The party is at your house this year. Your entire family is coming over, new friends from work, and the 5th grade chorus.
Maybe you are excited, maybe you are not! Either way it’s the day before the big event and the last thing to do is…clean your ENTIRE house from top to bottom. Just to be clear, we clean our home so people can trample through it and we can clean it again tomorrow. Yes this is what we do.
Since we will continue to make this choice, let’s identify that there are 3 levels of cleanliness in a home.
Top level of clean: These are the friends that clean every day. These are our peeps who live in the homes where everything looks like it has just been Windexed squeaky clean. Like the floors haven’t been walked on in days. Dust is nowhere to be found. No papers lie out of order. This home is amazing; you could eat off the floor.
Next, there is the middle level. These are the friends that clean only when visitors are coming to visit. Five minutes before the visitors walk in the door, the house had a dog-slobbered window that had crusted up and you couldn’t see through it. The floors needed some serious TLC and the rugs probably couldn’t have been laid on safely until vacuuming occurred. These people clean in a mad dash to not have to say “please excuse my house, I haven’t had time to clean.”
Then there is the lowest level of clean. These are our friends that just don’t care and are not going to clean because you are coming over. They don’t care if you think it is dirty. They are perfectly happy in their own home.
So, let’s say today is the day. We are going to wake up and clean the entire house while cooking the food, setting up for the party, and making sure everyone in the house is helping and prepared.
First thing– clean the dishes. Realize that there is no sponge. Need a new sponge from the laundry room. Run downstairs, walk into the laundry room. The dryer cycle is done. Switch the laundry, throw in another load, note the kitty litter is a bit…distracting. Change the kitty litter, see the trash is full. Take out the trash, run back upstairs, start doing the dishes, realize we forgot the sponge.
Does this sound familiar? This style of cleaning is not going to work today. We need to target the cleaning so it looks like we made a quick difference.
The clean enough house: 5 must do’s if you waited until the big day to clean.
To prepare please have 2 empty laundry baskets, a vacuum, a rag, a magic eraser, Windex, spray solution of choice for tile,floors, and counter tops, and your favorite music playing.
1. Grab 2 empty laundry baskets
One laundry basket has just become your clutter collector. The other, your laundry on the floor collector. Do a speedy walk through of your house and ANYTHING that is not supposed to be where it is goes into the laundry baskets. This should take 4 minutes.
Most people walk from room to room moving their stuff, sorting through the items and folding laundry. This takes up too much valuable time. Once the laundry baskets are full of the random items of the house, put it somewhere that the party won’t see it and step away from it.
Floors are always the second most noticed dirt collector after the clutter! Move everything out of the way first then vacuum away. Do all of the rooms at once. Stopping and starting in every room isn’t time efficient. Do not start cleaning your children’s bedroom because you can’t stand how messy it is. This isn’t the time to fix that and no one else cares what a kid’s room looks like. Don’t worry, kid rooms will be destroyed by other kids within 15 minutes of your party! The clutter in each room has already been removed so this should be a 12 minute part of your day. (I live in 4000 sq feet and timed my vacuuming.) Once you have the floors cleaned, you will feel your house is clean. If someone shows up early at least this is done!
3. Clean the bathrooms
People will be looking at your bathrooms. When sitting on a toilet, there is nothing to do other than to look around the bathroom. You already should have vacuumed the bathroom so no dirt is anywhere. The toilet itself needs to be cleaned and around the toilet. Quickly wipe the floors. Wipe off the counter top. Spray the bathtub and with the magic eraser do a quick wipe down. I have 2 bathrooms and it took me, for both, 6 minutes.
4. Wipe off obvious dusty areas
Wipe off the counter tops in the kitchen and any noticeable dust in your living areas. Do not use a feather duster. That forces all of the dust back onto the floor you just cleaned. Use a wet rag with water if you are in a hurry. Windex is best for the glass. It is streak-less and that in itself makes the house look cleaner! 4 minutes
5. Make all of the beds
When a bed is made it tricks your brain into thinking the room is clean. It also makes it easier to hold all of the stuffed animals that are spread across your daughter’s room! This is not the time to do the perfect military checked bed. Throw that comforter over, straighten it out, pillows go on top and poof, beds made. 4 minutes
Last but not least, Pour yourself an early cocktail and enjoy your party!