So, you’ve got a last-minute opportunity to entertain guests. It’s Christmas, or the two or three weeks afterwards, so you’ve undoubtedly committed to one get-together or another (especially if you’ve made a resolution to see friends more in 2016). But how do you get your house looking tip-top, quickly, without breaking the bank or hiring help?
Here are the top three rooms you’ll want to sort out – the living space, kitchen and bathroom – and what to focus on to keep your guests’ opinions of your living space as high as you deserve.
It’s the one most people dread more than other rooms in the house, and given you’ll likely need to prepare food or drinks in here, it pays to get this out of the way first…
- Firstly, put any unused or unnecessary white goods away, as they can seem like clutter, but could also be harbouring grime.
- Get the disinfectant spray out and do all the counters – though perhaps sweep it with a dustpan and brush first, to get rid of crumbs and the like.
- Presuming the washing up’s done, clean the sink, given that it’s a focal point. Don’t forget to wipe the tap afterwards!
- Now the waist-level things are done, look to the floor; you don’t need a mop, just a vacuum cleaner and a small cloth. Run the hoover, then scrub away any food stains.
- If your tea towels are looking a bit beaten up, hang new ones out.
- Finally, empty the bin and take any rubbish bags outside, before replacing the liner. Job done!
The living room
This room’s usually the easiest to clean, but it pays to do it properly, as chances are you’ll spend most time here.
- Does it usually belong in the living room? If it doesn’t, move it out, whether it’s shoes, coats, newspapers, toys, anything.
- Magazines and table books can simply be stacked on the end of a table.
- Dust all horizontal surfaces, taking special care with the TV and its table. As the focal point of the room, it’s clear pretty quickly if it’s not so clean; it may be worth getting a microfibre cloth to overcome the possibility of static.
- Another thing to tidy for a quick win is your suite. Rearrange and plump up your cushions, chuck a throw over a more beaten-up couch, and get a lint roller out (or even just the vacuum) if you have pets.
- Finally, run the vacuum across the floor and pick up everything you can. Hand-pick string or small bits that may have gotten stuck in any tighter-woven carpets.
You’re on the home straight – another 15 minutes, and you’ll be done.
- Go straight to the sink and clear it of anything unnecessary. If you’ve got a cupboard, use it!
- Get your toilet bowl cleaner of choice – Harpic or Domestos, usually, but whatever does the trick – and let it soak into the grime as you clean.
- Get your disinfectant out again and spray is across the top of the toilet, the sink, around the bath, and any counters, then use paper towels to wipe these down. Don’t forget to finish with the taps!
- Give the mirrors a wipe with a dry towel; chances are you’ll get nearly everything out.
- Fluff up any rugs, and hang some fresh towels. Put a spare loo roll in sight, but not in too obvious a place.
- Finally, scrub the toilet clean with a brush and flush. You’re good to go!