You just got off the phone with your sister and she is coming over, with her kids, and they are on the way. They are going to stop at the store first and then come over so it will be about 40 minutes until they arrive. But, your house is a wreck, so what do you do? Well, it’s obvious that you need a really quick clean up, but you don’t have the time. In 15-20 minutes you can clean up your entire house and still have time to put on lipstick or get dressed. When surprise company calls it can put you into a tailspin, but not if you have a good plan.
So what’s the big secret? Even if your closets and rooms behind closed doors are full of crap you home can still appear to be clean. The secret is that no one has to know about the crap. Part of your plan will be to clean the “guest” areas of your home, and the trick is to hide everything else. Remember when you were a kid and your parents told you to clean your room but you wanted to play? So you stuffed everything under the bed and in the closet so that your room appeared to be clean in just minutes. This is the same technique.
Here’s a list of the things you will need before you start your quick clean up:
• All purpose cleaner and paper towels
• Basket or Laundry Bag
• A Damp Sponge
The first thing that you want to do is grab your basket or laundry bag and start walking through your home as a guest would do. Start at the front door and work your way through each room, just as your sister and her children will do. As you walk through each room pick up the clutter and put it in the bag or basket. Pick up shoes from the entry way, junk mail in the kitchen or dining room, grab the clutter in the living room like toys or dirty dishes, and then hide the basket in the bottom of a closet or behind a bedroom door until after your guests leave. This should take about 5 minutes, unless you have a really large home and now you are ready to clean the rest of the house.
Go back through each room with the duster and the all purpose cleaner to make sure that all visible surfaces are clean. Don’t overspray the cleaner because you will spend too much time wiping it down. The idea is just to give it a quick once over, not a power washing. Straighten up books and magazines at the same time and make the beds if you are cleaning the bedrooms too. It should take about 10 minutes to wipe down and dust all the guest areas of the house, and straighten up blankets and pillows. Don’t go overboard because you don’t have much time.
Next you are going to sweep your floors if they are wood, or spot vacuum if you have carpets. Just giving your floors a quick once over will make your home appear to be much cleaner without putting in a lot of effort or time. After you put the vacuum away clean up the bathroom toilets and sinks, as well as the kitchen sinks. If you notice any spots on the floor or wall use the damp sponge to wipe them away. And that’s it! To make your home a little bit more inviting quickly walk through the house spraying air freshener or light some candles. Altogether the entire clean up should take you 20-25 minutes and will look like you spent an entire day cleaning. Let’s just hope that your sister’s children don’t make it a wreck before they leave.