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Surprise Guests Coming? How to Clean Your Home in 15 Minutes

Crunched for time? Here’s how to tidy up quickly

It’s not hard to imagine: It’s a relaxing Saturday afternoon, and you’re at home minding your own business. Perhaps you’re catching up on your favorite TV shows, or reading a book, or playing a few board games with your family. Suddenly, it happens. You get a text that your eccentric college roommate is driving through your town or that your in-laws have planned a last-minute trip. Yeah, you’re going to be playing host. Surprise!



Generally speaking, you’re prepared for last-minute entertaining. Your kitchen is stocked with a bottle of wine, cheese and crackers, and the godsend of frozen puff pastry. But you do have one problem: Your home isn’t what you would call spotless. For everyday life, sure, it’s fine. But for hosting friends or family, it’s not up to par. Your guests are 15 minutes away, and you need to tidy up. Stuck on what to do? Well, unfreeze yourself and get to work! Here are a few speed-cleaning tips to make your home presentable in a quarter hour.

All Hands on Deck
Gather everyone in your household to help with the cleaning, no matter their gender or age. Delegating tasks or rooms will get more things done quicker. And you know what they say — teamwork makes the dream work.

Clear the Clutter: 3 Minutes
It’s a reality of life — clutter piles up. Bags get thrown on tables and counters, jackets get slung over chairs instead of being hung up, and dishes get left in the sink. Tidy up these spaces and put things back where they belong. If you find yourself really scrambling for time, don’t be afraid to shove things in the closet and put them away properly later. You don’t have much time, after all.

Wipe Down Counters and Sinks: 3 Minutes
After clearing off your surface areas, give your counters, sinks, and tub a quick wipe-down using paper towels and a mild soap solution.

Vacuum: 7 Minutes
Nobody wants to be stepping on dirt. Run the vacuum through heavily-trafficked areas to pick up offending dust and dirt. Don’t forget to sweep in the corners! That’s where the real dust bunnies hide.

Block Off Unclean Areas: 2 Minutes
You’re not going to get to everything in your home in 15 minutes, even with a coordinated effort from your entire household. An easy solution to keeping guests away from untidy spaces is simply to close them off. Shutting doors does wonders.

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