Sometimes guests just decide to give us a call and say “ I’m in the area, i’ll come see you in an hour.” Yes, it is not very convenient since having your house guest-ready is something we just don’t do. However, we will show you how to manage the good looks of your house in just 1 hour.
As inconvenient as it is, no matter what you do for this 1 hour, the guests will arrive anyway. If you are conscious about the state of your house, follow this plan and make sure that everything looks neat.
After all, an hour only has 60 minutes. Even if your house is really messy, know that you don’t have to go crazy with the house cleaning. The first thing you should do is understand if your house is truly unkempt or just looks messy. In either case, you can follow this plan and make sure that all will be fine. The second thing to ask yourself is “What will the guests actually see?” This question is rather important, since it can spare you a lot of time and effort. Taking care of the pile of unmatched socks hiding in your bedroom is not a task you should worry yourself with, for example. A good trick is to go to your front door, pretend to walk in and notice the things that make the messiest impression. Seeing the house through the eyes of your guests will help you understand which are the things that need most attention.
Set your timer to ten minutes. The idea is that you have the opportunity to tackle more tasks in that 1 hour. Reset the timer everytime it goes off. That way you will know when it is time to move to the next task, instead of focusing on doing just one thing and forgetting about all the other chores that need to be done.
- Pick things up and put them away
If your house is messy, there are layers to the mess. The first layer is always clutter so you should always take care of that in the beginning. Start at the entrance and move through the house, decluttering all the areas the guests will see. A put away basket would be a good idea so you don’t waste any time going back and forth putting things back to their original places. Close all the doors to rooms and closets where your guests will not be going and worry about what’s behind them later.
When the timer goes off, reset it and quickly move to the next task.
- Go to the guest bathroom
Wipe down all surfaces with cleaning wipes. Make sure all counters, the sink and the floor are free of visible dirt. Have a quick look at the drain, toilet, sink taps and mirror. Put away your hairbrush full of hair, any underwear you forgot to remove from your floor and other nasty things you might have left there. After all, bathroom dirt is rather visible and your guests will be in there all by themselves with nothing to do but to look around. Put in a new hand towel and reset your timer once more.
- Move to the kitchen
Your goal is to have clear and clean surfaces. Remove things that are not in the right places, hide the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and have a quick wipe down of everything. Make sure there are no leftovers sitting around on your counters. Use the oven as a hiding place but only if you are sure your guests are not bringing anything to be cooked in there. Quickly remove any grease from your counters, wipe your sink and table. Reset that timer.
- Grab your vacuum cleaner and mop
Focus on the room where your guests will be spending the most time. Remove the papers piled up on your coffee table, dust the surfaces, the TV, the lamps and the tables where they will sit their drinks. Then begin vacuuming. Make sure you get corners and under the table. Even though it is tempting to mop the floors as well, stick to vacuuming only.
If you managed to follow that plan you should have 20 minutes left at this point. Reset your timer one last time.
- Take ten minutes for yourself
Change your clothes, check yourself in the mirror, brush your hair, wash your face, put some deodorant and make up if you want to.
- In the last ten minutes make a general check
Go through all the places that you cleaned. Make sure no dirty dishes appeared in the kitchen while you were doing something else, check for random socks around, flush the toilet, put away your cleaning tools, fluff up the pillows on the couch and make yourself a coffee.
Before you answer the door, take a deep breath and enjoy your company, after all they are the important ones. Remember, you had 1 hour and you did the best out of it. You can’t go from a disaster to perfection in such a short time but as long as you focus on the right things, you will be able to make your house look presentable.