Have you ever gotten a last-minute phone call from a friend or suddenly remembered you had visitors coming over in 15 minutes? You look around and your house cleaning has gotten more than a little behind. Panic sets in. Your only option is fast cleaning! Speed cleaning is meant to be a bandage so you can keep your “cleanliness is next to godliness” reputation intact.
As a note, when you hire professional house cleaners to perform regular deep cleaning, speed cleaning is much more effective because cleaners will have tackled areas that normally build up dirt and dust.
Tips for emergency house cleaning
Lower your expectations: The first rule of last-minute cleaning is that you are going to have lower your standards. We have all been here, so there is no judgment, but know that this fast clean will likely leave you with a little bit of work to do after your guests have finished.
Enlist all the help you can get: You have probably heard the saying “Many hands make light work.” Well, now is the time to put it to the test. Round up the kids, spouse/partner, and stray neighborhood children to help. Divide and conquer for better results.
Grab that laundry basket: One of the most important tools you can have during a quick clean is your trusty basket. You will use your basket to move items from room to room. This eliminates the need to run around willy-nilly.
Work systematically: With laundry basket in hand, go room by room and clean up the clutter. Start in the room your guests will see first and/or spend the most time visiting. Anything that does not belong in the room you are working on goes into the laundry basket. Straighten everything else.
Once you have tidied the room to your (lowered) satisfaction, take the basket and move on to the next room. Take anything out of the basket that goes in this room and put it away. Continue speed cleaning the room while putting items that belong somewhere else in the basket. Continue working this way until you have tagged all the rooms or your guests arrive.
A good idea is to clean off all surfaces first and run back and vacuum or sweep after you have put the big stuff away.
Do not be afraid to hide stuff: If you run out of time, feel free to hide the Legos inside a drawer or stack paperwork under a pile of magazines. Worst-case scenario: Take everything that is out of place, toss it in your laundry basket, and hide the basket in your room. You can put it all away later.
House Cleaning in the Future
Emergency house cleaning is a great way to burn calories in a few minutes, but it can be a tad stressful. To help keep your home a little cleaner in the future, be strategic. Here are a few simple ways to make sure your house is always ready for last-minute guests.
Get rid of clutter: Take a weekend and downsize. Take a hard look at all of your possessions. Sell, donate, or trash items you have not touched or used in more than a year. After you declutter, consider hiring a professional cleaning service for a deep cleaning session to make your home feel fresh.
If you have kids, you know that toys seem to multiply overnight. Keep a reign on the toys by sorting toys into several different containers and rotating through them. Keep one bin/bucket of toys available at a time and switch them out once a week or once a month. Downsizing will make organized cleaning much easier.
Purchase furniture strategically: Multi-purpose anything is always better. When buying furniture, consider choosing options that offer storage as well as comfort. For example, try a table or futon with hiding storage. You can fold blankets and keep them out of sight, but nearby.
This type of furniture also comes in handy for last-minute speed clean jobs as you can hide magazines, papers, and toys in a snap.
Have a routine: Even if you do not have hours to spend cleaning your house each week, you can create a simple routine that tidies the home in just a few minutes. For example, every night before you head to bed, wash the dishes (or load the dishwasher), wipe down the counters and stove, sweep and run the vacuum.
Stay organized with your regular cleaning routine and emergency cleans will be much easier to pull off.
Keep supplies handy: Keep rags, eco-friendly cleaners, brooms, and dusters handy so you can tackle messes when they happen.
Have a regular cleaning schedule: Dirt and dust can build up with the entire family running in and out. Regular professional cleaning sessions will keep your home clean and fresh.
When you have small kids at home, keeping your house spotless may very well be a pipe dream, but you can make your friends think your home is always tidy by implementing simple fast cleaning tips when you are in a hurry.
Thank you PoshSurfside.com for the picture
Brazilian mother of two and CEO of Sparkling Clean Pro & Green Living Supplies since 2005. Working as an ecological advocate within the cleaning industry & aiding immigrant families and women at risk.