Cleaning under pressure

Whether you have as much as an hour or as little as 15 minutes to spare, you can whip your home into decent shape. Here's some useful hints and tips from Cif:

If you have fifteen minutes or less

Woman cleaning the kitchen floor

Close the doors of rooms you don't want guests to wander into. Then pick the two areas they're most likely to see – your living room and guest room – and speed-clean them. First, take a laundry basket and clear clutter from floors of both rooms. Store the basket in an off-limits area. Then, attack the bathroom. Quickly scour the toilet bowl and shine the sink with Cif all purpose cleaner. Put out a guest towel and a fresh bar of soap. In the living room, wipe down reflective surfaces, including glass coffee table tops and the TV screen.

If you have half an hour

Tackle the kitchen as well. Empty the dishwasher, then reload it with dishes cluttering the counter and sink. Wipe down the counter and sink with Cif all purpose cleaner. If you have a white refrigerator, wipe food smudges and fingerprints from the front, especially around the handle. Take out the kitchen rubbish and open the windows to let in some fresh air.

If you have an hour

Declutter your hallway too. With a brush or vacuum, sweep the floor in each room you've straightened up, as well as the ceilings. Finally, follow your nose – if a room smells clean, people are more likely to believe it is. Set out a dish of potpourri in the bathroom, or lightly spray some air freshener. Now sit back and relax. Your visitors will never know your dirty little secrets.

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