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Speed Cleaning: Get Your Home Guest-Ready in 20 Minutes

Woman cleaning wooden shelves In living room.

Homeowners know the scenario all too well. You’re going about your day, getting ready to relax by yourself or with your family when all of a sudden… it happens. You get a call from a loved one saying they’re on their way over and, oh, by the way, they’re only 20 minutes out.

You take one quick look around to find a jumbled mess you were hoping not to touch today. Now you have to pull it all together in a matter of minutes.

See below for a guide on how to perform speed cleaning and get your home ready for those unexpected guests every time.

1. Always Stay Prepared

Granted, if you don’t have good cleaning habits, then this first step won’t help you right away. However, you must start looking at home cleaning as a proactive task rather than a reactive task. 

In other words: don’t wait until you get unexpected guests to clean. If you take the time to clean your house and keep it that way, then you’ll be 90-percent ready for any guest that pops by unannounced.

Habits take a while to develop, but once you train yourself and your family to keep the house clean, you’ll enjoy unparalleled results!

First, make sure to put everything away when you’re done with it. The longer things stay out of place, the more mess that compiles. This is also how items get lost. Have a designated spot for everything, then keep it there when it isn’t in use.

Next, have a cleaning schedule. Divvy out those tasks among the different members of your household. Write down each task for a day in the week, to make sure each gets finished before 7 days have passed.

You might also consider investing in a storage unit or some other method of storing those items that you wish to get rid of right away.

2. Hire a Professional Service

If you really want your house to be spick and span by the time your guests arrive in 20-minutes, you’ll need some help from a professional. 

The goal is to have all chores finished so that, when those unexpected guests are on their way, you only have to worry about decluttering and tidying up a bit. You don’t have time to disinfect the house, sweep the floors, and other tedious tasks.

That’s where hiring a professional house cleaning service can be a major benefit. It gives you access to an experienced team of professional cleaners. All these cleaners have gone through a background check to ensure the safety of you and your family.

The cleaning service can cater to your schedule. You can let them know how often you’d like them to stop by, as well as which times and days work best for your agenda. In fact, if you time it just right, you could schedule for the professional cleaning to stop by each week right before grandma usually drops by unannounced.

We can set you up with service providers that provide a custom cleaning plan because every home deserves to get the care it needs. You let us know what your priorities are, we’ll find you cleaners who have the equipment and solutions to get the job done. Take that, uninvited guests!

3. Touch Up the Guest Bathroom

Here’s the hard truth: when a guest comes over unexpectedly, you don’t need the entire house to be 100-percent clean. You just need the parts of the house they have access to be clean. 

Whenever you get off the phone with Aunt Tessy, make a beeline for the guest bathroom to tidy it up. Make sure it has no clutter, fresh towels to dry their hands, and that all amenities are accessible (and clean).

Once the guest bathroom is cleaned and tidy, you can start to worry about the living room, kitchen, and other spaces where they might mozy over to while they’re hanging out. For a final touch, light a candle in the bathroom or give it a nice little spritz of perfume or Febreze.

4. Keep Them Contained to One Area

Have you ever noticed those friends who welcome you into their house, then direct you straight to places like the living room or to a chair at the kitchen counter

Whether you realized it or not, they’re actually pulling off a clever trick. They’re setting the expectation that you’ll be hanging out in that specific room the entire time. Why? Because it’s the cleanest room in the house.

Have a plan for unexpected guests. Keep that kitchen and living room clean at all times, so that you can direct your guests right to it. That way, when they come by unannounced, you only need to wipe down a few counters or fluff a few pillows.

5. Surface, Glass, Window

Whenever you’re in a rush to clean up, there’s a three-step cadence you should remember: surface, glass, window. This is the order you should prioritize wiping things down until your guests arrive.

If you have enough time, wipe down the surfaces in the area you intend to hang out with your guests. If you still have time after that, get some glass-cleaning solution and wipe that down. 

If you still have a bit of time to kill after that, then use that same glass cleaner on the windows around your house. It never hurts to be thorough!

Speed Cleaning: Proactive and Efficient Wins the Race

Now that you have seen an in-depth guide on how to perform effective speed cleaning when you’re in a bind, be sure to use this information to your advantage.

Be sure to read this article for more information on how you can declutter and organize the sentimental items inside of your house.

To get started, please be sure to inquire about our professional cleaning providers. We’d love to help you find the right professional and take one thing off your busy plate.


Anita's Housekeeping Editors