6 Surprising Ways to Quickly Prepare Your Dirty Home for Guests

Stressed out mother in kitchen with her babies

Cleaning hacks that ensure you’re always ready for company – whether they’re expected or not.

The phone rings, you answer cheerfully only to feel the smile quickly fade from your face. Your mind is already racing frantically, your eyes darting around your house room by room stopping momentarily at the pile of dishes, the unfolded laundry on the sofa, the lunch stain on the carpet courtesy of the toddler.

You are desperately trying to maintain a level of calm as you say your proper goodbyes and end the dreaded phone call­—company is coming, and your house is a mess!

I don’t know about you, but nothing sends me into a state of almost instant panic like finding out company is coming over. I’m not sure what it is about having guests (expected or unexpected), but the mere thought of someone setting foot into my home can sometimes turn me into a raving lunatic. Why might you ask?

I’m always afraid my house is too messy. And most days it probably is too dirty.

I mean, I have kids and pets. Enough said.

But when company is stopping by, I do a little pretending. I don’t want to look like a complete slob who only cleans for holidays and solar eclipses.

Messy dressing room interior with clothes rack

Reality Versus Our Insecurities

The truth is, most people who come to my house are friends and family, all of which are visiting me for my charm, wit, and good company (at least, that’s what I assume). They are certainly not visiting me in order to bear witness to my momentary prowess as a housecleaner.

The people who come to my home understand that I’m a busy mom, and as such, my life is generally chaos from dawn till dusk. Honestly, no one cares about the frequency of my sweeping or ironed tablecloths.

Likewise, I know I don’t care at all about the state of any home that I visit, as I know, I’m there to spend time with the people, and not judge them on the spaghetti stains on the carpet or the toddler smudges on the mirrors. I don’t care, and neither do most of the people that enter my home.

…and yet, I feel entirely compelled to create a serene and clean space for all of my guests, no matter how last minute their arrival might be.

Cleaning Hacks to Save My Sanity

Out of my own mental self-preservation and general acceptance of my self-inflicted insanity, I began seeking out cleaning hacks that would always guarantee that I was ready for company. No matter how last minute their arrival might be.

These cleaning tips have helped me maintain a certain level of cleanliness in my home that reduces the panic level of having company over. As well as other hacks that help me kick my housecleaning skills up to the next level within minutes.

 

Fail-Proof Cleaning Hacks

Here are six fail-proof sets of cleaning hacks you can do when your house is a mess and company is stopping by.

Identify the Danger Zones

Walk through your front door and into your house like a guest – what do you see? Where are guests most likely to congregate?

Identify the top three places your guests are most likely to see, and always ensure they are clutter free. In my house, it is my entryway, my downstairs bathroom, living room, and dining room.

Keep Guest Bathrooms Guest Ready

Believe me. You DO NOT want to step into my bathroom on any given day. My personal bathroom is littered with products, towels, and who knows what else.

Guess what though? My guests will never see my bathroom. Instead, focus on keeping your guest bathrooms free of clutter, as well as keeping the sink and toilet clean.

Switch out the hand towel for a fresh one. Drop some cleaner in the toilet while you are wiping down the sink and mirror. One last quick swish of the toilet cleaner and viola your bathroom is guest ready.

Female hands with yellow rubber protective gloves cleaning sink with pink cloth. Spring cleaning

Smell as Good as You Look

A house that smells great somehow always looks great. Human senses are odd, but when you are in a space that smells nice, it improves your overall opinion of the area.

Having a home that smells nice at all times will help guests feel welcome every time. Break out the air fresheners, lemon essential oils, or throw on a pot of simmering water with sliced oranges for a natural way to freshen the air.

Decorative Boxes are Your Friend

An hour before company arrives and there are toys everywhere, scattered throughout the house. Or perhaps you have piles of mail that you have meant to read, shred, or recycle.

Maybe you have cans or bottles covering your counter after another group of houseguests visited you a few days before. There is no reason to panic if you have some decorative boxes on the ready!

Simply stuff the stray items into the boxes, cover, and move on with the next chore. Clutter is gone, and your house nicely decorated.

Win, win! (Just don’t forget to empty the boxes after company leaves.)

Shelves with storage boxes, black and white folders, and green plant.

Throw the Dishes in the Sink

Perhaps you have a sink full of dishes because you were just too tired to wash them or load them in the dishwasher the night before. Or perhaps there are dishes still on the table from your most recent meal.

No problem!

Fill the sink with the dishes and soapy water. Throw on a cute apron, put the dishcloth and gloves on the counter and now when your guests come over it will look like you were in the middle of doing dishes.

dirty dishes in the kitchen sink at home

Crafty Feng Shui

Now, this is a cleaning hack I would only pull out at the most desperate of times. But sometimes desperate times call for extreme measures.

Perhaps your kiddo spilled their juice on the carpet last week, and you haven’t had a chance to give it a deep clean. Maybe your dining table is a disaster after a wild and crazy macaroni and cheese incident with your preschooler.

Or it could be that you have a large pile of laundry that you’ve been avoiding for the past week, and there it sits in the basket next to the couch.

Time to get creative! Move the coffee table over the juice spill. Throw a tablecloth over the macaroni mess. Adjust the couch to conceal the laundry basket.

Quick and easy concealment of the mess is the name of the game.

Mommying Is Hard Enough

Whether your house ends up looking like the HGTV sweepstakes home or not don’t beat yourself up about not having a sparkling clean home all the time. These cleaning tips and hacks will help you feel more confident when company comes over, no matter how much warning you have.

And remember, at the end of the day, your friends will remember you for the way you make them feel and the friendship that you give them – and not for the streaks on your mirror or the dust on your shelves.

Be kind to yourself, and enjoy your company.

Do you have any other unexpected company cleaning hacks or tips? Let me know down in the comments below!



Hello, I’m Rebecca, a mom of 4 amazing kids and wife to my best friend. I am a caffeinated, Disney loving, homeschooling mom, and author of Collecting Clovers. I get that life can be a crazy, intense, wild ride. Things don’t always go as planned, and not everything can be as perfect as a Pinterest board. Head over to my blog for a realistic approach to life, motherhood, and more. While you are there be sure to download my free 7 DAY BUSY MOM’S JOURNAL TO SELF-DISCOVERY! I hope to see you there soon!