If you have ever had the dreaded pop in from your mother in law you know that when you need to win the clean up game, it can be done. Times when you only have one hour, 30 or even just 15 mintues to get your house looking at least acceptable to the naked eye.
I tend to do an evening clean up. Right before my husband gets home and while I still have enough energy before the bedtime gauntlet begins. It is a sweet spot for me. I am able to clean up an entire destroyed house in under an hour. Granted it is clean in general already but clutter can make even the cleanest home insane.
Here are my quick and dirty clean up secrets when you just don’t have a days notice before the calvery comes in.
- Priorities – The first step is determining what kind of drop in this is going to be. Will this person just stop in for a couple minutes, hours or days? Eek! What rooms will they be going in? What are the most trafficked rooms in your home? How well do you know this person and what can you comfortably get away with. I know that sounds like cheating but when you have 30 minutes to clean a house cheating is the way to go. It is all about little work arounds.
- Bathrooms are most important – 9 times out of 10 if you don’t clean the bathroom someone is going to need to use it. Generally bathrooms tend to be smaller and pretty easy to pick up as long as you keep it clean on the regular. Clear those counters, make sure that your under cabinets are tidy but if you are in a pinch toss everything underneath and tackle it later. Swiffer or mop those floors, wipe down the toilet and sink, refresh your hand towels, light a candle and you are done! 5-10 minutes total.
- Use empty rooms as storage – When all else fails toss clutter into those empty rooms. Unless someone is planning on staying the night there is at least one room they should not be heading into. For us that tends to be our walk in closets, master bedroom, or laundry room. We also use drawers to stuff paperwork into. These are things you can get to later. Remember we are talking defcon 1 last resort here.
- Dust while sweeping – One of the most irritating things for me is when you get the floors done then realize the dresser is super dusty. Where does all of that go? Onto the floor. I like to take a dry swiffer sheet and wipe down the dresser, bookcases, and tables then place that sheet onto the Swiffer and go. How long this takes depends on how large your space is 10-15 minutes.
- Clutter comes first – This is always the first step. Take 2 minutes and assess how much clutter there is and what you can do to make it disappear quickly. I like to do this in two parts. One take the room, put the clutter in piles, laundry baskets, whatever makes it easier to put away and then off to the races. Go, Go, GO! Just plow through the clutter and place it in whatever room it belongs. Then if you have time, put it away. If not shut the doors and let it sit until company leaves. My biggest trick when it comes to clutter is do not leave a room without moving something. I know in my house there is always something to return
Whether you have 15 minutes or 2 hours sometimes when you need to speed clean, tricks are the best.
Shutting doors, packing drawers, and cleaning those floors are the biggest changes you can make to a “cleaner” house.
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