Your guests are arriving in one hour, and you have no time to clean the entire house from top to bottom. What do you do?
Here are 10 tips to cut down your cleaning time, and focus on the more important areas of your house.
#1 Stick to the Kitchen
Especially when you are serving food, make sure your kitchen is clean and tidy. Put dirty dishes into the dishwasher and run it. There is nothing worse at a dinner party with dirty dishes a few days old in the sink. (Yes I have been to some like that!) If you only have time for one room, the kitchen is the one to focus on. Most dinner parties end up in the kitchen by the end and better to be prepared.
Cleaning products and suggestion: Use disinfectant cleaner and a microfiber cloth to wipe down all visible surfaces. Tidy up the area, and put things in their proper place.
#2 Wipe Down The Bathrooms
If you do not have time to clean the whole house, stick to the kitchen and the bathroom. It makes a huge impression. Open the window and air it out before your guests arrive.
Cleaning product and suggestions: A quick swirl of toilet bowl cleaner and let sit while you wipe down the visible surfaces of the bathroom with a cloth and multi purpose cleaner. More than one bathroom, stick to the one your guests will use for the party.
#3 The Bedroom Once-Over
In the bedroom, you can cut corners just by throwing the duvet cover over the bed and stuffing the toys and items under the bed, just before your guests arrive. (Yes, I have done this a moment before my ladies arrived for afternoon tea!)
#4 Hidden Laundry
Take laundry off your bed, 1/2 folder, dirty or clean and put in the dryer before guests arrive. A great hiding place, and out of site while your guests are over. More laundry? Invest in a hamper to get the items off the floor.
#5 Smell the Febreeze
No time, no problem, Go through the house, moments before guests arrive, spray a little on the fabric surfaces. It gives a temporary solution, long enough for your guests not to judge. Not too much, just like using perfume, less is more! In addition, open the windows to air out the house.
#6 Clean as you Cook
Clean the kitchen as you cook and after each meal. This makes for fewer chores before a dinner party. Many people watch the water boil! Look around to see if you can put anything away, wipe down a spill or unload the dishwasher. No time like the present!
Cleaning products and suggestions: The kitchen is the only room in the house where I use bleach. A little in the sink with hot water, cleans and kills germs in one wipe. Especially with kids, I do not want to risk a deadly Salmonella, Listeria or E-coli, caused from remnants of foods rotting on your counter.
Change out your sponge or rag once a week and let it dry out completely in between uses. Germs thrive in moist areas. Did you know more people get sick from uncleanly kitchens than bathrooms?
#7 Rinse the Shower
While showering, rinse down the sides with hot water. I usually do this while my one-minute conditioner is in my hair. This keeps the bathroom shower free from stuck on/dried on soap that is difficult to clean by the end of the week. When the dinner party begins, you do not need to think about it at all. It is always clean.
Cleaning products and suggestions: Once a week, use vinegar on a cloth to wipe down your glass shower doors. Also, try multipurpose cleaner in your bathtub with a scrub brush. Make sure to rinse well, especially where the kids bath. Some children are more sensitive to smells and products than others on their skin are, and cleaners have no business anywhere near my children.
#8 Clean the Bowl
In Europe, you will find a toilet brush next to the toilet bowl. After using the toilet, clean it. You are already there, it only takes a few moments, and by leave the cleaning products in the bathroom, you will never have a disgusting toilet to clean.
#9 Tidy as You Go
If you walk from one room to the next, and you see something out of place, just grab it when you go to the room where it belongs. If you tidy as you go and never go empty handed, after a while, it becomes a habit, and your house will always be tidy. This trick makes cleaning just before friends arrive a breeze, as everything is already in its proper place.
#10 A Little Each Day
Your house will always looked great if you have a plan. By cleaning as you go, a little each day, you will cut down your cleaning time by a landslide. The best part, you do not even know you are constantly cleaning and tidying, as it is light duty, leaving little scrubbing and use of heavy products by the week’s end.
Try these tricks and see if they work for you too!
Your Bonus Tip
Do not do a heavy cleaning before the dinner party, but after! That is a good time to mop the floors, vacuum under the couches, clean out the utensil drawers, and wipe down handles, baseboards and doorknobs. After the party is when you find little spills, handprints, the items far out of place. If you spot clean on demand, your floors should be fine for a party.
Some believe the people that entertain more often actually have cleaner homes. The theory is they do deep cleaning after the party disperses, in areas otherwise overlooked. The more soiled the house, the more you would actually clean. Huh?!