You’re house is on the market and the first viewing is happening in ten minutes. Surely if you haven’t got everything ship-shape by now, it’s too late, isn’t it? Well, no. It’s never too late. In fact, here are some fast-paced cleaning fixes and solutions, each one taking just a matter of seconds. You should be able to do all or most of them in the remaining ten minutes, without so much as breaking a sweat. All of them can and will make a real difference – brightening and tidying your rooms so that your potential buyers get a more positive overall impression, even if they can’t put their fingers on why.
Plump up and straighten all cushions and use throws to cover up any stains on sofas and furniture. Piles of paper, correspondence and random clutter can be stashed immediately in desk drawers and cupboards, with magazines and books arranged neatly. TV remotes and small gadgets should be put by the television or, even better, hidden away in drawers. Run a damp over surfaces.
Remove everything from the draining board. Put what you can into drawers and cupboards, but don’t spend time sorting. Dirty dishes can go straight into the dishwasher; if you don’t have one, then just hide them in the cupboard under the sink. Blitz the surfaces with a cloth, ridding them of crumbs, and chuck any dirty tea towels in the washing machine, putting a clean one in their place.
Any dirty items, like bathmats and towels, can be chucked into the bath. Then, draw out the shower curtain so that everything is concealed from view. Give the toilet a mini-clean by working bleach around the rim and then flushing. Brighten up the bathroom mirror with the damp cloth, paying close attention to toothpaste marks, then give the sink and taps a quick rub to diminish the appearance of water marks. Make sure the hand towel is a completely fresh one.
Bedrooms and communal areas
If there’s no time to bring out the vacuum cleaner, then keep a dustpan and brush at your side as you go from room to room or, if you prefer, pick up stray bits of lint, fluff or dirt with your hands. Treat every room to a short blast of air freshener. Don’t allow any one task to take up time – keep moving. Open windows as you go, so that fresh air starts moving around.