1. Put shoes back where they belong
If your home entrance is regularly littered with shoes, you may forget about them when you’ve got tons of other things to do. Make a good first impression by placing all footwear into their respective cabinets so your guests have a clear entryway when they arrive.
2. Lay out tablecloth
If you’ve no time for a quick wipe down, this is a smart and instant way to conceal any unsightly scratches or stains on your table surfaces, while elevating the look of your living and dining space.
3. Dim the lights
Put on mood lighting, such as fairy lights, lamps or candles instead of using the harsh fluorescent ceiling light – it instantly warms up the atmosphere and cleverly makes clutter less conspicuous.
4. Be your own "guest"
Starting from the main door, act as though you are a guest at the party. Walk through your home, focusing on places where people will congregate and look out for clutter that are potential obstacles, furniture or articles that seem out of place, things that need some dusting etc. Doing this helps you spot things that need to be cleaned/shifted away that you might otherwise miss!
5. Change hand towels
Pop some fresh hand towels in the bathroom to greet guests when they go in. A clean-looking house is all in the details!
6. Give the floor a quick sweep
Intensive mopping is out of the question – good thing there are easier, faster options nowadays. Use mops with disposable wipes attached at the head, like the Scotch-Brite Easy Sweeper Plus or MagiClean Wiper Mop:
7. Be systematic
Grab a clean laundry basket or a large container and move from room to room, clearing unsightly clutter into it as you go. Focus on important rooms like the living area, dining space, bathroom and entrance.
To make your whole house smell fresh (and delicious!), place a tablespoon of vanilla essence in a saucepan of hot water and let it simmer for 15 mins.
If you have a rug in the living room, freshen it up by sprinkling some baking soda on it. Wait for 15 mins, then vacuum up the powder.
Photo: Bill Holsinger-Robinson/Flickr Creative Commons
9. Regain a shiny stove top
Fight oil with oil – it may be hard to believe, but you can easily remove grease and gunk buildup on your stove top using even more grease. Of course, we’re talking about a few drops of mineral oil or vegetable oil on a paper towel. Simply rub to remove greasy stains without any harsh chemicals!
Plus, the oil helps keep your stove top shiny!
10. Erase burn stains with baking soda
If you use stainless steel pots and pans, you’re probably accumulating burn marks from forgetting to stir food fast enough or setting too high a heat. No fear, the trick to making them look spanking brand new again is simple:
Pour baking soda into the burnt pan and scrub with a soaked sponge. If this doesn’t work, fill the pan or pot with water and a dash of vinegar, then bring to a boil. After this, simply scrub with baking soda again (once they’ve cooled of course!) and you should get the shine back. Alternatively, ketchup works too!
12. Remove rust from cast iron pans
If your cast iron skillet is covered with rust from not being used, return it to its former glory with this cleaning hack: Using coarse salt and half a potato, scrub the pan in a circular motion to remove the rust.
Photo: Apartment Therapy/Pinterest
13. Make your baking trays last longer
When you’ve cleaned your cake tins and baking trays, pop them back into the warm oven to remove any moisture and prevent rust – they’ll look great for years.
14. Clean floors with vinegar
Remove cooking grease particles from your kitchen floor by adding a little vinegar to the detergent in the bucket when cleaning.
15. Revive a crusty slow cooker
To remove baked-on stains from your slow cooker, fill the ceramic liner about 1/4 full with white vinegar. Next, add warm water to the fill line, cover and leave on Low overnight. Then, wash in hot soapy water as usual.
16. Sterilise sponges in the microwave
Give your dishwashing sponges a weekly clean by zapping them in the microwave for up to two minutes. Make sure the sponges are saturated with water, as this helps the sterilisation process (and stops them from catching fire!)
READ MORE: Make Your Own Cleaning Solutions For Under $1
Photo: Moms Against Cooties/Pinterest
17. Fast-clean a blender
This hack will save you so much time and hassle – after making that yummy smoothie, rinse out any residue. Then, let your blender clean itself by putting in some washing liquid and a bit of water, then hitting start for a perfect, soapy cleanse. Pour out, rinse, and you’re done!
Photo: The Krazy Coupon Lady/Pinterest