Recently, after a great day boating with friends, we decided to meet at my house for drinks before having dinner at a nearby restaurant. Some of our guests were on the boat with my husband and I, and others would drive to our house. They would arrive before I did, so there would be no time for a last minute clean up. Since I’m a professional organizer, that didn’t pose a problem for me. My house is almost always company ready. However, if you’re not like me, what can you do if you get a call that friends “are in the neighborhood” and will be there in 20 minutes? Tilly Rose, founder of TenancyCleaning, a cleaning service in London, offers these tips for de-cluttering your home when it needs to done quickly.
- Take a photo of your rooms on your phone. Most people stop seeing the clutter and mess in their homes, and they no longer recognize it. A photo will give you fresh perspective and help you spot what items don’t belong.
- Use a laundry basket or bin to collect all items that are in the wrong place. You can put them in their proper places later when you have more time, but the clutter will be gone in just few minutes.
- Use a microfiber cloth and water to clean dust off your newly clear surfaces. This won’t disinfect them, but it will look clean for the moment.
- Do a quick sweep of the floor to remove visible dirt, tiny crumbs, dust and grime.
- Remove and wash soap residue and toothpaste from the bathroom sink. Pour a little bleach in the toilet bowl to disinfect it and flush the water. Use a dustbuster to remove any stray hairs. Put out fresh towels.
- Put any dirty dishes in the dishwasher. If there’s time run the dishwasher.
- Refresh your living room by turning stained couch cushions to their cleaner side, fluff the pillows, and fold throw blankets. Consider lighting a scented candle to create a cozy feeling.