It's a seller's worst nightmare - the sink is full of dishes, the baby is crying--and an agent calls: "We'll be there in two minutes. I have the perfect buyer for your house." Before that overwhelming feeling of panic sets in, don't despair! Here's a quick roundup of easy pick-up tips to get your house in show-time shape in minutes. Have A Game Plan Assign responsibility for each room to a family member. When the "last-minute dash" starts, each person knows which room to straighten. Plan your get-away. Know where you'll go when you vacate the house for show time. Take the kids to the library, park, playground or to visit friends. do your grocery shopping, pick up the dry cleaning or run other errands.
Whole-House Strategies Perk up your carpets. Eliminate say crumbs and dirt with a quick pick-up by a hand-held vacuum. Turn on the lights. Light up dark corners and hallways. Even on sunny days, rooms show better when brightly lighted. Open curtains and blinds. Let in as much natural light and good views as possible.
Kitchen Quickies Use paper plates. A lot of people house hunt on their way home from work - at dinner time. Eat on then toss paper plates to avoid unsightly dirty dishes and speed clean-up time. Put dinner in cold storage. If you're caught with dinner on the table, shove the plates into the refrigerator. Re-heat in the microwave when prospects have gone. Simmer some spices. Prepare a pot of cloves, cinnamon sticks and water. With only minutes to spare, bring your spices to a rapid boil, turn back immediately to simmer and your home will have a warm, inviting smell. microwave instead of baking. Keep your oven free of spatters by switching to microwave dinners. Drain dishes in the dishwasher. Air-dry hand-washed dishes in the upper rack of the dishwasher to keep the sink and counter clutter-free. Add sparkle and shine with spray cleaners. Wipe out cooking spills with a quick squirt of a grease-cutting spray cleaner and rub with a paper towel.
Laundry Disguises Use the washer as a hideout. Put your dirty clothes in the washer until you have time to launder. Same goes for clean clothes that you don't have time to fold - let them sit in the dryer instead of in a messy pile. y a laundry-basket disguise. If you have more laundry than you know what to do with, drop it in a basket, fold two large bath towels and place on top, and presto - laundry goes from messy to neat.
"Junk" Catchers? Use under-bed storage boxes. For last-minute pick-ups, under-bed boxes are great catch-alls for toys, books, dirty socks, etc. Have a bail-out box. Eliminate a frantic search for keys, wallet, dog's leash and shoes when you are leaving to let the agent show the house. Keep a small box with pertinent items stashed in a handy place such as the coat-closet floor.
Make A Final Check? Run through the home room by room, from top to bottom, to make sure everything is in tip-top shape. These are just a few of the ways to make your home sparkle and shine in a matter of minutes.