Company coming over and you haven’t cleaned your house in weeks? Here are my quick cleaning ideas to prioritize what to clean in less than an hour.
Does this sound familiar? After a long week at work, it’s now Saturday morning when you realize you have family dropping by the house that evening. Your busy work schedule has kept you from cleaning for weeks and now you need a few quick cleaning ideas to avoid being completely embarrassed in 6 hours.
I completely understand your dilemma and I’ve been right there with you. You don’t have any worry about any silent judging for me. In the same situation I decided to prioritize what I could reasonably get done in the morning because skipping all chores wasn’t an option. So stop quietly cursing yourself for not tackling this sooner and let’s get to work.
5 quick cleaning ideas to help you focus when you have no time
I’m sure you feel the same. The last thing you want to do on your day off is spend time cleaning. It’s been a long week and you have company coming over in the evening. Even with quick cleaning depending on how much clutter needs to be collected and shifted it may still be an hour or so, but it’s significantly less than a full day.
To help you choose where to focus your cleaning time consider these two themes: ick and embarrassment.
What would repulse someone if they saw it? I put dirty bathrooms and unwashed dishes into this category.
What would cause you embarrassment if they saw it? In that case think about open credit card bills and overflowing piles of recycling.
Ultimately, you are not aiming for show house perfect. Looking lived in is fine. Let’s go through 5 quick cleanings ideas to get your house ready.
1. Ask yourself where your will guests be gathering
First things first. Consider where your guests will be spending time when they arrive.
If your house is divided into different spaces or floors, you can focus on the areas where guests might go instead of breaking your back cleaning everything. If your guests are simply stopping by, try to keep them in one area, such as the first floor. In that case it may be the kitchen, sitting room, and bathroom that needs cleaning..
2. Start with decluttering
Don’t worry. This will not include a lecture about putting things away as you use them. Quickly gather up all the upopened junk mail, newspapers, magazines, and other clutter to put upstairs (or into a container you can hide).
Put away clean dishes and containers that haven’t made it into the cabinets yet.
If you have additional time or motivation, spend time organizing, recycling, trashing, or shredding the collected clutter.
3. Fix the ick
I’m a big fan of a judgment-free zone, but there are limits to this. Dirty bathrooms are just ick. That’s a side you don’t want your guests to see. So quickly:
- Clean the toilet,
- Wipe down the kitchen counters counters,
- Clean any stovetop spills,
- Wash dirty dishes or put them in the dishwasher, and
- Wipe out the kitchen sink.
Also put fresh toilet paper in the bathroom. No need for someone to have to hunt for that. Run the dishwasher if it’s sufficiently full.
And if it’s a good time of year, you may want to try opening a window or two to air out the house. Get those lingering weird smells out.
4. Finish off with dusting and vacuuming
Start with a quick round of dusting. One of my favorite cleanings tools is a dusting wand, such as the Swiffer 360 Duster. Without bending, you can walk around quickly catching dust on the on table tops, the visible baseboards, and dinning chairs.
Use a reusable dusting cloth and your favorite furniture spray to bring back a shine and hides the fact that you really only spent a few minutes on this whole activity. This can also help give a freshly cleaned smell.
Finally run a vacuum over the floors. Do this step last to catch any stray dust bunnies or crumbs you knocked on the floor while wiping down the counters (more ick factor). This will save you from having do this twice, especially if you have darker floors that show everything! Ideally if you have a few extra minutes, wipe down the floors too to remove any footprints. Bonus points to you if you do.
5. Finally take out the trash and recycling
And one last thing to do to fix the ick-factor. Take out the trash and recycling. This should help reduce any weird smells and embarrassing moments if someone happens to look at the trash.
Over to you. What are your favorite quick cleaning ideas?
Within about an hour, you can tackle just enough cleaning to remove the ick and embarrassment factors from your house. You may have also come up with a few chores to take care of in the near future:
- Sort through the piles of clutter sooner rather than later.
- Reorganize your cabinets so that you can put the dishes and containers away when you use them easier.
- Create a system to manage your mail when it comes in, instead of piling up.
As I mentioned above, no judgements from me. When you work a long day, keeping up with the house can be hard. If you can put a few systems in place, quickly cleaning up your house will get easier.