So, here's the situation: You get a call from a great friend who's in your area, and she'd like to swing by your house for a quick visit. She'll be at your door in 15 minutes. "Sure!" you hear yourself telling her, but once you hang up and look around, you realize you have to work really quickly to make your house look presentable before she arrives.
If you've ever found yourself in a similar panic, I've got a couple tips for you based on much mad-dash cleaning I've done in my day.
Here are 6 easy and quick ways to make your house look company-ready in a mere 15 minutes.
1. Light up! First things first, light some candles. If you open the door for a guest and they are instantly greeted with the smell of French vanilla, they'll be much more likely to ignore the pile of laundry peeking out of your bedroom.
I like a ton of different candles, but you can't really go wrong with the Yankee Candle Company line from Bed Bath & Beyond.
2. Get out your broom! A clean floor (whether in your kitchen, bathroom, or whole house) makes such a difference. Don't believe me? Go test my theory out. Sweep up any hard-surfaced room and see how a little floor shine goes a really long way.
3. Papers be gone. When in doubt, pick up every rogue piece of paper you see and put it somewhere your guest won't be able to find it. Magazines, bills, to-do lists, children's artwork, all of it! You'd be amazed how quickly you can clean up a room by just removing all the random paper from it.
4. Dishes in the dishwasher. An empty sink makes your entire house seem cleaner. It may not be scientific fact, but I swear by it. My husband will come home and thank me for cleaning the house, and I've literally only done the dishes. (I don't tell him that, of course.)
5. Pick your shoes up. Remove any shoes from sight. At any given time, I can pick up five to six pairs of shoes around our house (mine, my husband's, my son's), and while it seems like such a small thing, it helps. Trust me!
6. Toss all toys. Not in the trash, of course, but in a laundry or decorative basket. Toys have a way of multiplying when you're not looking, I'm convinced. It can make a world of difference to contain them all in one place and shove that basket in a corner or under a table. Trust me, it takes no longer than a minute to toss all those rogue toys in one place.
Now that you've done these six things, pull out some sparkling water, dab on a little lip gloss, shut any doors to rooms you couldn't get to, and enjoy that impromptu visit from your friend.
What about you, do you have any tips for quick cleaning?