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How To Eliminate House Cleaning Stress

by Scott Gray

There is nothing like unexpected company to send you into a mad frenzy of house cleaning, and a resolution to do a better job of keeping your home in order. It is, of course, not easy to keep on top of housework when you have young (any) children, when you work outside the home and spend time on hobbies and sports, when the people you live with are unrepentant slobs, or when you are an unrepentant slob yourself. But never mind how it all happened, if company is coming and your house looks like the "after" picture in a disaster photo shoot, you need to make some quick decisions about what must be done before the guests arrive.

Make Yourself Look Good (your guests will never know)

1. Make a checklist of tasks that need to be done by deadline, and enlist everyone in the household to help.
  Assign tasks and offer rewards if there is a lack of enthusiasm for this house cleaning effort.
2. Turn off the TV and turn on some loud music with a good rock beat to put you all in the mood.
3. Start with the rooms that guests see first . kitchen, living room, and main bathroom . and move on from
  there.
4. Get rid of clutter:
· Remove dirty dishes from all rooms and wash or hide them in the dishwasher.
· Pick up clothes dropped on floors and draped over furniture and hang them up, put them in the clothes 
  hamper, or, in an emergency-last-ditch effort, bundle them up and hide them on the floor of a closet.
· Pick up toys and sports and hobby items and put them where they belong or, if guests are already knocking
  on the door, see floor-of-the-closet suggestion above.
· Straighten furniture, cushions, pictures, and lampshades, and align books, magazines, and knickknacks.
· Throw out dead flowers and put half-dead plants out of sight.
· Clean toilet bowls, sinks, and bathtubs, and hide bathroom junk in cupboards and cabinets.
· Make the beds.
5. When everything is neat and tidy, get busy with vacuum cleaners and vacuum attachments. Vacuum the
  floors and carpets and dust everything in sight. If there isn't time for that, grab that easy-to-use cordless
 
vacuum cleaner and pick up the spills and the biggest bits of stuff dropped on the carpet   and floors.
6. Until you run out of time, wash floors, spots on walls, and anything else that needs it and is visible.

How to Keep This Nightmare From Happening Again

1. Make a chart of daily chores, as well as those that need to be done weekly and monthly, and put every
    family member in charge of some items on each list. Even young children can be helpful. Check off chores
    when they are completed. Offer rewards . it works better than punishments for chores left undone. Don't
    forget to reward yourself.
2. Invest in a good vacuum with suitable vacuum attachments, and have pails, mops, wash cloths, scrubbing
   brushes, and good (preferably child-and-health-safe) cleaning products stored in a handy place, and have a
   tool kit to carry what is needed from room to room.
3. If you prefer cooking or gardening or playing with your children to house cleaning, hire a maid service if you
   can afford the price, or treat yourself to the service now and then.
4. Make it your business to keep the family on top of ongoing daily tasks:
· Put dishes in the dishwasher and see that it is turned on before you go to bed. If dishes are washed by
  hand, see that they are done every evening.
· Have a place to stack newspapers and magazines and get rid of the excess every week.
· Regularly donate unused household items and clothing to charity.
· Use small baskets to hold the junk emptied out of pockets . including keys and change . and one for mail,
  as well.

Clean regularly rather than let chores pile up until the work becomes overwhelming. You, too, can enjoy unexpected guests when they arrive instead of the alternate: drooping from house cleaning exhaustion in a bleary-eyed, zombie-like state. Get with it!

Scott Gray is a freelance author and web site publisher who provides useful information and money saving tips about discount vacuum cleaners.

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