Autumn is a lovely time for welcoming people into your home. With the weather cooling outside, you can begin to turn your home into a cozy retreat; a place to gather with your favorite people.
Whether you’re hosting this year’s Thanksgiving dinner or inviting friends over to watch football, you’ll want your home looking its best. But nobody wants to spend an entire day scrubbing and tidying, so here are some speed-cleaning tips from Better Homes & Gardens to help you get your home guest-ready in under an hour.
1) Start with a quick decluttering of all areas guests will gather.
Grab a laundry basket, start at the entryway, and go room-to-room tossing clutter and displaced items into your basket. Stow the basket in your bedroom (or whichever room will be closed off to guests) and you’re done! Yeah, you’ll have to put all of that stuff away later, but for now, you have more pressing things to do!
2) Wipe tabletops, countertops, and other surfaces that guests will encounter.
While you’re at it, use your hand to brush crumbs off the surface of upholstered furniture (sofa, chairs, etc.) and use one of those sticky lint rollers to remove pet hair.
3) Run the vacuum.
Even if you don’t have time to mop or Swiffer, a vacuum will clean up the most noticeable dirt and debris. Focus on high-traffic areas where guests will spend most of their time. (Make sure you do this after—not before—dusting and wiping surfaces, so you can clean up anything that is swiped to the floor.)
4) Make the guest bathroom sparkle.
Stow countertop clutter in a drawer and give all of the surfaces a quick wipe with your go-to cleaner. Use glass cleaner on your mirror. Give your toilet bowl a quick scrub, then flush. Put out fresh hand towels and make sure you have plenty of soap and toilet paper. Place a fresh bag in the trash bin, light a scented candle, and call it a day.
5) Fluff pillows and couch cushions.
This will give them that nice plump look. And if there happens to be a stain on your sofa you forgot to clean, that’s the perfect spot for a freshly-fluffed throw pillow or neatly-draped blanket.
And even if your home isn’t perfectly spotless before guests arrive, don’t sweat it. They’re not coming over to inspect your shelves for dust bunnies—they’re coming over to spend quality time with you.