Tips For Fastest Cleaning For Unexpected Company

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

I always feel panic when an unexpected visitor is on their way to visit. That’s when I need to incorporate the fastest tidying tactics to get our home company ready.

Thankfully it’s easy to do, I’m sharing some tips to get your home looking tidy FAST for unexpected company. 

Do you feel panic when unexpected company shows? I polled our followers to see if they felt the same. Their responses were hilarious! #TexasHomesteader

Panic When Unexpected Company Arrives

When RancherMan casually announces the impending arrival of an unexpected visitor I go into a break-neck panic.

I look with horror at the accumulations of projects I have going on in the kitchen. And I notice every little piece of grass on the wood floors that our dog drug in from the yard.

I’m suddenly painfully aware of the thick layer of dust that comes from living off a dirt road.

So I use some quick-cleaning shortcuts to get our home tidy FAST.

Quickest Way To Tidy The House For Unexpected Company

When you only have a little time to clean it’s important to first focus on the areas your company will actually see.

I feel the two areas that matter most for company is the kitchen and the bathroom. So I start with those two rooms. My panic tidy is done in the following order, based on how much time I end up having before unexpected company arrives:

Kitchen – Any dishes are loaded into the dishwasher and the countertops are wiped down. ORRun a sink of soapy water and layer the dishes in there. It’ll look like you were already cleaning when company arrived.

Bathrooms – The toilet is tackled with a toilet brush first, then surfaces are wiped down from the cleanest to dirtiest. (ie: mirrors, then faucet, then sink, then toilet.)

Bathroom with clawfoot tub, tile floors, glass shower. #TexasHomesteader

Livingroom – Quickly pick up anything that doesn’t belong. If you have enough time to put them away then do so. Otherwise toss everything into a laundry basket & tuck it inside the bedroom closet to put away later.

Dining Room – The table is the most common place to sit and visit with company. So next I wipe down the table to make sure it’s clean, dust-free & ready for a visit.

Other – I quickly dust any surfaces – dark surfaces show dust the most so I start there. Then I run the broom or vacuum over the floors if I still have time.

Keeping A Tidy House – Clean In Tiny Timeframes

Have you ever heard of the 10-Second Tidy shown on the popular kid’s show ‘The Big Comfy Couch’ several years ago?

The premise was that you could take a quick 10-second timeframe and do a quick tidy of a small space. I use this same idea to use small snippets of previously-wasted time to tidy throughout the day.

It’s impossible for me to have our home company-ready at all times. But if you use small amounts of previously-wasted time, that quick panic-tidy can be done quicker because there will be less to clean. Here are some helpful hints.

Clean Kitchen While Reheating Food/Drinks. While reheating my coffee I can either stare blankly at the coffee cup spinning in the microwave or do a quick one-minute kitchen tidy. I’m always amazed at how much can be done in just that 1 minute which was previously just wasted.

Clean Living Room During TV Commercials. The same idea works in your downtime when you’re watching TV. We don’t enjoy commercials anyway so we use commercial times to straighten up the living room.

Clean Bathroom At Shower Time. In the 2 minutes that the water’s heating for my shower I use a toilet brush to first clean the bowl, then wipe down toilet surfaces with bathroom tissue, toss the tissue into the bowl & flush.

After my shower I spritz cleaner on the shower door & walls and allow it to sit & work while I wipe down other bathroom surfaces. 

It takes only a couple of minutes to spritz other bathroom surfaces with cleaner. Then using a cotton cleaning cloth I wipe everything down, starting with the least dirty areas – mirrors, then countertops, then sinks.

A simple trick to get windows and mirrors sparkling and streak free. #TexasHomesteader

Finally using a brush I quickly scrub & rinse the shower walls & glass shower door. Doing this frequently means less soap scum / water deposits to clean.

Clean Bedroom Daily. For me it’s easiest to clean the bedroom daily. Our bed is made every morning (since I discovered it takes two – TWO! minutes to make the bed).

Four poster wood frame bed with vintage spread and hand-made quilt.

Since dirty clothes are placed in the hamper in the bathroom when we shower we don’t typically deal with dirty clothes in the bedroom. So I only need to vacuum & dust to finish tidying up my bedroom at any given time.

Do You Feel Unexpected-Company Panic Too?

RancherMan assists my panicked tidy, but always with visible curiosity on his face. Since he’s is not even a little bit similarly stressed about such things I wonder if it’s just me or if it’s a woman thing. Hummmm… 

No matter who is stopping by – family or friend – I guess I don’t feel I measure up. I got to wondering if I was alone in my unexpected-company panic. 

So I posed this same thought to our Facebook followers. Their responses were both hilarious and comforting. Apparently it’s certainly not just me feeling panic with unexpected company… 

Shirley said: I think it’s a woman thing.
My hubby could care less what the house looks like and inevitably he’ll take our company, for one reason or another, INTO the room where I’ll stash everything to get it out of the way!!!

Tamela said: Omg!!! I about fell out of my chair when I read this. Lol I do exactly the same thing. My hubby always looks at me like I’m crazy. And says the house is fine. They know we LIVE here. It doesn’t have to be perfect. But I think especially if a woman is coming I feel she will be judging the cleanliness of my house. Glad to know its not just me!

Brandy commented: I’m the same way, especially when mom is coming for a visit

Lee said: Think it is a woman thing. Even if I have just cleaned, need to pick-up, straighten, and clean the bathroom. And people always just pop by when you are in your “work” clothes, don’t they?

