Cleaning in a Hurry: Priorities

Ideally, your house always looks decent enough for company, and in a perfect world, friends would only stop by right after the maid service leaves. Unfortunately, that almost never happens—inevitably, someone’s going to give you a short notice call when your house looks more than lived in, and you’re going to have to clean in a hurry.

When house cleaning for short-notice company, it’s all about priorities. You have a limited amount of time—how will you use what you have?

The Method

First of all, start in the room closest to the front door. It’s the first room your company will see and that first impression matters. Run through the following steps in the first room, and only if you have time, move onto the next room in progression until the front of the house is clean or your company arrives, whichever comes first.

Step 1: Clean up all the trash in the room. Grab a small trash can or trash bag and just walk around the room picking up any trash in the room.

Step 2: Pick up any clothes. If you tend to throw your jacket on the back of the couch or your kids have left their socks in the middle of the living room floor, now’s the time to take care of that.

Step 3: Clutter. Look around the room. If you see anything that doesn’t belong in the room, remove it. If it does belong in the room but it’s out of place, put it back where it goes. Just straightening out the clutter can make a room look significantly better.

Depending on how messy the room is, this doesn’t take very long. Even messy rooms should take less than 30 minutes per room, so get as far as you can!