots of practice, since I don’t exactly have a cleaning schedule. :-)
It’ll go by in a hurry, so pay close attention now. Don’t blink!
The number one thing to do to make it look like you have a clean home, though all else may be falling down around your ears, is to CLEAN THE FLOORS.
I know it sounds silly and stupid and like it won’t work, but you just need to try it. Leave everything in the living room where it is, except whatever is on the floor that doesn’t belong there. Pick that up. Then vacuum the carpet — or sweep/dustmop/Swiffer (whatever is your preference), if you have a hard surface floor. Do you see the difference? It’s like magic!
Of course, you won’t be able to just leave it like that; you’re most likely gonna want to at least straighten up the clutter a little bit. But dusting, washing windows, sofa diving, wiping baseboards, and all that other heavier cleaning stuff is just not as crucial to the overall look of the room as getting the floor clean.
Why is this? Maybe because when we walk, our eyes tend to be looking downward? So we don’t notice the stuff on the tables as much as we notice that piece of thread on the floor? Or maybe it’s just the soothingness of those lovely vacuum cleaner tracks. Don’t you just adore them? I have been known to vacuum backwards down the hallway, just so my footprints won’t mar the perfection of the vacuum’s path.
Whatever the case, it is just a fact of life that when the floor is dirty, the whole room seems messy. When the floor is clean, the rest just doesn’t seem to be as noticeable.
“…you can’t see a daisy in a bud vase if there’s a sock in the middle of the floor.” –Anne Ortlund
This works in the kitchen and every other room of the house, too. Cleaning the floors may not be the easiest job on the list, but it is the most important for appearing to have a clean home.
And for temporary purposes you don’t have to go the whole nine yards where you pull out the furniture or get down on your hands and knees to scrub. Just grabbing a damp cloth and wiping up the noticeable jam smears and koolaid splatters from the kitchen tile can do amazing things for the look of the room. Vacuuming the “middles” gives every carpeted room in your home new life. And then you can open the door to your guests with much more assurance.
Of course, keeping the floors clean has other benefits, so it’s good to keep in the habit of doing it. First, vacuuming regularly is the key component in extending the life of your carpets. It’s the grit stuck in them, grinding against the fibers every time you walk on it, that wears carpets down. Less grit means less wear. Also, regular vacuuming helps keep the dust level down in a house, so everything else needs to be cleaned less often.
And then there’s the lovely truth that vacuuming and sweeping are chores that even younger kids can handle. So getting them done regularly does not have to take time out of mom’s day. Or, in the case where you need to spruce up in a hurry, the kids can do the floors and you can concentrate on all the rest of it. See, I’m always thinkin’… ;-)
Another very honest but helpful reality is that once we see how good a room looks with a clean floor, then we are more motivated to make it look even better by picking up clutter, dusting, and maybe even shining a window, if we have time. And when it comes to finding motivation to clean, I’ll take it any way I can get it!
So to get the appearance of a clean home in a hurry without actually having to do the hard stuff, concentrate on making sure the floors are clean. The rest is just not as important, especially when time is of the essence. And perhaps even when there is plenty of it, lol. Excuse me now while I
finish my chapter do something very important with the rest of my afternoon. :-)