Decluttering For Company When You Don’t Have Time – We’ve all been there, the clutter in your house is overwhelming, your house is a MESS – and… SURPRISE! Company is coming to your house SOON. NOW WHAT?!?!?
NOW it’s time for some fast and furious clutter organization!
You obviously don’t have time to deep clean your house or to do a massive declutter so how can you quickly straighten your house so it offers a great first impression to your guests and YOU can feel good having people in your home and truly enjoy them?
I’ve talked about speed cleaning before, but that’s not what this situation is.
This is a “Oh honey, my buddy Bob from work and his wife are coming over tonight” or a “We’re all coming to YOUR house tomorrow for Christmas” – THAT type of thing where your house needs to appear clean, but ya ain’t got the time for a REAL clean.
But I’d be a liar, liar with my pants on fire… haha!
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I happen to have a lot of experience with those “Oh crap! People are coming over!” moments – and I’ve gotten really good at getting it together so my house is ready for company on short notice.
Below are my 5 Steps to an “Emergency Clean and Declutter” for when unexpected company is headed my way.
Step 1 – The Door
This is the best tip for giving a first impression that you cleaned house all day.
Go outside to the door your guests will be entering through.
Yes, go OUTSIDE and then turn around… and LOOK.
What you see is the first impression your guests will have of your home.
Sweep that area, move any clutter etc somewhere else that is not seen as often (or seen at all by company).
In my house, no one really uses the front door – anyone and everyone who walks in this house comes in through our garage which makes it a bit difficult to create a great first impression when they are coming through the garage because, well, we have STUFF in there… garage stuff lol!
What I do is this:
I make sure there is a large, clear and CLEAN walkway from the driveway through the garage to the door. No trash or any other crap – just a whole lot of empty clean space.
Then, I ‘dress it up’ a little.
I have 2 little chairs with a table between them – a wreath on the door that they’ll open to come in – and a cute welcome rug outside the door.
It really helps with that first impression AND… it really helps ME as well.
Every time *I* come home, *I* don’t get overwhelmed before even walking IN my house.
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Step 2 – Walk In
Now, just walk in your door, stop, look, and SMELL.
yes, SMELL – whatever your house smells like at first entrance casts a BIG and LASTING impression on those entering for the first time. Even if YOU don’t smell anything, your guests will.
Don’t let them smell nothing – have a subtle air freshener close to that entrance door that smells GOOD.
Or, try this:
My favorite trick is to put Pine Sol in the guest bathroom toilet which is right near that door. Makes my house smell clean and smell like I’ve cleaned… even if it isn’t and I didn’t haha!
As you come through the entrance door your guests will use, LOOK around you. Look up (nasty cobwebs?) and look DOWN (clutter on the floor? Need to sweep/mop/vacuum?)
Now, look AROUND… what do YOU see?
Those are the areas you need to clean up first.
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Step 3 – Immediate Areas
As you look around, make a mental note (or better yet, make a list) of what needs to be decluttered and/or cleaned.
Here’s a big tip – get as much as you can OFF your floors.
If all your walls are covered with STUFF, it gives your home the impression of being cluttered and cramped.
Seeing empty space does just the opposite – it gives the impression of organization, cleanliness and space.
So, everything possible off the floors and NOT stacked against wall areas (not even stacked neatly).
Same for foyer tables, coffee tables, counters, etc – get as much possible OFF of them.
Less is so much better in this situation – if you don’t absolutely NEED it out, then put it away out of sight.
Now, do a quick dust and then vacuum.
Freshly vacuumed floors ALWAYS give a great first impression!
Step 4 – The Kitchen
I don’t know about your house, but in my house EVERYONE always ends up in the kitchen.
The kitchen is such a tough place to cast a great first impression because that’s where LIFE happens lol!
Take a good look around your kitchen standing in the door your guests will use and get rid of anything and everything that is not NEEDED.
YOU may think empty counter space looks boring, but for those entering the first time, it does the opposite.
Less STUFF in your kitchen and on your counters gives the perception of a neat and clutter-free kitchen.
And if your guests are going to be eating your cooking, you WANT them to feel as if your kitchen and cooking areas ARE clean.
Clean off all the counter space, the table and any other surrounding area – get your sink empty and clean – and then do a quick mop of the floors (again, use something like Pine Sol to give the smell of clean).
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Step 5 – The Bathroom
Your guests WILL be using your bathroom, it’s inevitable.
I don’t know about you, but when I go into someone’s home and their bathroom is gross, it doesn’t matter HOW clean the rest of their home is, I only remember that nasty bathroom.
please tell me I’m not the only one that way!
So clean that bathroom. Remove any and all counter clutter other than hand soap and towels, and add a pretty candle.
Again, smell is a big thing in this area of your home too.
So that’s it – that’s how I get my house in order FAST when I have to.
With those 5 steps I can easily and quickly do an Emergency Clean and Declutter for company.
I’ve done it so often that it’s now become an auto-pilot thing.
and it’s saved my pride quite a few times ha!
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What About The Other Rooms?
You may notice I didn’t mention bedrooms, or the pantry, or laundry room or closets…
All those doors get closed.
And, truth be told, much of the clutter I got OUT of view is now probably in at least one of those locations with the door closed.
The only exception is when I know the guests coming over will have kids with them – and those kids will end up playing with MY kids in their rooms.
In those situations, I will take a few minutes to do a quick straighten of the kids rooms.
And yes, many times a lot of that kid stuff is tossed into a closet haha!
So that’s it – that’s how I do it and it works perfectly well.
Again, remember, this is NOT a deep clean or a spring clean or anything of that nature…
This is an Emergency Clean Plan of Action.
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and STILL have a LIFE.
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