We’re deep into the Fall season now, the amazing leaf colors have come and gone, and the holidays are creeping up again. Along with all the holiday cheer and celebration comes a bit of panic, especially when unexpected visitors pop by.
If you’re lucky, your friends will give you a tiny head start by calling to make sure you’re home before they show up. With under twenty minutes, you can still whip your home into shape and not have to hope that they get stuck in traffic to buy more time.
Get out your stopwatch and tie on your cleaning apron to get started. You can do this! Ready? Go!
Step 1: Narrow your focus so that you’re only tidying up rooms that are likely to be used. In my house, we’re always congregating in the kitchen, with forays into the bathroom occasionally. Perhaps your entertaining room is more likely to be the living room or den. Whichever it is, spend most of your energy bringing that space up to a sparkling state.
Step 2: Zoom around the room and pick up any items that are out of place and cluttering the area, such as jackets, unopened mail, laundry, grocery bags, whatever. Move from left to right and conserve time and energy while you gather everything into your arms. Pro tip: use an empty laundry basket to dump everything into and hide in an unused room to deal with after company is gone.
Step 3: If you’re focused on the kitchen, grab your Red Juice and a microfiber cloth to clean up the countertops and table. If you plan on sitting in the living room, you might want to use this time to vacuum the carpet and use the Red Juice and microfiber cloth on the coffee table.
Step 4: No matter where you’ll spend most of your time with your visitors, you’ll want to be sure the bathroom they use is in good shape. Wipe the mirror from top to bottom, make sure the toilet is sparkling and the sink is clean. Check to be sure there are fresh towels and either a new bar of soap or plenty of soap in the dispenser.
Step 5: Time is running out, but run your vacuum over the entryway where you’ve probably tracked in the most dirt since your last maintenance cleaning.
Step 6: Turn on some soft background music and drop into your chair just as your company arrives— they’ll think that your house is just naturally tidy and that you’ve been lazing away the time since they called you.
I hope these tips help you to bring your home to a visitor-worthy state in twenty minutes or less! Happy holidays!