Clean house 10 minutes at a time

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

NEW YORK -- Who says you need to spend an entire Saturday cleaning the house? If you've been tossed the Thanksgiving torch on short notice or simply haven't found the time to get down and dirty, these tips will help you get the house presentable. If you can spare 10 minutes once or twice a day, you can spruce up the house without breaking a sweat:1. Grab a laundry basket, a large trash bag and some small trash bags. Go from room to room, emptying the trash cans and putting the stuff that doesn't belong in that room into the laundry basket, said Amy Clark, a home management expert for the Kenmore Make-it-Simple Team. Replace the trash bags as you empty the trash.

2. In another 10-minute chunk, return the items in the laundry basket to their proper places.

3. Next, sort the mail. Recycle old magazines, newspapers and file away papers, said Alicia Rockmore, CEO of Buttoned Up, an organizational lifestyle company in Ann Arbor, Mich.

4. Do a surface wipe. Take some disinfectant wipes or some cleanser and paper towels and clean all the counters and the sinks in the kitchen and the bathrooms that get used the most often, Rockmore said. "Literally, you can do the kitchen in 10 minutes and one or two bathrooms in 10 minutes."

5. Grab two microfiber cloths and a multipurpose cleanser, Clark said. Dust the surfaces in each room with one cloth and use the other to wipe down the mirrors.

6. Unload and load the dishwasher.

7. Do the final eye, Rockmore said. Check room by room to see if anything needs to be addressed immediately, such as a dirty toilet.

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