The kids are playing, you are busy working and all of the sudden you get a phone call. An important, yet unexpected visitor is on the other line, wanting to stop by for a quick meeting, within the next hour. A breeze, right? Wrong. After looking behind you, you see that the children have successfully destroyed in a half hour (or less) all the hard work cleaning that took you two hours. Now what? It would be an embarrassment to open the door to that guest. The clock is ticking. What do you do? Where do you start? First, relax. Then, follow these quick tips, and I am sure the house will be presentable by the time your doorbell rings.
Bribe the children with a reward, or whatever it takes to keep them in their room while you clean. Having them out of your way already cuts your time. Then, take five minutes to gather all the scattered items from the living room and kitchen. Throw them in a basket, toss the basket in your bedroom, and close the door.
If you have dirty dishes in the sink, quickly load the dishwasher. If you do not have a dishwasher, or it is full of clean dishes, gather the dirty ones and stash them in the oven. I know it sounds awful, but it will work until the company leaves; and it is a quick fix in a pinch. If you are bold enough, you can try to wash them quickly. This should take you another five minutes.
Next, wipe down the countertops, stovetop, the sink, and dining room table and chairs down. Sweep the floor. Kitchen is clean. Now you can move back to the living room with a quick sweep of the floor, or run of the vacuum with some carpet fresh. This should take no more than ten minutes, so move quickly. It will be a good workout. Once that has done, your main living areas are presentable, but what if the company has to use the bathroom?
Tidy up the bathroom by picking up any clothes and towels that may be on the floor, and put them in a hamper. Now, all you have to do is close the shower curtain, hang a towel on the rack, quickly run the toilet brush through the bowl, and wipe the sink clean. Sweep the floor if it noticeably needs it, otherwise, you are finished.
Voila! While you may be tired from the fact pace movement and the rush of beating the doorbell, you have successfully brought the house back to a presentable state. It may not, okay, it definitely will not pass the white glove test (especially if you had to hide the dirty dishes) but it will certainly suffice until after the company leaves. You can deal with the basket of random clutter and the dishes later. But for now, rest easy that your house will be clean to the eye of the guest, and they will never know what a mess you just cleaned up in roughly 30 minutes.