Guests coming over? Need to leave soon but do you have the urge to clean? If you didn’t have time to complete the deep clean that you aspired to, don’t worry. There’s no need to be embarrassed, just don some rubber gloves, prepare your elbow grease, and let’s get to work. Here are some tips to make the most of your short amount of time to clean up.
First thing’s first, what’s first? Jokes aside, the key to using time efficiently is putting the most important things at the top of the agenda. If you know that your guests will only be using a few rooms, clean those first. For example, the entryway, kitchen, and living room are the most frequently used rooms when hosting, while bedrooms and out of the way bathrooms can probably go towards the bottom of the list. If you just can’t make it to one room, close the door. Out of sight, out of mind!
If you know you only have 15 minutes and three areas to clean, budget 5 minutes per area. Set a timer on your phone to hold yourself account. If you only have five minutes, start by doing the highest-priority items by scanning the room. When the timer goes off, switch to your new task, no exceptions! It’s also smart to build in some buffer time to account for unexpected surprises, so if you have 15 minutes total, maybe budget 4 minutes per room, with 3 minutes allocated for unexpected surprises.
Specific Room Advice:
Now that you’re organized and have a plan of attack, here are some things to look out for in each area of your house:
The Living Room
Grab any loose items such as remotes, newspapers, books, or toys, and throw them in drawers or otherwise get them out of sight. Whatever you can’t get out of sight, straight up (magazines, books), straighten up. Grab some paper towels or wet wipe and do a quick wipe-down of the major surfaces. Spend the last few moments making the room nice: fluffing pillows, adjusting blinds and lighting, etc. If you have the time, vacuum the major rugs and carpets in the room.
Remove any dirty dishes from the sink and put them in the dishwasher (you might have to remove dishes from the dishwasher to do this). Put any stray food in the refrigerator or in the trash, and any stray items can be shoved in a drawer to be dealt with later. Quickly wipe down the appliances.
The first step to a clean bedroom is a neat bed. Once you’ve made your bed, put any dirty laundry in your laundry basket or in a drawer (making sure not to mix it with your clean clothes). Put any nick-nacks on dressers or tables into drawers or your closet. When you’re short on time, the important thing is that things are out of sight at first glance, you can go back later to figure out where everything should go in the long-term.
Like the other rooms, make sure that all stray items are out of sight. Make sure there is plenty of toilet paper, and wipe down the toilet if it needs a wipe. Wipe down the sink and mirror, and make sure to empty the trashcan before your guests arrive.
Follow these tips and you’ll definitely make the most of the short amount of time you have. Now get crackin’!