Welcome to the ultimate speed cleaning checklist to get your house guest-ready in no time!
So, you get that call that most moms dread — your friends or in-laws want to stop by for a quick coffee catch-up, they say they’ll be there in an hour or so!
You look around and your house is looking like a disaster zone, and you don’t know what to do!
Panic sets in! Should you pack and move to a different state?
I mean, there’s no way you get get your house clean in just a few minutes,, right?
So moving it is!
Does this sound like you?
Believe me; it’s a scenario I’m all too familiar with too.
That’s why I put together this speed-cleaning checklist to help you get your house close to Pinterest-perfect when last-minute guests are on their way.
The best part about this speed cleaning checklist is, it doesn’t focus on cleaning the entire house.
Remember, there are certain cleaning tasks you don’t want to be doing during this time,
Your focus needs to be doing a very quick speed clean so your home looks presentable in time for your unexpected guests!
You’ll only tackle the high-traffic areas — your living room, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom.
How to Speed Clean Your House In Under 30 Minutes:
- Speed cleaning the kitchen (10 minutes)
- Speed cleaning the bathroom (10 minutes)
- Speed cleaning the living room (5-10 minutes)
- Speed cleaning the bedroom (5 minutes)
Ready to conquer your messy home with this free printable speed cleaning checklist? Let’s dive right in!
Speed Cleaning Your House
The first thing I’m going to tell you to do is DON’T PANIC!
My speed cleaning checklist is going to help you get your house clean by the time your guests arrive!
The next thing I’m going to tell you to do is put a movie on for the kids and suggest playing some upbeat music to get you in the speed-cleaning mood. This works for me every single time.
#1 Let’s start in the kitchen (10 minutes)
We’re going to start our speed cleaning in the kitchen, because in all llikelihood that’s where you’ll end up.
Cleaning supplies you will need
I always recommend having a cleaning caddy filled with all your essential supplies so you can grab and go.
If you don’t have one of those yet, here are the cleaning supplies you will need to start cleaning:
- Trash bags
- Microfiber cloth or paper towels
- Broom but I prefer a vacuum (its quicker)
- Cleaning disinfectant spray
- Clorox Wipes
- Spare basket or box
- Air freshner or diffuser
We want to make sure the kitchen is looking nice and clean. We don’t want any dirty dishes lying around, or food waste from lunch earlier.
Make sure your kitchen cabinets are closed, wipe down any flat surfaces ( kitchen counters) that might have some crumbs lying on them.
We want it to look like we keep a clean(ish) home, even if we don’t!
Concentrate on these tasks while speed-cleaning your kitchen:
- Grab any items that don’t belong in the kitchen and place them in a basket to be moved at a later time. (Hide the basket somewhere it can’t be seen – the laundry room is good for this).
- Get dirty dishes into your dishwasher so you have clean dishes for your guests.
- Wipe down your kitchen counters with a damp microfiber cloth to remove visible crumbs and spills on the surfaces.
- Clear the grease and food spills on your stovetop using a damp microfiber cloth.
- Make sure the sink is clean and there is no lingering food residue.
- Take out the trash if its full, replace it with a clean garbage bag.
- Grab your vacuum or broom and get rid of obvious dust bunnies on the kitchen floor (I prefer to use my iRobot so I can focus on other things).
Having a cleaning caddy is super helpful! Instead of you having tp run around to find all of your cleaning supplies, they are already in a handy bag, or ‘caddy’ that you can grab and get to work on getting your house clean.
It also helps you to see which cleaning supplies you need to replace, or you can use Amazon subscribe and save and let them do the work for you!
Good job! You’ve ticked off all the tasks on this kitchen speed-cleaning checklist. Time to speed clean the next area.
#2 Speed Clean the Bathroom (10 minutes)
The bathroom is the one area of your home you must check when you are expecting company.
If you had postponed your weekly cleaning only to hear that guests are now coming over, you might wonder where to start to make your bathroom look clean and refreshing.
Well, take a deep breath, and start with this speed cleaning checklist. Here’s how to make your bathroom go from “ meh” to “pristine” when you’re short of time.
Remember, we are not doing a regular cleaning routine, we are just doing a quick surface clean so we don’t shock people!
Cleaning supplies you will need:
- Toilet bowl cleaner (I prefer using lysol toilet bowl cleaner)
- Toilet paper
- Clorox wipes or a damp rag
- Handheld vacuum or regular vacuum cleaner
- Garbage bag
I don’t know about you, but my kids seem to have a difficult time flushing toilets, so that is the first thing I will check in the guest bathroom.
Can you imagine the embarassment if your mother in law walked into the bathroom and the toilet was not flushed. You’d never hear the end of it, right?
- Squirt toilet bowl cleaner around the rim and give it a good clean.
