You know how it is – you get an unexpected phone call from friends or family you haven’t seen for a while who find themselves nearby, and ask if they can pop in. Or if you work from home it might be a client.
The place is a tip, and while you don’t feel it has to be a gleaming show home, you’d like it to be a bit cleaner and tidier before you open the front door.
What you need is a speed clean. I ran a cleaning business for 12 years and learnt how to make a room look presentable without spending lots of time cleaning.
Before you start, think about where are your visitors going to go. I’m assuming this isn’t the full tour following a house move, so generally they will only be in what estate agents call ‘reception rooms’, the kitchen and the loo.
Emergency speed clean
1. Put on some bouncy music to keep you moving and put you in a suitably upbeat mood for your guests.
2. Go round all those rooms, picking up all the newspapers, magazines and books you don’t want on display, and discarded clothes, toys, dirty cups and plates. Take a tray or bucket if necessary to cut down on time walking back and forth. Put things away if you have time, otherwise throw it on the bed and close the bedroom door.
3. Empty bins.
4. Put the dirty pots in the dishwasher and set a quick cycle going, or wash up a few cups if you’ve run out of clean ones.
5. You can take other stuff off the worktops and hide it in the washing machine, drier and oven – just remember to take it all out before using it next time!
6. Dust the surfaces the light strikes or that show dust – the TV screen, window sills, coffee table etc. Look for cobwebs in corners.
7. Do a quick hoover round, including sofa and chair seats if necessary.
8. Clean the loo and handbasin. Cream cleaner is the most effective product to use, especially if you live in a hard water area. Check out my post on Mangle & Wringer Natural Cleaning Remedies. You only have to use a tiny bit of their Bathroom Balm and hardly need to rinse. Tidy the towels and put out a clean hand towel.
9. Plump up the cushions, arrange books and magazines. Straighten rugs. Spray some room fragrance around, open the coffee and waft it around the kitchen!
10. Breeeathe…and open the door with a smile 🙂
A speed clean like this works for me, but I don’t have children or pets! Do you have any extra steps in your speed clean routine, or don’t you bother?