20 ‘OMG Someone is coming over in five minutes and the house looks as though it’s been condemned’, steps.
Baby wipes. You must always have a pack of baby wipes in the house. I don’t care if it’s been fifteen years since your youngest (or your nan) needed diapers, stop what you’re doing, go out right now and buy some baby wipes. Aldi and Big W have good bulk packs of functional wipes for cheap as dirt. It’s fine. I’ll wait.
I said go now. Yes, I’ll wait. Now GO!
Next, you’ll need at least three big sturdy storage tubs with lids. They must have lids. This will not work if you don’t have tubs with lids. (I should have told you to get the tubs while you were out getting the wipes…Sorry. It’s ok, I’ll wait. Again. If I were more organized you wouldn’t be getting these tips, so don’t judge me.)
A vacuum Cleaner.
Step 1. Answer the phone and get that hysterical “OMG they’ll be here in FIVE MINUTES’ face on.
Step 2. Survey the uninhabitable wasteland that is currently your home sweet home.
Step 3. Reach for the vodka.
Step 4. Realize it’s only 10am, and wine is more appropriate.
Step 5. Put the wine DOWN. There will be time for celebratory drinks after you wow everyone with your awesome housekeeping skills.
Step 6. Take a storage tub and put EVERYTHING that doesn’t belong on the floor, dining table, couches, hallway etc. in a tub. Do not put food, or dirty dishes in the tub. You will not clean the tubs out later (Seriously, if you need them, you’re not the ‘sorting’ type, so this stuff? It’s gonna be in there for a while. You don’t want to be growing a new species. Baby wipes can’t fix that.)
Step 7- Put the lid on the tub and shove it into the nearest closet or your garage.
Step 8 – Repeat steps 6 & 7 – with lids on the tubs they are stackable. Neat, huh.
Step 9 – On your freshly exposed surfaces run a baby wipe over everything. Baby-wipes pick up dust and grime and leave the place looking clean. Well, clean-er. And that’s our end game here, clean-er.
Step 10 – Survey the bathroom. Spray some bowl cleaner around the bowl.
Step 11 – Wipe over toilet and basins with baby wipes. It’s not hospital grade disinfected. But unless you’re planning on eating off it who cares. It’s no longer brown. Again, think of the end-game.
Step 12 – Shove any bath toys in the nearest cabinet.
Step 13 – Give the bowl a quick once-over with a toilet brush. Flush, and spray air freshener. You’re done here.
Step 14 – Grab the vacuum and power vacuum. This is not the time to be making pretty carpet patterns. Vacuum the middle of the main living rooms. If you have tiles or floor boards, vacuum those too. Use fast wide sweeps with the vacuum. You’ll cover more space and even if you miss little bits they won’t stand out as much as an entire carpet of cat hair.
Step 15 – ( A ) Look at your kitchen. Do not panic. Stack the dirty dishes. If you have a dishwasher shove them in there. If you don’t just stack them neatly on the kitchen bench. Stacked dishes look tidier, and therefore your house looks tidier. ( B ) For Maximum effect fill the sink with hot water and detergent and shove a few dishes in it. DO NOT OVER FILL. It needs to look believable for step 20.
Step 16 – For the love of God, Wipe the kitchen bench’s. It will take you two seconds. Use the baby wipes. It might take you one.
Step 17 – Step back and survey your handiwork. It isn’t perfect, but it’s a damn sight better. Heck, if your guests were ten minutes away instead of five, there is a chance it IS perfect.
Step 18 – Look wistfully at the wine as the doorbell goes.
Step 19 – Take a breath, straighten your hair and answer the door
Step 20 – Answer the door with “Oh Hi! You’re here! Come on in, excuse the mess, I just haven’t been bothered to do anything today… “ If you made use of part ( B ) of step 15, you can throw in, ‘I was just starting the dishes…” In other words, Lie through your teeth.
Aaaaand. If you’re anything like me, you need this bonus step too.
Step 21 – Stash the bra that you missed that is hanging off the back of the lounge under a cushion. Nobody saw that anyway, right?
**This is null and void if your guest randomly shows up without the courteousy of a phone call. In the age of mobile phones there is no excuse for not calling first. If someone shows up without calling first and it’s not your BFF or your house cleaner, then they deserve your disgusting house. **
***I have been known to ‘clean’ like this five minutes before my husband is due home. Can’t let him know I’ve been sitting on Facebook all day. ***