We’ve all been there. A family or friend announces they are coming over. We have unexpected guests coming to town, or life just got in the way, and we didn’t have time to clean up before having someone come into our home. Don’t freak out! Use this 20-minute speed cleaning checklist to knock it all out and have a house that is at least halfway presentable.
Personally, this is a routine I often use when my husband announces he is coming home a day or two early from a trip, and the house is a wreck! I’m often times in survival mode when he is gone, and the house, well it is not always my highest priority.
Disclaimer: This should not be your regular cleaning routine! This should be your routine to knock out some speed cleaning in a very short period of time.
You may want to drink some caffeine first. We are about to move fast and furious with this speed cleaning checklist! Tell your kids to get out of your way, mama has some speed cleaning to get done!!!
Speed Cleaning Checklist
1 – Do a fast pick-up. 5 minutes
My favorite method for a fast pick-up involves the laundry basket. Move from room to room and grab anything out of place and on the floor. You can also hit up any clutter on flat surfaces. Put it in the basket. Now is not the time to put everything away. Sure, put the big things away, but don’t take this as your time to reorganize and find storage solutions for your kids’ toys!
Take your laundry basket and hide it in the closet or garage. This should not be your normal method! It was my normal method for a long time, and eventually, the closets got pretty full. This was all before we did a mass purge of our home and decluttered every room!
Save your organizing and decluttering efforts for a weekend when that is all you have planned. Not when you have company coming over very soon!
On a side note, I love baskets and containers for my kids’ toys. It makes pick-up in their rooms so much easier. Toys that are alike or of the same category all get combined in one storage container. My kids are more helpful when pick-up is this easy!
2 – Gather your supplies.
I hate buying cleaning wipes. However, if you have them on hand, now is the time to use them. They are just so darn easy.
I prefer a generic spray bottle with an all-natural and all-purpose solution in it. My favorite is a mix of water, white vinegar, and essential oils. Bonus, because it isn’t all chemicals, your kids can use it to help you clean! Mine actually fight over who gets to clean the toilet. (I know this fight won’t last forever, but I’m enjoying it now!)
- All-purpose cleaner
- Paper towels or cleaning rags
- Vacuum cleaner
- Garbage bag
3 – Start in the bathroom. 5 minutes
If you have company over soon and need a speed cleaning solution, my recommendation is to start in the bathroom. No one wants to use a nasty, dirty bathroom. This is the one place people are judging you! (They may never say it, but it is so true!)
Get all the clutter off your bathroom counters. Now is now the time to organize everything! Just get it into drawers, under the sink or in a bathroom closet. Come back another day to fix the cluttered mess, if you have one.
Wipe down the counters with your all-purpose spray or wipes and then wipe down the toilet. If your toilet isn’t too bad, just use the brush to give it a quick wipe. If it needs more help and you have toilet bowl cleaner, go ahead and use it.
Wipe down the mirror with some window cleaner or vinegar spray.
Replace the hand towel with a clean one. Throw all the dirty towels and dishcloths on top of the washing machine and shut the door or curtain to that room. If you don’t have a door or curtain (been there), then cram them into an empty washing machine. You can wash later.
4 – Vacuum the main areas only. 5 minutes.
Grab your vacuum and hit up the main areas where you will be hanging out only. Vacuum hard floors and carpets. Don’t worry about mopping. If all the dirt is picked up off the floor, it will look clean enough. If you have a dog that sheds, then this will help with that obvious problem too.
Close the doors to all the bedrooms.
5 – Dishes and trash – 5 minutes
If you have dirty dishes, go ahead and put them in the dishwasher. You don’t have to worry about running the dishwasher right now. Just get them out of sight. Give the counters a quick wipe down.
Take your bathroom trash and dump it into the kitchen trash can. Take the trash out and put in a new trash bag.
If you have other clutter, like mail clutter, on your kitchen counter, just stack it really neatly. Again, now is not the time to go through your mail and stress about how you have no system. You can create a mail organizational system another day!
Enjoy your speed cleaning results!
Whew! You are done. It may not be perfect, but if you were moving fast, you likely made a big impact. At least the house is presentable, and the bathroom is sanitary!
Long-term solutions for a cleaner home
Now, I don’t want you to stop here with this speed cleaning checklist for the long-term solution.
For years, our house was a cluttered mess, and I freaked out every time I found out we were having company. It got to the point I hated inviting people over because the mass clean-up that was required before they came over was too stressful. It drove my husband nuts, and it got to the point if I was cleaning, my five-year-old would actually ask, “Mommy, who is coming over?” Embarrassing.
You can maintain a clutter-free home, even with kids
Maintaining a clutter-free home with kids is possible! It takes some work, and probably a few tears to get your home decluttered. However, once you achieve it, keeping your home in presentable shape is a lot let stressful.
You can also adopt a cleaning schedule that helps you divide and conquer your tasks, so you are not wasting away all your Saturdays on trying to get your house clean or having to do speed cleaning before company arrives.
Related Post: Declutter Your Home Fast in One Weekend
Enjoy your company for now! Or surprise your husband when gets home, whatever your situation. Good luck mamas!