You just received a phone call – “Surprise! We’ll see you in 30 minutes!” Ugh. The bad news: Your house is a mess. The good news: You can still welcome family and friends to a clean, neat and tidy home by following this simple quick cleaning guide.

Quick Cleaning Guide

1. Decide on Rooms

This isn’t the time to clean your entire home from top to bottom. Choose the rooms that your guests will see. Odds are they will be the living room, kitchen and bathroom. Focus on these rooms first.

2. Let time do the Work

In the bathroom: spray toilets, sinks and bathtubs with cleaner and let them sit. In the kitchen: put most dishes in the dishwasher, fill the sink with water and soak the dishes that don’t fit. Spray the stove top and counters with cleaner and let them sit.

That’s it now move on to point 3, we’re going for speed here.

3. Gather Clutter

Using a large box or plastic tub, move from room to room and gather all items that don’t belong or that should be put away. If items can easily be put away, do so. If not, leave them in the box and put them away once your company has left. Clear surfaces of books, dishes, magazines, toys etc. Stash the box in a spare bedroom or other room that visitors will not enter.

4. The Floors

Sweep or vacuum high traffic areas like hallways, the middle of a room, around chairs and furniture. This isn’t the time to move furniture and do a thorough job this needs to be quick. For vinyl or wood floors, take a damp cloth with cleaner and spot wash getting rid of any particularly nasty spills or spots. There’s no time to wash the entire floor.

5. Wipe Down and Finish up

Finish up the dishes that are soaking in the sink. Grab a wash cloth and wipe down the kitchen counters, stove top and table. Wipe down bathroom counter tops, sinks, toilets and bathtubs.

6. Freshen up

Add a sweet smell to your home with a light air freshener, open the window on warm days or light a couple of scented candles.

This guide has saved me on more than one occasion. Ultimately cleaning as you go and having your home ‘visitor ready’ at all times is the way to go but that’s not always possible, at least not for me. Things to remember

  • Move quickly.
  • Get help if you can (other family members).
  • Focus only on rooms that your guests will see.