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Hot Spots – No Need to Panic

My entire place is one big "hot spot". What could I possibly tell people about this? I thought and thought and I finally decided that perhaps in this instance, my extreme messiness could be turned to an advantage. (Bet you never guessed a messy house could be a good thing!) Because my house is almost always in need of cleaning, I have become somewhat of an expert at "The Quick Clean", as I call it.

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There are actually several things that you can do to attack those trouble areas when company is coming. Imagine, your mother-in-law calls. She is on her way over to visit. She’ll be there in 30 minutes. You can’t breathe, your heart begins pounding – panic is setting in! What to do, what to do?! Here are a few of my favorite "tricks" to clean up quickly.

1. Boxes – They are one of my staples when doing a "Quick Clean". Toss it in a box and go thru it later. Just don’t forget where you put it!
2. Ovens – It’s amazing how many dirty dishes you can put in one.
3. Dryer – Same as the oven, but you can put bigger things in it.
4. Washer – I admit, I have been known to put things in here.
5. Dusting – Dust around, not under.
6. Vacuum – Do the middle of the floor. No one is going to
check under the furniture. If they do, they get what they deserve!
7. Bathrooms – This is where having more than one really comes in handy. Clean one and leave the other. Swish the toilet, run a wet cloth over the counter and sink and close the shower curtain.
(By the way, the shower is a good place to hide all the kids’ bath toys!)
8. Close the door – All of my friends know not to go into my bedroom if the door is closed. (This is where I hide all the boxes!)

All told, these things should only take you a few minutes each. After your company leaves you can pull everything back out. But the next day you may be saying to yourself "Golly, that was a close call!" (Yeah, I know no one actually says golly, but this is a family oriented article!) One way to avoid this is to keep those hot spots under control. Easier said than done, I know. However, there
are a few things that can help.

The worst area in my house is affectionately known as
"Mommy’s Couch". This is the love seat and coffee table
where I do just about everything; watch TV, pay bills, work on projects. It’s where I wrote this article. The table and the surrounding floor would become covered with papers and books and whatnot as I went thru the week. My mother-in-law found a solution for me – a decorative"bucket". It sits on the floor next to "Mommy’s Couch". This is where I put the mail, things to be filed, magazines, tablets, etc. Once every week or so ( or
when it gets full) I go thru it and clean it out. It’s not a
perfect solution, but it keeps everything in one place and leaves the rest of the area clean.

Most people’s biggest complaint is paperwork, and there are a few things you can do to keep it from multiplying.

1. Mail – go thru it before you even sit down. I live in an
apartment and I go thru it while I am still at the mailbox, throwing out everything I don’t need.
2. Filing – have a place to put it until you have time to file
it. A friend has a shallow desk drawer that she puts everything in until the end of the month.
3. Magazines – have a container to put them in until you can read them. If you find you never seem to have time, cancel the subscription. Why waste the money!
4. Bills – have a place to keep the monthly bills, your
checkbook, a calculator and a small tablet. Then it’s all in one place when you need it.

Toys are another problem and if you have kids they are just a fact of life. I keep a storage drawer (with 3 drawers) and a big storage container in the living room. It makes clean up easy, even for my 2 year old, and I can just close them when we have company.

The biggest tip for "hot spots" is to try to go over these areas at least once a day. It only takes a few minutes and it’s easier to do this than to go thru it once a month when it will take you hours to clean up. Your goal is to make your life easier, not to turn yourself into Martha Stewart. And remember, Martha has a housekeeper, you don’t!

Brenda Spagnola-Wilson is a moderator and community leader at www.BabyUniversity.com and lives in Texas with her husband and two children. She enjoys writing about a variety of topics, with her main focuses being home improvement &amp decorating, saving money, being
a SAHM and general home care. Currently she is the Co-Editor of the At Home with Baby University Newsletter. Feel free to contact her at bspagnola@ev1.net with any comments.

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