"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." ~Lao Tzu
If y'all are like me, cleaning is something that you do deliberately and thoroughly. You at But on occasion, your husband may just tell you while you are watching every episode of "Survivorman" on Netflix, that his best friend is on his way over. And this time the house is a mess because you have been learning to survive in the event that you're lost at sea for 7 days. So you jump up and start aimlessly trying to straighten up the house. Well, I have perfected the "get your house clean in 10 minutes" routine. Ready...set...go!
1. The Kitchen/Dining Room: I know it may be hard, but don't worry about getting this area spotless. It's pretty easy to "fake" spotless in this area.
- Dishes/sink: Make sure you tackle this part first. Especially if you have a lot of dirty ones sitting in the sink. A dishless sink actually gives the illusion of a cleaner kitchen, even if the kitchen around them, is a wreck. So when I wanna take care of these in a hurry, I put all the big pots and pans in the oven, and quickly fill up my dishwasher (make sure you unload any clean dishes). I don't rinse the dishes or even perfectly arrange them. I just fit them in the best way they will go. Instant dishless sink! Once company hits the road, you can go ahead and wash them the way you're supposed to. If you don't have a dishwasher, utilize as much of the oven as you can. You may also use the drawer at the bottom.
Once all of the dishes have been removed from the sink, wipe it out with a paper towel, making sure you get rid of any food. Then I like to spray it down with a bleach and water solution and let it sit. It cleans the sink and also gives off that clean bleach smell that smells like you've been cleaning for hours. Once the friend leaves, you can wipe the sink down again or rinse bleach away.
-Junk on the counter: I collect tons of plastic shopping bags from the grocery store and this is when they particularly come in handy. Grab a bag and throw away all trash on the counter. Tie it up and throw it in the trash can once it's full. Next, wet a rag (aka dish/wash cloth for you non-southerners) and wipe down counters and stove top quickly.
-Floor: So there's two ways to handle this one. My favorite is to quickly sweep and push the pile of debris to behind the trash can. Lazy I know, but this is if you're in one heck of a hurry. The second way is to grab out that ol' trusty vacuum cleaner, set it on the lowest setting and go over the floor quickly. Don't worry about mopping, there's not enough time ("No time, there's never any time!!!" as quoted from Jessie Spano on Saved by the Bell when she od'd on caffeine pills). Spray any visible icky spots with windex and wipe up with a paper towel.
-Dining Room Table: Make sure there's no dishes or food on the table. Wipe down with a damp rag.
2. The Living Room: Remember those plastic bags from the kitchen portion of my post? Grab as many as you can and start filling them up! Use one for any trash and debris and toss it in the garbage can. Then use any extra ones to throw toys, clothes, books, etc. into. Now this doesn't have to be perfect, just presentable. Take those bags and stack them into the nearest closet. You can take them out later and organize everything. I actually designate a corner of my living room just for my son's toys so if you do this too, just toss all toys in that corner. Even though that corner may be in disarray, if the floor is clean, that corner will just look "lived in". Don't worry about cleaning end tables or coffee tables. If the floor is clean, the whole living room will look clean. Vacuum only visible parts of the floor. This no time to clean under the couch and behind chairs. Just the parts of the floor you can see. If you have candles or oil burners, LIGHT THEM! Good smells=illusion of cleaner than a 10 minute clean. Make sure all pillows and cushions are perfectly arranged on furniture because that pulls everything together. Since I have 4 kids, my furniture isn't in pristinecondition. I have a pretty large stain on the arm of my couch and so I just toss an accent throw strategically over the arm so that it looks "designer" like.
3. The Bathroom: I'm lucky enough to have 3 bathrooms. That's awesome with a house teeming with estrogen, but it sucks for when you have company and are a little behind on cleaning. That's why I only clean one of them for guests. I close the doors to ALL the rooms, EXCEPT for that one bathroom I'm gonna clean for guests. Cleaning the bathroom is a lot like cleaning the kitchen, minus the dishes. Use some more plastic bags and clean up any trash and clothes. Toss the trash bag in the trash can and the other ones can go in the tub. Just pull the curtain closed. If for some reason you don't have a tub with a curtain, these bags can go either under the sink if there's a cabinet, or in the nearest closet. Wet a rag and wipe down the sink and the toilet. Once again spray some bleach/water solution in the sink and in the toilet. Don't worry about cleaning it just yet. The bleach will clean as it sits and also give off that famous clean smell. Do the floor like you did for the kitchen.
The secret to cleaning in a hurry is paying attention to the important VISIBLE areas, while cutting corners on the not so important areas. I also recommend drinking a couple of cups of coffee for an added boost! To stay up to date with my posts, please feel free to subscribe and if you have any tips you would like to add, I would love to hear them!