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Emergency cleaning for unplanned visitors

We’ve all been there.

You – or another family member – impulsively invites the neighbours round for drinks. Or the in-laws ring to say they are on their way – surprise! Or you planned to throw a party, then life got in the way and suddenly it’s the day of the party and it dawns on you that your house isn’t exactly ready for public consumption.

No problem – a few quick hacks and you will be guest-ready in no time!

Firstly, think about who is actually coming.

Does your house need to meet the standards of the mother-in-law whose eyebrow seems permanently raised with disapproval, or are we talking old friends who will be too busy regaling you with gossip to even notice that you didn’t get around to wiping your kitchen appliances?

Be realistic, and adjust accordingly.

On the same note, consider which areas of the house will actually be visited by the guests, and don’t worry about cleaning under your own bed for now.

Tidy-up first

Start with a speed pick up of everything that is out of place. Books are returned to shelves, dishes in the dishwasher, errant socks in the linen basket. If you’re not sure where something goes, stick it somewhere out of sight for now. Make sure to keep all the homeless items in one place so you can go back and sort them out later, or else they’ll be lost forever!

Hoover for freshness

Don’t underestimate the value a good vacuuming to give your house that freshly cleaned feel no matter what is lurking just out of sight. Gleaming mirrors and windows also give the illusion of sparkle, so prioritise those. Candles and fresh flowers are a great finishing touch to give your home that hostess-with-the-mostess feel in no time.

If the guests will be staying overnight, set up their room with fresh bed linen, and fresh flowers wouldn’t go amiss there too.

Keep it simple other than that, if they wanted hotel-level service they’d stay in one.

Make sure the bathroom they will use is sparkling and well stocked with toilet paper and spare towels. It might be too late this time around, but for the future, gathering unused hotel toiletries to display in the guest bathroom is another nice touch.

Quick run-around

Just before your guests arrive, do a final walk through with a cloth in hand to take care of any quick polishing/wiping/dusting that catches your eye.

And when they do arrive, don’t apologise for the state of your house – it will only draw attention to what they might not have noticed otherwise!

Most importantly though, pour yourself a glass of wine and relax – your guests are there to spend time with you, not to critique the shine of your toaster.