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30 Minutes to a Cleaner Home

We’ve all been there: You’re busy, getting dinner ready, and someone calls to tell you they’re stopping by your house in 30 minutes! If it hasn’t happened to you yet, get ready, because it will happen when you least expect it.

With family members living in close proximity and well-meaning friends who drop by with little notice, I have mastered the art of a “quick cleanup”. When they call and say they are coming, I have a list of tasks I get done quickly:

Clear the large surfaces: Grab a laundry basket and pick up all the shoes, toys and other items that don’t belong on the floor, couch or tables. Kids can help with this while you focus on other areas of the house. Make sure you hide that storage container well!

Also, if you have mail on the counter and papers to be filed, organize them in a neat pile. The more empty space you leave on the counters and tables, the neater everything looks.


Check the bathroom: We only have two bathrooms and my kids use the guest bathroom every day. Needless to say, it can get dirty and disorganized! So, while my kids do a quick pick-up, I run to the bathroom and go through this checklist:

  • Pick up any toys or clothes that aren’t supposed to be there
  • Use a paper towel to dry the sink and then clean the toilet surfaces and the floor around it.
  • Make sure there are clean towels and the soap dispenser is full.

If you have a few more minutes in the bathroom: spray Family Dollar Glass & Multi-Surface cleaner before wiping everything to make it shine.

Tidy up the kitchen: If you have dirty dishes in the sink, hide them in the dishwasher. If the dishwasher is full of clean dishes (it happens!), stack them neatly in the sink. Make sure the counters and kitchen table look presentable.


If you have a few more minutes in the kitchen: Use Family Dollar Power Mop Pads to clean large debris or stains on the floor.

Here are a few everyday tips to make a swift cleanup easier and that will save you time in the long run:

  • Spray your shower every few days with shower cleaner to prevent mildew and intense scrubbing down the road.
  • Change the kitchen and bathroom towels on a specific day of the week to keep them fresh. Switch them for clean ones every few days without waiting for them to get visibly dirty.
  • Use Family Dollar Wrinkle Releaser on your tablecloths and curtains to avoid having to use a steamer or iron to remove wrinkles.
  • Do a quick pick-up with the kids every night to keep your house from getting too messy. Getting them involved might be more work upfront, but it pays off!


I have realized that it’s okay if my house is not in tip-top shape when visitors come. The trick has been to have priorities of what is important for me, like clean counters and a presentable bathroom.

Knowing this helps me to focus on making sure those areas are ready when someone is going to stop by. That way I can take a few minutes to get the house ready, and then enjoy spending time with my guest no matter what was left undone.

What are the most important tasks you like to get done when you need to quickly clean up?

By Denisse Icaza

TWITTER: @denisseicaza

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