Woah! The extended family will be arriving in 30mins and your house isn’t up-to-par, here is how you can get your home ship-shape in 20 minutes or less.
Let's put our heads together and strategize. We need to separate what's important, from what’s not important. We need a general strategy. Obviously, power washing your windows, cleaning your closet or pondering proper wine selection is not the best use of time at the moment.
Take a minute to compile a cleaning checklist, divide your home from floors into rooms, from rooms into the largest cleaning task for each area. Once you have it all down on paper, check off which rooms you will be using to entertain your guests. If this is done correctly you should have a general idea which rooms will be used and what items in each room should be spot cleaned, and/or thoroughly cleaned.
Generally this breakdown will follow a basic 80/20 principle (pareto principle). You should need only about 20-30% of your total floor space to entertain guests. Here’s an example that should help you to itemize your time. In our home, company usually is limited to a particular area, i.e. kitchen, bathroom, and/or a gathering area such as a patio or dining room.
Ok, let's do this.
We recommend that you start big and work small. Straighten up common spaces, organize big items then clean your floors, vacuum, sweep or mop. Never underestimate how effective the tell-tale vacuum marks are on a carpet or the citrus smell of a freshly mopped floor, the goal here is the perception of a clean home.
Next, stash any clutter, clear off your dining room table, hutch or side tables; remove out of place items. If the clock is ticking, go ahead, grab a laundry basket or hamper and collect everything out of place. (i.e. not intended for that room) Stash these in a room that will not be used by company, then close the door, caution tape may be advised *kidding*.
The clock is almost out and you’re hoping that your guests hit every red light on the way to your home; don’t worry, it’s normal we do it too.
We recommend that you give the bathroom an extra 2-3 minutes to ensure that it’s acceptably clean. Here is how you do that. Grab an eco cloth and a 50/50 vinegar, water mixture. Clean from the top down, from high to low. Start with the mirror, then backsplash, countertop, sink, and finally wipe down the toilet. Scrub the bowl if needed with the appropriate cleaning tools. Once complete, put your eco cloth in the wash.
Almost finished! Grab another eco cloth, wet it, and squeeze out all water until it doesn’t drip. Wipe all hard surfaces to quickly clean! Optional: to make your home smell wonderful add a drop of your favorite essential oil blend to your cloth. Done!
Now, it's time for smoke and mirrors! Magicians use sleight of hand and distractions for one reason, it works. You can do the same by engaging your guests senses. Turn on some music, light a candle or two, use an essential oil diffuser, dim the lights, pop the wine. To take it a step further, set the table, adjust throw blankets and pillows; the additional organization will help make your home look clean and organized.