Sometimes when you want to clean your house fast, what you may really be wanting to do is to quickly make it look like it is clean. Typically, when guests come over, you’d like them to get the impression that you are a good housekeeper. (Especially if it is a potential mate who you want to impress.)
Now, I am not implying that you don’t want to clean your house thoroughly (see the last paragraph.). But, if you haven’t yet discovered the joy of living in a clean home, then this article will give you some cleaning hacks that you can use in a pinch.
- Limit areas of exposure. – Close all doors and limit the space to where your guests can venture to the smallest space possible, and clean that area only.
- Dust off anything that is black.
- Run the sweeper on the carpets
- Remove clutter. (even if that means walking around with a bushel basket and tossing everything that you can into it, and then hiding the filled bushel in one of your closed-off rooms. ) The fewer things that are out – even for decorative purposes – the better. Think “streamlined.”
- Get rid of piles of dirty dishes. The inside of the dishwasher and the inside of the oven make great hiding places. Wipe off the counters to remove crumbs and any “water rings.”
- What is the first thing that your guest will see when they enter your door? De-clutter, cover or straighten anything that is visible. Fill up another bushel basket or use the garage to stash things. It might seem silly to move your car in order to use your garage temporarily as a junk pile…how much do you want to impress this guest?
- Light candles or use some air freshener spray to make the house smell nice.
- If you don’t have time to take a shower before your guest arrives, then at least put a clean shirt on, add fresh deodorant, and wash your face.
Time to plan – How a messy person can give the illusion of having a clean home
Hopefully you have 2 bathrooms. If so, then designate one of them as the “guest bathroom.” Clean it once, clean it thoroughly. Make it smell nice, and don’t ever use it. Don’t let relatives (ok, except your mother and grandmother and favorite aunt) use it. It is there to impress.
Now, if you only have one bathroom, and you are a slob, you have a dilemma. If you won’t keep the bathroom clean yourself, then I would seriously recommend that you hire someone to clean it for you. If you are a single guy, and want to impress the ladies, well, a clean bathroom is important. And if you are a gal, and you let a guy see that you have a filthy bathroom…Whatever it takes, get it clean.
Next, stand at the entrance way of your house and see what is visible when you first walk in. Keep those areas clutter free and clean. Whenever you are about to create a pile of dirty dishes or dirty clothes, think about where that pile is going to be located. Will you be able to hide it or cover it quickly? Will it make a smell? If you can, designate one room of your house – preferably the first room that is entered – as the “visitors area.”
The importance of a visitors’ area cannot be overstated. One of my friends, who has done a lot of job interviewing, recently commented to me that no matter how dirty the inside of a company is, there is always a clean and nicely furnished room at the entranceway. And, he said, if that room is not clean and tidy, it makes him want to run from the company before the interview even starts!
Now, if you have read any of my other articles, you might imagine how hard it has been for me to write this article. I am a clean freak. I used to hate to clean, but once I discovered how much joy a having a clean house brings me, I do everything I can to keep my house in pristine condition. I hope that you get there too.
Penelope Pettikrew is known as the Speed Cleaning Queen. She has spent over 25 years optimizing her cleaning methods so that she could spend less time cleaning and more time with her daughter and husband. In her latest book, “Speed Cleaning Secrets Revealed,” she shares her techniques for getting the maximum amount of cleaning done in a minimum amount of time.