A dear friend challenged my “quick kitchen clean up” post from last week. She wanted me to know that A: it took her a lot longer than ten minutes to clean her kitchen and that b: it still didn’t look “show ready.” Now, I love this friend deeply, but I gently pointed out two things. First, she’s not a client of mine and she isn’t selling her home. Therefore, she hadn’t started the “quick-clean” process with a (pun fully intended) clean slate. And that brings us to my second point… she’s funny and creative and kind and loving, but she’s not the neatest or tidiest friend I have. We laughed together and she acknowledged her “cleaning disability.” I reminded her that I’m here to help and I acknowledged that this quick-cleaning tips are targeted to clients who have already done the deep cleaning/renovating/staging/home maintenance that is required when you prepare a home for sale. Even in this crazy-hot seller’s market, a tidy, well maintained home is going to sell sooner and for a better price than a home that seems poorly tended to, worn or downright dirty.
So…for those of you who have already tackled the big stuff and are just waiting for me to call with a “I’m thirty minutes away with a potential buyer” notice, let’s get ready to embrace a living room clean up that will leave the space neat and clean and oh, so warm and inviting.
Ready, set… CLEAN!
60 SECONDS: Clear the clutter with a “close at hand” laundry basket that can be quickly stowed out of sight. Sweep the perimeter of the room and gather toys, clothing, remote controls, dishes and anything else that is out of place. When you get home, you can redistribute them to their proper spots… for now: out of sight, out of mind!
60 SECONDS: Grab a Swiffer dust cloth or microfiber cloth and speed dust at eye-level. This is a quick swipe and wipe… don’t worry about dusting each little knick-knack… clean around them and rid the room of dust that catches the light and the eye.
30 SECONDS: Refold blankets and fluff pillows. I don’t recommend a ton of throw pillows and lap blankets… they tend to make a living room look frumpy and cluttered. But… one pretty, nice quality throw and a few pillows in crisp colors can add softness and provide pops of color and coordination. Just keep them to a minimum and make sure they’re fluffed and folded!
360 SECONDS: Depending on your flooring, vacuum quickly and/or run a dry dust mop around the floor. Once again, I recommend the “Dirt Devil Vac+Dust.” It gets the job done efficiently and well.
60 SECONDS: Hopefully you’ve already washed your windows and left them sparkling and given your blinds a good cleaning, as well. However, if blinds or curtains seem dusty and dirty, open them or pull them up. It is much better to let natural light pour in through “naked” windows than have dust fairies flying around the room. That’s not the kind of “twinkle” new buyers are looking for!
30 SECONDS: On your way out of the now tidy room, turn on table lamps and ambient lighting to provide a warm and inviting glow!
And… you’re out of here (or at least ready to tackle the next important space) in less than ten minutes! Next week… quick-cleaning the ever-important bathrooms!!!