If life was perfect and pigs could fly, we would all live in spick and span homes that would never gather as much as an inch of dust. But since life is a little messier, cleaning chores are a hard fact of life, which inevitably means that we sometimes fall behind on our cleaning rituals.
We’ve all experienced those unplanned circumstances where the dinner guests are on their way, yet you haven’t done as much as fluffed a pillow to get the house ready. Or your mother-in-law (bless her) chooses that exact moment when your cleaning schedule is way behind to announce her unexpected visit.
What do you do? Take a deep breath, and jump into that 15 minute speed cleaning frenzy. It highlights the tasks that make the biggest impact, leaving your home relatively presentable for those unforeseen visitors.
Removing surface clutter equals an instant makeover, and this means your living room is a vital spot to include, seeing as it is the place where our guests flock towards.
Although you may not have time to put everything in their place, you can simply stash the majority of items (like loose magazines, TV remote, etc.) in a basket or other receptacle until later when the coast is clear.
This should have been completed when you woke up this morning, but let’s move on. If you don’t have the time, simply leave your bedroom door closed. If you have a minute to spare, then tuck in those sheets, fluff the pillows, and adjust the duvet’s edges until the top of your bed is a smooth surface. It is amazing how a made-up bed can create a fresh and clean feel in a bedroom.
A stacked stink full of dirty dishes immediately brings a kitchen’s look way down. So, get cracking with stacking that dishwasher, even if it means quickly unloading it first.
If you don’t have a dishwasher, then simply stack the dishes neatly in the sink after rinsing off leftover food.
And make sure to remove any dirty dishes and cups from other areas of your home, like the coffee table.
Wet a paper towel with a surface cleaner and wipe down those kitchen countertops. This should not take you more than one minute, at most.
If you have the time, stash those spices, bottles of sauce, and other food items in the pantry where they belong.
A clean surface makes an entire house seem clean, even if hidden nooks and crannies are not entirely spotless. So, wipe down that dining room table to ensure that any crumbs or other bits of food and dirt are history. Remember to shake off those placemats as well.
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As your guest will most probably have a bathroom break while at your house, your bathroom needs to be presentable. If you don’t have the time for a decent cleaning, then at least wipe down the countertops for a fresh, clean look.
Make sure to stash excess bathroom products in the cabinets or drawers before cleaning the counters, and spray some air freshener as well.
And bonus points if you can put out a fresh hand towel!
A stray jacket here, a loose sock there, and a pile of dirty gym clothes over there – what a mess. Immediately move those dirty clothes to the laundry hamper. If you don’t have time to hang the clean ones on hangers, then drape them over the clothing rod and shut the closet doors until you can face them later.
Since you’re pressed for time, forget about the mop and vacuum, and grab the dust cloth instead. A few swipes can remove the loose debris from the floor quickly and easily, and a wet wipe or wet mopping cloth can help to spot clean dirty areas.
When you have more time, you can continue with your usual cleaning ritual for a more meticulous job. But until then, don’t feel ashamed about treating yourself to a speed clean; we all do it from time to time.