How To Clean Your House Fast When You’re Expecting Company

Follow this step-by-step guide and take your house from trashed to tidy in just minutes.

There’s nothing worse than when a guest pulls up to your house unannounced. Of course, you don’t mind their company, but you can’t help feeling TERRIFIED because you know that your house is not clean.

You’ve got dirty dishes piled so high that they are spilling out of the sink, stinky trash and dirty diapers that are making your whole house smell like you live with Ninja Turtles in a sewer, and you’re tip-toeing around your kids’ toys like you’re in a minefield.

I know from experience that when this happens, it’s very hard to have a good time. And it doesn’t matter if that person is a close friend you haven’t seen in a while, your own mother, or just a neighbor from down the street.

You’re so busy freaking out and wondering if she notices that your house is trashed (and smells like it too) that you’re looking for ANY reason to cut her visit short so you can stop slowly dying of embarrassment.

Related: Why You Can’t Stick To Your Cleaning Plan

Truth is, it’s times like these that make you wish you could’ve had time to clean up—even if it’s just 15 or 30 minutes before they arrived at your front door.

How to clean your house fast

I can’t promise that you’ll never be caught off guard like that again by someone who drops by your house at the last minute, but I can show you how to clean your house FAST so that you’re prepared.

Note: for your convenience, this post includes affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Step 1: Get your supplies.

As soon as you know that you’re expecting company, you need to grab all of your cleaning supplies.

Here’s what you’ll need to clean your house fast:

  • Spray mop
  • Broom & dustpan
  • Vacuum
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Air freshener/candle
  • Large laundry basket
  • Fresh trash bags

Step 2: Set a timer.

Next, you’ll need to set a timer for 15 minutes. This ensures that you’ll be able to clean as much as you can, as fast as you can, within the time you have before your doorbell rings.

I also found that when I turn on music it helps me clean faster too. Anything that is upbeat will do the trick! (Slower music will just bring your energy down.)

Step 3: Collect clutter and trash.

Grab your large bin or basket to collect anything that is out of place. Don’t worry about putting the stuff back where it belongs right now.

Once your basket is full, you can hide it in a nearby closet to save time.

Then, you need to clear off trash from countertops & tables and pick up all trash from off the floors. Toss it in garbage bags.

If your trash is full or reeks, empty your trash can and put a fresh bag inside.

Step 4: Throw dishes in the sink or dishwasher.

Now it’s time to head to your kitchen and throw all of your dirty dishes in the sink.

If you have a dishwasher and it’s empty, you can sit all of your dirty dishes inside for now too, but you don’t have to actually start it. You can wait until it’s full or after your guests have left.

Step 5: Give your floors a quick sweep.

Only vacuum the areas with carpet that your guest will see. You’ll also want to sweep up crumbs from your kitchen or wood floors.

If you have extra time, pull out your spray mop to clean up dry spills and sticky stains. My favorite spray mop to use is the Swiffer Wet-jet.

It takes about five minutes to mop my floors and they’re completely dry about 2-3 minutes later—so my guests don’t even know I just mopped (although my house will smell like squeaky clean floors!).

You can grab the spray mop I use here!

Step 6: Use disinfectant wipes for toilets.

Once the main living areas of your home are clean, you need to spend the last five minutes you have cleaning your guest bathroom—you never know if someone will have to use it!

The fastest way to get your bathroom clean is to use disinfectant wipes. You just need to wipe down the vanity, toilet seat, and maybe the mirror too if time allows (but use a microfiber cloth and glass cleaner).

You can also give the inside of your toilet a quick scrub using a toilet bowl brush if necessary. But you might not have too if your family doesn’t use that bathroom as often as the rest in your house.

Step 7: Light a candle or refill plugins.

This last step is completely optional but I do it anyway because I love a good-smelling home! You can light a few scented candles or refill your wall plugins to give your home a fresh aroma just before guests arrive.

You could even do this step before you begin speed cleaning your house so the fresh scent has more time to linger.

Hands down, the best scented candles that will fill up ANY room are Glade and Bath & Body Works 3-wick candles.

But if you’re on a budget or you don’t have any of these lying around, a super cheap way to make your home smell heavenly is to boil a half a cup of Fabuloso in a small saucepan on your stove on low heat. Just be sure to add about 1/4 cup of water to the cleaning solution.

Or, you could always spray air freshener to eliminate odor!

Relax and enjoy your company.

You did it! That’s exactly how I speed clean my house in about 30 minutes or less. Most of the time, I can knock out all seven steps in under 15 minutes.

But don’t worry if it takes you a little bit longer than that the first time you do it.

The more you practice speed cleaning your home, the faster you’ll get.

And the easier it’ll be to stay on top of the chores that matter so you’re not stressing about cleaning all the things in such a short amount of time.

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