The Famous Emergency Clean Sweep, Messie-style
“Your house” refers to the parts your visitors will see. Ignore the rest!
Set your timer for 15-30 minutes at a time and work through this list methodically. When the timer goes off, take 15 minutes (no more!) to reward yourself for your hard work. Then get back to work!
Spray the toilet bowl and sink with cleaner, let sit.
Get all the cruddy old food out of your fridge. If you’re overwhelmed and desperate, just throw it all out, container and all. If you have time, dump the leftovers and put the dirty dishes in a sink-full of hot, soapy water.
Collect all laundry. If it hasn’t been folded and put away, and company’s coming, consider it dirty and plop it all in front of your washer. If you have extra time, start a load washing.
Collect all dirty dishes, cups, plates, etc. Fill the sink with hot soapy water and let the dishes soak. If your dishwasher is empty (and you’re lucky enough to have one) fill it and start it.
Walk around your house with a big garbage bag and toss all obvious trash in, including old newspapers! (If you are saving a paper to clip something, remember, everything comes back around. Only save it if it’s an article or picture about someone in your family or a friend! This is hard to do, but this one step can work wonders!) If you recycle, carry around your various recycling containers, or sort later.
You can try to do these three things in one round, carrying three separate containers, but that’s more than I can handle, so I just waste the motions.
THIS IS IMPORTANT: DO NOT STOP TO READ OR PLAY WITH ANYTHING YOU FIND. THIS IS IMPORTANT!
Now, it’s time to work around your room methodically, clockwise or counterclockwise. It is your choice. Collect all toys in a container to return to the kids’ rooms, playroom or designated toy area.
Collect all magazines and books and pile neatly somewhere (bonus points if you have bookcases with shelves available.)
Collect all bills and place near the computer or desk. This is an important step, and this is why I don’t say just stuff everything in a box.
Check the washer by now and transfer clothing to the dryer. Wipe down the bathroom sink and brush out the toilet. Spray and wipe the seat and make sure there’s plenty of toilet paper available.
By this time, it should look a little better, possibly good enough for company. Now is the time to dust all the shelves, vacuum and mop.
It may not be perfect, but this is okay for now. Good job!!!!
The TRUE Emergency Clean Sweep
The TRUE emergency clean sweep is to sweep everything into the center of the room and pick through. This is how I cleaned my room both times when I was a teenager. This is appropriate when you won’t have company for the next few weeks.