Ever find yourself with company coming over, only to realize at the last minute that your home is far from presentable? Well, stress no more. With these steps you can have your home in fully presentable shape in as little as 15 – 20 minutes.

The idea here is to clean as effectively and strategically as possible, focusing only on the important areas. First, consider what kind of guest you’re hosting? For instance, a casual acquaintance won’t be likely to hang out in your bedrooms, so you should focus your attention on the main living areas. However, if you are hosting an overnight guest, your immediate focus should be on cleaning the area where they will be sleeping as well as the bathroom they will be using.

After you’ve identified your company, get to cleaning. It’s ideal if you have a cleaning caddy stocked with supplies and trash bags, but if you don’t, round up the following items and place them in a mop bucket: Glass cleaner, degreaser (409 works great, and it’s a disinfectant), duster, paper towels, 1 large garbage bag, and a sponge or clean cloth. With your supplies in tow, begin at the entry of the house and work your way back. Collect any trash and empty receptacles you find. Remove any smudges and dirt from the door jam, and collect any clutter and place it in an area your guest will not be visiting. Start with the highest object in the area you’re working in, and begin working your way down. Lamps, décor, books, and artificial flowers all have a tendency to get dusty and stick out like a sore thumb.

Repeat this method in the living room, dining room and other common areas. For the kitchen and bathroom, start with the same first steps then sweep or vacuum after you’ve finished dusting. Next, take your glass cleaner and spray down the mirror. Using your degreaser or disinfectant, spray down the counter tops, sink, and toilet. While the toilet is disinfecting, wipe down the counters and polish up the hardware. Wipe down the toilet seat and scrub out the bowl if needed. Place fresh hand towels out and remove any non-clutter personal items from surfaces. In the kitchen, first spray disinfectant in your sink and let it sit to loosen the grime. In the meantime, wipe down your counter tops with spray disinfectant. Return to the sink and scrub it with a sponge and rinse. Sweep or vacuum the floor.

Spray an air freshener throughout the areas you just cleaned to really freshen up the place. If time allows, vacuum any carpeting in the areas you just cleaned, and spot mop the floors in the kitchen and bathroom.

And last but not least, pat yourself on the back for doing the impossible. Your home should now be presentable and ready for visitors. Have fun!

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