I’m here to tell you all about a little thing I like to call forced cleaning. Forced cleaning is something I’m all too familiar with. Whether you live alone, are married, or married/single with kids, and you aren’t like Monica from Friends (aka OCD), you probably fall into the bucket I do. The bucket of people that does not clean their house every day and allows clutter to build up before you know it!
You are inevitably forced into cleaning your house whenever someone is planning to come by on short notice, hence the term forced cleaning!
Working a full time job while dealing with a chronic illness and also trying to have a life means cleaning is not always at the top of my to do list. That’s not to say it does not bother me when my house begins to look like a hot mess! I would rather be in the OCD/Monica bucket vs. the forced cleaning bucket, believe me! But life gets messy and you have to do your best with the cards you’re dealt in life sometimes.
So the moment has come. Someone whose opinion of your house and it’s appearance which matters to you is planning on stopping by! For me, it’s my mother and my cousin! Though I adore her, I can hear my mother’s nagging/judgmental tone of voice as she walks through my messy house. Meanwhile, my cousin is what people would call a “neat freak” and I would be mortified if she ever saw my house in a less than clean manner.
What to do though?!?! You only have a few hours or maybe just an hour to make your house look its best!
Therefore for times such as these, I developed a three-step system aka forced cleaning in order to make my house look “presentable” in just a short 30-minute window!
Hopefully my system will help those of you who need some forced cleaning tips!
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#1 Focus on the main living areas!
More than likely your unexpected guest will not be traipsing through your entire house, inspecting every room! So the biggest key to your success is to focus on the main living areas where your guest will be. For me, those areas are the living room, kitchen, and the dining room. If you focus your efforts on these areas, your house will be in tip top shape in no time!
#2 Organize the Clutter!
Decluttering needs to be a priority! Often times, your house is not necessarily “dirty” but rather just messy! There is a difference!! Mail has piled up, recyclables need to be taken out, clean laundry needs to be put away, etc. If your house is organized, it is easier to declutter faster. Designate a certain spot in the house for mail that needs to be sorted, make sure your closets have been organized as this allows you to put things away in their correct places quicker. My bedroom closet is nice and organized but my kitchen pantry is another story! This is on my spring cleaning to do list!
#3 Wipe down the counters and floors!
Last but certainly not least, once you’ve finished decluttering, wipe down your countertops, tables, and floors for a final spick and span touch. I personally love my Clorox wipes for cleaning my countertops and tables. It picks up EVERYTHING and gives them a nice clean shine! Also the smell is very nice! I also give my floors a good once-over. Given my lovely cat is in full shedding mode, I first vacuum all my floors with my Dyson Cordless Stick Vacuum! This thing is awesome!! It picks up everything a big bulky vacuum would but doesn’t weigh nearly as much. It also cuts corners much easier compared to the bigger vacuums. Then after I’ve gone over every area with the vacuum, I use my trusty Swiffer mop and hardwood floor pads! While these pads are technically for hardwood floors, I use it on my tile floor in the kitchen as well. Works like a dream!
Bonus Touches if you have time!
If time allows, I make up my bed – I admit I am so bad at doing this on a daily basis! I tidy up one or both of the bathrooms. And finally, I light a candle in my living room to give the house a nice smell.
And there you have it folks! A clean home in a snap! Happy cleaning everyone!!