If you’re like most people, you expect a little bit of a heads up before having guests over. However, on some occasions, people just happen to be in the neighborhood and want to pop in. The question is, how do you clean your house when you only have a matter of minutes?
7 Ways to Quickly Clean Your House
When you only have a few minutes or hours to clean, you can’t perform a deep clean of every crack, corner, and crevice in your home. Instead, you’ll need to choose your spots and focus on a nice surface-level clean that helps you be as hospitable as possible. Here are several suggestions to make this as easy as possible:
1. Clear Off Surfaces
Start by clearing off surfaces. This includes kitchen counters, dining tables, end tables, coffee tables, mantels, and floors. Put everything away behind closed doors. While not an ideal long-term solution, you can always toss things in closets, cabinets, and under beds when you’re in a big hurry.
The objective is to eliminate clutter so that your home can “breathe” and guests don’t feel overwhelmed.
2. Vacuum Main Living Areas
The next step is to vacuum the floors of all main living areas, including the entryway, living room, kitchen, hallways, and any other rooms that guests will be in.
Note: While this isn’t the time to go out and buy a new vacuum cleaner (you only have a few minutes or hours to work with), this is a good time to mention the importance of having the right vacuum cleaner in your home. A high-quality, multi-surface vacuum saves a lot of time by allowing you to quickly and efficiently clean multiple surfaces (including carpets, rugs, hardwood, and tile floors). Definitely make this investment as soon as possible!
3. Refresh the Aroma
The smell of your house communicates a number of messages to your guests. If it smells musty – or like last night’s dinner – that’s a major turn-off. On the other hand, if it smells fresh, people instantly feel comfortable and relaxed. This is why it’s smart to refresh the aroma of your house before guests arrive.
If the weather is nice, open the windows and let in some fresh air. You can also light a candle or diffuse some essential oils. Another option is to put some cinnamon or spices in a small pot on the stove and simmer.
4. Wipe Down Bathrooms
Whether your guests are just stopping by for a few minutes or they plan to stay for several days, bathrooms will get used. (And nothing is more disgusting than someone else’s bathroom that hasn’t been cleaned.) While you might not have time for a deep clean, you can certainly clean the toilet, scrub down the tub/shower, wipe the mirror, and restock fresh towels and a new roll of toilet paper.
5. Spot Clean the Kitchen
Again, you won’t have time for a full kitchen deep clean. You can, however, pay attention to key areas like counters, stainless steel appliances, the sink, and the kitchen table. Quickly spot clean as necessary.
6. Blow Off outdoor Living Areas
While a full day of yard work is off the table, you can grab your blower and quickly blow off hard surfaces and living areas. This includes screen porches, patios, pool decks, and entryways. Focus on removing cobwebs, leaves, and other debris.
7. Skip Low-Traffic Areas
You only have so much time to clean your house. Avoid wasting time on low-traffic areas that are unlikely to get much attention. For example, if your home office has a solid door, you can just close the door and leave that room alone. And if your guests are simply stopping by for lunch, there might not be any reason to bother cleaning the basement. Just close the door at the top of the stairs. Focus your time on the square footage that will be used/seen.
Ready, Set, Clean!
You don’t have to get your home perfect for a surprise guest. But as long as you have a few minutes, there’s nothing stopping you from cleaning up a bit and making it more presentable and welcoming.
Use this article as a handy guide for quickly cleaning your home as efficiently as possible.