In our fantasies, our home is always clean, well-stocked with food and drink, and ready to welcome guests—planned or unexpected. In reality, most homes need a bit of cleaning and refreshing to look their best before guests arrive. If your home isn’t always pristine, how much cleaning you can do is directly related to how much time you have before the company arrives.
Let’s pretend that if you know several weeks in advance that you’ll be welcoming guests, that you have time to deep clean and take care of all of the usual housekeeping chores. If you only have a day or a couple of hours before everyone arrives, you can still give the impression of a clean house.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind so you spend your limited cleaning time effectively.
Zero in on the rooms your guests are sure to use—entryways, living areas, bathrooms, and for overnight guests, bedrooms. Don’t begin cleaning areas like the laundry room, they will never see.
Engage the entire family. Even young children can help. Assign tasks that can be done simultaneously. One person can vacuum while another declutters.
Work quickly and make the most impact with the least amount of work. Remove clutter instead of cleaning the oven. If you don’t have time to sort and put away all of the clutter, gather it in a laundry basket and hide it in a closet.