Your aunt and uncle just called and forgot to tell you they’d be in town, and now they want to stop by in 20 minutes. You can’t say no, and you haven’t cleaned in weeks. What do you do?
Follow these five steps and they won’t suspect a thing:
- Make your bed: It’s amazing how a messy bedroom instantly looks clean if the bed is made. You don’t even need to make the sheets hotel perfect; just cover them up with the bedspread and a bunch of throw pillows, and no one will know the difference. You can also hide dirty clothes under the pillows and comforters, not to mention under the bed itself.
- Put away the dishes: Sink full of dirty pots and pans and not enough time to hand wash, dry and put them away? Just stow them in the dishwasher, or if you don’t have one, underneath the sink, and make a mental note to wash them after your guests leave. Anything that is already clean and dry should be taken out of the drying rack and put away to reduce clutter.
- Close doors & drawers: Closet doors, dresser drawers and cabinets should all be in the closed position, which makes things look neat and tidy while hiding what’s really going on back there. Don’t worry so much about putting things in their proper place; just put them behind one of these doors or drawers and they’ll be none the wiser. Just don’t think you can get away with closing off an entire room – if your guests are first-time visitors, they’re going to want the full tour.
- Vacuum: Even if your carpet doesn’t look dirty to the naked eye, nothing says “clean” like a rug with fresh vacuum lines. Take five minutes to do a few passes on any rug that shows the lines, and be sure to make them straight and vertical rather than a random pattern. Just remember to put the vacuum away when you’re done.
- Make it smelly: In a good way, of course! You may not have time to actually use the Lemon Pine-Sol on every wood surface, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spray down one table to get that fresh-and-clean scent in the air. Air fresheners, scented candles and potpourri have a similarly deceiving effect.
What are your last-minute cleaning tips?