We’ve all gotten that phone call or text from family and friends — you know which one: “I’ll be over in an hour!” Cue the groans and moans because after the day you had, your place is a downright dirty mess.
From the kids’ clothes and toys scattered everywhere, to the pile of laundry in the corner of your room, to that makeshift office on the kitchen table that has you multitasking like a boss, there is no denying that cleaning up is serious business. Sometimes, it can take an entire day to do it!
There is always something to wipe, dust, polish or sweep when it comes to our homes. And while it seems hard to achieve that ‘everyday’ clean sort of look, it doesn’t have to be. It might not be an OCD kind of cleaning, but a good speed clean that covers an hour helps you to focus on particular tasks and rooms, without veering from them.
Tidy up the common areas
Without panicking, keep in mind you only have 60 minutes. Consider only the common areas when speed cleaning. Tidy the entrance hall, clean the windows and mirrors, mop or vacuum the floors and wipe down the baseboards, which usually shows off the most dust. Grab one of those ‘Magic Erasers’ and scan for skids or fingerprints on walls and floors. Most importantly, hide the hampers and get the dishes in the dishwasher — rooms look less clean when piles of clothes or dishes are in sight.
Start from the top when dusting
No matter what room you choose to clean first, clean from the top down so that all dirt and dust from higher surfaces falls on lower surfaces that have yet to be cleaned. Additionally, clear off all surfaces by scanning rooms and scoping any unnecessary objects you might see on counters, sofas, chairs, or tables. Put everything in a basket or empty drawer, and schedule a time to look through them after guests leave — but don’t forget!
Open all the windows
Deodorizers can only do so much. With spring here, open those windows and air out every room for a fresh smell that will actually trick guests into thinking it’s a clean, crisp environment. When you get a cross breeze flowing through everything, it not only elevates the room’s appeal, but that fresh scent will stay longer than any spray can.
When you have guests over, you can guarantee that everyone is going to use the bathroom. Make sure you clean the most popular room in the house by sprucing it up and giving it much needed attention — this should only take about 10 minutes. Like restaurants, if a bathroom is clean, you can bet everyone is thinking the rest is spotless. Replenish guest towels, soap and toilet paper. Launder the bath towels and mats for a fluffy feel, and take care of anything that might be horrific to look at in the toilet bowl.
Empty out the trash
One of the most overlooked aspects of cleaning is taking out the trash. Not only is it a lightning-quick cheat to a cleaner-looking home, but trash cans that don’t have lids tend to make things look psychologically gross.
Buy fresh flowers
Not exactly a cleaning tip, but once you’ve done everything from cleaning surfaces, wiping them down, vacuuming and fluffing all those pillows, adding flowers throughout designated spaces will make your home a lot more cleaner looking and improve mood. A study from Rutgers found evidence that flowers not only produce an increase in serotonin, but also heighten feelings of life satisfaction and happiness.