This article originally appeared on the Springs "You're Home Blog."
Last week we shared some smart ways to prepare in advance for last-minute entertaining – the kind you might be called on to do if guests drop over unexpectedly. With that post we covered the basics of appetizers and beverages, but what do you do when you have only 10 minutes notice that you’re about to have company…and your apartment is a mess?
Here’s a surefire 6-step process for getting your apartment in guest-friendly shape without having to break a sweat.
- First, pick up all the clutter. Grab anything that’s “out,” like magazines, purse/briefcase, shoes, coats, etc., and store these items somewhere out of sight, like a closet. It’s not a bad idea to keep an empty plastic storage container in one of your closets or under your bed just for this purpose. 2 minutes.
- Clean the kitchen. Once all the odds ‘n’ ends are stowed away, grab a mild multipurpose cleaner, like Windex®, and thoroughly wet a clean rag. Now wipe your kitchen counters, faucet and sink. Put any dirty dishes in the dishwasher, wipe off the stovetop and get any noticeable fingerprints off the refrigerator door. 3 minutes.
- Now move on to the bathroom and give your counter, faucet, sink and toilet a once-over. Clear the counter by putting your toiletries under the sink, then put out a clean hand towel and fresh bar of soap. Pull the shower curtain closed and no one will know if it’s due for a cleaning! 2 minutes.
- Pull out your vacuum. There’s no need to go over every square inch of your apartment – get just those areas you can see need it. 1 minute.
- Now, using a dry rag dust your coffee table, end tables and dining table. (Always dust after you vacuum, as the vacuum actually stirs up dust.) 1 minute.
- Finally, make your bed (or close the door!), and hide any clutter in that room in your closet. 1 minute.
The final finishing touch? Light a couple scented candles, turn on some lamps and set the tone with some music. Your apartment is now ready for guests…and they’ll think you’ve been cleaning for hours!
Have any good tips for prepping your apartment for company? We’re eager to hear about any time- and effort-saving ways that have worked for you. Share with us and we’ll share with the Springs community!