how to clean house fast

You have an unexpected guest arriving in 30 minutes and the house is a wreck.  You wonder how you will manage to clean up the mess in so little time.  These cleaning tips and ideas will show you how to clean house fast! 

Maybe you are hosting Thanksgiving and haven’t had time to clean your house.

Or Christmas holidays are here and your house is still a messy disaster.

Whatever the reason, you can get it all cleaned up quickly and in time to enjoy your special occasion.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I do NOT approve of drop in or last minute visits!  I consider myself to be a high functioning introvert (who has gotten a bit more introverted since becoming a stay at home mom!)

Being a stay at home mom can be lonely, and it’s important to not neglect friendships.

This post may contain affiliate links meaning that I may earn a small percentage (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase through a link that I share.  See full disclosure.

how to clean house quickly

I need DAYS to prepare to have a visitor!  When we are hosting a holiday in our home, it seriously takes me about 2 full weeks to get the house properly cleaned and ready.

In addition to being a homebody, I am a also a recovering perfectionist, and my perfectionist tendencies cause me to procrastinate….

So, I’m a perfectinater….or a procrastionist🙂

Either way, I often put off cleaning tasks until I can complete them perfectly.  

Since I’m a busy mom with children, pets, and a husband, my house seems to be a complete disaster of clutter most of the time.

I make sure the important things are completed each day like dishes and a clean toilet

(Did I mention that all the kids are boys? If you have boys, you understand the toilet struggle)

how to clean house fast

So if I only have 30 minutes to prepare to open my front door, I have to be pretty strategic and not get hung up on perfectionist details!

I’ll show you how to speed clean your house and be ready for last minute visitors in 30 minutes or less!

If I Could Turn Back Time

When you have regular decluttering and cleaning routines in place, your house won’t be ridiculously disgusting when you receive that spontaneous phone call.  Having plans in place will keep the home and family running smoothly.

I’m sure we can all agree that there are many benefits to a tidy and clean living space, but did you know that living in clutter actually affects your brain negatively?

Princeton researchers published a study showing that your brain is adversely affected by a cluttered environment.  Living in the chaos of too much stuff prevents your brain from being able to focus or to process new information.

Improve your brain performance by decluttering your entire house and be sure to join the resource library below for your printable decluttering checklist! 


free resource library with printables for mom home management

But We Need a Clean House FAST!

But back to our surprise guests. 

We only have 30 minutes, so we need the best way to clean house as quickly as possible.  You’ve got to have laser focus and choose a different day to worry about the routines that you need to put in place in the future.

This isn’t the time for spring cleaning or deep cleaning.  This is the time to pull out our very best cleaning hacks!

First things First: How to Clean House Fast

Calm the Clutter

First close all of the doors to the rooms you won’t need to access (aka the rooms that are so messy you don’t want anyone to see!!)

Living Room Clutter

We are only going to focus on the rooms the guest will see.  This usually is the living room where you would probably sit and visit and the kitchen area.

Start at one corner of the room and work from left to right putting everything into the basket that doesn’t belong in that room.

I usually end up using more than one basket if that tells you how out of hand the messes at our house can get!

Just focus and go as quickly as you can not worrying about where anything is supposed to go.  Throw everything that doesn’t belong in that room into the basket.

Now that you’ve corralled all of the out of place items, you take the entire basket of stuff and hide it somewhere. 

Maybe a closet, a bedroom, the garage, your car….whatever you have to do!

Hint: Make sure to hide it somewhere you are certain your guests won’t see!

Messy living room with clothes and other stuff


Kitchen Clutter

Now head to the kitchen.  If you have dirty dishes in the sink, quickly put them into the dishwasher.  If the dishwasher has clean dishes in it, just put the dirty dishes in the oven.

Now grab another basket and declutter the kitchen counter tops as quickly as you can go.

Vitamin bottles, stray mail and papers, the last of the groceries you never put in the pantry….put it all in the basket and find a place to hide it.

Bathroom Clutter

Time to check the bathroom.

