The clock is ticking. You’re busy. The kids have piano lessons and soccer practice. You were supposed to meet a friend for a catch-up dinner. Or, you’ve just been informed of a late-notice in-law visit that you could have been prepared for had you known about it last week; when your spouse did; but forgot to tell you…ahem.
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What can you do to make the house look presentable without driving yourself up the wall? And I do mean that both figuratively and literally (someone has to clean the ceiling fans and corners).
Traditional methods are just not an option. But hey! You’re savvy and determined. You’ve got this down, no sweat. Well, some sweat because there’s cleaning to do. Still, I’m going to give you a few pointers to help you make the most of the time you have and get the house presentable before that doorbell rings.
Here are suggestions for a ten-minute cleaning session you can do in a pinch, right before pinching your spouse for not telling you about this visit a week ago.
The clock is set. Ready…breathe….aaaand go!
10 Minutes and Counting
The kitchen is always where we start our cleaning adventures. Dishes in the sink, dishes on the counter, a full trashcan, etc., are easy fixes. Put dry dishes away and clear-the-clutter. That means anything sitting out that doesn’t need to be gets stored in a cabinet or cupboard instantly.
Dirty dishes get shoved in the dishwasher. What if it’s already full, or you don’t have one? Grab your biggest bowl and put all your dirty dishes in it. Then hide that bowl under the sink until you can sneak in a longer cleaning session in private.
Any food sitting out from kid’s lunches or a frenzied breakfast gets put back into the pantry.
9 Minutes and Counting
Crumbs! Ah! Before taking out the garbage, use a paper towel or dry rag and sweep all crumbs and debris off the counter into the trash can or into the sink to be rinsed down the drain (if you have a disposal).
Grab your favorite, best-smelling cleaner and do a quick wipe job over the counters as well.
Switch out the dirty tea towel with a clean one.
8 Minutes and Counting
You move like lightning to the living room. Blankets everywhere! Fold them and place them neatly over the arms or top of the sofa or chairs. Use them to cover a stain, if any are there. Straighten up those cushions, breathe and move on.
7 Minutes and Counting
If you’re like me you have some mail lying around. You know there’s a place for it, so put it there. At least pile it up neatly if there is no designated, alternative spot, and make it look purposeful. Use and empty laundry basket as a catch-all for any random clutter around the living room. Toys, gadgets left out – all of them can go in the laundry basket bad be temporarily tucked away.
6 Minutes and Counting
You’re still in the living room. Why? Not only is it the most commonly used room in the house, it will also most likely be where your guests spend the most time. So snap-snap! Quickly wipe off dust marks from coffee tables, end tables, lamp bases, etc. If you didn’t have a mountain of blankets to fold you might have time to break out that favorite cleaner spray to give the room a fresh scent as well. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but a little goes a long way here; trust me. And don’t forget to dry-wipe the TV screen!
5 Minutes – Halfway There
Ugh, the bathroom. First off get rid of any dirty towels hanging around or on the floor. If you don’t have time to get them to the laundry room, hide them in the tub behind a closed shower curtain. Quickly wipe around the toilet rim with a disinfecting wipe or a quick spray of whatever cleaning solution you have wiped down with a paper towel or rag. Again, it’s not a full-job but it will show a difference and be noticeable to your guests.
Sweep the bathroom floor, too, and get rid of noticeable debris.
4 Minutes and Counting
You’re still in the bathroom at 4 minutes remaining but at least you’re the fastest one in the house! Use your choice of glass cleaner on-hand and quickly wipe down the mirrors and sink to get rid of toothpaste or other smudges. Always hang a completely clean-and-fresh hand towel before company arrives. The mirror won’t be perfect but again, just the smallest effort will have a huge impact. Your company won’t know you barely cleaned it, but they will know if you didn’t.
3 Minutes and the Finish Line
Pet owners! To the ready! Vacuum up that obvious pet hair the best you can. Hopefully, you employ a regular pet-hair removal process so that this step won’t be overwhelming in a rush. Grab noticeable paper or debris and toss it. It will make a difference and save time on doing a full vacuum job. Find out what is the best vacuum for removing your pet’s hair all over your place.
Finally, grab your favorite, scented room spray and spritz away. This will always give at least a temporary positive impression and make your house feel like it’s been fully cleaned. Try not to go overboard on the amount you disperse so that it’s not overtly obvious, and then, wait…knock knock … !
What are your quick clean up tips and tricks?!? Let me know in the comments, I love new ideas!