And Julia said: If it is an unexpected visit just tell them you are glad they came but excuse the house, kitchen whatever and tell them I was just so and so. They don’t expect perfection and if they do, don’t worry about it. Just go unexpectedly to their home when you know they are in the middle of doing something and see how their house is. Bet it is not “just right”.

And Linda had me rolling with: Lol. I don’t think I have ever had company come by when I was nicely dressed and the house was perfectly clean. Just once it would have been nice for someone to know that my house does get clean

Robert gave a guy’s perspective with: BE PROUD OF YOUR HOME AND JUST SAY IT HAS THE LIVED IN LOOK.

How do you quickly clean for unexpected company?


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13 thoughts on “Tips For Fastest Cleaning For Unexpected Company

  1. Gentle Joy Homemaker

    A fun post that I think most women can painfully identify with… though my husband doesn’t have as big of an awareness of it… in fact, the kids and I tease about the time we had company coming and had been doing lots of projects and I told him that the basement was OFF LIMITS… do NOT take anyone down there. Guess where he took the husband guest? sigh. He didn’t even think about it as he was talking and wanted to show the guy something…. I do want to be “real” and not look perfect… I think my husband was helping me with that. 🙂

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      LOL – Ain’t that the way it always goes??!! The one place you mention is off limits is the one place they take company. Too funny! I’ve never been overly concerned with ‘keeping it real’ on my blog and feeling the need to show my dirt, mistakes or messiness, although I know that’s a huge concern among some bloggers. But I still want to put my best foot forward when accepting guests into our home. ~TxH~

  2. Judith C

    My mom used to tell us kids “clean like the preacher is coming!” I always dreamed of living where I had a driveway long enough that I had time to clean up before they got to the house. Then years ago a good friend painted and hand lettered a little picture for me that says “A real friend is one who over looks your broken gate to admire the flowers in your garden” ever since I’m able to tell who my real friends are. I also keep that picture where all can see it. 😉

  3. Marjie

    Grab the vacuum cleaner and plug it in- leaving it in the center of the front room. They’ll be sure that they just caught you in the middle of cleaning. (Hint from Phyllis Diller – if you remember her!)

  4. Janet Vinyard

    I agree it’s more of a woman thing. My husband always says friends and family are coming to see YOU not the house! So I’ve eased off a little but then the downstairs where visitors would be is usually in fairly decent shape. A “lived-in” house can’t look like a spread in a magazine. Blessings, Janet

  5. Elizabeth

    Yes! My husband does NOT understand the amount anxiety a messy house can give me, especially when people are coming over!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I personally think men & women have different perspectives regarding the state of our projects and unexpected company. Doesn’t bother RancherMan even a little, yet sends me straight into a panic! ~TxH~

  6. Miss B

    I do this too! Maybe it’s just pride of wanting people to think I keep a perfect house. The funny thing is that I don’t mind visiting a friend when she’s got a basket of laundry of the couch to fold or a messy kitchen from canning that morning. I actually feel a little more relaxed when I see that other people don’t always live in pristine conditions.

  7. Cynthia D

    I know this feeling. We had Thanksgiving at our house and we have both been ill this year and I was not up to a big clean so just cleaned the bathrooms and ran the vacuum around and dusted. I usually do a hyper deep clean, but could not do that this year. No one said anything and I think all enjoyed the day. When I was growing up and my mother’s sister would come and visit from out of state we had to clean everywhere because she would point out any dust or dirt she found. The sister that lived in the same city as us came all the time and we didn’t dod this for her. I think this has carried over to me.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      How RUDE to point out tiny imperfections in someone’s home! Thankfully I’ve never, ever had anyone point out Bailey’s grass-draggings on the wood floor or dust on the tables. I’m really not sure how I would handle the situation if a guest was rude enough to point out every spec of dust, but I daresay it might be pretty blunt & to the point! My insecurities are all within me, never from being made to feel by our guests that our house isn’t clean enough. Wow. Just wow. ~TxH~

      1. Kathleen

        I love a clean house, but with 3 sons, a husband, and a dog, the only way for it to be that way is to clean it, then line everyone up and NOT MOVE, EAT, or PLAY! Never going to happen. We live in our house. That means there is always dirty laundry waiting and dirty dishes, even after we’ve done the laundry and cleaned up from a meal. We live in a semi-rural setting. There is always grass or leaves on the floor. If someone were so unbelievable to point out the dust or dirt in our home, I’d show them where the dust rags, the broom, and the vacuum are. Obviously, they are uncomfortable in my home, and as a good hostess, I must do something to make them more “at home.”

        1. Texas Homesteader Post author

          Exactly Kathleen. No one has ever said anything to me about being uncomfortable in our home with its dust and grass pieces on the wood floor. I know it’s something I need to work on within myself. But I’ll admit, it *did* make me feel better knowing I wasn’t alone in feeling that way! ~TxH~

  8. Margy

    It’s funny. We get more unexpected guests at our float cabin 25 minutes by boat up the lake than our condo in town. Maybe it’s the casual atmosphere that encourages neighbours and friends to stop by. One funny tradition is that many people remain in their boats next to the dock to chat awhile before continuing on their way. A beverage is usually offered, and sometimes accepted. If they do come on board, we most often sit outside unless the weather is really bad. That cuts down on having to make sure the inside is in order. But just the same, it’s cabin life so no one expects an immaculate home. – Margy


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