- Wipe the toilet handle, the outside of the toilet and wipe the toilet seat using disinfectant wipes.
- Give your bathroom counter a good wipe with a damp rag or a Clorox Wipe, as well as the faucets and the sinks.
- Clean the mirrors IF they need it.
- Replace old towels with clean fresh towels (stick the dirty laundry in the washing machine or hamper)
- Give the floors a quick vacuum if they need it (a handheld is good for this).
- Make sure the toilet paper is stocked for your guests. I have one of these in every bathroom, it helps immensely with keeping toilet paper always stocked.
Most guests will only use the guest bathroom as opposed to your master bathroom, so I would suggest you only need to clean the one bathroom.
If you think you need to get a second bothroom done, just repeat the process!
#3 Speed Clean the Bedroom (5 -10 minutes)
Unlike the bathroom, speed cleaning your bedroom will likely not take much time as there’s no scrubbing involved.
You’ll only need to tidy up the place and do a bit of dusting and vacuuming here and there.
For the most part, I can’t image any scenario where your guests would enter your bedroom, but I like to have it clean just in case.
But again, you are not running around doing a deep clean in your bedroom before someone comes. All we are doing here is making sure there isn’t a terrible mess in there!
Add our free printable simple bedroom cleaning checklist to your house cleaning schedule, We share simple steps to help you get (and keep) your bedroom clean on a regular basis.
Add this to your weekly cleaning routine, so you won’t have to panic when you get that call!
Cleaning supplies you will need:
- Long handled duster and a handheld duster
- Microfiber cloth
- Vacuum cleaner
- Damp microfiber cloth or disinfecting wipes
- iRobot if you have one
Here’s a quick cleaning speed cleaning checklist of what to do to ensure your bedroom is in tip-top shape when you have company:
- Pick up all the loose clothes items lying around and toss them in a basket to be taken care of later.
- Grab any dirty laundry lying around and toss them into the laundry basket or straight into the washing machine.
- Using a dry microfiber cloth, dust off your dresser, bedroom wall art, bedroom furniture, window sills, bed headboard, and any other spot where there is obvious debris. (We’re not doing a deep clean). If you can’t see any dust, ignore this step.
- Quickly make your bed; don’t bother replacing your dirty sheets for now.
- Remove any dirty dishes or cups on your bedside table to the kitchen.
- Get rid of any trash around, take it to the bin as soon as you finish cleaning.
- Give your carpet a quick vacuum to get rid of any visible dirt (if it needs it).
#4 Speed Clean the Living Room/Hallway (5 minutes)
Now, let’s move into the heart of the home where our housekeeping and cleaning skills will definitely be judged — the living room.
If you’re short on time and can’t clean the entire house, focus on the areas that your visitors are most likely to see. Walk from your front door to the living area, and look for clutter that shouldn’t be there.
If there are any dirty clothes lying around, throw them in a laundry basket, bring dirty dishes to the kitchen, look for any cobwebs that can be easily seen, or visible smudges on the walls or windows.
With this living room speed cleaning checklist, your company will feel right at home as soon as they walk in.
Cleaning supplies needed:
- Vacuum cleaner
- Glass cleaner such as windex
- Disinfecting wipes
- Extendable duster for cleaning things like your ceiling fan. Lots of people prefer Swiffers 360 duster
- Garbage bag
- Polish for wood
- Lint roller
- Empty basket (pick some up at a dollar store or use your laundry basket)
Here’s what to focus on as you speed clean your living room to ensure your guests walk into a clean home, your speed cleaning checklist comes in handy here:
- Grab out-of-place items — like magazines, TV remotes, house keys, socks, reading glasses, and so on — and throw them in a basket to be removed later. Hide the basket in your room.
- Fold any throw blankets you have on the couch (this makes a huge difference).
- Remove any dirty dishes and get them into the dishwasher.
- Remove any trash from this area.
- Polish any wood areas such as a coffee table, or a side table.
- If you have time, do a quick dust of any hard surfaces (we’re not deep diving here).
- Grab your vacuum or broom and clear dirt off the floor. (I prefer a vacuum because it’s quicker)
- Don’t forget to straighten all your couch pillows to give them a fluffed-up look.
- A lint roller is great at cleaning lampshades and upholstery.
PRO TIP: An ottoman is a great place to hide unwanted items in your living room, toss them in, and use a throw blanket to cover them up. Once your guests leave, do go back in and clean this mess up please.
If you need help deep cleaning your living room at another time, we have a great article to help you with that.
Finish Up Your Speed Cleaning
Congrats! Your house now looks like a tidy house. If your guests are still not there, and you have a little bit of time left, do this.
