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Unexpected Visitors: 15 minute clean-up

Ever had that last minute phone-call of a friend or member of the family phoning to say that they are passing and can they pop in for a cuppa? It’s fair to say that it is a frequent event for most of us that can make for a pleasant surprise once you’ve passed the challenge of making your home look both presentable and respectable. The professional domestic cleaners at MOLLY MAID have a few top tips on how best to perform a 15 minute clean-up that doesn’t just involve waving a magic wand!

Delegate: When it comes to quickly cleaning the house, it is all hands on deck! Grab the children and the significant other and put them to work. Younger children may not know how to clean a house effectively, but they will be able to handle the gathering of clutter and making their bed! Ask older children to stack the dishwasher, run the vacuum cleaner over a carpet or do the dusting. Every bit of help is needed at this point.

Stash away clutter:  Walk through your kitchen, dining room, the guest bathroom or the room you will be using to entertain your guests with a laundry basket and pick up anything that shouldn’t be there (newspapers, books, clothing, shoes, toys, dishes, etc.) When you’re finished, hide the basket in another room or cupboard.

Dust:  Use a slightly damp microfibre cloth to dust all surfaces and furniture in the main rooms which you will be using. If you have time, check the skirting boards too.

Kitchen: Cut up a lemon or orange and place it in a saucepan with water and simmer. This will give your home a fresh fragrance. Put away any food items that are out of place. Place any dirty crockery into your dishwasher. Wipe the surfaces and the hob. Quickly clean your sink and dry the sink basins out with a microfibre cloth. Pick up any visible particles of food on the floor as well.

Dining/ sitting room:  Open the window. Dust the surfaces and run the vacuum cleaner over the carpet quickly. Place a decorative plant or bouquet of flowers on the table if you have any on display in your home.

Bathroom: Using a microfibre cloth, clean the taps, sink, and toilet. You want to make sure all surfaces are nicely polished and that the bathroom smells clean and fresh. Close the shower curtain. Hang out clean hand towels. Clean the mirror and take out the rubbish if necessary.

Hallway: As you wait for your friend, put away or organise your shoes, coats, and anything else that may need a quick tidy in the hallway. If you have a mirror in your hallway, make sure that there aren’t any smeary finger prints on it!

If your unexpected visitors announce that they are also planning on staying for a few days or overnight, here are some top tips to make your visitors feel at home:

  • As a rule, try to make up the guest bed as soon as you have laundered the sheets from your previous visitors to avoid that last minute bed changing scenario.
  • Leave a set of towels on the bed – one set per person. Lay out mini toiletries your visitors may have forgotten such as shampoo, soap and toothpaste.
  • Provide extra pillows and blankets in the cupboard if possible.
  • Leave a small vase of fresh flowers picked from the garden if you have time – this does wonders for cheering up a room and shows a lovely personal touch.
  • Leaving a bottle of water with glasses in the room shows that extra thought!
  • Make sure there is a good bedside light and a night light that works.
  • If you’re using an air mattress as the guest ‘bed’ make sure it stays inflated (inflate overnight in advance to test it out) and vacuum the surface so it’s dust free. This is difficult to do if you are in a hurry.
  • Make some space in a cupboard or empty an empty drawer.
  • If you have room for a spare chair, it can be very useful to place clothes or bags on.
  • Have a few nibbles and a drink ready for their arrival, so you can welcome them and have a leisurely chat about how they wish to spend their time whilst visiting and enjoy some time with them!