Quick Cleaning the House when Unexpected Guests Are Coming

You’re sitting at home on a Sunday afternoon when the phone rings. It’s some friends asking if they can stop by for a few minutes. You know the house is a wreck, but you gladly say, “Sure.” You only have half an hour before they arrive. If this or another similar scenario has happened to you, you may be aware of the fine art of quick cleaning when unsuspected guests are on the way. Here are some tips to help you get your house in guest ready condition in mere minutes.

Dishes. If the dishwasher is empty, throw your dirty dishes inside. You don’t have to load the dishwasher well and in fact you can also include your non-dishwasher safe items as well. You can always pull them out later. If your dish drainer is full of clean dishes, simply throw a clean dish towel over them. Or, you can fill an empty dish drainer with your dirty dishes and do the same thing.

Shoes. Many families leave shoes lying around the house. Quickly toss the shoes in a coat closet or bedroom. You may want to tie the laces together so they are easier to match again once the guests have left.

Toys. If you have toys lying around everywhere, grab a large tote or other container and toss them in together and put the bin in the basement or a bedroom with the door closed. You can let your kids sort through the toys later. Or if you have a toddler, he’ll love removing the toys from the container.

Paperwork. If you have bills, mail, and other papers lying around, grab a file folder or binder and slide them all in together. This will keep anything from getting lost in the cleaning frenzy and you can go back through the paperwork later.

Clothes. If there are socks, jackets, etc strewn about, just grab your laundry basket, fill it, and put it on the washer or dryer. If some of the clothes were clean, you can always separate them back out at another time.

Cleaning. As for the items that might actually need to be cleaned before the arrival of the guests, choose what really needs to be cleaned wisely. Grab a pre-moistened wipe and wipe down your counter tops and dining room table. Wipe out the bathroom sink and toilet rim. Grab a Swiffer sweeper or other broom and do a quick sweep of the hard floors. If you have a small vacuum, give your carpets a quick clean. If you don’t have a smaller vacuum, just pick up any noticeable stuff by hand. This can be a good job for the kids. Use a dry cloth to remove any major dusty furniture in the living room or whatever room you will be visiting in only.

Unexpected guests will never lead to a spic and span house. But a few quick touches can have your home in a presentable fashion in less than half an hour. Try these tips the next time you are unprepared for visitors.

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