Dear Home-Ec 101,
What’s the best plan of attack if I need to make the house *look* clean for visiting parents or (especially) in-laws, but I don’t necessarily have the time or desire to do it up right? In other words, what spots do I absolutely have to hit to make it look like cleanly, responsible adults live here?
Signed, Not-Neat Nashvillian
Boy, can I relate to this question. There have been way too many times in my life that my house has been a disaster, and someone has called to say they are on their way over. Fear not, fellow Nashvillian, I do have a plan with emergency clean up tips for you!
Grab an empty laundry basket and go around and pick up all the clutter in your living room, or whatever area of your house you use to receive guests. Toss that laundry basket in your bedroom closet. Then, go shine your bathroom until it is sparkling.
Quickly, load your dishwasher and run it. If you still have leftover dishes, stick them in your oven. (provided you’re not cooking for your family- and make sure you remove the dishes before you use your oven again!) If your family is the type to open up your refrigerator and help themselves, do a quick wipe down to make sure your fridge is not too terribly heinous.
Finally, sweep and vacuum your floors, and close the doors to any rooms that are a total wreck. Good luck with the in-laws!
Submit your household questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.