A Cleaning Guide- When In-Laws Announce they will be Stopping by within the Hour
The Appearance of Clean
It is not like anyone else will do it, SO LET'S GET IT DONE!
The Appearance of a Clean Home.
Most of us have been cornered by hearing these words spoken from our spouse’s lips, ‘My parents are going to stop by in about an hour, okay?’ This always seems to happen after a week which you have either been sick, working late hours, decided to rearrange rooms, or have simply been lazy, and have not kept up with house work. No matter how great of a relationship you share with your in-laws, or how much they say that they understand your stress and your schedule, you do not want them stopping by to see your home when it looks as if a hurricane made its way through each room, but where do you start, what do you do-when everything needs to be cleaned?
Be a Cleaning Machine
Have no fear, take a deep breath and get ready to clean up before they show up. I have composed this, In-Law Visit Checklist, to guide you through the process of doing what is important, in order to avoid scrutiny from the in-laws. First, let me explain that this is not necessarily considered proper cleaning tactics, but more of a quick list to give the overall appearance of a cleaner home, key word being appearance, which includes knowing where to focus your efforts, and when to apply your creative side.
There are three main parts within your home that the in-laws (more particularly the mother-in-law), will most likely see when they come to visit. The Kitchen, bathroom and living room/sitting areas. Always focus the majority of your time and effort on the kitchen. This is a space that you will probably need to do some true cleaning and where you should begin your venture.
Ready, Set and CLEAN!
#1. If time is tight, consider hiding some of those dirty dishes overflowing from the sink in the oven. Unless she is coming over to cook, she will not find the stowaway items. Wash what dishes you can, or if you have a dishwasher, throw what you can in there. Although you will have to tend to the dishes eventually, this resolves the immediate need of appearance for the in-laws. (Time Spent on Step 1: 8 minutes/10 minutes MAX)
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#2 Always SWEEP & MOP the kitchen floor. Even if the countertops are clear and food is put up perfectly, dried spaghetti sauce and mashed fruit roll-ups, will stand out like hot pink spandex in church, when it is stuck to the floor. If you have a vacuum that preforms well on tile and hard floors-use it instead of the broom- if you are short a dust pan- once you have finished sweeping… use a vacuum to suck up the dust pile. Some helpful hints to help along the mopping process is- take your household cleaning spray and attack the nastiest parts of your floor, this will allow the crud to soften, and make it easier for you to mop with water only (unless you have floor cleaner that doesn’t require you rinse). (Time Spent on Step 2-Part I. Sweeping: 4 minutes- Step 2 Part II. Mopping: 4-5 minutes)
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#3. Take out the trash. It is customary that when a trashcan has reached its capacity, you remove the trash bag, from the trashcan-and discard of it in a larger unit outside of the living area. When you take out the trash-replace the bag with a new one, and when you replace the lid, take some disinfectant spray and a paper towel and give it a quick cleaning to remove dirt and crusty old food that has been dried to the trash can lid for weeks. (Time Spent on Step 3-6 minutes).
If they will be sitting on it...clean it!
Keep it Up- You are Doing Great!
#4. The next room to focus your efforts on is the dreaded bathroom. This will be the bathroom that is most easily assessable and often used by company. If this is a bathroom that has a lot of clutter- kid’s use, but don’t clean, or is cramped for space- this is your 10minute bathroom cleaning session. Get a bin or a box, or even a laundry basket; and everything that is cluttering the counter space should now be transferred into the container at hand. Place the container with all the junk outside of the bathroom, so you are not tempted to start organizing it. (Time Spent on Step 2 minutes).
#5. You are going to have to clean the toilet. Make sure you clean the whole toilet; which means the parts of the base that are in plain sight, as well as the lid and tank. If the outside is nasty, it really doesn’t matter what the inside looks like- now does it? (Time Spent on Step 5 minutes).
#6. Spray the tub with water…then with cleaner and allow to sit while you clean the sink. Remove all dried toothpaste from the sink and wipe down the handles. (Time Spent on Step 2 minutes).
#7. If there are bathmats that are old and/or dirty…simply remove them from the bathroom all together. The in-laws will not be taking a bath- if the mats are gross-get em gone. Now return your efforts to the tub and spend 1 minute wiping/scrubbing the dirt off of it- now, rinse…and the bathroom is completed. (Oh wait…don’t forget the trash). (Time Spent on Step 4 minutes).
It doesn't have to be perfect-
#8. Now on to the living area… First get everything off the floor. If it is easy to toss things into the correct rooms, do so. If it takes too long-push it all to the laundry room or into your room. Remove the clutter that should not be there from this area. LESS is MORE-when it comes to having a tidy clean appearance. (Time Spent on Step 10 minutes).
#9. Wet a paper towel or cloth and wipe down the table tops-mantel, shelves, speakers…anything that has accumulated a few layers of dust on its surface. (Time Spent on Step 5minutes).
#10. Vacuum- and arrange couch pillows neatly. Light some candles for a fresh fragrance and close all the doors to the rooms you did not clean… Your In-laws should be arriving…now.
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