11 Sep The Ultimate Emergency Cleaning Guide for Unplanned Visitors
We’ve all had to deal with the stress that comes with hosting guests that turn up unannounced. For anyone who’s sensitive about the way they present their home, the urge to clean in this situation can be overpowering.
So how can you cope when unexpected visitors arrive? Here are some top tips to help you de-clutter and add a sheen to your home as efficiently and effectively as possible in an emergency.
Pick Up Out Of Place Items
When there’s no one else but you and your family at home, you’ll probably be quite content to allow random objects to be left in the wrong place. In fact, they might become virtually invisible to you; that is until you get that unplanned knock at the door.
Making a room look neat and tidy without giving it a deep clean is straightforward if you gather up out of place items and put them where they’re meant to go. Put the cushions back on the couch, replace the jar of peanut butter in the kitchen cupboard, shove all the stray coats into the closet and cram the laundry into the machine to keep it out of the way.
Vacuum The Necessary Places
Vacuuming can quickly turn a domestic disaster zone into a clean, appealing area that visitors will be happy to spend time in. In an emergency, it’s important to prioritise places to vacuum that will actually matter.
There’s no need to suck all the dust off the stairs, or sweep spiders’ webs from some obscure nook. Make sure you cover the main body of the room in which you’ll be entertaining your guests, especially if you’ve got wooden or laminated flooring. Carpets can be a little better at disguising a lack of vacuuming, so make a judgement call as to whether it’s even necessary in this case.
It’s also sensible to pay attention to the kitchen and dining room. Crumbs and other bits of detritus can build up wherever food is prepared and eaten, so the floor here will probably need a once-over with the vacuum cleaner to make it presentable.
Obviously, Wash Up
Dirty dishes stacked on the sideboard can be a real eyesore, so washing them up is essential if you have time. Dishwasher owners can take advantage of their automated assistant to speed things along. Choose the quick wash setting if it’s available to cut down on waiting time.
If you don’t have a dishwasher in your home, or if it’s already full and there are still stray dishes to do, then you’ll have to roll your sleeves up, pop on some gloves and get scrubbing yourself. You could even get the kids involved if they’re old and experienced enough to tackle this chore.
Should you find that you don’t have enough time to get everything washed, prioritise the important items. Having enough clean glasses, cups and mugs to give your guests a drink should be at the top of the agenda, so focus on these first and foremost.
Most of all, don’t worry about drying anything. If you’ve got a dish rack, then make use of it. If you don’t have time to put everything away, it’ll look better squeaky clean than if it hasn’t been washed at all.
Clean Up Any Pet Rubbish
Pets are a real problem when it comes to keeping a home clean and tidy in normal circumstances. If you’ve been neglecting your cleaning duties and your cat or dog has had free rein of the living areas, then expect to find plenty of signs of their presence.
Your pet might have a favourite place to sit on the couch, so make sure to vacuum this part and get rid of any hair clumps that might end up attached to your visitors. There might be water splashes and food left around the feeding area, which will need to be wiped up to improve the look.
Try not to leave any opened cans or packets of chow lying around, as although you might have got used to the smell, new arrivals will definitely pick up on the distinctive tang in an instant and might not appreciate it.
Finally, don’t forget that your pet can create more mess while you’re in the middle of cleaning; they simply don’t understand the process. If you can, send them outside while you get things in order or shut them in a part of the house that you don’t mind being compromised by their presence.
Deploy Air Freshener
Every home smells different and there are so many odour sources that can accumulate over time, particularly if you’ve not had an opportunity to clean recently. A good air freshener will help with this, not only acting as a mask for any unnoticed pongs that you might have missed, but also creating a consistent and welcoming atmosphere throughout your house. You could opt for a plug-in device which releases regular bursts of aroma to make sure that your home is always sweet-smelling, even in emergencies, which will save you some hassle.
If air fresheners aren’t really your thing, then it’s a good idea to open a few windows and get a breeze running through your home, depending on the season of course. You might even consider lighting some incense, if the lighter floral notes of synthetic air fresheners are off-putting but you still want to take a more pro-active approach to tackling stenches.
Put Trash In The Trash Bag
You’ve got a trash can for a reason, so you might as well use it. However, if your bin is full to bursting, then it’s time to crack out the trash bags and get creative.
Take a bag around with you, fill it with any bits of rubbish that have been left lying around, then take the bag to a part of the house where it will be out of the sight of the guests for the duration of their visit. This saves making repeat trips to the trash can, which is another efficient time-saver.
If you’ve got a utility room, a garage or any other practical space, pop the full bag there. If not, you might have to stow it away in your bedroom, office or den. Just make sure you remember that you’ve left the bag there so that you can dispose of it appropriately once your unexpected visitors have gone and the emergency is over.
So, Let’s Summarise
The most important piece of advice for anyone who’s having to host unexpected guests is not to panic. Take a deep breath, assess the situation and prioritise the most important areas that will need attention. Don’t rush in and start cleaning a room, area or object that won’t do anything to enhance the overall impression people get when they walk through the front door.
Emergency cleaning for unplanned visits is all about organisation, not speed or even thoroughness. If you know the guests well, then they’ll surely understand the predicament they’ve put you in and you’ll have no reason to feel pressure. They might even offer to help with the cleaning so that you can get everything ship shape before you settle down for a chat!