Guests on the way? Try these 5 speedy cleaning hacks

Our clever cheats will help you restore calm and order to your home (or at least make it look that way).

Updated

yellow rubber gloves on the kitchen countertop

We've all been there: it's 30-minutes before your guests arrive and you go into full-on panic clean mode. But what should you tackle first? Here’s how to clean your house fast.

Step 1: prioritise entryways

You can never make a second first impression so having a calm, clean and tidy entryway is a quick way of creating the illusion that the rest of your home is equally as pulled together.

Tidy away coats and shoes to make sure there’s plenty of room for guests’ outerwear. Remove clutter from countertops, including keys and unopened post. If it’s been raining, it can be useful to have an umbrella caddy there to prevent puddles. Light a candle with a warm, welcoming scent to greet guests as they arrive.

Step 2: tackle the loos

Along with the hallway, this is another place a guest is almost guaranteed to use, so make sure to give it a good once over. Wipe down counters, give the bowl and sink a good wash and make sure you have plenty of loo roll available.

yellow cleaning cloth and green sponge over bathroom sink

A great bathroom cleaning hack when time is of the essence is to replace your loo’s towels with fresh ones, as this will instantly make the space feel cleaner. As a thoughtful bonus touch, have a candle and some matches at the ready as well.

(Have a little bit more time? We’ve got some great quick bathroom cleaning tips.)

Step 3: speed tidying

When it comes to tidying away mess and clutter, start in the room you imagine people will spend the most time (usually the living room or kitchen). Get rid of any rubbish, speedily clear as much clutter as possible and wipe down all counter tops. Again, replace any tea towels with clean ones, and make sure you have enough clean mugs or glasses.

One of our favourite speedy cleaning hacks when time is of the essence is to move from room to room with a large box or basket and simply coral anything that shouldn’t be there; particularly handy for bringing things that belong upstairs back up and vice versa. If you have time, you can do a quick run around putting things in their rightful place - but no judgment if you decide to simply stash the basket away out of sight for now.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to close doors to messy bedrooms or out of bounds spaces. Sure, you’re cheating your way to making the space seem clean and tidy, but remember why you’re doing it - calm, clean spaces make people feel at ease. It’s all in the name of being a good host.

Step 4: dust and polish

When time is of the essence, a little dusting and polishing goes a long way. Sparkling clean, streak-free mirrors will bounce the light around and create the illusion that your home is cleaner than it might be.

spray and yellow cleaning cloth on the kitchen countertop

Step 5: speedy finishing touches

Adding a vase with some foliage or flowers will lend any room a sense of life and freshness and dimming the lights or just sticking to table lamps and floor lamps and avoiding turning on ceiling lights will make things feel homely and cosy.

And lastly, avoid rolling out the ol’ “Sorry, the place is a state” routine when guests arrive. At best, you’ll simply draw attention to any mess you haven’t managed to tidy away and at worst it’ll lead to awkward, stilted conversation as guests rush to murmur polite assurances. Concentrate on welcoming people in and making them feel at home – which always more important than how tidy your bathroom cabinet is.

Originally published