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Ten housecleaning suggestions before a Martha Stewart type arrives

A Side of Clyde

We have a friend who is a devotee of Martha Stewart. She lives and breathes her television program and also listens to Martha's radio program. Following the Martha Stewart principle of etiquette, when visiting she always calls in advance and makes an appointment to arrive in 30 minutes.

I have lots of suggestions on cleaning the house in a hurry, but they are never accepted even though our house is very seldom in a mess. Here are some recommendations my wife has never accepted.

Suggestion 1: Ovens have at least 9 cubic feet of storage space. That provides a great place to shove dirty dishes, dirty clothes or anything you want to get out of sight in the kitchen before your friend arrives.

Suggestion 2: Get a dust ruffle. Martha Stewart believes dust ruffles exist to keep dust out from under the bed or help coordinate a colorful look. It's the best way I know to hide anything that fits under the bed.

Suggestion 3: When you vacuum, just push it around the middle of the room. Don't go under the furniture because it takes too long and no one looks there. I think.

Suggestion 4: More on vacuuming. If you have a lot of dirt on the rug, call for a demo salesman and hope he arrives before your friend. Tell him you have a different rug in the bedroom and his machine won't work there. He'll show you how good his vacuum is.

Suggestion 5: Keep the lights down low, especially at night. It's romantic and bad lighting can hide lots of dirt.

Suggestion 6: The bathroom. Close the shower door and curtain. Put down the lid. Pour some Lysol in the trash can, and you can create the illusion of a freshly cleaned bathroom.

Suggestion 7: Dusting. Quickly run a rag over everything but the coffee table. Use a heavy slug of Pledge so the room smells clean.

Suggestion 8: Visible trash. Throw everything in the trash and call your neighbor and tell him your back is sore and could he please take it out. It will save you time.

Suggestion 9: Closed doors. If you can't get your room in shape in one day, you can't in 30 minutes. Lock it. Put a sign on the door, "Media Room - Don't Enter - Downloading."

Suggestion 10: Clothes dryer. If the minutes are scarce and there is still stuff lying around, stick it in the clothes dryer and washing machine because chances are the oven is already full.

Dirty Tip: If you don't have time to do any cleaning and the dust on the coffee table is thick, use your finger and print "Welcome Martha." It may be dusty, but it shows you're thinking of her. And your friend's visits may become fewer.

Send comments and suggestions to Clyde Noel through the Town Crier by calling our Feedback Line, 947-9457, or leaving him a message at 948-9000, ext. 820.

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