Or company for that matter. The police? Yes. They stopped over today. Shane was the witness to a domestic abuse case. He was walking our dogs and saw a guy threatening his girlfriend. The police were called and Shane had to give a statement. But first, the police had to deal with the deadbeat guy so Shane was able to come home and warn me that the police would be on their way. Let me set the stage real quick for you.
Today is a provincial holiday here in Canada. It's Family Day. Most people are off of work. Grocery stores are closed. You are to spend time with your family. So, Shane and I just spent the day hanging together. I spent the majority of the day in my jammies. In fact, while he was walking our little Bee dog at around three, I was taking a shower. Then when he finally came home around four, I was there with wet hair in my living room trying to dry and style it....still in jammies. He mentioned that the police would be at our home in 10 minutes so he could give his statement. He promptly said "You're not going to wear that, are you?" I quickly changed.
Well, that 10 minutes quickly turned into a blitz to spruce up our home. (We had done a major deep clean over the weekend...the kind of deep clean that involves vaccuuming the curtains and sweeping under the couch) so there wasn't too to much to do. But we've been in this situation before. People want to stop over to view our home (this was shortly after we moved in) or want to come visit. Here's my 10 minute clean sweep.
First, you've got to narrow things down. Quick, where will you entertain? Your kitchen? Dining room? Living room? Pick your room. For us it's usually the Dining Room table. We can sit and have a coffee and talk. K, got your room figured out? K.
First things first. Get yourself ready. Do you need to change your clothes? How about a dab of makeup? Could a brush be run through your hair? Do it now and do it quick. Then, put on an apron. Your apron will keep your outfit clean as you quickly clean. Get yourself ready first so that if any other areas of your home don't get clean, you'll at least feel good about yourself.
There are three rooms you need to focus on.
1. Entertaining room (Dining room for me)
Then, grab your tools. You'll need:
- a laundry basket [to toss in any cluttery junk that you can't quickly put away]
- a garbage bag [to throw away any garbage you find]
- papertowels or a cleaning rag [to wipe up spills and grossness]
- an all-purpose spray [preferably a great smelling one. I have an organic brand that smells wonderful.]
Start in your Entranceway.
- Line up your shoes in a neat row. Or put them on shoe racks. Or whatever you do with your shoes, do it. We have a boot tray that holds three pairs of shoes. I like to keep it to that three, but it's not always the case. So I just line things up neatly.
- Hang it up. Hang up any coats, backpacks, purses or dog leashes that find themselves laying on the ground. Clutter that doesn't go there? Into the laundry basket it goes.
- Your entranceway is the first glimpse people have into your home. Tidy here quickly.
Race to the Bathroom.
- Take a quick inventory. Are there clothes and wet towels that shouldn't be there? Toss in your basket. Rid yourself of junk. Hairspray bottels, a curling iron, kids toys - toss!
- Spray your spray into the sink. Spray counter. Is your mirror smudged? Spray. Now wipe clean.
- Are there unmentionable yucks going on in your toilet? Swab it out and spray and wipe down the toilet seat. Toss your papertowels into the garbage.
- Speaking of the bathroom garbage. Toss the trash into your garbage can. No one wants to see any garbage in that can. Toss, toss, toss.
- Is the toilet paper running low? Put on a fresh roll. Even if you could just get by. Put on a new roll. You just never know how much your guests may use. You later can put your old roll back on for your family to use up.
Head to your Entertaining Area
- Toss your clutter into the basket. Make a pile of the magazines or books that you've yet put away.
- Throw away any pop cans into your garbage can and put any dirty dishes that have yet made it to the kitchen into your laundry basket.
- Fluff a pillow and toss a throw blanket on the arm of the couch.
Put your laundry basket in an unused room and shut the door. Close any and all doors of rooms you won't be entertaining in. Nice clean pallet.
Now, if you have a few moments, here is some more advice:
- Run a pitcher of cool water. Put it into the fridge. Be sure to offer your guest a glass. Water is far nicer when it comes from a pretty pitcher versus the tap or even the Brita....unless of course you have a pink Britta. :o)
- Put on a pot of coffee. It helps the house smell great as well - especially if you are serving French Vanilla or Hazelnut coffee.
- Still have time? Pull out your vaccuum and sweep the dickens up. Use your crevice tool to grab any cobwebs, dog hair fuzz balls or crunched up food crumbs. Forgo the broom - it's far too slow.
- Lots of dishes? Run a load of dishwater and toss in your dishes. It sort of looks like that's what you were doing when your company called to say they were coming over. Plus, you get rid of half of the dish mess as they sit in the sink to soak.
- Are you entertaining at night? Dim the light. Put on some candles. The dim light sort of just hides any mess and makes the atmosphere cozy. Turn on some soft music and you've really set a nice atmosphere.
- And lastly, prepare a little snack. Maybe a quick fruit salad. Some veggies and dip or Ranch dressing. How about crackers and cheese?
When the doorbell rings, hang up your apron a la '50's housewife, slap on a big smile and great your guests. Relax and enjoy your visit. Afterall, they are there to see you and not your cluttery mess.
Edited: K, a lot of you think I'm super woman. Oh how I wish I wore a little cape and red shortie shorts - but, haha, I'm soooo not. This is a sort of speed cleaning that requires you running and huffing and puffing and shakin' it like a salt shaker. Trust me, with a little prayer that your company is a bit late and with some lightening speed, it can be done.