Use a regular mop or steam mop to give your hard surface floors that polished look. The main areas you want to focus on are the hallway, living areas, and the kitchen,
It might have been a while since you last had guests, but your windows and mirrors don’t have to confirm this. Make sure to give your front door a good wipe down so that it looks fresh, clean and welcoming.
You may or may not have time to empty the clean dishes from your dishwasher and get more dirty dishes into the dishwasher.
I would not recommend starting a wash with your dirty laundry in it, but you could at least fill the machine and have it ready to go when your guests leave.
If You Have Time for More Speed Cleaning Tasks, Do This!
If your guests are a couple of hours away, you may have time to get a little more cleaning done than if they are 1 hour away.
Sprucing up your wood furniture’s appearance fast when you’re expecting company is easier than you think.
Whether it’s that beautiful wooden table in your living room, wooden dining table, or credenza, you can switch their look from dull to vibrant in minutes!
Give your wood furniture a quick wipe down using your preferred wood polish (and a microfiber cloth) for that shine your guest won’t stop admiring! I like to use lemon polish because it leaves a nice smell behind, otherwise an air freshner or diffuser works well.
Keep the cleaning at a bare minimum. The “speed” in speed cleaning doesn’t call for deep cleaning attempts, this isn’t a true cleaning session — you’ll impress Martha Stewart some other day.
If your unexpcted guests are coming to stay, get any dirty sheets in the wash, but if they’re not, leave the dirty sheets where they are – nobody will know anything different.
You did it! You’ve ticked off all the tasks in this speed-cleaning checklist. It’s looking like you own a nice clean house now, right?
But before you sit down to catch your breath, quickly scan all the rooms you’ve cleaned to see if there’s any misplaced items you might have missed while running around like a crazy person – aka speed cleaning.
Toss these items in your collection basket and place the basket somewhere guests won’t notice.
Speed Cleaning Checklist for Busy Moms: Conclusion
Phew! You must be exhausted by now, but at least you are ready to entertain!
If you’ve made it this far, pat yourself on the back. You now have my best speed cleaning tips and tricks at your fingertips to get your house sparkling when you’re short of time.
Don’t forget to download our free printable speed cleaning checklist, I included my best tips for what cleaning tasks you need to tackle if your guests are going to be there in less than 30 minutes.
Even if your bedroom, living room, kitchen, and bathroom look like they’ve been ransacked by a burglar, you can make these spaces guest-ready in record time — thanks to my speed cleaning checklist.
Plus, you don’t need to only use it when you’re expecting company — make this speed cleaning checklist part of your regular cleaning routine.
It comes in handy on days when you feel too lazy to deep clean but want to wake up to a clean and tidy house.
Whether you are a mom of 1, 2 or 4 + kids, you are never going to have a thoroughly clean home! That’s just the way it is, and people coming to your home should understand that you are a busy mom with a family.
If you can, try to stick with a weekly cleaning schedule so that you don’t panic when someone calls to tell you they will be around in 15 minutes!
Figure Out a Cleaning Schedule That Works For You
Doing something every single day will help you to keep a clean home. It’s not going to be clean and sparkling, but it will be enough to where you don’t panic when someone wants to drop by.
Figure out a laundry schedule that works for you.
We are a family of 4 so I do 2 loads of laundry mid week, and another one at the weekend. I run a couple of towel loads at nighttime before bed, because I don’t need to worry about folding them. I can fold them when I find myself with an extra 5 minutes, this could be when I am watching tv in the evening.
My main tip for you is to do something every single day. Make sure you have clean dishes by filling up the dishwasher every day – an older child can help with this chore.
I put my dishwasher on every night, and my daughter empties it every morning as part of her chores.
Wipe down your kitchen countertops after you make lunch or dinner.
Make sure to wipe your sink down so there is never any leftover food sitting in it.
Taking 5 minutes each day to vacuum your floors will keep your floors from looking dirty all the time.
You don’t need to spend 2 hours + cleaning your house every day, if you do a little every day!
But, if you consistently do something every single day, you will start to see your home getting cleaner and cleaner.
Take 5 minutes at the end of your day, and make sure everything is off the floors, wipe your bathroom sink.
Above all, remember to go easy on yourself, you’re doing your best!
Now, go forth and speed clean like a pro!
Other Cleaning Articles You May Like:
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- How to clean a disgusting house
- How to get motivated to clean your house when you don’t feel like it!
- Quick cleaning tips for busy moms
- Declutter your home checklist
- How to get rid of a musty smell in your closet
- How to remove nasty fridge odors in your refrigerator
Grainne Foley is a wife and mother of 2 great kids. During her 5 years of full time RV travel, Grainne learned to become very efficient at household chores, in order to make time for family adventures. Now, back in a house, she has continued to create tools and techniques to help others lighten the load of household organization and cleaning.