I admit it; I cheat when it comes to cleaning and I’m pressed for time. I have cheated on cleaning at two in the morning when I know family will be over early the next (actually the same) day. I have cheated on cleaning when someone calls and asks if they can stop by, in 10 minutes! I have cheated when I’ve spent the day writing when I should have been cleaning up the pigsty that the kids left from the night before. Here’s how to cheat on cleaning your house from an experienced cheater.
Use Laundry Baskets
Laundry baskets are great for the ’10 minute notice’ guests. You can clean up clutter in less than three minutes by using the baskets.
If you must, dump dirty laundry onto the floor and close the door. The empty baskets are more important than the clothes right now. Run through your house and throw anything on the counters, floors, and tables into the baskets. Now you can stuff the full baskets back into a room where you can close the door.
My husband stood there looking at me with his mouth open when he caught me cheating on mopping the kitchen floor late at night one Christmas Eve. Our kitchen floor is primarily a white and beige linoleum and it shows every speck of dirt, mud smudge, and drink drop. It drives me bonkers trying to keep it clean.
After I sweep the floor I take a dry mop and a spray bottle of cleaner (any cleaner will do if you’re crunched for time). I spray the noticeable spots on the floor and wipe them clean with the dry mop. Drying time is minimal until your mop gets saturated with cleaner. My disclaimer: Not all cleaner is good for your floor, it may strip the wax off so use this tip with caution.
Two words: Clorox Wipes. I keep a container in the bathroom for quick clean ups. One wipe will eliminate the water marks and toothpaste misses on the sink and another one will do a quick clean of the toilet. Then you can throw any lose items: combs, toothbrushes, hair clips, etc. into the bathroom drawer. Make sure you have toilet paper on the spindle before you leave.
Do you have a dishwasher or an oven? These places are great for hiding dirty dishes. You don’t have to take the time to organize your dishwasher, just shove them in being careful not to break anything. You can do the same thing with your oven if you have to. Just hang a towel or two on the handle over your oven’s window so anyone passing by won’t discover your secret.
Disposable wipes keep me sane. I can take an all-purpose wipe and run it over the counter, stove, glass table, and wood. These wipes are a god send when I’m pressed for time. They don’t do a fantastic job on every surface but they clean well enough on all surfaces.
Since your house isn’t really clean, you may have to try to mask the fishy smell from last night’s dinner or the bathroom smell from two little boys who don’t pay attention. You can use just about anything to help with odors. Febreze is a great product that I normally have on hand. If you don’t have it then hairspray will work just as well. Aerosol hairspray works best and your house may smell like a salon but at least your unexpected guests won’t crinkle their nose when they walk through the door.
Quick clean ups can be a lifesaver as long as you’re prepared and have a strategy. You can clean three rooms in less than ten minutes if you have to. Sorting through the mess later is another story.
More cleaning advice:
How to Make More Room in Your Closet by Changing the Way You Clean Your House