In an ideal world, we would all keep our houses clean 24/7. In an ideal world, we would all have a live-in maid, too. This isn’t an ideal world, folks!
Sometimes, we get a phone call and learn that a friend is 15 minutes away and heading to your house, and let’s be honest: we all panic. The house is a mess! Surely if your friend sees how you really live, they’ll call child protective services and then call the loony bin to come pick you up!
It’s time to prioritize and clean only the things that your guests will notice. Here’s your plan of attack:
Get this one done ASAP! No one wants to see crusty hair behind the toilet seat and smell what your husband left behind when he missed the bowl at 4am.
Put on your gloves, grab some wipes or paper towels, and clean your toilet from cleanest to grossest. The tank gets cleaned first, then the flush handle. Follow up with the toilet seat cover, and then the rest can basically go in any order.
Finish up with some bleach or vinegar in the bowl and a swish with the toilet brush. Ah, that’s better! Take a sigh of relief.
The Kitchen Sink
Get the dishes done! No one wants to wash their hands over the food you ate for breakfast and lunch.
Once the dishes are done, clean out the drain trap and then clean the sink itself. The sink can harbor more bacteria than your toilet, so you need to disinfect this baby. Including the faucet!
The Trash Can
This is the one that gets me every time. I always forget to take out the trash before my guests arrive, and it always seems to be overflowing no matter how much I try to be zero waste!
So take out the trash. It’ll get rid of some of the stink that your nose has gotten used to, and will make a huge difference in how your house looks.
Now is the time to remove anything that stinks and maybe light up a candle or start some essential oils on a warmer. Don’t assume that just because you don’t smell anything, no one else does. Nose blindness is a thing, and the smells you live in are invisible to you!
Last but not least, use the last few minutes before your guests arrive to declutter what you can. Just hide it for now, you can really clean it up after your guests leave.
I like to have a big wicker basket to hold clutter until I’m ready to put it where it belongs. It’s easier to deal with things in a portable basket than to run back and forth between rooms.
- Do you still have a few seconds before your guests arrive? Change your hand towels in the kitchen and bathroom. You don’t want to accidentally get your guests sick by neglecting this!
- Put away the shoes. At our house, shoes accumulate by the front door no matter what kind of solution I use to hide them, so do a sweep to make sure all shoes are put away and hopefully not stinking up the place as your guests arrive.
- Prioritize what you clean. What that means will be different for everyone. I would be really embarrassed if my guests saw my kitchen with dishes overflowing and the island covered with random crap, so that’s the first thing I tackle.
- Close doors to rooms that won’t be used. Your guests don’t need to see your bedroom or office, so shut those doors and worry about cleaning those rooms another day!
We live in a world where we are too busy and too tired to clean the whole house every day. That’s why it’s important to prioritize what you’ll be cleaning and how much it will get cleaned before guests arrive!
What do you clean when guests are on their way?