This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BackToClean #CollectiveBias

There’s something about summer that seems to make rule-bending come so naturally. Food rules, bedtimes, all the “rituals” take a hiatus once school lets out.

And this card-carrying neat freak doesn’t even stress as much about the state of the house during the summer.

But fall is around the bend – back to school, after-school activities, structure, order, BUSINESS.

And I can no longer ignore the little piles and messes that I rush right by as I’m headed out the door. The fact that cooler weather means being at home more probably doesn’t help.

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But it’s not like I have more time – in fact I feel even crazier once September rolls around, and struggle to keep on top of everything. Which is why I have a few systems for keeping things neat, orderly and under control – without a full-on, top-to-bottom cleaning (because, seriously, ain’t nobody got time for that). This holds mostly true for the more “public” areas of the house – the kitchen, family room and powder room.

I thought I’d share my 5 quick “clean-up” tips for the powder room, that get it from “meh” to guest-ready in about 15 minutes!

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1. Flowers Flowers are the easiest way to make a room look “finished”. It’s mid-August in my garden, which means: a) it’s completely overgrown, and b) most blooms are long gone. But I managed to snip a few plants and grasses to fill up the vases and jars, and bring some color into this black-and-white room.

2. Pretty Candles/”Fancy” Hand Soap I love getting candles as gifts – and I store them away in the kitchen and powder room for a quick fix. The aroma of a scented candle makes a room feel instantly special (Note: place lit candles out of reach of little hands). And a luxe hand soap in a pretty bottle is an inexpensive upgrade that makes your guests feel indulged. Go with liquid soap rather than a bar to eliminate the gunk-factor.

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3. Disposable Hand Towels Isn’t it always so awkward when you’re in someone’s bathroom and you go to dry your hands? I never know what to do – the “fancy” towels seem like they shouldn’t be touched, yet there are often no other options. I’ve solved that problem at home with a box of handy disposable towels. It’s clear that they’re meant to actually be used, and they’re more sanitary (and convenient) than traditional towels.

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4. An Amenities “Kit” Again, a little touch that makes a big difference. I keep this stocked box in a cabinet, and pull it out when guests arrive. The contents can vary; this is what I like to include (Note: place out of reach of little hands):

* hairspray
* acetominophin
* mini sewing kit
* breath “tabs”
* band-aids
* lint roller
* static spray
* hand cream
* stain stick
* hand sanitizer
* cotton swabs

5. All-in-One Disinfecting Wipes Of course, nothing replaces a good deep cleaning. But realistically? Life gets in the way and I don’t get to that task as often as I should. Which is why I LOVE the convenience – and effectiveness – of Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. I stock up on a regular basis at my local Target, and keep them stashed in the kitchen, bathrooms and of course, the powder room.

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I love that I can use the wipes on all surfaces – including mirrors – as it dries clear and leaves no residue. Even better, Clorox wipes kill 99.9% of germs – including viruses that cause colds and flu (winter’s coming, people).

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One or two wipes later, and the whole room looks and feels sparking and clean (click here to learn more creative ways to use Clorox wipes).

How about you? What are your favorite tips for a quick “clean-up”?


  1. David @ Spiced on August 18, 2015 at 11:09 am

    What a great post! It doesn’t take much time to really liven up the house…and these tips are excellent. Thanks for sharing! #client

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