There are few things that cause me more stress and panic than last minute guests! With four kids and 2 cats our home definitely has that “lived in” look (read: cluttered!) As I’ve gotten older I’ve started to worry less about how my house looks when guests come over because honestly, if I only had friends over when my house was completely clean I’d never have friends over. But, I still do like to straighten up for visitors and if I have some time, I do a pretty good job. But those last minute pop ins? They can really throw me! Over the years, I’ve gotten my quick clean up system down pretty well! Here are my tips:
Start At The Front Door
The first place I start when I find out guests are on their way is the front door or where ever they will enter your home. Pretend like you are a visitor coming into your home and walk in as your guest would. Take time to notice things they might notice that you may overlook. That pile on the stairs of things that need to be put away? You might not notice it because it’s been there a while, but if you are a new person coming in, that might be the first thing you see! If you walk your house as if you don’t live there, you’ll notice these things and can take care of them first.
Focus On Areas Where You’ll Be Spending Time
If you have limited time, you won’t be able to clean your entire home so use your time to focus on the areas where your guest will be. For example, if a friend is coming for coffee, spend your few minutes to clean in the kitchen. If a family is coming over for a playdate, spend your time in the playroom, living room, or where ever you will be hanging out.
Don’t Get Caught Up In The Details
With guests on their way to your house, you won’t have time to get into every nook and cranny! What I’m saying here is, this is not the time for wiping down the baseboards! Look at the space overall, assess what needs to be done to make it look neat and just focus on those things. Straighten up to make it look less cluttered first. Put toys away. Put dishes in the dishwasher. Wipe down the bathroom toilet and sink. Focus on those big things. Then, if there is time, you can get into the smaller details like dusting, wiping things down, or vacuuming.
Enlist The Kids’ Help
If the kids are around (and are old enough) get them to help you in your quick clean up! Young kids can put toys, books, and other clutter away. Older children can fill the dishwasher, wipe the counters and kitchen table, and run the vacuum. It really is true that many hands make light work.
Give Yourself A Break
If you don’t get your home as clean as you like before your guests arrive, don’t stress. Remind yourself that whoever is coming to visit is coming to see you and spend time with you. They aren’t coming over to inspect your home and judge your cleaning skills.
Hopefully, these tips will help you get your home looking tidy in a short amount of time!