Haven’t you sometimes put off guests from visiting your home? Or stress yourself out totally when unexpected callers drop in? Suggested meeting friends at a restaurant instead of offering to host a meal at home? If the answer is “Yes” to any of these questions, you’d know the answer – It’s because your home is just too messy, and it would be far too embarrassing to display the shambles to outsiders. While this smacks of perfectionism, tidying up before guests arrive is OK. It’s a way of showing that you respect and care about their comfort. The key is speed cleaning. Here’s our take on How to Clean Your House in 40 Minutes. Arm yourself with some of these handy tips that will certainly help you to present your best image at all times.
The 40-Minute Express Cleaning
Cleaning doesn’t have to be an elaborate Cleanathon. Aim to be a sprinter in this routine. Some people do a little every day, focus on certain areas only, and by the end of the week, they’ve cleaned the whole house thoroughly. But this is not the game here. What you are targeting is a full cleaning in less than an hour. Don’t stress yourself by expecting perfection. What you want is simple, basic clean, and hygienic.
If you’re cleaning up before guests arrive, focus on the areas that they would normally move through. The guest bedrooms and bathroom, hallway, living room and patio, and probably the kitchen if they’d like to give you a hand with putting a meal together.
But this doesn’t mean that you leave every other room in a mess. Our 40-minute cleaning routine takes care of the entire house, so you can confidently throw open your bedroom or the kids’ room if they want you to show them around the house.
- Getting Ready: Put your mobile phone on airplane mode, and resist the temptation to check mail or social media. Set a timer for 40 minutes and stick to the schedule no matter what. If you have time in the end, you can put in a few extra touches. In this race, finishing is important.
Gather your cleaning supplies and equipment together, and wear protective gear. Get everyone out of the house, if possible, including the dog. Fill a bucket with warm soapy water, and place a few large caddies in each bedroom, living room, and hallway. Carry a stack of garbage bags into every room as you work. Cut up an old cotton sheet or a few clean T-shirts into squares and use them as disposable wipes.
- Kitchen: 8 minutes.Finish all your cooking before cleaning.
Vacuum the floor for 2 minutes. Clear the counters, and put condiments and spices away in cabinets or the fridge.
Fill the sink with warm, soapy water and toss non-dishwasher-safe items in. Load the dishwasher with the rest and run it. Spray all-purpose cleaner on appliances.
Dip the sponge into a bucket of soapy water, squeeze out excess, and wipe down cabinets, counters, cooktops, and other surfaces. Rinse between wipes. Dry with a soft cotton cloth. Wipe appliances. Mop the floor to dry spills.
Toss wiping cloths into a garbage bag. Empty the trash, and set out fresh napkins and kitchen towels.
- Bathrooms: 5 minutes each.If you have 2 or 3 bathrooms, that’s 10-15 minutes of your time.
Toss used towels and bathmats into a caddy. If you have one, spray cleaner on tubs, sinks, toilets, and shower-stall glass.
Clear counters, wipe with a damp sponge, and dry and rearrange stuff on shelves. Wipe things before replacing them. Wipe the mirror.
Scrub glass shower stall, sinks, toilet, and sinks. Wash the floor and wipe it with a dry mop.
Set out fresh towels and toilet paper, and add a small plant or two. Spray with a citrus-scented freshener.
- Bedrooms: 8 minutes each.
Dust the shelves, and vacuum the floor for 2 minutes.
Make the beds with fresh sheets and pillowcases. Fluff the pillows.
Neaten the stuff on your desk, toss books and papers into a caddy, and shut and lock your closets.
Wipe pictures and mirrors. Shake out the drapes and tie them back neatly. Spray the room with a natural room freshener or light a scented candle.
- Hallway: 10 mins. Vacuum the entire hallway, and wipe down the surfaces. Put shoes and coats away. If you have artwork and artifacts here, give them a quick wipe. Dust off your plants and check for cobwebs. Spray a citrus freshener.
- Patio: 5 mins. Clear toys, games, books, coffee cups, or other stuff lying around. Fluff cushions, and wipe all the furniture with a soft, damp cloth. Damp mop the floor.
- End time: 1 min: Race through the house, pick up garbage bags full of wiping cloths, and toss them into your outside garbage can. Stow the cleaning products and equipment away in their places.
- Finishing Touches:3 mins: Go through the whole house. Gather stuff from caddies and replace them in the right place. Place small plants or flowers around the house and a bowl of fresh fruit on the dining table. Brew some coffee and let the aroma spread through the kitchen.
Whenever You Have The Time
Cleaning is something that needs 100% consistency. It’s a chore that has to be repeated regularly, no matter what. Like most busy people, you may not have the leisure or time to clean up every day. Why not use a few good hacks to avoid last-moment stress and ultra-high-speed cleaning?
- Set a “drop zone” in your hallway where everyone takes off their outdoor shoes, umbrellas, and coats. This goes for the dog’s leash too.
- Do the dishes after every meal or party, however late it gets. This saves time, and you won’t use as many. Make this a house rule, and you’ll find that it works well. While you’re about it, take out the trash and line the trash can immediately.
- Don’t do the laundry on the day you expect guests. Do it either a day before they arrive or a day after they depart. This way, you don’t have to deal with folding and ironing a pile of clothes.
- Clean the bathroom after your shower every time. This saves time and ensures that the place stays fresh and clean.
When you set out to emergency-clean your home while expecting guests, ensure that you plan the entire process carefully. This helps you to remain relaxed and fresh when your guests arrive. You will feel proud to show your sparkling clean home. Sit back and wait for the compliments.