Speed Cleaning: Look Tidy in 20 Minutes or Less

Queen of Clean Linda Cobb offers ideas to straighten your house in a jiffy before guests arrive.

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"If it's not dirty, don't clean it," says Queen of Clean Linda Cobb. That's the most important thing to keep in mind when it's time to spruce up before someone stops by. Here is Linda's ultimate guide to a quick cleanup.

1. Take a laundry basket and go from room to room picking up things that don't belong. Stash the basket in a closet or somewhere guests won't look.

2. Next, tidy up the bathroom that guests will use. Wipe it up quickly, light a candle and make it look nice. Remember: That's a room where guests will have a good amount of time to sit privately, unobserved and look around.

3. Next, run the vacuum through the main rooms company will be in and fluff the pillows.

4. Shut the door on other rooms that will not be seen or needed if they're messy.

5. If it's nighttime, turn on some lights. If it's daytime, open up the shutters or the curtains or the blinds. A well-lit room looks cleaner.

6. Finally, simmer a pot of water filled with cinnamon and cloves to give your house a nice, fresh scent.

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