Last Minute Guests? Clean This.


We’ve all had it happen. A friend or family member calls or texts you and says they are going to be stopping by your house shortly. You glance across your home, and with terror in your eyes, you calmly reply, “Great! See you then!” Now what? Here are a few things to pay attention to first…

If they are 15-20 minutes out, focus on these few things…

  • The front door. Make sure the entry of your house is as straightened up as possible. Coats hung. Shoes lined up or put in a basket. Shake rug off. Other items that don’t belong, stash in another room (preferably who’s ever room the items belong to!).
  • Straighten up the living room. Stack books/ magazines. Straighten pillows. Fold up blankets, or throw them in a basket. Throw drinking cups (or any other dishes there may be) into the dishwasher or stack in the sink.
  • Straighten Counter top. There’s no way in 15 minutes that you can clean a totally messy kitchen, but at least organize the chaos a little.
  • Grab the kitchen trash, and toss it out. Replace the bag.

If someone is an hour away, do all of the above, plus…

  • When straightening the counter, take it a step further and get rid of some of that stuff! Clean out the sink (wash dishes or load the dishwasher and start it up). Get rid of  “piles” and wipe off the counters.
  • Clean up the guest bathroom. Get a clean towel. Make sure the toilet is clean, and there is toilet paper. Wipe out the sink. Close the shower curtain.
  • Close any bedroom or laundry room doors that may need to hide an unkept room.
  • Clean off the dining room table. Wipe it off.
  • Sweep. With a broom or sweeper, clean those floors. Especially in the areas your guests will be. For me, after I sweep my floors, I feel like I’ve cleaned half the house!
  • Light a candle or open a window. A sweet-smelling candle is always nice, and fresh air makes everything seem a little cleaner!

Baskets, decorative boxes, furniture with storage, etc are great for people with a family. It makes quick cleaning go smoothly. Baskets for shoes. Baskets for books, magazines, blankets…

In the end, MOST people are just there to see you. So don’t freak out about having a little imperfection. I know for me, I will be worried about things out-of-place in my house when someone comes over. But when I go to someone ELSE’S home, I hardly notice. Really. If you live in a show piece, you aren’t really living!

(Featured picture from

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