The phone rings. It’s Mom letting you know she’s on her way over. Right now.
You look around. The sink is filled with dishes, and toys are scattered across the floor. Your house just isn’t ready for visitors.
No fear! For great results with little effort, follow these steps for a 20-minute clean. You’ll have your home looking respectable before Mom even pulls into the driveway.
Put away shoes and bags, and hang coats in the closet. Straighten the mat, and tuck wallets and keys out of sight. There’s nothing like a tidy entryway to trick your guests into thinking your entire home is spic and span.
Estimated time: 2 minutes
The Living Room
Next up, tackle the living room. You know Mom will want to relax on the couch while you’re chatting.
Corral toys and blankets into baskets. Fold a throw and drape it over the sofa to disguise any unsightly sags or stains. Neatly stack books and magazines on a table, and gather all the TV remotes in one place.
If you have time, run the vacuum – any room looks instantly cleaner with a crumb-free, fluffed-up carpet. Remember to tackle any pet hair on the furniture, too. Don a pair of clean rubber gloves and run your hands across the furniture to pick up pet hair quickly. Next up is one of the messiest rooms in the house…
Estimated time: 5 minutes
The main culprits of an untidy kitchen are dirty dishes and grimy surfaces. Wipe down the counters and place dirty dishes in the dishwasher. If your dishwasher is full, stack dishes neatly in the sink or even in the oven – just don’t forget they’re there! Clearing off your counters has a huge impact on how clean your kitchen looks.
Hang dish towels so the clean side faces out, and then light a candle for a subtle, fresh scent throughout your living space. Enjoy your clean kitchen, you sly fox.
Estimated time: 4 minutes
We all know Mom will have something to say if the bathroom isn’t up to her standards. So get your loo in tip-top shape in a jiff.
Spray cleaner inside the toilet bowl. While the cleaner sits, wipe around the sink and any places dust and hair tend to gather: the top and underside of the toilet seat, the handle and the top of the tank.
Stow cosmetics and hair styling products under the sink. Hang fresh towels and replace the empty toilet paper roll. Close the shower curtain to keep your impressive collection of bath products out of sight. Light a scented candle, and don’t forget to flush the cleaner down the toilet before you move onto the next room.
Estimate time: 4 minutes
You never know when Mom will ask to see little Sally’s newest piece of artwork or the outfit for Johnny’s upcoming recital. So make sure you quickly tackle the bedrooms.
The smallest task that will yield the biggest impact is making the beds – the room instantly looks more put together. Tuck pyjamas under pillows so they’re off the floor and ready for later. Stash toys and puzzles in drawers or bins, and pile books neatly on the desk or nightstand. Then open the windows to let in the fresh air.
Estimated time: 3 minutes
The Laundry Room
Although Mom’s unlikely to visit the laundry room, it doesn’t hurt to tackle this space if you’ve got the time.
Put clean laundry that needs to be folded into baskets, and toss dirty clothes into the washer. Place undergarments on hangers and put them in the bedroom closet, away from the wandering eyes of visitors.
Estimated time: 2 minutes
Voila! You’ve cleaned your home in less time than it takes to most people to drive to work. Not only can you enjoy the glowing feeling of a tidy house and a proud mom, but now you’re prepared to handle any other surprise visitors the future may hold.