8 Steps To Tidying Your Home In a Hurry

multitasking housework

During nice weather, housework can pile up. However, guests can turn up on short notice, too! Here are 8 steps to tidying your home before those guests arrive.


We all know how it goes – you’ve been super busy for a week so the laundry has been piling up, shoes and jackets have been discarded all over the house, the plants are wilting, and eww what is that growing on the plate in the sink?!

It’s usually right around this time you get the call – your old college roommate is in town and guess what? She is just around the corner and will be over in ten minutes – it’s time to tidy in a hurry!

1. Pick up the big chunks

Your first sweep around the room should be picking up larger objects like shoes, clothes, blankets, toys, etc. Throw out dead flowers and put any wilting plants on your deck. This will immediately make the room look much neater and make you feel like something has been accomplished.

2. Make your bedroom a catch-all

Your guests will generally see your living room, and maybe the kitchen and bathroom. If you are truly in that much of a hurry to clean just shove everything into your bedroom or laundry room and deal with it later. If your guests have never been to your home before and may want to look around choose a closet or the basement to stow your stuff and just skip that part on the tour!

3. Ditch the dishes

A sink full of dirty dishes can take a while to clean up. You may have time to put them in the dishwasher but in a pinch you can transfer the stack to an empty cupboard or even into your oven – just don’t forget about them! I personally know someone who hid her stack of dirty pots and pans in the backyard behind the shed because of last minute guests – and no that someone wasn’t me – although I have used the cupboard trick.

4. Work from the ground up

There’s no time to get the vacuum out or to scrub the counters or properly dust the shelves and knickknacks. Pick up any stray bits you can see from the floor and grab a cloth and quickly wipe off the surfaces you can see.

5. Blitz your bathroom

Give your bathroom a once over. No need to get on your knees and scrub but the toilet needs a quick swipe and the sink, taps and counter get a quick wipe down. Put random bathroom clutter into the tub, pull the shower curtain closed, and hope they don’t peek!

6. Find space and fill it

Under or behind your couch is a great place to store magazines or other clutter in a pinch – but make sure it is not visible. If you can see it shoved haphazardly under the couch you may as well have just left it on the table!

If you are a person who finds yourself tidying in a hurry often consider investing in some decorative pieces such as large wicker baskets or ottomans so you always have a quick storage option.

7. Mask Odors

Your nose is probably getting used to it but leaving dishes and laundry lingering around too long can give off a bit of a stale or moldy smell so light a candle or put out some potpourri. When using a room freshener spray it in an adjacent room or hallway as you don’t want to overwhelm your guest with scent when they enter your home.

8. Enjoy your visit

We know you want to make a good impression but remember your guests have come to see YOU and not necessarily your home. They know you have been busy and chances are their home is in the same state as yours!

So once you have spent a few minutes tidying take a breath and greet them into your home with a smile.

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