How to Clean Your House Fast for Guests: cleaning tips from a slob

How to clean your house fast

My sister is a cleaning guru. I have never been able to clean house as well as her. She took after my mom. She was the "neat child" and I was the slob. When I had my own place, I changed all that...well sort of.

What I learned about cleaning my home is a compilation of knowing some of her tricks, and years of cleaning on the fly when I knew company was coming, and I didn't want to explain that the left over pizza on the coffee table was not an appetizer for them.

How to clean your house fast. In ten easy steps you can have your house clean in fifteen minutes.
How to clean your house fast. In ten easy steps you can have your house clean in fifteen minutes. | Source

How clean is clean?

To answer this question, we must first say, "that depends." if you ask my OCD mom--whom I love dearly, and have learned to forgive--clean means: if there was an accident right outside your door and emergency surgery had to be preformed in your kitchen on the floor... right now...your floor would always be surgery ready. Not only visually spotless, but microscopic germ free clean. To my mom, that is clean.

To me clean means if a forty-five year old friend came over and wasn't wearing her glasses and she dropped her grapes on the floor, she would quickly swoop them up and eat them because, she would say, "Your floor is so clean, three second rule counts."

She would have missed the little blob of ketchup by the kitchen counter, or the random popcorn seed, and frosty flakes that lingered near the oven.

My idea of clean is clean enough so that you don't need to lie to guests when they ask to use the bathroom and you tell them they are all out of order due to a severe plumbing problem. When in reality, you are not really sure at that moment if you left something hanging out that you don't want to share with the world.

Here is my 10 step-by-step process for cleaning your house in 15 minutes

Before you start to clean, Put on some loud, upbeat music to get you moving.

1. Get boxes, buckets, or bags- go around the house and fill them up with every random out of place thing you find. Shoes, umbrellas, papers, dirty clothes, mail, toys, books, and whatever other clutter you have piled in random corners of the house.

Don't worry about where it should go, for now you are just trying to get the clutter out of sight. I learned this trick from my sister. Take all the junk and shove it out of sight- either in the garage, a closet, the back yard...wherever it can be stashed. You can deal with it after your company leaves.

On the surface, my sister's bedroom always looked spotless...but God help you if you opened her drawers or closet. It was often sheer chaos. Her method worked, however, she fooled my mom into thinking she was a neat child our entire growing up years.

2. Throw all the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, the oven or out on the back porch (as long as you aren't going outside).

3. Run the vacuum over all floors. Run a damp mop over the kitchen floor. Remember you are trying to do this in fifteen minutes so you have to move fast.

4. Straighten pillows, throw rugs, and furniture. Close all bedroom doors and pray your guests aren't the snooping kind.

5. Wipe down all major surfaces with a damp cloth.

6. Clean the guest bathroom with glass cleaner...everywhere. Use one rag to clean and another to polish. Start with the sink and move to the toilet. Hide the dirty towels and replace with fresh ones folded in thirds like you see in the magazines. Hang up a fresh roll of toilet paper.

7. Throw a table cloth over the kitchen/dining table, and place a large vessel or vase full of water in the center. Now go outside and cut some twigs from trees, stems from bushes, and flowers (if you have any) and place them in the vase. if you have placemats and matching napkins you could set these out at each place setting. It makes the table look nice.

8. Empty the trash cans. Spray the house with something fresh and lemony.

9. Hose off the front porch and sprinkle water over the bushes to freshen the entrance.

10. Put out a plate of crackers, chips, cheese, whatever you can dump quickly on a plate and arrange around a bowl of dip, salsa, or cream cheese block with one of those little shrimp cocktail things poured over it. Put this on the coffee table (after you move the pizza).

Your guests arrive to a clean house

Trust me, the only person who would not think your house was clean is my mom and maybe Martha Stewart and it is highly unlikely either of them are your guest.

So there you have it. That is my secret to how to clean a house fast when you know company is coming. Of course if they stay overnight...you may have some explaining to do.

How clean are you?

  • Laura, I am like you. I have my faults, but my house is not a germ factory either.
  • I am like your mom. If I find a germ, I remove it right on the spot. Hospital Grade!
  • Public restroom on a lonely stretch of highway in the desert. I clean about as often as that restroom gets cleaned.
  • I have someone else do the cleaning. I'm one of the LUCKY ones!
  • Cean, dirty, who cares?
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Comments 14 comments

orchard-lady profile image

orchard-lady 4 years ago from PA

"2. Throw all the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, the oven or out on the back porch (as long as you aren't going outside)."

I plead guilty to the oven trick :(


Vanessa McKay 4 years ago

Its nice to know it is not just me :-)


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Great tips, especially the gathering up all extraneous articles one! Love it!


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 4 years ago from Southern California

I also like the idea of using bags, boxes, and buckets, that is a genius idea, wish I'd thought of that. I love to clean, ego, I wrote about it. However I didn't give the details you gave. Very nice hub. voted up, useful, funny, interesting. Also the video was a nice touch.


psychicdog.net profile image

psychicdog.net 4 years ago

I agree with where you stand BAGT - it's a kind of madness I think to be overly obssessive about cleanliness - I never thought a few stray germs would hurt anyone.


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I am all for anything that speeds cleaning...I don't want germs and bacteria, so I will clean what is necessary...but dust bunnies roam free at my place!


bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 4 years ago from Bay Area California Author

O-Lady-Well isn't that WHY they made ovens?

Vanessa- me :D

Gypsy- I use it all the time. At least I know where to look if something is lost.

FF- Great hub! You are my clean hero.

P-Dog- Actually germs in moderation (like everything else) help protect us!

Scrib- To kill germs, one fast trick is to just spray it all down with Lysol. Zip, Zap done!


drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 4 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

GREAT TIPS! lol, I also like the idea of the boxes, bags, and buckets! Voted-Up!


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 4 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

Oh Laura, I'm so pleased that I found you. I'm like you but I run a B&B so for that part I have to be like your Mum. I absolutely do your box thing, the only problem is I never quite find the time to deal with them properly later. Result? We have a barn the size of a small cathedral full of all that 'stuff'. Sigh!


bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 4 years ago from Bay Area California Author

Thank you DPC for stopping by and voting up!

Les Trois- Thanks so much!! I am glad you stopped by! I guess if I had a B&B I too would be like my mom. When I have overnight guests I get a lot more picky about my house cleaning :D I too have bags of "need to sort through someday" out in my garage.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

That's a lot to do in 15 minutes! But I can relate. This is an excellent hub--voted up and everything all the way across. Very funny, too! Speaking of 15 minutes, I just wrote a hub about cleaning a room in 15 minutes!

Like you, I do hide things in closets. Now, if I could find time to clean out those messy, piled-up closets! hahaha


bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 4 years ago from Bay Area California Author

Victoria- Yes! My house is pretty small so I may not be able to pull this off elsewhere. I like your hub too! Thanks for sharing it!


Lilleyth profile image

Lilleyth 4 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

Whew...just watching that video wore me out. My sister is a clean freak and I'll never forget the time she brought a friend by to meet me and as she was coming into the foyer she ran her finger along the frame of a painting and made a comment about my lack of housekeeping skills. Grrrr...


bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 4 years ago from Bay Area California Author

I think that tops all my sister neat-freak stories!! Thanks for sharing!

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