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Quick Tips for Keeping Your Home Looking Spotless

Nobody likes to spend hours cleaning house–and, sometimes, there are few hours to spare. Yet some people seem to have a knack for keeping their homes looking spotless even when the time spent cleaning is minimal.

Country Living Magazine polled home bloggers and other busy women to come up with several little tricks that help keep a home looking spiffy:

Take your shoes off. Shoes carry in dirt and germs. Train the family to remove them when coming in the door–and put up a cute sign in the entryway asking visitors to do the same.

Make the bed. Even if the bedrooms are not picture-perfect, a neat bed makes the space look pulled together.

Squeegee the shower every time. It only takes about 20 seconds, and it keeps the glass looking clean and bright.

Clean the bathroom sink. A quick swipe with a baby wipe will keep your sink sparkling. Keep the wipes handy under the sink.

Wipe down kitchen counters. To avoid using harmful chemicals, keep a spray bottle filled with a homemade solution of one part vinegar with three parts water. It cuts through grease and easily removes fingerprints from stainless steel appliances.

Clean up as you go. When cooking, clean up the pots you’re finished with, mixing bowls and extra ingredients as you work. The goal is to have nothing much left to do after dinner but to put your plates in the dishwasher.

Do a five-minute cleanup before bed. Get the whole family to pitch in. Five minutes before bedtime, pick up the dog toys, newspapers and personal items; hang up jackets; put away the mail; and put things back in their place.

Put your clothes away. Almost every master bedroom has one chair that starts off empty on Monday and ends up covered with clothes by Friday. Before you go to bed, put dirty clothes in the hamper and put the clean ones away.

Open a door or window. Letting in fresh air at every opportunity is a good way to help keep your home feeling fresh and breezy.

With these quick tips and some discipline, you can keep your home looking spotless.