Grab another basket and put all of the stray items from the bathroom in and find a place for it to hide.

If you are running out of hiding places, some other ideas:

  • dryer

  • washing machine

  • behind the shower curtain

Yes…I have used all of these!


how to clean house fast


Clean up Time


When cleaning my house I not only want things to look and feel clean, but I want to do so WITHOUT Toxic cleaners.

Safe, healthy cleaning is extremely important to me, but so is convenience.

I like to make life easier whenever I can!

It’s a little bit of a pain to pull out all the supplies and mix up cleaners (a pain I’m happy to endure for my family’s health), but I’m always hopeful when I see a newly advertised cleaner with big promises!

From time to time, I used to buy and try whatever new cleaner claimed to be “natural” and “non-toxic”–even with the outrageous price tag.

But here’s the deal:

Time after time I’m disappointed.

After one use, I’m wheezing and have a pounding headache.

Then, I have a practically full bottle of expensive cleaner left that I can’t even use.

Full disclosure:  I purchased Force of Nature before I started my blog so I was not an affiliate then, but I am an affiliate now—so if you purchase through my links, I receive a commission (which helps pay the fees associated with keeping this blog online)

For the first time EVER, I’m able to easily clean my home without becoming ill and without compromising my family’s health with toxic chemicals.

I love not having to drag out all of my cleaning ingredients and mix up cleaners Force of Nature has replaced all of those!

I use it to clean everything and it’s completely safe to use around the kids and pets.


How to Clean House Fast:  Bathroom

The bathroom is the last spot you decluttered, so it’s the first you will clean.

Change out the trash, and replenish the toilet paper if necessary.

Change out the bath rug if needed.  If you don’t have a back up rug, just throw the shabby looking one in the shower and pull the curtain closed.

Now make sure the hand soap hasn’t been all used up by little boys cleaning tonka trucks and zoo animals, and put out a fresh guest towel.

Don’t forget to clean the mirror!

TIP:  I keep new towels and linens on hand so I don’t have to scramble to find the least dingy hand towel before having company.

When you have more time, use these bathroom organization ideas to get your bathroom decluttered and organized.  

How to Clean House Fast:  Living Room

Now clean the living area (or whatever room you will use to sit and visit with your friend).

You’ve already decluttered so now just cleaning and straightening.

Use a microfiber towel and all purpose cleaner and quickly wipe down tables, picture frames, decor, lamps etc.

Straighten and arrange the sofa pillows.

Don’t worry about the floor yet.

Also give your entry area a quick tidying up.

How to Clean House Fast:  Kitchen

Now some easy speed cleaning tips for the kitchen.

First take care of the trash if needed.

You’ve already hidden away dirty dishes and cleared counter tops.

Spray down the counters, sinks, and fronts of appliances and give them all a good wipe down.

Roll with it Baby…

I LOVE a sticky mop for speedy quick floor clean up!!!

It’s like a jumbo sized lint roller on a broom handle!!

It works great for pet hair and also picks up all kinds of dust and dirt from carpet and hard surface floors too!

So give the floors a roll!

Pro Tip:  This is a fantastic job for the kidsChores for kids helps develop strong work ethic and life skills they need for the future.

image kids chores little girl holding folded towels

Better Check Yo Self

Time to freshen yourself!  If necessary, brush your teeth, throw on some deodorant and put on clean clothes.

Use some dry shampoo if you need to and put on some lipstick.

Bring it

Now you’re ready to welcome your unexpected visitor! 

You may even have time to spare!  If so, you can put on the kettle for some tea!

What are your tips for how to clean house FAST?!  Comment below to share!

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Thank you SO much!!  

6 thoughts on “How to Clean House Quickly for Last Minute Guests”

  1. Instead of storing your makeup products out of sight, you can situate them on a cosmetic organizer to make every item easy to readily available.

    1. If coming from out of town meet in a coffee shop, restaurant or their room. In town go for the first 2 rent a room for yourself and family or feign being out of town, being home the next day.

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