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Video:Clean Your House in 10 Minutes

with Jonathon Stewart

Do you have guests coming over on short notice? All you need is 10 minutes and a little direction, and you can have your house looking like a cleaning crew just walked out the door.See Transcript

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Transcript:Clean Your House in 10 Minutes

Hey guys. Jonathon Stewart here for About.com, and today, it's all about cleaning house.

And no, I don't mean at the blackjack tables in Vegas or paying hoops with suckas, I'm actually talking about cleaning your own house. I know - no fun, right?

Well, here's the good part - I'm going to show you how to do it in just under 10 minutes, so strap on your fast shoes and let's get to it. Ready? Go.

Take a Three-Step Approach to Cleaning

Since we've only got such a limited amount of time, we're going to take a three step approach: eliminate, organize, and hide.

Ideally, your house is actually a one-bedroom apartment that you manage to keep clean on a regular basis.

But in any case, the following steps will get you where you need to be when you get that phone call from your mother, boss, or brand-new boyfriend that starts off, "Hey, so I'm in the neighborhood..."

Eliminate Garbage From the House

Step one: Eliminate. Start by removing anything that remotely looks like, smells like, or otherwise acts like garbage.

This includes newspapers, food containers, food remnants on dishes, overflowing trash cans, and anything that really shouldn't be hanging out in your house. Replace old bags with new ones, and don't forget to recycle.

Quickly Clean Surfaces

The second half of the elimination phase is doing a quick clean of obvious surfaces. These might include your bathroom sink and mirror, dinner table, coffee table or kitchen counter.

And if you've got time, do a quick sweep or vacuum of floors where your guests will likely be hanging out, especially if you've got pets. Or if you, personally, happen to shed a lot.

Organize Your House

Step two: Organize. Anything you haven't thrown out by this point should be neatly arranged if it's going to be in plain view.

This applies to cushions, magazines, making your bed if there's any chance of retiring to your bedroom, and putting dishes either away or at least into the dishwasher.

This is the part of the 10-minute clean where you're not really cleaning so much as using smoke and mirrors to convey the impression of a clean house.

So even if you really are a filthy pig, you still might have people commenting on how nice your pad looks.

Hide Unwanted Items

Step three: Hide. Do a quick visual scan of your area, and see if anything just simply needs to go. Shove it in a closet or unused room until your guests are gone and you can deal with it rationally.

This includes the guitar you never play, the shipping box you've been saving for whenever you need to send a relative something large through the mail, and your luggage from the trip you took late last fall.

Light a Candle and Relax

"Hide" also refers to mysterious odors that might be plaguing your house - so light a candle, or five - and if you've got a pleasant but not strongly scented one, all the better.

Finally, kick back, wipe your brow, fix a cocktail, and pretend like you've been reading the New Yorker all afternoon. Huh, I wonder who that could be?

Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the Web at homegarden.about.com.
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