Cleaning On The Fly For The Holiday Guests

Staying on top of the piles of toys, laundry on the couches, and dishes in the sink is tough for an average day of the week.

During Christmas you have the neighbors popping by to give you some homemade cookies, and the in-laws surprising you with a week-long stay.

Ahh! So you have 30 minutes to get the house looking close to spotless or you will hear about how you couldn’t see the floor when you walk in for the next three Christmases.

What do you do first? Is it best to systematically go through the house room by room? You don’t have time.

The best approach is to hit the highlights, meaning the things that people actually notice, and then worry about the details later.

This speedy cleaning job works well for impromptu play dates and pre-dinner de-cluttering as well.

  1. Make More Than A Walkway

To get through a day of the kids playing, pushing the toys aside to create a safe space to make it from point A to point B is the goal.

When guests arrive you want to have the floor and countertops clear of everything, to give the home a tidy and open feel.

Romper reported:

Youtube vlogger Jordan Page recommends grabbing laundry baskets (assuming they aren’t already full of clothes waiting to be folded) and tossing everything you can inside. You can hide them in closets, the garage, your car — anywhere your guests are unlikely to go.”

Granted, this is not an ideal long-term solution, it gets the job done and out of your hair until the hype of the season dies down.

  1. Load The Dishes

Quickly grab all the unused sippy cups and snack containers from the kitchen table, because you know they have been collecting all day, and put them in the dishwasher.

Put all the dishes, including last nights dinnerware (Whoops!) in the dishwasher as well.

If the dishwasher is full of clean dishes, Romper suggests either just putting away enough clean dishes to fit what you have dirty in, or filling the sink with soapy water to cover the mess.

  1. Wipe Down The Bathroom

This does not have to be a full-on attack on all things grime, but at least make it so it doesn’t look like a five-year-old boy is the only one to use the bathroom..even if that’s true.

The trick is to clean everything visible to the naked eye from the door to the toilet. Straighten up the hand towels, and toss dirty bath towels in the bathtub and close the curtain.

Wipe down the toilet and sink with your favorite child-friendly cleaner (or make your own here), and clean the mirror.

With the room sparkling in a matter of minutes, you don’t have to sweat when the guests ask to use the facilities.

You can always go back and throw them in the wash or clean more when the guests leave or go to bed.

  1. Spray Visible Gunk

Go through just the main living areas, like the kitchen and living room, and wipe up any food or residue that is obvious.

Usually with a “pop in”, you don’t have time for a complete sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping, but you can make it look like you don’t need to.

Get low when you are checking for where to wipe because more than likely it’s going to be something the kids left behind that needs your attention.

  1. Line It Up

Clutter can pile up quickly and make any living space look like it is in disarray. So, to give your home a put together look, either toss the clutter or stack it nice and evenly.

Square up the stack of mail that has accumulated on the counter, and line up the shoe mountain the kids have formed.

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Having straight lines and things in neat little rows can do wonders for house appeal. Don’t forget about couch pillows too, situating them nice on the couch can take away the feeling of chaos.

  1. Freshen Up

Remember the soccer practice uniform you were going to wash the night before, but then never got around to it. Well, it is adding some very “interesting” smells to the foyer.

First off, throw any stinky athletic wear in the laundry room, and then fire up the diffuser with a holiday blend to give a pleasant aroma.

And nothing says fresh like some natural sunlight. Open up the curtains and turn on the lights brightening up the whole house.

Having to rush to get things ready in a matter of minutes is stressful, especially when you have kids taking out things faster than you can put them away.

However, if you do this easy 6 step routine when you need a quick run through it doesn’t have to be pure chaos before the guests arrive.

And remember, you are your own worst enemy when it comes to judging how your house looks. Chances are that your house doesn’t look as bad as you think, and people probably won’t notice all the little messes you do.

Please let us know in the comments section if these quick cleaning tips work for you, or if you have an effective system for cleaning the house on the fly.