Decorating Diva

Woman cleaning kitchen

Welcome to Decorating Diva, where every week we share fresh, fun ways to update your home and spice up your living space!

7 easy cleaning solutions

There are very few people who enjoy cleaning. It takes time, effort and, let's face it, we have many things we'd rather be doing than getting every room spic and span. But getting your space spotless can be less of a chore than you think.

We show you how to get your home looking guest-ready in no time.

Clean in shorter spurts

Cleaning the house is at its absolute worst when you have to tackle everything from top to bottom. To avoid total burnout and a horrible mood to boot, clean in shorter spurts every few days. Create a schedule for what you want to clean and when and do your best to stick to the plan. That way, you never have to face the prospect of having less than 30 minutes to clean the whole house before the in-laws drop by for a surprise visit.

Quick cleaning essentials for busy moms >>

Invest in cute storage solutions

Mess is much easier to deal with if you have somewhere to put it. Invest in some stylish storage solutions for every room, and keeping things organized will be a breeze. Instead of your standard plastic laundry hamper, use an elegant wicker basket; trade large, nondescript containers for more eye-catching options in the living room such as antique boxes or ottomans that double as storage boxes. In the bathroom and kitchen, go the colorful route and shop for brightly-hued boxes or bins that enhance rather than take away from the decor. The more space you have to store things, the easier it is to keep your space neat.

house plantHouseplants to the rescue

Houseplants not only look great and add a dose of cheerfulness to every room, they also keep the air clean. No, they won't do windows or mop the floor, but the more greenery you have, the better your home's air quality will be. Even if you only have room or enough light for a few window boxes, find a way to add some plants to your home.

Cut back on clutter

One of the most efficient ways to keep your home neat is to cut down on the amount of clutter that accumulates. This means going through your things (all those trinkets, vases and knickknacks on shelves, tables, counters and mantels) and tossing or donating what you don't love, need or want. The less there is to dust, the less time you have to spend dusting. Not to mention, the overall space looks better when you aren't trying to squeeze every candleholder, souvenir and candy dish you have onto every available surface.

Focus on high-traffic areas

No time to tackle the whole house? Focus your attention on the areas that get the most traffic or where the guests are likely to be. This means the bathroom, dining area and entryway. Close the doors to the bedrooms and closets, don't take anyone into the basement or den and simply ensure it's just the spots guests are likely to spend time in that get the full cleaning treatment.

Stock up on disposable wipes

Disposable kitchen and bathroom wipes (look for biodegradable brands like Greenworks) are a must-have if you need to clean something quickly. You can be tackling the entire counter and stove area while talking on the phone with just a few swipes. They really are the lazy girl's best friend when it comes to speedy cleaning.

Fold, stack and hide

When all else fails and you have no time to dust, mop or scrub, just getting things off the floor and folded makes a huge difference in how clean your home appears. Go through the house and just stack, fold and hide errant objects so at least the space looks neat (as long as no one inspects too closely).

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Comments on "Decorating Diva: The lazy girl's guide to a clean house"

siouxsie November 28, 2012 | 10:20 AM

I totally agree with the idea of little spurts trieded to clean the whole house at once just drags on and on but my fav is the fold and hide i have a little cupboared at back of my wardrobe and i usally hide presents in there but when given the opertunity i usally stuff the sides with old clutter but i have been good and just been to the charity shop with 10 bags of cluter and they excepted it all.

Raechel August 30, 2012 | 9:19 AM

Definitely cleaning in little splurts makes it easier to keep the house clean. Have to clean for hours is exhausting and most likely I would give up.

Katie August 27, 2012 | 10:59 AM

I admit that I don’t enjoy cleaning. I’d much rather be watching TV or reading a book instead of mopping, scrubbing and vacuuming. I think the best piece of advice in this article is to clean in shorter spurts. Cleaning is a lot easier when it’s only a matter of picking up small things and wiping away a thin layer of dust or dirt rather than tackling a huge mess or having to scrub and scrape away a year’s worth of grimy buildup. Cleaning is also a lot simpler if there are people to help you. Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of family and friends. Make your kids earn their allowance by cleaning and have your guests all pitch in to help with the cleanup after you throw a shindig. Finding creative ways to take on cleaning will ultimately mean less of it – which translates into more free time for watching TV and reading.

Kenia August 23, 2012 | 10:02 AM

Definitely cleaning a little bit each day helps a lot keep a house clean. Doing this prevents all the mess from accumulating and then having to clean for hours. Plants also help make the space look so much better with out having to do much effort with the decoration.

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