Last-minute Cleaning for Company (Guest Post)

I hate cleaning.

Really, I do. However, I was raised right and know that a clean house is a MUST when you have company. And yet, no matter how much notice I have that friends or family will be visiting, I always leave cleaning until the very last moment possible.

Mainly because I despise doing it. As I may have mentioned.

And don’t even get me started on how sometimes, I invite people over just to force myself to clean. Seriously.

But because I am crazy have these bad habits, I’ve developed quite the system for getting my house company-ready in a hurry. How do you make sure your home is presentable when people are coming over soon – perhaps already in their cars?

The Top 10 Things That Must Be Done When Cleaning My House in a Hurry

  1. Turn on the attic fan. (Obviously, this only works if I don’t have the heater or A/C on. But it works best when a neighbor is grilling or I’m drying a load of laundry. Don’t ask me to explain. I just know that the clean laundry smell magically makes it way into my house when we turn on the attic fan.)
  2. Assuming the stars have not aligned and provided natural home fragrance, light some candles.
  3. Put away things that have places – toys, dishes, dirty clothes. (Please note: I am not saying, nor would I ever say that dirty clothes don’t immediately go into hampers at my house. Nope. Not me.)
  4. Pick up extra junk that’s laying around the house. Drop it into a laundry basket and stick it in the garage. Wonder why everything can’t just have a place in this tiny, storage-deficient house.
  5. Get out the Clorox wipes and go to town. Clean the table, the kitchen counters, the bathroom floor, the bathroom sink, and anything else that might be sticky or dusty. Yes, this may include dining room chairs, living room side tables and door knobs.
  6. Get out the lint roller and go to town. (Especially important during the winter. When people wear coats. And you want to put them on your bed. Where the cats sleep.) Wonder why I have cats.
  7. Fold up blankets and arrange on couches to cover scratches. Wonder about the cats again.
  8. Look around for obvious messes – Cheerios in the couch, cat hair under the couch, milk spills, cobwebs in the corners, smudges on the white trim. Deal with them.
  9. Vacuum if I have time. Yes, using a Dustbuster qualifies.
  10. Stop at least 10 minutes before expected arrival time. Stop sweating. Reapply deodorant and lipstick. Get a drink. Answer the door. (Wonder why some people still think it’s acceptable to arrive early?)

What’s your last-minute cleaning routine? (Readers who routinely deep clean their houses and actually do have a place for everything need not apply. Thank you.)

Gotta run. I’ve got candles to light and blankets to toss artfully arrange on the couches.

Make sure to visit OhAmanda for other Top Tens!


Mary blogs about an imperfect life at Giving Up on Perfect. She talks about family, faith, books, diet-friendly and fiber-filled foods like granola bars and nachos, celebrity look-alikes and chick flicks. You know, the important stuff. You can follow her on Twitter @givingupperfect.


If you are interested in writing on iDreamofClean, you can find the guest post guidelines here.


  1. says

    This is so much like what I do, it’s not even funny. Number 4 – the result is that I’m constantly wondering things like, “Where’s the camera charger? Where did that screwdriver go? Didn’t I just see a pack of gum?” and it’s all piled together in a laundry basket hidden in the spare room.
    .-= Jeni´s last blog ..To My Sweeties… =-.

  2. says

    I L-O-V-E the laundry basket last minute clean up…I’ve been doing that one for years! It’s amazing how much clutter one can toss in there and then just shove it into a closet to deal with later. Makes the house look so much cleaner! Problem is…I put off cleaning out the basket for weeks after! Gotta get better about that!

    I have a small amount of dark cherry hardwood floor in my entry way. If I am having company, cleaning it is a must. For a quick clean up, I get by by using a swiffer to collect the dust/dirt, then I switch it to a wet pad and give it a quick go-over. Makes people think all of my floors are clean! I love my kitchen flooring because it hides dirt and I can avoid cleaning it if I’m in a pinch!

    I also make sure to clean the sink right before either my Hubby comes home from work or people come over. I use soft scrub w/bleach and that clean bleach smell makes everyone THINK I’ve been scrubbing for hours! 😉 I also love the Clorox Anytime spray and use it on my countertops to give off a clean scent!
    .-= Beth´s last blog ..Lightbulb Moment =-.

  3. Maman A Droit says

    I throw as many dishes as possible into the dishwasher, even if they are “hand wash only”. I’ll retrieve them later :)

    Then I throw all the baby toys in the playpen and vacuum, and shove junk in closets.

    I do scrub the floors kitchen and bathroom floors with ammonia, but our apt is small so that doesn’t take long.
    .-= Maman A Droit´s last blog ..No, Thank You! =-.

  4. says

    Love it! And, I’d love to know why some people arrive early. I mean, really, you don’t want to catch me as I’m just putting the vacuum away. Trust me, rarely am I a pretty site to behold!
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Earrings Giveaway! =-.

  5. Anca says

    Loved this! This is very similar to what I do as well, but I’ve learned to cover the laundry basket full of things with a towel, just in case someone sees it (as my luck goes, it’s bound to happen.) I also empty out the garbage in the guest bathroom and put a new soap out and put the soap wrapper under the garbage bag so it smells clean.

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