My five quick tips for cleaning in 10 minutes or less when company is on the way:
1. Using an All Purpose spray and a paper towel, spray down your kitchen counter tops, sink and faucet, and stove top. Wipe up and voila! You are done. Why is this one thing I always do? Because guests always come in and stand in the kitchen. There may be dinner cooking with many plates and pots, but as long as everything is clean, no one will notice the chaos. Bonus time: wipe down the handles on your refrigerator or the inside of your microwave. I usually just go straight to the bathroom...
2. And using All Purpose Anti-Bacterial Wipes, wipe down the sink, faucet, and toilet. Don't worry about the shower/tub, as most guests either don't notice, or they have also not cleaned their shower/tub in over a week. But as long as you have a clean toilet and clean sink where they can wash their hands, the rest of the bathroom will look just as clean. Bonus time: using the same wipe, quickly run it over the tile floor to pick up any hair that may be lurking from your last blow dry, especially behind the toilet where it likes to hide.
3. Dust surfaces using a paper towel sprayed with an All Purpose spray, and turn on ceiling fans. Dust surfaces in the rooms in which you know guests will most likely be during their visit, and leave the other rooms for another day. I will be the first to tell you that I don't dust often enough. Usually the evidence is found on our ceiling fans, so once you quickly wipe down dusty surfaces, turn on the ceiling fan so that the newly cleaned areas will dry quickly, and guests won't notice a dirty fan.
4. If the house is a wreck, and you have to chose between cleaning some surfaces or putting away piles of mail, clothes, and other house clutter, ALWAYS take the 10 minutes or so to clean the surfaces being used most. These are what guests notice, not the pile of mail sitting by the front door - they probably have a similar pile at their house. The other clutter can be thrown in drawers, closets, and rooms that you can close off so guests won't notice.
5. Fluff or straighten pillows on the way to answer the door. It makes it look like you were always expecting them.
Those are my five quick tips, and the secrets to why my house always looks ready for guests (just don't peek in our closets- I love to stash!). Now, be sure to check out BlogHer's Life Well Lived Spring Cleaning Tips and share your favorite cleaning tips here to win a Kindle Fire and $50 Amazon gift certificate.
And, today a cleaning kit to be used with my Five Quick Tips is up for grabs as part of the 3rd Blogiversary Giveaways. Go here for more information and to enter!