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Published: Friday, 11/23/2007

Quick Clean-Up Tips for Holiday Hostesses

(ARA) - Between shopping, school pageants and holiday events, it's easy for household chores to fall off the "to do" list. With the hustle and bustle of the busiest entertaining season upon us, there's never much time to clean the house before family and friends come to celebrate. According to Paige Davis, former host of TLC's popular "Trading Spaces," keeping a clean and guest-worthy home can be quick and easy, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the festivities.

"We all want to be the hostess with the mostest during the holidays, yet even holiday decorations won't hide the dust and grime of everyday living," says Davis. "A clean home doesn't have to be a full-time job, but it should be a continual effort. Break-up the cleaning process into small and manageable tasks that everyone in the family can help with." Davis suggests that instead of conducting a deep clean prior to the holidays, homeowners should focus on quick daily maintenance, to save both time and frustration.

Davis offers the following tips to keep the home shining this holiday season:

Clutter Control.

From greeting cards and wrapping paper to seasonal art projects and baked goods, the holidays bring an abundance of additional clutter into the home. Focus on keeping the busiest and most public rooms in tip-top shape to help keep your home guest-worthy at all times. Make a daily effort to keep countertops, tables and shelves clear of clutter. Clear surfaces automatically make a room look clean and organized.

Polish Party-Ware.

Turn polishing party-ware into a family event. Enlist the help of even the smallest hands to polish silverware while watching a favorite holiday movie. Use a high-quality polish to create the perfect shine and prevent tarnish. Next season, just give your silver a quick wipe with a soft cloth and you'll be ready to set a festive table.

Expect the Unexpected.

Last-minute guests on their way? Your home needs to be ready for company whenever the doorbell rings. For a 10-minute fast fix, use a selection of convenient wipes to clean, buff and polish highly visible surfaces, such as countertops, stainless steel appliances and dust catching furniture. Keep a stick vacuum handy on each floor of the home for a quick and effortless spruce-up. Make sure to have a quick cleaning kit fully stocked and easy to reach for those impromptu get-togethers.

Party Mishaps.

Don't stress about party spills and messes. Keep stain remover and cleaning solution on hand so you can clean as you go. Candle wax spills should be treated as they happen. If a candle or candleholder leaves a burn mark on wood furniture, try rubbing clear fingernail polish remover across the burn until it dissolves. If any residue remains, rub it lightly with lemon oil and 0000 steel wool, and then fill in any hollows with a touch-up pen, wax crayon or paste shoe polish. Courtesy of ARAcontent

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