10 last-minute cleaning tips when you have unexpected guests

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Being caught off guard by unexpected guests is something that every homeowner experiences at least once in their lifetime, especially during festive occasions.

It doesn’t mean you can’t greet them with a clean and tidy home, though. Here are ten tips that take five minutes or less to get your home from messy to tidy – at least, in the areas that matter.

Do a quick sweep

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Getting rid of the hair and debris on your floor is one of the first things you should do, especially if you have lighter-coloured flooring that easily reveals dirt. Run the vacuum cleaner or a Magiclean wiper over the communal areas and guest bathroom for a quick clean.

Dust off and straighten the upholstery

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Since your guests are likely going to be sitting on the sofa, make sure it’s clean and tidy. Run a lint roller over the surface to get rid of any hair and dirt and plump up those cushions. If your sofa is made of fabric, give it a quick spritz with a fabric freshener spray.

Refill the reeds in your diffuser, or flip them upside down

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A beautiful scent gives the impression that your home is put together. Give your reed diffuser a quick refresh by putting in new reeds (but bear in mind that these take at least half an hour to work) or if you’re really in a pinch, simply flip the existing reeds upside down.

Light a scented candle

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Placing a lit scented candle in the bathroom can make it seem more welcoming and put-together. Choose one with a light uplifting scent, like citrus or tea, for a mood-booster.

Open the curtains and windows wide

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The easiest way to get musty odours out of the home is to throw open the windows and curtains. This brings in fresh air and brightens the home, making it seem more welcoming within seconds.

Refresh the hand towels and other toiletries

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Swap out the hand towels in the kitchen and guest bathroom for fresh, fluffy ones. At the same time, do a quick check to see if your hand soap and toilet paper rolls are well-stocked – these thoughtful touches are hallmarks of a good host.

Do a quick wipedown of the kitchen sink and bathroom sink.

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Since your guests will be using the sink a lot, make sure it’s clean by doing a quick wipedown with a paper towel. Remove all food debris from the drain if there are any.

Give the toilet bowl a quick clean.

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You don’t have to actually scrub your toilet bowl if there’s no time – simply put in the cleaning solution, let sit for five minutes, then flush. This works in a pinch to get rid of any odours

Put out a vase of flowers

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If you have the time, consider running down to the supermarket to grab a bunch of flowers for a pretty table setting. You can also consider investing in artificial silk florals for such occasions, which are a lot less maintenance.

Tidy the entryway

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The entryway is the first thing your guests see, so create a good first impression by ensuring it’s clean and tidy. Put away all shoes and bags, and if you don’t have a catchall to hold your keys and other trinkets yet, consider investing in one. You may also want to wipe down the doorbell outside.

This article was first published in Home & Decor.