When I was little, my mom came up with a house cleaning system called the “RED ALERT!”. She would be on the phone with our friends, calmly telling them it was totally fine for them to stop by, would hang up the phone and yell from the top of her lungs, “RED ALERT!!!!”.
It didn’t matter where you where, bedroom door closed, taking a shower, outside… you heard the warning. Even the neighbors heard the warning. What’s more is the entire family just KNEW what was next. Have you ever heard of the German war tactic, “blitzkrieg”?? It literally means “lightning war” which involved a rapid surprise attack on an unsuspecting target using overwhelming force, so after my mom yelled “RED ALERT” she then would say, “blitzkrieg the house, they’re coming over!!”, the dirt and the mess being our unsuspecting target.
Now I realize that a group of people working on a house can speed up the process tremendously, but we had 10 minutes flat. For this post, I’ll give details so every mom out there can keep her home presentable even with that ‘last-minute notice, under 20 minutes.
First of all I have to say that your home will not be spotless. We’re not talking a deep clean here. We are talking about a fast clean for a presentable house.
Ever found yourself lazy all day only to look at the clock and realize your husband will be home soon and the house is a wreck? Just take 20 minutes to make it look like you haven’t been sitting around all day and he will appreciate it. Or take 20 minutes before bed to get your home back in shape so everyone wakes up to somewhat of an orderly house in the morning to start off their day. So enough scenarios, ready for the tips?
1.) Laundry basket
First things first, DECLUTTER. We all know that less stuff looks cleaner to the eye. I don’t know about you but my house would take way more than 20 minutes just to put away all the things that were misplaced. Sometimes you just don’t have that kind of time. Solution? Laundry basket. Grab a laundry basket and go around from room to room and pick up the misplaced items and throw them in. Get rid of that clutter. Everything from kids toys, books, shoes, you name it! Obviously you will eventually need to go through this basket and put away these items, each to their actual designated spot. But the beauty of this system allows you to do this chore when you have a little more time.
The kitchen is an item all to itself. Once you have decluttered the entire house, you move into your kitchen. With 15 minutes left in you routine, you will need to start by clearing off the counters. Put dirty pots and pans in the oven. They need scrubbed, yes, but you can focus on this later. Put all dirty dishes in the dishwasher and wipe down your countertops. Now it’s time to stay in the kitchen but move onto the next part of your quick cleaning routine.
3.) Spot clean
Grab one rag and a general, all-purpose cleaner (I prefer to use vinegar and water with a few drops of doTERRA Lemon essential oil as an antiviral). Start in the kitchen by spot cleaning the appliances and refrigerator. Now when I say spot clean, don’t go cleaning things that are already clean. Clean things that need attention, have smears, smudges or dust. Then work your way around the house, quickly wiping up surfaces. Glass, maybe a mirror touch up or window hand print. Bathroom sinks and toilets wiped down as well. If you have time, grab a Swiffer and spot clean your floors, grabbing only the crumbs.
My favorite for convenience is the Swiffer Vac. It’s under $70 and does an awesome job! Lightweight, with the vacuum picking up those crumbs leftover from baby’s teething crackers and then behind that, the traditional Swiffer Pad grabs dust and dirt. I use a mop pad instead of the dusting one so I can feel like I vacuumed and mopped all in one!
And there you have it. Don’t worry when the in-laws give you last minute notice for a visit with the grand-babies. Use this routine and you’ll look like you always have it together. They’ll think, “she really is Wonder Woman!”.