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In the last two months, we've had more people over to our house than I feel like we've had in all four years of our marriage combined. We're a fun couple to hang out with, but apparently having a cute baby to snuggle makes visiting us a lot more appealing. The first few weeks of Bensen's life, my house stayed relatively clean, but if I'm being honest, that's probably only because my mom was over a few times a week and she always cleaned while she was here. Because our house is new to us and we've done a lot of renovations, when people stop by, we usually give them a tour. Now that I'm back to work and taking classes and Joe's busy with lawn care projects, it's harder to keep the house presentable, but we still get "Can we stop by and see the baby in a few minutes?" texts and phone calls all the time.
I have a system for taking our house from lived in to open house ready starting with the most important things and ending with the things that should be done but won't detract too much from the atmosphere if we don't get them accomplished. When I get one of those "we're coming over!" messages from friends or family, I grab the mini version of my cleaning tote and we get to work. By the time our guests arrive most of them would never know that our house was chaos just minutes before they got there. Nobody knows how many diapers we've changed in the last day, what we ate for our last three meals or how many days the clean laundry has been sitting around not put away. I can show off all of our projects without feeling the need to apologize for our mess.
Quick Cleaning Tips
Pick Up Clutter
I'm the queen of clutter removal. I can go through my entire house in 10-15 minutes (under 5 if people are really close) and put everything back in its place. Sometimes we have clean laundry on our bed or dirty dishes in the sink and I don't always have time to put them away properly, so I take shortcuts. If you open my closet the next time you're over, you'll most likely find a pile of laundry on the floor and if you open our dishwasher, you'll find dirty dishes tossed in their haphazardly without any sort of organization whatsoever. If I get time at the end of my cleaning routine, I'll come back and hang clothes up or rinse dishes and put them in the dishwasher nicely, but it's not my top priority.
Clean the Bathrooms
Bathrooms are the scariest rooms in the house, even the ones that don't get used that often. I would hate for people to come over, use our bathroom and find hair, dry toothpaste or who knows what on the counters or in the sink, an empty toilet paper roll or some other unwanted mess. We have three bathrooms; two of them are used often by guests, and the other one gets shown off a lot because it's the room we put the most money into so making sure those are all clean is important.
One of my new favorite cleaning products are these Clorox Scrub Singles. They are preloaded with Clorox cleaner, have a handy scrubbing surface, can be used and tossed so you're not reusing the same gross sponge every time, and they smell really good! I use these on the counter tops, the sink and the outside of the toilet, in that order, and then I toss them and move onto the next area of the house. And seriously, they smell like cologne and I have a weird urge to cuddle up with my husband after I've used one. Strange, I know, but trust me on this one.
Wipe Down Surfaces
After the bathrooms, our most lived in room in the house would probably be the kitchen. We cook meals, eat, prepare Bensen's bottles, feed Howie, work, do homework and hang out all in the same space. It's one of my favorite rooms in the house, so it only makes sense that we spend a lot of time there. The only problem with so much activity in the kitchen is the constant mess. I will spend an hour scrubbing and cleaning every surface and in no time at all, there are messes every where. Crumbs and spills detract from the look and feel of the kitchen space that we've created so I like to have them out of the way before friends arrive.
Clorox Pump ‘N Clean Kitchen and Dish Cleanser is my quick and easy solution for making my kitchen presentable. Rather than cleaning the entire surface, I can clean just the area where the mess is. And if my dishwasher is full of clean dishes that haven't been unloaded yet, but there are a few dirty ones in my sink, I can use it to wash those dishes and get them put away.
Dust Visible Surfaces
My house is dusted on a weekly basis, so there isn't usually a lot of excess dust anywhere, but we do have a dog who brings all sorts of allergens and dirt into the house throughout the day. Since his favorite place to hang out is the front room, there lots of sunlight to lounge in and he can see everything that's going on out the front window. Because this room is also where we usually hang out with our visitors, I like to make sure it's wiped down and dust free. If I have time, I also do a quick wipe down of the other surface areas in our house so that everything looks clean and tidy.
These Clorox Triple Action Dust Wipes are my very favorite product, hands down! They pick up every single particle of dirt, dust, and hair. I can dust my house in no time with these cloths and they're great for bigger jobs like cleaning my baseboards (I did that this week, yikes!), and blinds.
Thanks to my new Clorox products, we can live our life and not worry about making sure our house looks spotless every minute of every day in case someone decides to come over. I picked up my Clorox products at Target, in the cleaning aisle. Now through July 4th, you can receive 10% off selected Clorox products at Target using the Cartwheel app.
What tricks do you have for making your house presentable if last minute guests decide to show up?