Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Magic Box

If you have company coming for Christmas (or even if you don't) and need to, or want to, tidy up fast, my best secret for wiping out hot spots is the magic box. While it's definitely not a long-term solution (you'll still have to go through the contents of the box at some point), it works fabulously in the short-term, which is what we're dealing with two days before Christmas.

So here's what you do:

Find a box. Clear the hot spot (maybe it's papers on the kitchen island), putting everything in the box. Now, you could get tricky with it and wrap up the box so it looks pretty under the tree. You could tell everyone it's a gift for Aunt Mildred, whom you'll see after Christmas, and no one will be the wiser. :)

After Christmas, be sure to open the box and sort the contents, throwing away what you don't need, and putting everything else in its proper place.

Other ideas for cleaning in a hurry:
  • Set the timer for 15 minutes to work on clearing hot spots.
  • Involve the kids (damp rags to dust furniture, wipe the floor)
  • Send toys to toy jail (a large garbage bag)  if the kids do not pick them up on their own. They can bail them out later.
What do you do to clean up in a hurry?


  1. I like your box and wrap idea. I tend to fill drawers/shelves in my kitchen, then later go back and sort it all out. The kids play room also tends to be tossed in the toybox, also to be sorted later on. It seems to be quick and easiest to just stuff everything in. Merry Christmas!

  2. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who stashes messes for later! Right before our 40+ people family party I took everything off the kids' floors and threw them into a locking closet. It was going wonderfully until a guest asked me how I keep my home so clean in front of my 5 year old son. He informed a large group of people that "mommy put all our stuff in the closet!" Next year I'll hide it while he's in school!

  3. That's hilarious! :) I think most people understood, though. They probably do the same things, if they're honest :)

  4. I tend to use a laundry basket and then hide it in the master bedroom or master bath. I am not so good at taking it back out afterwards though - there is still a basket in my room right now from this weekend! I like the gift-wrapped box idea - cute!

  5. I love this! Right now, I have a basket of random papers that I go through once it's full, but there never seems to be enough time (or desire) to do it before the holidays. It's an eyesore, but would have looked great wrapped under the tree! I do clean with a timer normally. Otherwise, I get burned out from spending too long on specific jobs.