Hurry! Company's Coming!
It's Friday and the end of a long, arduous week. It's been non-stop and you haven't had time to breathe, let alone clean, or even think about organizing. Then, you get the text:
"Hey! I just wanted to let you know that we'll in town on Saturday and would love to come visit!"
"What?! Not THIS weekend!" You begin to panic. How should you answer? These are out of town friends, you really want to see them, and you really do want them to see your home. They aren't even asking to spend the night. You have to think of something quick. How can you possibly make this work?
I have a friend who taught me something years ago:
"Life's in session. This isn't a dress rehearsal"
In other words, opportunities like this need to seized.
"Carpe diem! -- Seize the day!"
Sometimes you've got to grab those moments when you can --precious time with out-of-town friends doesn't happen everyday. And so, yes, even when it means a bit of hard work and sacrifice, sometimes you can't reschedule last minute engagements.
Think about it like getting a last minute backstage invite to see your favorite superstar...
If someone said they had backstage tickets to see your favorite superstar, what would you do? You'd call everyone for a sitter, jump in the shower, find your cutest , over-the-top outfit, do your hair and makeup, put on some perfume and don your most outrageous shoes. I bet you could be your best in under an hour AND get the kids and pets fed AND be in the car waiting on your spouse! --If you're single, you could do it even faster!
Doing a quick clean up works the same way.
Step 1: The 'shower.'
Think of the shower as making sure all the visible surface areas are free of visible muck. This includes the kitchen counters, the bathroom sinks and toilets, the tiled floors and all the main living area's carpeted rooms. ==> "But, what if I can't see those surface areas?"
Okay, if you can't see them, first go to step 2.
Step 2: "Picking out what to wear" - Pickup baskets
Pickup baskets are you deciding what will work to dress a room, and what doesn't belong there. You wouldn't keep your tennis racquet in your hand to go to this VIP event, would you? Same thing with a room. You need to 'pick' what belongs and what doesn't.
Pickup baskets can either be laundry baskets, bins, or real baskets. The size is going to depend on the size of your mess. Clutter can be overwhelming, but actually, doing it this way, sorting the excess, is going to be a head-start in the real in-depth tidying you've been wanting to do. This is just your "10-second-tidy" (for those who remember 'Big Comfy Couch').
One basket per:
type of stuff
You need stackable baskets. You are literally going to take them room by room - (NOT dishes, ok?) and sort the excess stuff into each type of basket!
When you've got this part done, take the baskets and put them in an enclosed space... Like a closet! Yup. Don't worry, you're going to come back to them, but not until AFTER your friends are gone. (Check out upcoming blog posts on how to deal with your now sorted pickup baskets!)
BOOM! You're almost done! If you skipped step one, go back and complete it.
Now, for the over-the-top extras for your special date with friends. You're going to put some makeup on your space!
Step 3 - "Makeup and Hair" -- YOU'RE ALMOST READY!
Go out and get an inexpensive bouquet of flowers, or two, from your grocery store.
Set your table as if it were a holiday - best dishes for dinner, or appetizers
Start dinner, or if you're going out, prepare some appetizers
Light some candles for a little 'perfume' for this date
Fluff the pillows on the couches and chairs, and shake any rugs at the front door
VOILA! Your friends will feel like rockstars, and you'll look like you're ready to get the party started! You did it!