By Betsy Voreacos
We’ve all gotten that “I’ll stop by in 15 minutes!” text from a friend, an in-law, or a neighbor. Our thumbs are ready to respond, “Sorry, at a soccer game!” But then the guilt gets us and we give in: “Great! Can’t wait to see you!”
Be brave, moms. Take a quick look around at your house. Heck, have a quick cry if you need to. Then take a deep breath and prepare to attack the chaos with these shortcuts that’ll make every room look presentable in no time.
Capitalize on Your Closets
Shoes, backpacks, coats, sporting equipment, more shoes – shove it all into the hall closet (or any other closet), quick! Stuff closets with all the miscellaneous junk lying around your living room. You can tackle it later, when the guests have gone. Just make sure you drape your guests’ jackets over a kitchen chair instead of hanging them up in the closet, natch.
Turn to the Tub
Behind the shower curtain is a tub just waiting to be filled with bathroom clutter of all kinds: all those beauty products that are lining your vanity, the pile of magazines that your husband actually has time to read while sitting on the toilet, the razors, the crumpled toothpaste tube, the overflowing trash can. Just stash them all in the tub (and drape a bath towel over everything if it makes you feel better) but make very sure to pull the curtain closed.
Image ©iStock.com/ katsgraphics808
Hide the Evidence
Pick a bedroom and shut the door, indicating that it’s totally off-limits for houseguests. Of course, do this after you fill it with every possible piece misplaced clutter you find elsewhere in the house. (Pro tip: Use a laundry basket to collect errant items throughout the house so you only have to make one or two trips.) Just make sure your kids know that the room is taboo, too, especially if you have other children coming over.
Bin It to Win It
Bins and baskets are a busy mother’s best friend. Everything looks a little neater when it’s contained. Always, always, always have an empty bin or basket (or two or three or four, let’s be honest) on hand for last-minute tidying.
Clear the Counters
Clean counters and tabletops just make the whole house look neater. And aren’t kitchen drawers and cabinets designed specifically for concealing evidence? Just sweep in the countertop clutter, close the drawer or door, and you’re all set!
Ditch the Dust
Don’t forget to give neglected surfaces a quick dusting! Wipe dull and dusty culprits like shelves, table legs, chairs, and even baseboards and banisters for an instant upgrade.
What’s your best quick-fix house cleaning trick?
Betsy Voreacos lives with her family a stone’s throw from Manhattan. An overly involved mother of three active children, Betsy has always been acutely aware of her shortcomings as a parent, not to mention those of her children. A freelance writer and blogger, she documents her life in the brutally honest Old Minivans Die Hard.