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Down and Dirty Real World Clean Sweep for Work at Home Women
by: Pamela Cole Harris
Most TV "Lose-All-The-Clutter-And-Gain-A-Lot-Of-Baskets-With-Labels" organizing shows concentrate on long term solutions to your messy, messy ways. But for those who work from home, sometimes clean and organized lags behind paycheck and deadline. But what if your mother-in-law is coming down the street and your home looks like the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew? Or what if your picky neighbor shows up unexpectedly? (She's borrowing sugar...AGAIN?) You need help QUICK! Here's some ideas for quick down and ..ummm...dirty cleanup (and a few ideas for items to have on hand for future emergency cleanups!)

1. Grab several large garbage bags and stuff in all clutter. Don't stop to sort. Just stuff it all in and move the bags to the garage. Keep the bags in the garage for a month. If you don't remember what's in the bag, or miss something which may have been stuffed there, then donate the entire bag to a thrift shop. (No fair peeking inside - if you didn't miss it, you don't need it!)

2. Invest in a couple of large storage ottomans. You will be surprised how much you can stuff in those ottomans between the time your mother-in-law gets out of the car and the time she rings the doorbell!)

3. Invest in under-bed storage boxes. No self-respecting neighbor will look under your bed. (If she does, you might want to reconsider your friendship! Who wants a neighbor you can't be messy with?)

4. Buy a sofa with a skirt. Those wonderful skirts can hide a multitude of sins...and a few dozen shoes and a big stack of newspapers, magazines and week-old potato chips.

5. Don't forget the laundry you can hide in your washer and dryer! Don't worry about how much it holds � just stuff and hide!

6. Don't hide the clutter in closets! It's the first place your mother-in-law will look!

7. If all else fails, just say you are getting ready for a yard sale and you were just beginning to price your treasures! (Care for some old magazines? Just a quarter each! How about a couple of half-eaten bags of cookies? I'll make you such a deal!)


As a freelance designer and writer, my priorities are time with my husband, time with family, answering my reader's questions, and meeting my writing deadlines. Placed proudly at the bottom of my list is housework. If you work from home, don't feel guilty for trying these ideas. As my mother always told me, "You can always do housework when you can't find something interesting or fun to do!"

About the author:
Pamela Cole Harris has been a writer and designer for 35 years (Yikes, has it been that long?) Enjoy her tongue-in-cheek approach to inexpensive interior design at: http://www.homeandgardenmakeover.comand http://www.diy-homedecor.com


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