Quick Clean Your House in 3 Easy Steps

IMAG2980During the holidays there’s a good chance you’ll have at least one gathering at your house, whether it’s for a turkey dinner or for a New Year’s Eve gathering.  At least, that’s the way it usually is at our house.  And if you’re anything like me, you’ll want the pre-gathering cleaning session to go as quickly as possible.   It’s not that hard, really.   Here are the 3 things I always do to get my house guest-ready before the guests arrive.

Prep Work: Banish the Children.  Okay, don’t actually banish them.  Set them up in front of the TV or something else that will keep them occupied for about an hour.  If they are younger, you’ll want to do this to as close to party-time as possible.  Keeping them occupied means that you (hopefully) won’t have to go back and tidy any areas that you’ve already tidied ;-).   I’m also assuming that you don’t have a sink full of dishes (if you do, hide them in the dishwasher) or a couch full of half-folded laundry piles (if you do, throw them in your bedroom), or an entry-way full of kids’ boots, coats and backpacks (if you do, throw them in the garage).

On to Step #1:

IMAG29761. Declutter.  Take a  laundry basket or two and toss everything in them that shouldn’t be in the rooms you’ll be entertaining in.  Your entry way, living room, kitchen, rec room and bathrooms should be as clutter-free as possible.  Stray toys, forgotten sweaters, and the multitudes of scrap paper left over from your Picasso-emulating child should all get tossed in those baskets.  Start at one end of the house and travel through it just as a guest would, starting at your front door.  Less clutter = less stuff to clean.  When you’re done, hide the baskets in your bedroom or closet, anywhere where your guests won’t be likely to look.  Then, make a note to put everything away where it actually belongs in the next day or two.

IMAG29682. Wipe down.  Take some Lysol wipes, spray cleaner, or your favourite all purpose cleaner, and a glass cleaner, and starting at the front door again, travel through each room wiping down every surface, faucet, window and mirror as quickly as possible.  Spot clean tile floors with your spray cleaner, even if you haven’t swept yet.  We’re not going for deep clean here, just a quick clean.  It doesn’t need to be perfect, because remember, as soon as your first guest walks through the door, the mess will begin again.  Dirt or snow will be tracked in, crumbs will be dropped and pillows will be sat on.   While you’re traveling through the house, tidy up knick knacks, cushions and throws, and straighten pictures and chairs.

IMAG29723. Sweep & Vacuum Floors.  The cleaner your floor is, the better your rooms look.  So don’t forget to sweep or vacuum the rooms your guests will be seeing.  Again, you’re going for quick cleaning —  don’t get distracted by a chipped tile or a stain on the carpet.  You can worry about those later.  If you have time, you can mop the floors as well, but if you don’t that’s okay.  You’ve already spot cleaned them back in Step #1.

There you have it — a Quick Clean Routine to get your house guest-ready for your next gathering!

But remember, whether your place is guest-ready or not, your guests are probably not there to see your house.  They’re there to see YOU.  And as soon as they (and their kids)  walk through that front door, they’ll start undoing all of that cleaning you did anyway.  

And when they do, you’ll be able to relax in the knowledge that you didn’t spend days and days deep cleaning your house ;-).


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