Listen, we all have great plans to spend 20 minutes a day keeping our houses clean but it can fall by the wayside when things get hectic. As Murphy's Law would have it, the times you're too busy to keep up your maintenance cleaning, is probably right around when someone announces they're calling over in an hour unexpectedly. 'We're not slobs!' you could cry when they arrive, or you could take our top tips on how to make your house look cleaner than it is in a rush!
1. Think about where your guests will see - clean those first!
Guests will likely come in through the hall and head towards the kitchen or living room. Where ever you see yourself spending the most time, concentrate most of your time on that area, but follow your guests' potential path through the house to make sure you see everything they'll see.
2. Dust wisely
Start with big surfaces that will be obvious to guests, namely tabletops, fireplaces, televisions and toilets. Dust gathers on these kinds of surfaces and makes it very obvious your home isn't as clean as you're trying to let on.
3. Clean the bathroom
However, a dusty TV isn't as big a crime as a dirty bathroom. There's really nothing more gross in someone else's home than a bathroom that hasn't been cleaned. Make sure to give it a clean before anyone arrives, even if that just means throwing bleach in the toilet, rinsing the sink and giving the mirror a quick wipe over. A clean bathroom implies you're fairly on top of things, even if there's a few dusty spots knocking around.
4. Add a nice scent
You'd be surprised the difference a lit fragranced candle, a spray of Febreze, or a reed diffuser can make. Your house doesn't even have to smell bad to begin with. Guests won't notice if your home smells like nothing, but they will feel like the place is cleaner if it's got a pleasant smell!
5. Clear away clutter
If you don't have time to actually sort through the clutter, trying to put some sense on it will make a huge difference. Stack things by size to give a sense of organisation on it. Anything you can't organise can go in a basket behind a closed door to be sorted later. If you have the time, save future-you some hassle by sorting into baskets by room, so they just need to be placed in their correct room later.
6. Do something with the dishes
If you have dishes waiting to go into the dishwasher, putting them in will immediately make your kitchen look tidier. If you don't have a dishwasher, stacking dishes in size order will again give them a look of organisation. If they're really gross looking and need time to steep before you can wash them, you can hide them in the oven until guests have left. Just make sure to take them out again before turning on the oven.
7. Run over the floors
The quickest hoover of your life will make the place feel so much cleaner, even if you literally run around the place. Don't have time to hoover? Some slightly damp kitchen roll pushed around with your feet will take up a lot of the dust.