- The microwave beep that keeps reminding me the cold coffee I tried to reheat has now, in fact, gone cold again.
- The doorbell. For really any reason.
While the microwave is like a nagging relative that will eventually silence itself once ignored long enough, the doorbell instantly puts me on high alert. It’s a Pavlovian response; one “ding-dong” and my eyes scan the house and find every bit of clutter, dust, and unwrangled chaos. Which, of course, is everywhere. And makes me not want to open the door—even when I really love the person on the other side.
This isn’t to say I can’t embrace the clutter that is my lovely life, but I don’t exactly love that I’m constantly ill-prepared for unexpected visitors. That’s why I’ve compiled this down-and-dirty checklist, so that I can do a quick sweep at a moment’s notice and be ready for almost anything.
If you doubt your ability to clean anything in 10 minutes, take this challenge. Set your phone timer for 10 minutes (make the alarm sound a doorbell, to set the scene). Then roll up your sleeves, pick out your most visitor-visible room, and go.
- Light a scented candle, particularly one that smells like pie. Not only because pie is awesome, but warm, inviting scents put people at ease and make them much more agreeable.
- Wipe down baseboards and moldings. A damp microfiber cloth makes very quick work of this.
- Grab a can of compressed air and blast air vents and lamp shades.
- Take out trash.
- Spray disinfectant cleaner inside trash bin. Wipe out with paper towels.
- Fluff pillows.
- Vacuum your floors (your vacuum can be used on a number of surfaces actually, and can save you a bunch of time. Added bonus? It’s loud enough that it makes a great excuse for not hearing the doorbell the first time).
- Grab a laundry basket and do a quick de-clutter of all rogue items.
- Wipe down all surfaces with a fresh, damp microfiber cloth.
- Put on a happy face and open the door.
Practice this cleaning drill often enough during the week (changing up the rooms as needed) and you will not only be prepared for last-minute guests, you will also realize how productive you can be when pressed for time. And, if you are lucky, you can get back to your reheated coffee while it’s still hot.
[Hey you. Yes, you. The one who read this and said, “Clean my baseboards? For guests? What kind of time do you think I have?” We know what you mean. That’s why we’re here. Call us and let us show you how well your house can really shine.]