What To Clean If You Only Have 15 Minutes
by Tracy Roberts
OK – Panic time. The fill-in-the-blank called and they will be knocking on your front door in 15 minutes. You fix your hair, get the kids to wipe the chocolate off their faces and send them to straighten their rooms.
Then, you turn around to survey the damage in the rest of the house. Yikes! Like your momma always says, it looks like a tornado tore a path through your home.
You’ve got approximately 14 minutes left. What do you attack first to get the most bang for your cleaning buck?
- Pick stuff off the floor. It always makes such a difference to actually “see” the carpet. If you are lucky enough to have a dedicated playroom for the kids’ toys, close the door. Easy. If not, keep an extra laundry basket handy and just fill it up. Don’t bother sorting, just scoop up all the toys and “stuff” and move on. If your vacuum is easy to use, run it quickly. If it is a pain to find it and deal with the cord, forget about it.
- Head into the kitchen. If you have piles of dirty dishes everywhere, you have two choices. You could try to load the dishwasher. It might, however, be easier to rinse everything quickly, fill the sink with soapy water and pile it all in. Don’t worry about actually washing them. Let your company think they interrupted you. Give the counters a once over with the sponge or a wipe so nothing sticky is left for your guests to discover. Done.
- Time’s ticking down. Run over to the bathroom. Nothing is more embarrassing than having someone ask to use your bathroom when you just know it is gross. Toss all the toys in the tub and close the curtain. Get everything off the counter and into a drawer. Grab a bleach wipe and wipe down the counter, the faucet, the sink and the toilet. Grab a wipe made just for mirrors and get that toothpaste spray that you have been purposely ignoring off the mirror. If you can, clean the toilet bowl as well. Be sure there is toilet paper.
- Just a minute or two left. Straighten the cushions on the sofa. Toss the throws the way the magazine stylists do instead of having them piled up like a pillow. Corral all the stuff in the shoe pile and hang up the coats.
That’s all you’ve got time for but this little list should make everything more presentable. Whether you are a neat freak or on the messy side, we all have days where we get caught off-guard. It happens. The point to remember is that you only need to give the “illusion” of clean. No one is going to open your closets or drawers. No one is going to peek behind closed doors. At least, I hope not.