Party-Perfect Kitchen

Party-Perfect Kitchen – It’s difficult to come up with a party-prefect home and kitchen. Housecleaning can take all day — maybe all weekend. And as satisfying as that can be, sometimes you just don’t have the time or the motivation.But with the holidays just around the corner, we all want our homes to look good for parties, drop-in visitors, and relatives.

We want our guests to have that “Wow, this place looks nice!” feeling that comes with entering a house where the beds are made, sofa pillows are plumped, clutter is gone, and sinks and stovetop are shiny.

Fortunately, most visitors don’t check the broiler for grime or under the radiators for dust. But what should the game plan be when you want to make your home look presentable without going for a deep clean? Here’s some advice on cleaning high-profile spaces in a hurry for maximum visual and psychological impact.

You should prioritize. “Concentrate on the public areas: the living/family room, dining room, and bathrooms. Prioritize what has to be done — replenishing toilet paper in the bathroom — versus what would be nice to do — dusting the picture frames,” said Deanne Marie, creator of Smart Solutions for Busy People books and blog.

Marie suggests taking a timer with you from room to room (use the one on your cell phone if you don’t have a kitchen timer) and setting it for 15 minutes in each room as a way of forcing yourself to “focus on the necessities.”

Even if you’ve only got one hour, you’ll be amazed at how much you can get done in four rooms using that technique.

Hide the clutter. Marie calls it the “Hail Mary” pass of housecleaning: Cover up the mess when you can’t get rid of it!

The Maids, a national cleaning franchise, advises simply piling your countertop clutter in a laundry basket and sticking it in the closet. No time to do the dishes before company arrives? The Maids’ solution is to stack them on a cookie sheet for temporary storage in the oven (cold, of course).

Also, shut the doors to rooms and closets your guests need not see.

Think about the big picture. What large pieces of furniture will people notice as they enter a room? Plumping sofa pillows and making beds will have a bigger impact on your home’s appearance than wiping down the refrigerator shelves.