How to Cheat at Cleaning …and Get Away With It!

Picture this: You just got home from a long day and your house is a mess. All of a sudden you get a phone call from your in-laws letting you know they’re in the area and might drop by in…20 minutes!!! Your house is a disaster! What do you do?

Jeff Bredenberg came on my show and told us some great ways we can cheat at cleaning. Jeff pointed out that “emergency cleaning” is all about creating the illusion of cleanliness, not actually cleaning! When you’re crunched for time, use some of these invaluable tips from his book, "How to Cheat at Cleaning", to maximize your tidying efforts.

General Cleaning:
• Concentrate on the rooms your guests will see.
• Address the clutter
•Skip the vacuuming and dusting. Drop-in guests won’t notice these details.
•Use a lint brush to clean up any obvious pet hair or fuzz from furniture.
•Dim the lights to minimize obvious dust, dirt and crumbs.
•Grab a laundry basket and a garbage bag and go around your house collecting random and/or clutter items. When you’ve gone through every room your guests will see, throw out the trash bag, and stick the laundry basket full of misplaced items in a closet to deal with later.

Bedroom:
•Close the bedroom doors!
•Don’t waste your time straightening up in there; drop-in guests won’t be going in the bedrooms.

Bathroom:
•Clear the counters! Put all your “products” in the drawers.
•Empty the trash and you’re done!

Kitchen:
•Clear the counters. Again, put all your food products, extra appliances (blender, can opener, etc.) and misplaced items in cabinets and drawers. Think sleek.
•Pick up child and pet toys from floor, tables and counters, and put them away.
•Use wipe on counters.
•If you have dirty dishes in the sink, fill it with soap and water. This makes it “in the process” not “dirty dishes.” Put rubber gloves on, so when your guests arrive they think they have interrupted your cleaning.

*Tip: To be prepared for future drop-in guests, buy an extra set of drip pans for under your stove burners. This way you can quickly slip in the new ones when you know a guest is stopping over, and once they leave, you can replace the old ones for use while cooking!

Living Room:
•Pick the three biggest clutter items, and stuff them into drawers.
•Toss out newspapers.

With theses quick clean up tips in your arsenal, you’re sure to trick any drop-in guest into believing you always have a tidy home.

Flavored Milk Craze

Are your kids not big on breakfast? Is your family always on the run and you don’t have time to eat a well-balanced breakfast in the morning, never mind cook one? Well what if you could get your kids all the nutrients they need in the morning by simply reaching into the refrigerator and pulling out a delicious breakfast drink?

Dr. Manny came on my show and told us about breakfast drinks that are available in our supermarkets. Dr. Manny pointed out that these breakfast drinks are a better choice for kids than eating a poor snack, or eating no breakfast at all. The drinks we highlighted on the show were:

• Slammers Ultimate Milk (coming in kid-friendly flavors such as "Trix" and "Coco Pops")
• Instant Breakfast (in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry)
• PediaSure’s Nutra Pals (in chocolate, and vanilla)

Dr. Manny reminded us that a well-balanced breakfast is ideal, but in a crunch, giving our kids these breakfast drinks gives them all the nutrients of a full breakfast. Although theses drinks contain the nutritional value of a real breakfast, they can often be high in sugar, so if your child is overweight, these drinks may not be a good idea.

Negative Calories!?!

Is that possible? Dr. Manny will be back on my show on Thursday talking about the new fad in energy drinks: the negative calorie drink.

For more information about my show go to my website www.hillfriends.com

E.D. Hill anchors 'FOX News Live' weekdays from 11 a.m. to noon ET.