Monday, November 22, 2010
1. Play energizing music to motivate yourself and make cleaning a fun workout. (The hubs put together an 80s mix on my ipod that pretty much makes me want to jump on him every time I play it. Paula Abdul, some classic Madonna, and soundtracks from "Pretty in Pink" and "the Breakfast Club"? Seriously? Heaven.)
2. Wear a big apron with deep pockets for holding all of your supplies as you move through the house. You can also drop in items that you pick up as you go and deliver them to their proper place. I also love using a caddy that holds everything I need for the bathrooms.
3. Look at each room as a guest might. See where your eyes are drawn first and start there.
4. Focus on rooms guests are likely to see. Okay, I totally said "Duh." when I read this one. (Yes, even though "duh" belongs to the 80s, and Bart Simpson, I still totally said it. Because, well, it was just that "duh.")
5. Do all your vacuuming at once to avoid bringing dirt from a dirty floor to one you just cleaned.
6. If you're really out of time with lots left to do, just dim the lights! Soft light or candlelight is intimate and festive, and can redirect the focus to what really matters- time together with people you love.
MY strategy for this week?
* Deep clean the house on Monday (a.k.a. today) to give myself plenty of time through the rest of the week to focus on grocery shopping, decorations, and addressing any last minute glitches.
*Do shopping by Tuesday and NOT the day before or the day OF Thanksgiving (even though that's usually how I roll).
* Have tables, chairs, table cloths, decorations, candles, and centerpieces COMPLETELY in place the day BEFORE the event. (This would be Wednesday, in my case.) I have always left that for the "day of" as well, BUT it has always made for a really hectic day, and a host (ahem, me) in her bathrobe with no make up on and a semi-messy house when guests start arriving because she grossly underestimated the actual amount of time it would take to get everything ready. A "guide to entertaining" article in November's "House Beautiful" suggested getting everything ready the night before... and I said: "Aha! That makes complete sense." So, I'm going to give it a try and let you know how it works out... though I'm pretty sure I can already guess. (One word: awesome.)
*Because I will have deep cleaned on Monday, shopped on Tuesday, and set up on Wednesday, I will be all set to 1) Get completely ready, 2) speed clean (just a touch up) 3) cook!
Let's hope it works.