Quick! Company’s Coming!

You’ve just gotten a call from your boss/mother-in-law/grandmother, who tells you that she’ll be dropping by in about twenty minutes with something for you. The house is chaos. What do you do? Whatever you choose to clean up in those frantic few minutes definitely depends on what goes on in your house and the places you care about people seeing, so it’s different for everyone and every house. I’m always curious as to what it is people care about.

For me, I tend to focus on the areas that I know my guest will be visiting, and that is anything on the main floor, for the most part. My first trip is into the bathroom, where I give the sink a quick wipe to make sure there’s no paint or other weird stuff in there (in our house you would be surprised what ends up in our sinks).

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I also wipe any splash marks off the mirror. I find it handy to keep a set of cleaning supplies in each bathroom to make this quicker.

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And then I replace the hand towel.

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I give the toilet a once over and a quick scrub if necessary (I try to clean the bathroom once a week so usually this is not a problem).Β I also quickly run upstairs and give the bathroom there a good once-over if necessary – you never know when your guest will have to foray upstairs when nature calls.

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While I’m up here I make sure my bed is made and that any areas of our office and bedroom that you can see from the hallway are clear. In our house in St. John’s the bedroom was the first place guests saw when they entered our house (the doorway faced the top of the stairs to our entryway) so it was key to make the first impression a good one.


It helps to close closets and cupboards as well. Especially if you’ve just chucked a bunch of things in there haphazardly.


Back downstairs. In my kitchen there are generally dishes piled in my sink, but as long as they’re clean dishes I don’t care – I figure people will automatically assume I’ve been doing something fantastic and delicious so it’s not a problem for me. I give the counters a quick swipe and I’m done in here.

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The main living/dining room is always slightly disheveled because this is where we do most of our functioning. So I try to straighten the blankets on Gren’s couch (hard to do these days with Indy chewing on the fringe that dangles).

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I also try to sweep the majority of things off our dining room table. We don’t have a proper entryway in this house and the dining table is the real landing strip in the house. Plus it’s a great surface for working on projects. So it tends to look like this most of the time. I at least try to make it look relatively tidy, and clear away any personal or confidential documents.

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Do I worry about vacuuming? Let me tell you something: if I vacuum for you, then we’re not friends. I have two dogs. Deal with it.

So what do you do when you are trying to tidy your abode in twenty minutes or less?

Author: allythebell

A corgi. A small boy. A sense of adventure. Chaos ensues.

28 thoughts on “Quick! Company’s Coming!”

  1. This is totally my life. When we get those phone calls I go into emergency mode and begin barking out orders to my husband and daughter. “You, clean the toys!” “You, wipe down the toilet.” “Go, go,go”


  2. I’m pretty much with you on everything! I have to clean the bathroom, tidy the living room , the kitchen. Our bedroom is the only room upstairs, so there’s no need for anyone to go up there, which is usually a good thing!!


  3. Same here! We have an open concept, so I tidy the living space and kitchen area. And definitely the bathroom! Open the blinds to let some natural light in and I’m good to go. Love the tips and love that I’m not the only one who has to do this “quick clean” on occasion!


  4. I live in a dorm so it’s a bit easier, but I’ve learned that if I have no time to do anything else and someone’s coming over, making my bed makes the room look ten times neater. When a bed is made, everything else somehow looks like it can’t possibly be very messy.


  5. I go into total panic mode when I know I’m getting last minute visitors…I usually run through the house with a laundry basic to gather all the clutter the throw the whole basket in my office and close the door. I also close all my bedroom doors. Lol Then like you a quick wipe down of counters, bathroom sink, and quick scrub of the toliet. There are only like 3 rooms in my house I ever let guests into! Unless it’s a close friend then I figure they know me and know house keeping isn’t one of my strong suites! πŸ˜‰


  6. Exactly everything I do. I do put on some kind of incense or air freshener usually as I too have a dog and sometimes people find the dog smell overwhelming.


  7. My family tends to pile up the weeks things on our dining room table, so that is my go to “oh crap people are coming” thing to clean. Followed by the bathroom since I have a 4 year old son who still isn’t that great at aiming!


  8. Oh god. Always dirty dishes in the sink – they aren’t a high priority as I don’t have a dishwasher other than ME! Toilet – we have one. First thing done, and it is usually pretty icky! Then the sink, remove all weird stuff from the bathroom that could be embarrassing… We dont have carpet so the clouds of dog and cat hair are pretty bad. A quick sweep! Try to clean the kitchen table, it’s small but we always hang out in the kitchen. Ignore the cat food bowl, it has to be there or the dog will eat it…


  9. People almost never visit me as I am in the middle of nowhere – but when they do it is always a surprise with no warning, so I can’t do damage control! We have a terrible tendency to cover surfaces with things, probably because we lived nearly a decade in apartments with no room, and that meant storing things out in the open. We’re slobs!


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