A step-by-step guide to cleaning your house fast when you feel overwhelmed by mess Do you ever feel like your house is looks like tornado alley but when you’re ready to tidy up, you feel paralyzed and overwhelmed by the mess?
Need Help with a realistic way to manage and organize your home? My friend Hilary has an insanely helpful class called The Organized Home which will take you room by room with practical organization steps, and the best part? Less cleaning and clutter in the long run!
How to Clean Your House Fast When It’s a Total Mess
If you’re unsure of where to start cleaning, don’t worry, this is for you! How to clean a messy house fast when you’re overwhelmed by the mess and when you’re expecting guests over, the hot spots in your home to tackle first to make a good first impression.
These are the biggest items for the most visual impact, and guests will notice during their stop over at your house.
It’s not your junk drawer or how messy your garage looks, it’s the hot spots in your home that guests are going to be in which give the biggest impressions of being clean and tidy.
Here is your step-by-step guide.
Step 1: Clear Off The Surfaces of Counters & Tabletops
Nothing looks messier than clutter strewn about on your counters and tabletops. Once you remove 50% of most of what’s on your counters or stack items into organized displays, you’ll not only feel immensely better by the tidy appearance, but your home will appear bigger and more welcoming to guests too.
While you’re cleaning those surfaces, take stock of the items you remove.
Are they papers, decor pieces, kid’s toys or books and stacks of magazines?
What is most frequently cluttering your counters?
This is jumping off point to where you need more organization systems in the future:
- If you have piles of papers, consider convert them into digital files for easier organization and store of an external hard drive for safe keeping.
- If you have stacks of magazines or books, it could be time to limit your purchases and use a “one in, one out” system so you don’t have towers of these toppling over in a few months. Recycle books and magazines to your local library and schools.
- Overload of decor pieces… nail down ONE look and vibe you’re going for and ditch the rest.
Step 2: Knock Out Cleaning Every Bathroom all at Once
I keep a bathroom cleaning bucket under my sink and it’s only for cleaning bathrooms. This makes it easy to grab and move with me from one bathroom until the next.
The bathroom cleaning bin (I have this exact one but it’s in gray) includes:
- Roll of paper towels,
- Multi-purpose cleaner (I swear by Branch Basic’s concentrate cleaner for everything in our house because we don’t use toxic cleaners. This concentrate is a MIRACLE and works for counters, bathrooms, glass, windows, carpet, laundry, hand soap, stains, appliances and even washing your hair or body. This one concentrate lasts for two months in our house for a family of five with three dogs and a lot of cleaning!)
- Scrub brush,
- Toilet bowl cleaning brush,
- A handful of small trash bags (for emptying trash bins and dirty paper towels from cleaning.)
Carrying the bathroom cleaning bin, I move from one bathroom to the next, cleaning all three of them in our house in less than an hour.
If you’re really short on time, only clean the guest bathroom that’s going to be used while people are in your home and save the rest for another day.
Nothing is worse than having guests visit and them using a dirty and stinky bathroom!
I also keep a diffuser in our guest bathroom downstairs, so I can add fresh smelling essential oils (I love thieves essential oil for it’s smell, immunity and clean properties), turn it on and leave it on, knowing it will keep the bathroom smelling nice the entire time people are visiting.
Step 3: Make Your Kitchen Sparkle
The kitchen is undoubtedly the heart of your home and the most popular place for everyone to congregate. Whether you’re preparing a meal, having a class of wine or standing around chatting, the kitchen is typically the hot spot to do this.
This means your kitchen needs to look AM-AZING for visitors.
- Clear off the counters so you only have a few items displayed,
- Wipe down counters for crumbs and sticky messes,
- Give your appliances a quick wipe down to remove water drops and fingerprints,
- Sweep the floors,
- Clear out your sink and unload the dishwasher – nothing looks messier than a sink full of dishes waiting to be washed.
Step 4: Finish With the Floors
To say that keeping the floors clean in our house with three kids and two very large dogs is a challenge, is an understatement. It’s a daily chore but when are expecting guests, this is always on my list to tackle before they arrive.
- Sweep the floors (even though vacuums claim to clean floors, a good ‘ol fashioned sweep does the trick 100x more effectively.)
- Vacuum rugs and carpeted areas (sprinkle baking soda on the carpets and let sit for 20 minutes to help with odors and then vacuum it up)
- Mop the floors if there is any residue, food spills or prints on the floors, especially in high-trafficked areas guests will surely see.
This year, I may just invest in a robotic vacuum to help keep the dog hair and items tracked in from outside by my kids. I love the convenience of setting it to clean while you’re out of the house and coming home to vacuumed floors.
Want More Help Getting Your Home Organized?
Need Help with a realistic way to manage and organize your home with kids underfoot?
Trust me, I didn’t think it was possible either until my friend Hilary promised she knew all the tricks.
And guess what? She does and my house isn’t embarrassing or cluttered any more.
The best part? I do a nightly sweep around the house to pick up a few loose things but it’s nothing like it used to be.
My friend Hilary has an insanely helpful class called The Organized Home which will take you room by room with practical organization steps, and the best part? Less cleaning and clutter in the long run!
Make Your Home Smell Amazing (& Not Like Stinky Feet or Dogs)
When guests walk into your house, the last thing they want to smell is the overwhelming scent of diapers, pets and three-day old trash. I want them to be welcomed by how great our house smells and have a few tricks for making your house smell Amazing!
Want more help creating more organization systems and making your home organized for the long haul? Check out the Free Decluttering Checklist & 42 Day Decluttering Calendar available in this article.
Related Cleaning & Organization Resources:
- The Organized Home; A realistic way to organize your home for less clutter & cleaning
- Make Over Your Mornings in 14 Days
- The Best Organization Tool for Busy Moms to Help You Thrive in Motherhood
- 13 Dirty Spots in Your House You Aren’t Cleaning Regularly – But Really Should
- How to Make Your House Smell Amazing Especially When You Have Kids & Pets
- 9 Ideas to Organize Backpacks & Gear When You Don’t Have a Mudroom
- Daily Habits for an Organized Home