1. Make a positive first impression
An entrance or foyer cluttered with shoes, slippers, letters, packages, and winter coats makes your living space look messy. Since your entrance is the first thing your guests will encounter, it’s good practice to declutter it real quick, putting the shoes away and freeing up a few hangers so that your visitors can hang their outerwear when they arrive. If you also notice that the entryway is dirty, give it a quick sweep as well.
2. Be prepared
Keep your go-to cleaning supplies organized in a cleaning caddy - just grab and go whenever you need to give your home a quick refresh. The specific products included in your cleaning kit depend on your preferences, but it should probably include some cleaning cloths, a multi-purpose surface cleaner, and some disinfectant wipes. Pack all of these essential supplies in a bucket or a caddy with a handle, and keep your go-to cleaning kit in an easy-to-access place in your home.
3. Think strategically
Speed cleaning is strategic, and it focuses on the areas of your home your guests are likely to see and spend time in. Don’t waste your time making your bed or organizing your closet, even if those areas are very messy. After all, your guests will likely never see those areas of your home, unless you’re planning on giving them a house tour.
Usually, the three rooms visitors gather in are the living room, the kitchen, and the bathroom. So focus your attention on those three rooms, wiping down the countertops and tables with an all-purpose cleaner, and organizing these spaces before your guests arrive.
Airing out the living room is also a nice touch - if the weather isn’t too wet or chilly, of course. Expand to other rooms only if you have some extra time.
4. Declutter first
If you only have an hour to get your home ready for company, you won’t have enough time for dusting or thorough vacuuming. But you can make the living room and kitchen look more presentable by clearing away any clothes, bags, books, newspapers, sports supplies, keys, bags of food, paper towels, or any other random objects that migrated out of their designated spots during the week.
Can’t find a spot for something? Simply collect it in a laundry basket and put it away in your bedroom. You can deal with it later when the guests are gone.
This is also the time to fluff up the pillows and fold any blankets on the couch so that everything is ready for the guests.
5. Focus on the kitchen sink
A cluttered or dirty kitchen sink ruins the appearance of the entire kitchen. When you must balance between unloading the dishwasher and hand washing, think about quantity. If there’s only a couple of dishes in the sink, give them a quick clean and put them away immediately. You can deal with the dishwasher later.
However, in cases when your entire sink is full, it may be wiser to spend the extra time unloading the dishwasher and load it up with all the dirty dishes currently in the sink. Don’t forget about the sink itself too - give it a quick scrub with a fresh-smelling detergent and clear away any food debris.
6. Have enough glasses ready
Even if you’re not hosting a dinner party, you will most likely offer your guests something to drink. So it would be quite unfortunate if there were not enough clean glasses or cups for everyone. Before your visitors arrive, scan and count your glassware. If you’re going to use any cups or glasses you haven’t used for a while, give them a quick rinse just to get rid of any dust that could have collected at the bottom.
7. Spot clean the areas where your pets love to hang out
A somewhat smelly litterbox near the toilet or an extra fuzzy couch may be something you’re used to. Let’s be honest, that’s just part of life with pets. But your guests may mind getting pet hair on their clothes. To prevent this from happening, take a lint roller, some sticky tape, or a rubber glove (rubber promotes hair clumping), and give Fido’s or Tigger’a favorite spot on the carpet or couch a quick wipe.
Last but not least, make sure to clean in and around any litterboxes, especially if they’re in a high-traffic area in your home.
8. Clean the bathroom in a strategic manner
Visitors will almost always use the bathroom at your place, even if only washing hands. So you need to get your bathroom ready. Put away any hair brushes, tubes of toothpaste, or any other hygiene products from the counter and throw any dirty towels or laundry into the laundry basket.
Giving the bathroom sink and faucet a quick wash, even if only with a disinfectant wipe, is also a thoughtful thing to do. You’d be surprised at how fast soap or toothpaste remnants can build up in the sink.
9. Examine the toilets
A clean toilet is something all guests will appreciate, even if they don’t care that your living room is cluttered or your sink is full of dishes. Before your guests arrive, see if your toilet needs a quick scrubbing. If so, we’d recommend that you start with that. It doesn’t take long anyway, even if it’s not the most pleasant thing to do. Finally, remember to load a fresh toilet paper roll and refill the soap dispenser for your guests.
10. Refresh the towels
A clean set of bathroom towels and kitchen towels is one of the quickest ways to leave a pleasant impression on your guests. After all, no one likes to clean their hands with smelly or dirty towels. Replacing the towels only takes a minute, but it shows that you care. Of course, if your visitors are staying overnight, it’s good practice to give them a fresh set of bath towels as well.
11. Don’t forget to throw out the trash
This last tip is pretty straightforward, but many people actually forget to do it before guests arrive. Chances are, they will bring some food or drinks, so you better get your trashcan empty and ready for the inflow of trash ahead of time. If you notice any unpleasant smells from the trashcan and you have no time to deep-clean the area, sprinkle a ½ cup of baking soda or cat litter at the bottom of the bin to absorb any unpleasant odors. Both baking soda and cat litter absorb moisture and unpleasant smells, so they make a great quick fix for a smelly situation like this.
With these last tips, we think you’re done with your cleaning sprint and ready to welcome anyone into your home!
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