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iStock_000020683038SmallSuper Bowl Sunday is right around the corner and for us New Yorkers this one is going to be exciting because it will be taking place right in our own back yard! The festivities circling around the Super bowl have already begun around town and in New York City. The excitement is starting to fill the air, and for those of us (like me) who are hosting this year’s football gathering, we have only four more days to spruce up our homes and get them looking top notch for the big day!

For Sunday’s game, I decided I don’t want to be the hostess that runs around cleaning and serving the entire time. The game is only three hours and I plan on watching it with my guests, so I need to do some serious pre-planning and pre-cleaning – enough to last until the game is over. I already hit the food store and ordered the food for game night so all I have left to do is clean. I am not going to go “crazy” cleaning before-hand because this Sunday’s guests will only be focused on three things: The game, the food, and the bathroom!

The game plan consists of tackling only those areas in my home that guests will be confined to the most, which are the entryway, the living room, the kitchen, the bathroom and the bedroom where the guest’s coats and bags will go. My defense team for tackling the bad guys will be my homemade cleaning solutions, castile soap, rubber gloves, my HEPA vacuum my microfiber cloths, and microfiber mop.

Starting in the entryway, the plan is to make this area cozy, warm and inviting. Put that microfiber cloth into motion by wiping down baseboards, picture frames, accent furniture and lights. Make your windows shine by cleaning them with a mixture of vinegar and warm water. Toss those shoes, hats, backpacks and gloves laying around into a bin and store it in an off limits bedroom. Replace inside and outside burnt bulbs. Dust off decorative objects, cobwebs and dust bunny piles. Spritz the entry way with a spray bottle of warm water and a few drops of your favorite smelling essential oils.

If guests will be hanging their coats up in the entryway closet, make sure there are plenty of hangers available. Make additional room in the closet by moving your bulkiest items to a bedroom closet for the evening. If you are asking guests to remove their shoes before entering your home, be sure to provide shoe racks or baskets to store them on.

If you plan to pile guest jackets up on your bed, be sure to give your bedroom a once over first. De-clutter the floor, especially the “walkway” area to the bed. Put away anything personal until after the party.

Natural Non-Toxic Cleaning ProductsMoving down the field to the next cleaning hotspot is the bathroom. Grab your homemade all-purpose cleaner made of equal parts vinegar, baking soda, and water, and clean the vanity, sink, and countertops. Tuck those stray items in cabinets or drawers until the party is over. Make your mirror sparkle by spraying it with water and wiping it with a dry microfiber cloth. Spray bathroom fixtures with vinegar and scrub them with an old toothbrush. Polish them off with a dry microfiber cloth. Clean the inside, seat, rim and outside of the toilet bowl with your vinegar, borax, baking soda and water solution. Put out fresh, fluffy hand towels. Keep a container of homemade wipes handy in the bathroom for quick cleaning. For a fresh scent, dab a few cotton balls with your favorite smelling essential oils and place them around the corners of the bathroom. To remove unwanted odors, leave an opened box of baking soda on the floor behind the toilet bowl.

Heading into the kitchen, the first stop is the sink. The kitchen sink is one of the busiest spots in the kitchen, especially during a party. The goal is to try and keep the sink as empty as possible throughout game time. The plan of the evening is to keep the sink shining by rinsing the dishes and putting them right into the dishwasher.

During a party, the kitchen can get quite chaotic. Streamline your space by stashing unnecessary countertop appliances and knick-knacks, then giving the counter a good cleaning with castile soap and warm water. Do the same with your stovetop, cabinets and the exterior of the refrigerator and freezer, paying special attention to their handles. Wipe down interior messes in the refrigerator and if needed, rearrange the refrigerator to accommodate appetizers, beer and other edible gifts guests may bring.

When cleaning the kitchen, don’t forget the microwave! Speed clean your microwave by heating up a bowl of lemon juice and water in the microwave for one minute. Wipe down after the microwave cools off.

Pull out the big coffee pot you only use for parties and make sure it is cleaned inside and out. Wipe down coolers, ice buckets and other items you only take out only for special occasions with castile soap and warm water.

Begin your party with an empty trash can and leave an empty trash bag underneath for a quick change out. Throw some lemon wedges or sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom of the trash cans to keep smelly odors at bay. Clearly label where your guests can recycle their empty bottles and cans.

Next, get your game day viewing room ready by de-cluttering the space first. Pick up any out-of-place items. Straighten couch cushions, flush pillows, refold and re-drape throws. Wash the windows and the lamps. Grab your lint brush and wipe the dust off your lampshades and your draperies. Clear off the coffee table and get it ready for drinks, snacks and appetizers by wiping it off with a dry microfiber cloth. If the top of the table is glass, spray it with vinegar first before wiping.

Woman wiping computer screenBecause the television and the items around the television will be the focal point of the evening’s party you want them cleaned! Run a microfiber cloth over your television screen and the surrounding areas and check for fingerprints and dust. Clean last minute carpet stains by blotting club soda on the stain. For larger stained areas, sprinkle on corn starch. Grab your rubber gloves and remove pet hair off upholstered furniture by spraying vodka on the pet hair and wiping it off with your gloves.

Be sure to give your baseboards a little love by wiping them down or vacuuming them off. For quick and easy wall cleaning, take a stroll around the room with microfiber cloth in hand, and scan for noticeable smudges, smears and finger prints on your walls, in your doorways, hallways, picture frames, photographs, doorknobs, light switches and any other common touch spaces that you might have overlooked. Take another look at your mirrors and wipe smudges off with a cloth and warm water.

Last but not least, decorate! Hang up some strings of LED lights in the team’s colors (www.oogalights.com has a great selection). Add a little fun to the game by making yellow penalty flags before-hand and giving each guest a few so they can call the shots during the game.

Cleaning for the Super Bowl can be quick and simple if you target the areas where your guests will be. Learning a few simple tasks can lessen your pre-party stress and get you game ready so you can enjoy your party too.

Game on!