By Ashley Gebert
You can make your home clean fast (in 30 minutes or less!) by using these five cleaning tips for surprise guests.
Relatives, friends, colleagues, and everybody in between sometimes like to make themselves unexpected guests in your home. The last thing you want is to invite them in when dishes are still piled high in the sink and your toilet is still blue from a hasty scrub. But don’t panic! You can have your place looking as clean as a whistle in less time than it takes to get a pizza delivered.
1. Declutter the Main Living Areas
Before you even think about scrubbing the floors or pulling out the bottle of air freshener, first declutter whatever you can in your main living areas where you know your guests will take a seat for a time. Few things are more off-putting to guests than walking into a cluttered home — especially if there’s no place for them to sit comfortably!
In a pinch, you likely won’t have enough time to sort through all of the odds and ends scattered around your house, so as a temporary measure, take a large box (or two) and just fill it with everything in the main living area that doesn’t belong there. This might include toys, newspapers, junk mail, abandoned hair ties, and more. Then store this box somewhere your guests won’t be. Don’t forget to tackle sorting through all that clutter later after your guests leave!
2. Wipe Down Dirty Surfaces
The next priority on the list is dirty surfaces like tables and countertops. Take a wet rag or disinfectant wipe, and clean away crumbs, dirt, and sticky spots. Not only will this create more surface area in your home with a glowing, clean look, it will also prevent awkward situations where your guests can’t find a clean spot to put their drinks or whatever. But avoid spending too much time on this step. If you’re in a hurry, a deeper scrub can wait so you have enough time to tackle other important cleaning measures right now.
3. Vacuum the Floors
Having dirt-free carpet and hard floors is well worth the time it takes to get there, but leave your broom where it is. Vacuuming is faster than sweeping, and will save you precious time before your guests arrive. Once again, tackle areas where you know your guests will be sitting, and then move on to other areas, like the kitchen and bathroom floors.
4. Disinfect the Guest Bathroom
Whether your guests are staying for an hour or a week, it’s safe to assume they’ll be using your bathroom. Since people usually aren’t in the bathroom for more than a few minutes, surprise guests are more likely to forget a slightly dirty bathroom than a dirty living room where they’re spending the bulk of their visit. For this reason, cleaning the bathroom should be a slightly lower priority than the above steps. But if you have time to spare, don’t neglect your bathroom.
If you have the time, clean these five areas of the bathroom in this order: countertop, trash, toilet, mirror, floors. When the countertops and faucet are covered in toothpaste and loose hair, your guests will feel a lot dirtier coming out of the bathroom than they did going in, so this space is the biggest bathroom priority. However, don’t clean the shower and tub, even if you know your guests are coming for a longer visit. Simply pull the shower curtain to cover it all. With any luck, you’ll be able to clean this area while your guests are distracted at some point.
5. Finish Up in the Kitchen
Unless you know your guests will be visiting in the kitchen for any amount of time, this room should be the last on your list. If you’ve already done the above steps, the kitchen should already be decluttered, wiped down, and vacuumed. Trash and the dirty dishes are all that’s left. First take out the trash (especially if it’s full to bursting) then do the dishes. Put whatever dishes you can in the dishwasher, and then hand wash the rest.
Welcome Your Guests with No Regrets
Still have time left over? Spritz some air freshener around the sofas and the corners of the living room, but take care not to spray too much. Then turn on whatever lights you can to brighten the place up and make it even more welcoming.
Cleaning your house is a breeze when you prioritize. Sure, your house may still have some dirty spots, but in less than 30 minutes, you’ve created a place where your guests can feel comfortable and welcome.
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