We’ve all had to tidy or clean in a hurry at some point in our life. Whether it’s because we have an unexpected guest or we’re working long sours, a lack of spare time often leads to a lack of cleanliness.
But you don’t need to perform a major spring clean to get your home looking more presentable. There are a few quick fixes that can tide you over until you have enough time to clean more thoroughly.
1. Clean thoroughfares
Particularly if you’re about to receive an unexpected visitor, you should prioritize the areas of your home that people are most likely to see. Walk from your front door to the room your visitors will enter first, and make a mental note of everything that can be done within a minute or two. Vacuum, polish and declutter so that, at least at first glance, everything looks neat and clean.
2. Head to the bathroom
You can usually get away with a few wipes and polishes here and there in halls and living spaces — but not in bathrooms. A dirty toilet or bathroom can rarely be disguised, and it could reflect badly on your entire home. Head to the bathroom, and flush the toilet before adding some toilet cleaner or bleach to the bowl. Put out some fresh towels, and replenish the soap. Give everything a quick wipe down with a cloth, including the floors. Finally, declutter and tidy, even if that means shoving hygiene products in a cupboard.
Quickly dart around each room in your home, and either find a place for clutter or throw it into a bag to sort out later. You’ll be amazed at how big a difference this can make, yet it will only take you a few minutes.
4. Do the dishes
Dirty dishes piling up in and around your sink can leave your entire kitchen looking dirty and messy. If you have dirty dishes to deal with, make them a priority. If you’re really up against it, and a visitor is imminent, stack the dishes and store them in your oven.
5. Let the sun shine
Once you’ve cleared the clutter, throwing a little light on the issue can make your home look brighter and cleaner. And natural light always works best, so open curtains and blinds, and remove any obstructions from your windows. However, check surfaces for dust, as sunlight always draws attention to it.
If it’s dark, however, you can give your home a warm glow with candles. Turn down the electric lights, however, as they’ll show up the worst of the dirt and dust in your home.
You don’t need to vacuum every square inch of your home, but vacuuming the main areas will fluff your carpets up and create the impression that you treat cleaning as a daily ritual.
7. Add some nice aromas
If you fill your home with wonderful smells, attention might diverted from the messier, dirtier areas of your home. Wherever possible, use natural scents such as scented candles, reed diffuses, flowers and essential oils.
8. Control the movements of guests
Pick a room, and chuck all of your mess into it. You can then make sure that your guests stay away from the clutter. As long as your bathroom, your hallway and your main reception room is reasonably presentable, you can create the illusion of cleanliness. Just make sure people don’t wander where they shouldn’t.
9. Wipe all surfaces
As long as your floors are clear and clean, you should be able to create the illusion of a spotless house by ensuring all of your surfaces are also clean and clear. Wipe down mantelpieces, hearths, tables, worktops and shelves — and make sure they’re kept clear. Don’t forget appliances and electrical items… nothing gives the game away like a dusty TV screen illuminated by direct light.
If you’re fast and organised, you can make your home look clean and tidy in minutes — even if it’s anything but.