Clean Me First! How to Speed Clean Before a Party

Your guests are arriving in 30 minutes. How's your house looking? If all you can say is 'not so good,' it's time to think about speed cleaning. While you can't get your home showroom ready in a half hour or less, there's a lot you can do to make it more presentable. Here's your cheat sheet for for faking a clean home.

  1. Focus on "Public" Areas - What are your guests going to see when they walk into your house? Likely the entryway, kitchen, living room, and bathroom. That means you don't have to worry about your bedrooms, laundry room, or home office. There! You just cut your cleaning list in half.
  1. Tuck Away Clutter - They say you can't clean clutter. Well, today you're going to try. Walk through all the public rooms in your house. Grab anything that doesn't belong. Whether it's a book, a toy, or a pair of socks, grab it and put it somewhere else. It doesn't have to be put away in the right place (some of us would be here all day if that were the case), it just all has to go somewhere guests won't see. This is the step that bedroom closets were made for.
  1. Spot Clean Your Floors - Do a quick sweep of the entryway, then follow up with a wipe if there are any particularly dirty spots. Same goes for any other non-carpeted area of your house. If you have a room that's carpeted, try to get away with not vacuuming it.
  1. Tackle Surfaces - Dust, crumbs, and toothpaste goo can make an otherwise clean room look awful. Do a quick wipedown of your kitchen and bathroom counters. Do the same for bookshelves, end tables, and anyplace else dust collects. Start in the entryway and work outward, prioritizing the most visible spots.
  1. Clean the Sink - Trust us on this one. A clean, shiny sink makes even a moderately dirty kitchen look sparkling. Throw all the dishes in the dishwasher, wipe down the sink and fixtures, and wipe dry. Doesn't that look great?
  1. Trash the Trash - No one likes an overflowing waste can. Empty out all of the garbage in public rooms. Before you do, walk around your house one last time to pick up any trash you may have missed.
  1. Get Smelly - Even if your house isn't completely clean, if it smells amazing your guests likely won't notice. Plug in that air freshener, spray that deodorizer, or light that candle you got for Christmas three years ago. Again, concentrate on the entryway. If your guests' first breath in your home smells delightful, they'll carry the good impression with them into the rest of the house.

Good luck cleaning, and happy hosting!

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