When you have guests arriving at your home in just a few minutes, deep cleaning is not an option. 

You must pick up your house and clean it as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

Here are a few tips and tricks for picking up and speed cleaning your home when guests are on their way. 

speed cleaningphoto courtesy of United Soybean Board flickr.com/photos/unitedsoybean/10482516113Scent
Certain scents, such as lemon, make a house seem clean. 

Spray air freshener or turn on a wax warmer to start the scent going throughout your home. 

You can also sprinkle some carpet freshener and/or spray some fabric freshener. 

Turn on your air conditioner's fan to circulate the scent throughout the house. 

If using an air freshener, spray towards the door where your guests will enter.

 

Focus on the Public Spaces
Pick up the public rooms that your guests will see. 

Ignore the rooms that they will not, such as your bedroom. 

Grab an empty laundry hamper and a trash bag. 

Walk through all of your public spaces and throw all of the trash in the trash bag and everything else that is out of place in the hamper - dog toys, kids' toys, newspaper, shoes, clothes, etc. 

Take the trash bag and all other trash to your outside trash can. 

Stash the laundry hamper in a private room that your guests will not go into. 

Invest in cute baskets, decorative storage bins, and furniture with hidden storage that can be used to hide everyday items that are not pretty, such as a TV remote control.

 

Floors
If you have a robotic vacuum, turn it on.  If not, pick up the larger pieces of lint and scraps of paper from the carpets instead of vacuuming and mopping. 

Use a wet paper towel to spot clean your hard floors because you probably don't have time to mop or wait for the floors to dry. 

If you have a pet that sheds, you will most likely need to vacuum. 

Vacuuming hard floors typically takes less time than sweeping.

 

Kitchen
The number one culprit to an unclean kitchen is dirty dishes.  Rinse, not wash, your dishes and put them quickly in the dishwasher. 

After your guests leave you may have to take the dishes out and wash them or run the dishwasher twice, but the dishes are now out of sight. 

Quickly wipe down the countertops.

 

Bathroom
Take a quick peek at the guest bathroom to make sure there is no trash on the floor and that the countertop is clean. 

Speed scrub the toilet if necessary, make sure the toilet seat is down, and ensure there is plenty of toilet paper. 

Get a fresh hand towel and spray some air freshener. 

Straighten the shower curtain.

 

Child's Bedroom
If someone is going to see a bedroom, a child's play date for example, the first thing to do is make the bed. 

Throw out of place toys in a laundry hamper or basket since they will most likely be the toys the kids will want to play with. 

Don't spend too much time speed cleaning a child's bedroom since it will probably be a mess within 5 minutes of the children playing.

 

Straighten
Make sure your dining chairs are all pushed in. 

Fluff and straighten your sofa pillows and neatly arrange your throw blanket. 

Set out drink coasters if you will be serving drinks. 

 

If You Have Time
If your guests have not arrived yet, feel free to dust, wipe down mirrors and kitchen appliances, and sweep the floor. 

Don't vacuum at the last minute because you might not hear your door bell or your telephone if your guests call needing help with directions.

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