Between the late nights, really early mornings, kids, work and trying to have a life, it can be almost impossible to keep your house clean. You can handle the clutter and dirty dishes on any normal day, but not when you're having guests – especially ones you weren't expecting. If you have a limited amount of time to make your messy home seem more presentable, here are a few simple and quick tips that can help:
Get Rid of the Random Clutter
Nothing makes a home look messier than random half-empty soda bottles, toys and dirty socks tossed all over your home. If your spouse and kids haven't quite learned the fine art of cleaning up after themselves, you can remedy this situation in a few minutes with two items: an empty laundry basket and a garbage bag.
Grab the laundry basket and give everyone who is handy a garbage bag and instruct them to begin picking up everything that is destined for the trash or is out of place. The garbage goes in the bag and anything that needs to be put where it belongs goes in the laundry basket.
Once you've eliminated the clutter, it's time to make an important decision: put the stuff away or shove the basket in a hall closet. If you're seriously running out of time, go ahead and place the basket in a closet, just don't forget it's there!
Concentrate on the Bathroom
Once the clutter is gone, it's time to concentrate on what is arguably the one room your guests will criticize and scrutinize the most: the bathroom. However, simply wiping down the surfaces isn't enough.
After you're done quickly wiping down the sinks, vanity and toilet, give the room another boost by making it smell clean, as well. There are two ways to accomplish this: light a candle or put out some fragrant hand soap.
The Kitchn recommends providing your guests with fragrant liquid hand soap. Not only is it less obvious that you're trying to cover up the smell of your partially-clean bathroom with a candle, the scented soap also helps keep track of whether your kids are washing up after using the facilities!
A Few Additional Quick Finishing Touches
Once the clutter is gone, the bathroom is presentable and you've swept and vacuumed every floor your guests might walk on, it's time to click here to read and take the last few minutes before they arrive to clean a few commonly overlooked areas:
Open the door and quickly shake out any throw rugs in the entryway. The guests will definitely notice if the first spot they see in your home looks clean and inviting.
Quickly arrange and organize any collections in your home. For example, make sure the pictures on your hallway console are straight or neatly stack the pile of magazines in the bathroom.
If the television is the focal point of your living room, wipe it down with a microfiber cloth. If you have a few extra minutes, take the time to wipe down anything else in the living room that is notably dusty, such as your coffee table, the family photos on the wall or the mirror near the front door.
Don't forget about yourself, as well. Take a few minutes to wash your face, brush your teeth and greet your guests with a smile!
If the guests are at the doorstep and you weren't able to clean as much as you would have liked, don't draw attention to the mess, or apologize for your disorganized house. Chances are, your friends and family will understand because they too were forced to quickly clean the last time you came over to their home!