5 Cleaning Secrets For Moms in a Time Crunch

Whether you barely beat anticipated guests to your front door, or your spouse once again invited a few friends to drop on by without mentioning it, speed-cleaning is the need of the hour (or less). Five lightning fast but effective housecleaning tips let you usher in your company to a seemingly pristine home.

Ban Living Room Clutter to the Bedroom

Company rarely — if ever — visits a bedroom. Friends, the minister’s wife and the new in-laws most likely recognize that the sleeping area is off-limits. Not surprisingly, this opens up an entire room to clutter, unfinished laundry-folding jobs, the science project and anything else that currently takes up space in the living room. In a pinch, go ahead and store kitchen clutter in the bedroom as well.

A Cooler Hides a Multitude of Dishes

Empty and reload the dishwasher to get rid of this morning’s breakfast bowls. Don’t have a dishwasher? Don’t have time to wash dishes? No problem! Get out the big camping cooler and load it with the dirty dishes. Hide the cooler — where else? — in the bedroom. Once the counters are dish-free, the kitchen looks almost presentable.

Wipe Down all Surfaces

All-purpose wipes are a godsend. Use them on plastic, glass, chrome, wood and anything else. Wipe down all surfaces in the living room, kitchen, bathroom and mudroom. Get rid of dust, cat hair, finger prints and crumbs.

Vacuum Floors and Rugs

Use the hose attachment to get rid of hair on the bathroom floor and in the tub or shower. Vacuum the living room and any other areas where the guests may spend some time. When coupled with the clean counter surfaces, this quick once-over gives the impression of a virtually spotless home.

Fool the Nose and Eyes

Flush the toilet and drop in a colored bowl cleaner. These — usually blue — tablets hide any evidence of sloppy bathroom housekeeping. Potpourri, scented candles or even the old standby of baking cookies in the oven will undo the smells of a not-quite-ready-for-primetime home.

The ultimate finale is the quick change of the bathroom and kitchen towels. Replace used items with the special hand towels you usually only bring out when company comes around. It instantly adds aesthetic appeal and makes it look like you have not just finished 30 harrowed minutes of speed-cleaning, but actually run a designer show room in your home.

By the way, do not forget to de-clutter your bedroom once your guests have left. I have learned the hard way that dishes, left in a cooler overnight, tend to develop a rather unpleasant smell.

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