Tis’ the holiday season, and many of us have company coming at one time or another. If your house is anything like my house, we can vacuum one day and then wonder how it got so dirty again the next! If you find yourself exclaiming, “Company is coming, and this house is a mess!” then here are 5 Quick Ways to Clean the House.
Let me start all this by saying that my children are old enough to help and are included in this equation. If you have even just 3 days to prepare, you should be in good shape. If you have just a few hours, no worries, you can scale back some, or kick it into double time mode!
Company is Coming!! 5 Quick Ways to Clean the House
Take 30 minutes and do a quick dusting of obvious furniture and shelves. It is amazing how a small bucket of Murphy’s Oil soap and water can quickly clean many things AND make the house smell clean and fresh. I have my 11-year-old son wipe down things like the entertainment center, end tables, book shelves, even the hardwood floors with it.
2. Picking Up Clutter
You can easily include children of many ages in this one. Either have each child take a room (for older children), or move from room to room together. Put things back in toy boxes and bins, and stash loose items away in closets or drawers. This can take anywhere from a few minutes per room to a couple of hours across the house. Picking up the loose clutter on the floor, tables, shelves, etc. can make the house feel cleaner without too much effort. I find myself throwing out things like old magazines that I haven’t looked at in forever and clearing off desks and such along the way.
3. Cleaning Bathrooms
I always dread the messy bathrooms with toothpaste and hair all over the place! I have found a quick and easy way to keep the bathrooms in reasonable shape. I store a container of Clorox Clean-Up wipes, a bottle of Windex and a bottle of bleach cleaner with paper towels under each sink. As I go in and out of the bathroom during the day, I use one wipe to clean. That might mean wiping down the baseboards and floor, or wiping off the outside of the toilet. It can be done in 5 minutes or less, and it makes a world of difference in keeping up with bathroom cleaning. You can also spray bleach cleaner inside the toilet bowl to remove any discoloration and odor. It makes the bathroom smell nice and clean!
My 8-year-old is given the chore of cleaning the bathroom counters and mirrors at least one per week. When rushing to clean the house, this is something I can easily send her to do on her own. Dirty bathrooms can be kind of a turn-off to holiday guests, but keeping them clean is easier than you think with a few extra minutes here and there and a once-over with hands-on cleaners!
4. Cleaning the Kitchen
This is a pet peeve of my husband’s. He simply cannot function if the sink is full of dirty dishes and the counter full of clean ones yet to be put away. Plus you typically have company in and out of your kitchen space, and you are often making food to serve, so it is an important room to clean up.
We do a two- or three-person clean up in the kitchen. We get our younger ones involved in wiping down surfaces with a sponge while someone else washes dishes and another person dries and puts them away. Even with our biggest pile-up, we can be in and out of the kitchen in about 30 minutes.
I like to do this last because our floor and carpeting seems to be a magnet for fuzzies and such. My teenager is assigned to vacuuming on a normal basis during the week, so if we have company coming I will often have her run the vacuum through the main rooms of the house on our company’s arrival day.
A once-over vacuuming is a quick and easy way to make the house feel cleaner. We sometimes sprinkle some baking soda on the carpet first to help eliminate any odors.
6. Bonus Tip
Another quick and easy way to give the house a homey atmosphere is to light a candle or two in a mild scent like linen. For the holidays, you may want to try pumpkin spice, cinnamon, or pine scents.
Keep in mind that you are probably much more critical of your home than your company will be! So if you find yourself exclaiming, “Company is coming!” doing a quick bulk clean-up and wipe-down of the main areas of the house will make it feel clean and fresh. Then you can enjoy your company and not worry about whether or not your house is presentable.
What’s your best quick clean-up tip? Please share it in the comments!