Unexpected visitors? How to clean the house in 5 minutes! | homify
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Unexpected visitors? How to clean the house in 5 minutes!

Rita Deo Rita Deo
Scandinavian style living room by Dröm Living Scandinavian
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We all like to have a clean and organized house when we receive people but there are times when friends and relatives drop in unannounced or earlier than scheduled. Though hosts have no option except to greet them pleasantly and invite them inside, the general tendency is to bring in people only when the house is in order to provide a pleasant and comfortable setting. As an untidy and chaotic abode with papers, clothes, books and other objects of daily use depicts the owners as disorderly and lazy, no one likes to invite guests into a messy house.

But when the inevitable happens, we often try to make the house presentable by moving away the most visible unnecessary objects out of place. Usually while one family member attempts to engage the attention of guests the other member/s rush around to clear off the remaining mess within shortest possible time. This could include activities like throwing stuff into cabinets and shutting them up, folding papers and magazines to stuff them in shelves, loading dirty clothes and used towels into the washer followed by straightening sofa cushions, table covers and blankets on the bed. If there are dirty dishes they can be stacked into the washer while leftover food can be dumped into the wastebasket. 

While these activities can be done faster when there are several people involved, here are some tips that our experts offer as suggestions throughout this book of ideas to make the house presentable in a jiffy when unexpected guests drop in during one of your lazy relaxation days.

1. Let the surfaces shine

The first and most important step is to quickly identify what is most noticeable in view of guests like living room furniture, dining area and maybe the kitchen and its accessories if all the rooms are in open floor design. Though the bathroom closest to living room should also be taken into account, the focus should be first on clearing away all unnecessary items from tables and counters before wiping them clean of all debris. Instead of engaging in dusting and moping the whole house before the guests, be practical and wipe only surface areas of furniture and accessories with damp cloth.

2. Dust every surface in the living room

Accumulation of fine dust on every surface is the bane of every house-owner around the world and as the living room is the first place wherein guests are invited into, our first instinct would be to clean the glass surfaces of home appliances like television and coffee table wherein dust is most visible. Try to make it a habit during everyday house cleaning exercise to first dust all the furniture and surfaces of the living room before moving on to other areas. When unexpected guests arrive then the best option would be casually run a duster along all the surfaces of the living room while engaging them in idle chatter and arrange cushions and other furniture in their right places without making these gestures seem like house cleaning.

3. Spring cleaning the bathroom

Bathroom is the most common room that guests seek after relaxing in the living room for sometime specially if they have traveled a long distance to visit you. While you may try to maintain a clean and dry bathroom at all times it is difficult if there are children, but there are simple tricks by which cleanliness and hygiene can be maintained. If unexpected guests arrive then the next activity to carry out after dusting out the living room would be to quickly scrub away all the dirty areas and wipe them clean after removing all wet or dirty clothes in the region. Ensure there is sufficient toilet paper, hand-wash and clean towels before allowing guests to use the bathroom.

Inspire yourself in the friendly bathroom of the image, a project of Dröm Living.

4. Move dirty dishes out of sight

Kitchen is the busiest section of the house that is used from morning till night and dishes of all shapes and sizes are used for cooking, serving and eating. Most people tend to carry out dish-washing only after a sizeable number of utensils are accumulated and it is indeed unfortunate if guests turn up when there is a large pile of dishes waiting to be loaded into the dishwasher. 

As now the guests are at the door or in the living room, your duty is to entertain them instead of washing dirty utensils, so the best option would be to load them into the dishwasher, and keep the excess out of sight in the cupboard below the sink. Run a damp dishcloth on the counter, cabinets and back-splash to showcase a sparkling modern kitchen.

5. Remove pet hair

Your adorable dog/cat may be a favorite among all members of the family but cleaning the hair it sheds can be a laborious process. Some of your guests could be allergic to animal hair so ideally prevent your pets from climbing on the furniture or keep protective covers over them when pets are in the living room. Try to refrain from using carpets and rugs when pets are around as they attract hair and remember to vacuum furniture after pets play on them to clean out hair.

6. Importance of lighting

Strategically placed lighting can become your ally in the attempt to create a clean and well-kept house. To make daytime visitors feel at ease open windows and let in natural air and light which will divert attention to view outside.  

Use artificial lighting that focuses on the room’s best features like display case, artwork on the wall or false ceiling designs and keeps visitors’ gaze away from dusty tables and messed up cushions.

7. Focus on small details

Rearranging the objects into their respective places is just as important as cleaning surfaces as that will create the visual feeling everything is in its proper place. Deft arrangement of cushions makes a neat sofa while books and papers aligned in a straight line create a neat shelf. Though these activities take just a few minutes they make a visible  difference between chaos and neat. 

8. Tease the senses with fragrance

A house that smells of soothing fragrances like lavender, lemon, fresh fruits or flowers is often retained in memory as a pleasant place rather than a residence that has been sprayed with strong room fresheners. Strong odors both pleasant and unpleasant create a strong impression on guests so the best way to create a soothing atmosphere for them would be to use soft scented candles in all corners of the house.

9. The most believeable excuse

Do you see unexpected guests from the peephole ?  Well just open the door in your cleaning apron with a mop in hand and keep other cleaning equipment lying around the furniture. This will let the guests know that you are  caught in the middle of a cleaning exercise and the dirt is justified. Who know they may even offer to help you out !!!

Need more tips on house maintenance then here are Brilliant solutions for the laundry room.

Would you like to add your own tips to these? Do share with us with your comments below.
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