Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cleaning for Company: Emergency Checklist

Neighborhood cookie swaps, family and friends in town, carolers on the doorstep. . .The holiday season may bring all kinds of people to your front door.

Are you ready?

Ha! Who has time for cleaning in December??

I remember more than a few times, back when I had roommates and a busier house, rushing home from church and doing a frantic speed-clean with the roomies before impromptu company arrived. . .

So here are some tried and true tips--for when your house is a disaster and there are people pulling into your driveway!

Company's Coming: Emergency Checklist

  1. Clear the entry--throw shoes and other junk in the closet where it belongs.
  2. Quickly declutter the living room. Collect and straighten oddball items, and either remove them or stack them in one unobtrusive place. Pile it all on someone's bed if it would help. Especially make sure the seating is available and inviting.
  3. Wipe the bathroom counters and sink, close the shower door or curtain, straighten towels, and remove the trash if it's more than half full.
  4. If the kitchen will be visible to guests, clear the counters--especially of dirty dishes. For true disaster zones, you might stash messes temporarily in the oven or dishwasher if you know you won't have need to use either till your guests are gone.
  5. In the last moments, close doors on unnecessary rooms. If you're still smelling last night's stir fry, brew a pot of coffee!

Extra Credit: If they're not here yet. . .
  1. Clean walkways that may be used -- for instance, from the entry to the living room, or from the living room to the bathroom.
  2. Give a quick sweep to the porch and front steps.

A motivated person should be able to do this in 10 minutes flat. What I hate is to have guests come and go and then realize that the bathroom (which was used and open to scrutiny) was in an embarrassing state!

Have you ever been caught by company unawares? 

Share your most cringe-worthy story in the comments. :) Confession is good for the soul.

Shared at:

It's a Hodgepodge Life: Hodgepodge Friday // The Frugal Girls: Chic and Crafty Party // Too Much Time On My Hands: Get Schooled Saturday // Liz Marie: "Clean it!" Link Party