Homes

9 quick cleaning tips to save time this Christmas break

Don't waste time cleaning the house on Christmas eve - instead do these easy things now.

This is definitely the list you need if the idea of spending Christmas Eve knee-deep in cleaning products makes you feel like the Grinch.

Christmas - and summer - is always busy and social, with lots of entertaining and unexpected guests sure to drop by.

But instead of waiting until the last minute to get your home in tip top shape, here are nine easy ways to get sorted before your friends and family turn up on your doorstep.

1 Set the timer when you are doing certain chores. Experts say if you know how long individual tasks take, they seem less difficult. We like that idea.

2 Put clean sheets on your spare bed NOW. Even if you aren't expecting any sleepovers from visitors, it's one thing less to deal with if someone does end up having to sleep it off.

3 Use the commercial breaks wisely. You have two-and-a-half minutes to get something done, and tackling small tasks seems like a better idea than mindlessly watching ads!

4 Sort out the fridge before you hit the shops. Chances are your fridge and kitchen cupboards aren't as jam-packed as they are going to be in a few weeks. If you have a proper clean out now, not only will it save you time in December, but you'll also know exactly what you already have in stock.

5 Don't bother scrubbing your stove top burners. If they come off, pop them in a snaplock bag, with a little ammonia overnight. In the morning, wipe them clean and away you go.

6 Bedtime equals cleaning time. While the kids (or you) are in the bathroom getting ready for bed, use that time to quickly wipe down the vanity, bath, mirror and toilet. Easy.

7 Try listening to podcasts while you clean. Not only will they help time fly, but you'll learn a few things along the way.

8 Put clutter (like toiletries) away in a cupboard. Just shove them in there - no one is going to be looking to see if they are organised by floral fragrance!

9 The smell of fresh flowers, however, does make everything instantly better. Set some out the morning your guests are due to arrive, and enjoy this special time together!