It has happened to all of us at some point in time. We get that dreaded phone call where a friend or family member tells us they’re stopping by shortly.
The first thing you do is survey the mess you’re surrounded by and then panic. How are you going to get your home cleaned up before they arrive?
Follow these simple tips and you’ll know how to speed clean your house so it’s ready for any visitor.
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How To Speed Clean
1. Cleaning Supplies
Gather all of your cleaning supplies and place them in a cleaning caddy so they’re easy to carry from room to room.
Place cleaning cloths or paper towels, all-purpose cleaner in a spray bottle, toilet bowl cleaner, air freshener or Febreze in your caddy. A 50/50 solution of white vinegar in water makes a nice all-purpose cleaner.
An empty laundry basket or box and a trash bag will also come in handy to collect items that are out-of-place.
2. Clear Surfaces
Start on one end of your home and work your way to the other side. Make sure to concentrate on any areas your visitor is likely to go e.g. living room, kitchen and guest bathroom.
Pick up anything that is out-of-place and quickly store it in its rightful location, if it’s close by. If the item does not belong to that room, place it in the laundry basket or box. Throw any trash you find along the way into the garbage bag.
As you move around the house, remove things from the basket and place them where they belong. Also, close doors to bedrooms or any other rooms that are messy and will not be cleaned during this process.
Typically, you will have to clear clutter hotspots like the kitchen counter, especially near to the entryway, bathroom counters and living room. Piles of mail, toiletries and toys will be the usual suspects.
When you’re done, stash the laundry basket or box out of view in a closet or bedroom and keep the trash bag with you.
3. Wipe Down And Dust
In the guest bathroom, apply some of the toilet bowl cleaner and leave it. While it sits, speed clean countertops, mirrors, faucets and the toilet seat. Start at the highest point and work your way down but stick to eye level surfaces. This is not the time for deep cleaning. Just do the bare minimum you need to.
Scrub the toilet bowl and flush it. Check that there is a decent amount of toilet paper on the roll. If not, replace it. You may also consider hanging a fresh hand towel, as well. Make sure there is hand soap available too.
In the kitchen, quickly wipe off the stove, counters and any other visible surface that looks gross.
In the living areas, dust bookshelves, TV and tables. Flip over any stained cushions and make a mental note to thoroughly clean the sofa afterwards.
4. Clean the Floors and the Air
Grab the vacuum cleaner—mopping will take too long—and run it over the floors of the entryway, kitchen, bathroom and living room. Concentrate on picking up visible dirt. Ignore underneath chairs or any areas your visitor are least likely to notice. Remember, you’re trying to speed clean!
Last but not least, spritz the air with some air freshener or Febreze.
5. Do The Dishes
After you’ve done your speed clean and your guest has not yet arrived, wash dirty dishes or place them in the dishwasher. You can switch it on now or wait until your company has left to clean them.
Alright, you made it! Stow away your cleaning supplies.
Now, grab a paper towel, wipe your sweat and spray on a little deodorant. You’re likely to be sweating after your mad dash.
Prevention Is Key
After your company is gone, I bet you’ll be thinking you don’t want to repeat that again! And really, you don’t have to. Simplifying and organizing your possessions makes it easier to keep your home clean.
Pare down your stuff. If you find it difficult, be honest with yourself about why you’re holding onto certain things as there are many reasons for clutter to build up in our homes. Use cheap organizing hacks to corral what’s left of your things and enforce rules to keep clutter at bay.
Make sure to clean your house regularly. Simple habits like tidying up the kitchen and living room before you go to bed every night and putting things away in the bathroom after you’re done using them make a huge difference.
Even when you have the best of intentions to keep your home clean, sometimes people drop by and we barely have time to spare to get our homes in ship-shape. If this ever happens, you can use this guide to help you speed clean before your guests arrive.