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photo (1)With my dog sitting business I constantly have people dropping by my house.  Whether it’s a pick up, drop off, or meet and greet, someone will be setting foot in my house multiple times a week.  Because of this I believe I’ve become a “get your house clean fast” guru.  I thought I’d share a few of my tips and tricks:

  • Keep an ongoing cleaning schedule.  This isn’t a fun tip but it is the most important thing for these other tips to be successful.  It’s the stable base to all the trickery.  This isn’t for deep cleaning but does make it possible for you to jump into “panic” mode without a full meltdown when you hear guests coming up to the door.  My schedule works well.  Honestly, I sometimes do nothing one day and push the activity to the next but, for the most part, this stuff gets done once a week every week (vacuuming, kitchen, bathroom, change linens, dust, laundry).
  • I’m brilliant at doing laundry and pretty amazing at not folding it and putting it away.  My house has a long counter right by the washer/dryer.  It’s the perfect location to pile up laundry that is now clean yet in need of further attention.  There was a pile there yesterday when Lousy was being picked up by his mom and dad.  I needed to get rid of it quick and there was no time to do it correctly (fold and put away).  Solution?  Just shove it all in the dryer.  I have about 3 loads stuffed in the dryer right now.  Sure things will get wrinkly but that is the price you pay for not folding right away.  If you live in yoga pants and tank tops, as I do, wrinkles aren’t a problem!
  • If you only have time to do one thing vacuum!  Vacuuming is the eye brow waxing of house work.  It makes a HUGE difference.  If you only have time for a few rooms focus on what people will see.  For me this is the living room, hall and kitchen.  My kitchen isn’t carpeted (obviously) but I still use an attachment to vacuum it.  It’s so much fun to watch all the dog hair (and there is a lot) being sucked up and away!
  • Close the doors to rooms that are a disaster and/or off-limits.  If a guest dares to open a closed-door to snoop around they deserve to be shocked by an unmade bed and undies on the ground.
  • Lighting.  Lighting is KEY.  You can’t see dust when it’s dark.  Turn the lights off and if people HAVE to see then light some candles.  This also will keep you from doing things like cleaning windows and mirrors not to mention the carpet.  Lighting can cover a number of problems.
  • Trick people with smells.  I know it sounds manipulative.  It’s because it is.  Light a smelly candle (I stick with the pumpkin and vanilla scent) in key rooms.  Especially near trash that hasn’t been taken out recently.  Grab a bottle of fantastic, aim it in the air and pull the trigger.  Run around the house fantastic-ing the air.  At least it will smell like you recently cleaned.
  • Turn on any and all air purifiers.  People who have air purifiers wouldn’t dare take the time to turn them on if their house was disgusting.
  • Grab a rag and a cleaning bottle and stick it right in the middle of your counter.  Fill theimage (1) sink with water, suds, and any dirty dishes.  Grab the vacuum and stick it in the corner with it plugged in.  Turn on the wash machine with or without dirty clothes in it.  When guest show up exclaim, “excuse the mess I was just in the middle of cleaning.”
  • If you have dogs (or kids) DO NOT let people get on their hands and knees and crawl around.  I had to get down on the floor Sat to take care of Lordy and almost had a seizure.  The FILTH down at that level is beyond upsetting.  I was forced to stop everything I was doing and go around the house cleaning all the walls at dog level.  You are just better off not looking.

There you go!  I hope those tips and tricks help save your sanity once in a while.  Feel free to share yours.