When you have a less-than-presentable house and exactly five minutes to clean it, race through these six tips as quickly as you can:
1. Clean the toilet. Give it a quick spray with cleaner and swoosh with a brush. Wipe down the seat, tank and surrounding floor with toilet paper, and flush. Remove laundry (checking twice for underwear) and wipe out sink.
2. Find common ground. Dedicate one space where you will focus your guests’ attention. If it’s the living room, clear off tables (read: find a basket and push untidy items in with cinematic flare). Dust the television; it’s a focal point in most rooms and the last thing you want is to focus on the dust.
3. Turn down the lights or close the blinds. The less light that accentuates the dust on your shelves and side tables, the better.
4. Make the most of a hairy situation. If you have pets, use a rubber glove or lint roller to remove pet hair from sitting surfaces. Your guests will notice if you haven’t done this; they won’t think twice if you have.
5. Make dishes disappear. For this magic trick, you will need a baking sheet and room in your oven—because that’s where your dishes are going to go. In the time it takes for you to say “abracadabra”, your sink will be empty and your kitchen presentable.
6. Invite guest for a drink or dinner. Somewhere else.
Whew. I’m winded just writing these. Hope these quick cleaning tips help you make a good first impression. If you’d like to keep making first impressions, I happen to know a team that specializes in exactly that.