What's Your Home IQ?

Just how efficient a homekeeper are you? Take our quiz and find out.


Are you a savvy home keeper? How much do you know about organizing, cleaning, or entertaining? Are you setting up your first home? Do you know someone who is? Perhaps you just want to brush up on your etiquette and furniture cleaning know-how.

No matter what your home keeping know-how, we've got the definitive resource for you! Our book, Making a Home: Housekeeping for Real Life, is the 21st-century guide to all things related to your home sweet home. To celebrate the book's release on September 15, BHG.com will be creating 12 terrific quizzes -- to help you measure your home IQ.

You'll see how much you know about linens and laundry, keeping a kitchen, caring for bathroom tiles and entertaining with ease. Need a brush-up on furniture care? Quiz answers will help out, and so will Making a Home.

First, see if you can answer these sneak-preview Making a Home quiz questions. Then, check the next page for tips and tricks from this must-have book.

1) How can you make a homemade leather reconditioner? a) Try mayonnaise -- great on roast beef sandwiches and sofas. b) Add a teaspoon of ammonia and 4 teaspoons of white vinegar to 2 cups of water. c) Mix two tablespoons of mineral oil in one-half cup of white vinegar. d) Stir a few drops of non-chlorine bleach into a tablespoon of castor oil.

2) Traditionally, how should men and women take their seats in a restaurant or at a dinner party? a) Men remain standing until women are seated. b) Women and men take turns one-by-one; first a woman sits, then a man. c) Everyone stands and waits for the host to be seated. Then, all sit. d) While a tune is played, guests march around the table and grab a seat when the music stops.

How did you do? Check your responses below: 1) How can you make a homemade leather reconditioner? The answer is... b. Add a teaspoon of ammonia and 4 teaspoons of white vinegar to 2 cups of water. Here's handy advice on caring for leather furniture from the book, Making A Home, from the editors of Better Homes and Gardens: "Furniture upholstered in leather has several advantages: Spills don't permeate unless allowed to pool for an extended period, dust doesn't settle in deeply, and pet hair and surface dirt brush off. Although commercial conditioners are easy to use for large pieces such as sofas, homemade leather reconditioners work well for smaller pieces, such as footstools or side chair seats. To make leather reconditioner, add 1 teaspoon of household ammonia and 4 teaspoons of white vinegar to 2 cups of water. Apply the mixture, dry with a soft cloth, and them wipe on castor oil, using a soft cloth. Rub on leather shoe cream in the appropriate color. Buff well.

2) Traditionally, how should men and women take their seats in a restaurant or at a dinner party? The answer is... a. Men remain standing until women are seated. Making a Home makes this recommendation: "Traditionally, men remain standing until women are seated. This is an especially nice gesture when guests are of different generations, such as grandsons showing courtesy and respect to their grandmothers. Men assist women with their chairs unless the waiter or host does." Making a Home also offers helpful household advice on cleaning walls, carpet construction, choosing a humidifier, and more.

The art of making a home is in style again. You can make a comfortable home that nurtures your family with the timesaving, down-to-earth advice in Making a Home: Housekeeping for Real Life, from Better Homes and Gardens.

This thoroughly researched book includes the most up-to-date homekeeping information for the 21st century. Discover the tools to make the home you want on everything from stocking the pantry to fuss-free parties. Chapters discuss how to set up timely routines so you can organize, furnish, clean, and enjoy every room in your house. Savoring life at home is the heart of this book, so chapters about entertaining and overnight guests, etiquette, childcare and pet care are included, too.

A one-stop resource in a lie flat, easy-to-use ringbound format, this expert guide can help you decide which tools, routines, and furnishings to consider. Dozens of valuable household lessons and shortcuts to save space, stretch the budget, and cut time on chores are scattered in tip boxes throughout and specially indexed, too. Learn the best ways to clean wallpaper, properly arrange table settings, remove hard water deposits, disinfect surfaces, and loosen burned food from your pans. Resource lists and colorful illustrations provide additional insights.

Home is more than a house. Make the most of yours with this valuable book.

  • 125 photographs
  • 130 illustrations
  • 384 pages
  • Ringbound, $29.95 U.S., $44.95 Canada

Be sure to visit BHG.com in September, when we'll present a quiz a week -- 12 in all -- so you can see just how high your Home IQ is (and how to make it soar). Visit us again soon!

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