Imagine this scenario—someone phones and says that she is coming over for a visit. Your house is a wreck. What do you do?
You have 1 hour--
- Light a scented candle or put something out that might make the house smell nice. If you have some Sister Shubert’s rolls, stick them in the oven. If you have some mulling spices and apple juice, pop them on the stove.
- Make a quick run through the house. Shut doors to rooms that the visitor has no need to enter. Bring a basket or large tote bag with you picking up any items that are out of place. Throw any clothes into hampers.
- Bring some clean up wipes into the main bathroom that the person would use if needed. Wipe down all surfaces and use a toilet brush if needed on the commode.
- In the kitchen do the best you can with the dishes. If the dishwasher is dirty, throw all you can in there. If you have time, unload and reload the dishwasher. If you do not think you have enough time, stack the dishes together as neatly as you can. Place a cookie sheet or cutting board on top of the sink so that the dishes do not show.
- My friend Honor once told me that she heard if you address the largest part of the room then the other parts will seem neater. For example, in a bedroom if you make the bed the entire room seems more put together. Look at the main areas of your house and see what larger parts need to be addressed. Tidy the pillows on the couch, change the tablecloth on the dining room table, etc.
- Now, grab the Windex and either paper towels or a microfiber towel. Clean the mirrors in your bathroom, spray down the counters in the kitchen, shine the faucet at the kitchen sink, hit the main areas to make them shine. Then take the damp paper towel or towel and address the hard surfaces of the floor. Wipe up any spills or debris you can.
- If you have time, vacuum the main areas. If you don’t, pick up larger debris by hand.
- Tidy yourself—if you need to change clothes, do so. Slap on some lipstick and get ready for visiting.
You have 30 minutes—Focus on steps 1, 2, 3, 6 and 8
You have 15 minutes—Focus on steps 2, 5, 6 and 8
You have 5 minutes—Focus on step 8 first and then, if you have time, step 1
While our home is usually relatively tidy, it always seems that the day I’ve decided to slack on housework is when we have a surprise visitor. Over the years, I’ve learned to take all of that with stride and realize that the visitor didn’t come to see how tidy my house was but to see me. I’ve learned not to miss the blessing because of worrying about the house!