15-minute 'company's coming' cleanup

By Kathryn Weber
Dec. 21, 2017 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated Dec. 22, 2017 at 1 a.m.

Kathryn Weber

Kathryn Weber   Contributed Photo for The Victoria Advocate

The holidays are a time when company may unexpectedly come to visit, and impromptu gatherings over drinks or dessert are one of the highlights of the holidays.

But, if your house is a mess, you may put off those surprise visits until you've had a chance to clean properly.

Don't miss out on one of the best parts about the holidays because the bed's unmade and you have a sink full of dishes. In only 15 minutes, you can get your house in order quickly and be ready for company.

Basket case

One of the first tasks is to pick up stray items such as coats, shoes and magazines in the living room. Grab a laundry basket, go to the main living areas and collect all the strays, then place it in the laundry room. Clear off tops of coffee and side tables and give them a quick dusting. Straighten pillows and fold lap throws and hang them on the arm of a chair or sofa. Next, move into the kitchen, grabbing piles of mail from wherever they've been left. Toss mail in a basket on the counter. Place any newspapers or old magazines in the recycling.

Quick clean

When getting ready for visitors, be sure to remember this is not about getting the house cleaned to your regular cleaning standards. What it's about is making the house tidy and neat-looking, so avoid over-scrutiny. Pick up any stray dishes and bring them to the kitchen. In the kitchen, load the dishwasher with any dishes left in the sink and do your best to clear the counters. Spray them down quickly with cleaner and wipe with a microfiber cloth.

Give the stove a quick wipe and then tackle fingerprints on the fridge, dishwasher or microwave while you're at it. If you have large pots and pans to be washed, store those in the oven until your company leaves.

In the bathroom your guests will use, check the commode for stains in the bowl. Run a toilet brush quickly around the bowl, then using paper towels or a microfiber cloth, wipe down the rim, seat and lid. Place the lid down and check the toilet paper roll. Add a full roll if the roll is less than half full.

Put away items on the counter and then give counters a quick wipe and check the mirror or water spots or drips.

Fold towels neatly and close the shower curtain. Wipe out the sink and polish the faucet handle.

Put out a new hand towel, spritz the bathroom with air freshener and head to the bedroom.

Last call

Even though guests may not go in your bedroom, pick up any stray clothes and place them in the closet. Tuck shoes under the bed. Then, make the bed and give the bedspread or comforter a tug to remove any wrinkles. Turn on bedside lamps and then head to the foyer. Remove excess coats or jackets and toss them into the laundry room basket. Straighten the foyer table and dust and turn on the lamp and outside lighting. Lastly, light a candle in the kitchen and living room and put out glasses or plates as you wait for your guests to arrive.

Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui ezine. For more information, contact Weber through her website, redlotusletter.com.


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