"Think cleaning up or fixing up your place is an all-day - or all-weekend - effort? Well, you might be right depending on how long it's been since you spruced it up. But if you've let a few things get away from you and are feeling overwhelmed by the whole thing, take a beat, and a breath. By cutting the overall effort into smaller pieces, you can make a serious effort seem, well, effortless.
Whether your house needs a top-to-bottom cleaning or you are just looking for a clever way to attack the little things that bother you, this list of "20 Quick Fixes You Can Do In Five Minutes or Less" can help turn you around.
1. Call an "Electricity Drill." Everyone in the family is assigned rooms to check for lights, TVs, and unattended computers left on.
2. Sweep your front steps and shake out your welcome mat. Unless you don't want to be welcoming, in which case you can let it get as crusty as you want.
3. Clean out a junk drawer. Do one a day and you'll have a cleaner, more organized kitchen in no time. If it's a job that'll take more than a few minutes per drawer, break it up into steps: 1) toss the trash; 2) file the papers; 3) split up the rest by family member and make them do the dirty work. Check out Real Simple for more junk drawer clean-out ideas.
4. Take a look at your filters. Dirty and disgusting? Put "Trip to Home Depot" on your "To do" list. And actually do it.
5. Cut up some lemons and grind them up in your garbage disposal. It'll give your kitchen a fresh smell.
6. Do a quick fridge clean out. Take quick inventory of any dairy that's past its "good by" date and toss spoiled produce. And don't forget to check the door for mayo that's been there since the turn of the century.
7. Take a duster to your ceiling fans. They're nasty.
8. Play "Pick It Up" with your kids. Set the timer on your oven or phone for 60 seconds and race them to see who can pick up and put away more things. Inner Child Fun has some more ideas to inspire kids to clean.
9. Spritz your mirrors. They probably need it.
10. Spritz your windows. They definitely need it.
11. Comb your rug - a tight weave throw rug doesn't always respond well to a vacuum cleaner. Get down on the floor with a wire dog brush. It'll fluff up the fibers and make it look brand new.
12. Wipe down your flat screen. If you don't have the appropriate tool, the dust-free wipe you use for your eyeglasses will work just fine.
13. Check your light bulbs. Have one (or more) that's out? Swap it out and brighten up the place.
14. Now put light bulbs on your grocery list. Add batteries and anything else you always need when you don't have.
15. Run a baby wipe over your baseboards. It's a surprisingly good trick for making them look newly painted.
16. Spray your kitchen counters and your cooktop, paying extra attention to any caked-on areas. If you're watching TV, go back and have a seat while the cleaner does its thing. Get up and wipe them down during the next set of commercials.
17. Do the same thing in your shower. And your toilet.
18. Survey your kitchen. If there are small appliances you haven't used for a month, put them up to create more workspace.
19. Run a broom into dark corners of bedrooms and hallways. You might be surprised by the cobwebs hiding up there.
20. Make your pooch a fur appointment. A good grooming will reduce that rampant dog hair problem."