"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!


Quick Clean Up for Last Minute Guests #Simple Living in Practice


Yes, this is the mess dumped on my back porch after Memorial Day weekend. It includes our rain bag for the boat, swim bags for the pool, camping gear from my son's Boy Scout trip and various food and beer containers from our picnic. All of this in one weekend!

Hard enough to sort through all this stuff and get it back to it's rightful home... but then it happens. It alway happens when you aren't prepared: UNEXPECTED GUEST.

You only have about an hour to get ready for their arrival what do you do?

This is my strategy:

1) Clear entrance way and vaccum it. Whether its your front or back door, whatever way people usually enter your house clean it up. This is a person's first impress of your home, so just like personal first impressions it's important to make it a good one.  

If I have a mess like the above picture I would get a laundry basket for each area of my home items need to be deposited and sort the stuff into the baskets. For instance: one basket for camping gear to the attic, one basket for clothes that need to be washed in the laundry room, one basket for items that need to be brought upstairs and returned to bedrooms.

I keep my closet floors clear so I just deposit baskets around my house hidden away from sight in closets until I have the time to actually put things away.

2) Clean your guest bathroom. If your guests use the bathroom they most likely will notice if it is not clean. It's just the nature of using a restroom; you have time to look around. 

I don't use paper towels or other paper products on a regular bases, but I do keep a package of Windex wipes in each of my bathrooms for just such a guest emergency. Windex wipes are great because you can use them on a mirror and on a sink or toliet for a quick clean up.

3) Gather up scattered stuff. Again grab a laundry basket and grab any books, papers, toys, etc... is cluttering up your couch, tables or chairs. Your rooms will look ten times cleaner if they are not visually overloaded with accumlated stuff. Tuck that basket away in a closet, and don't forget to put the items away when your guests leave!

4) Vaccuum or sweep. Still have a few minutes? Grab the vaccuum cleaner and quickly go over rugs and floors. Not only will the house look cleaner, it will seem fresher because most dirt in a house is found on the floor. 

Again, I am not an advocate of using paper or any type of disposible cleaning product, but I do buy about one package a year of wet Swiffer pads to use for quick clean ups of my hardwood floors.

OK, take a deep breath, have a glass of water or wine and go freshen yourself up... your house looks pretty good.

Enjoy your company,

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  1. De-cluttering should always be the first thing in mind when cleaning up the home especially when you're having guests over. I like to have containers where I place all my stuff that are scattered on the floor for quick cleaning at my Chicago apartments .

    1. Containers are even better because you can stack them. Great idea Kris.

  2. Having younger children in the house Diane, its imperative I check the bathroom first. Who knows what nasty surprises await! LOL

    Anne xx

    1. Oh Goodness Anne,
      My tweens still leave surprises.

  3. I always clean my bathroom first, since it's the thing I notice at other people's houses :) Great tips!

    1. Thanks Ann...
      It's so true how bathrooms just can't help but stand out.

  4. Great tips Diane! The first 2 areas I always clean up for guests are the entryway/front room and then the bathroom. If everywhere else is a mess, at least their first impression was a good one.

  5. Diane,
    Great tips. I always clean the bathroom when I'm having company. It's hard to keep clutter down when others are creating it.

    1. Yes, my family seems to have ''selective vision" when it comes to messes.


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