Do you know how to get your house clean in a day? It’s easy! Just invite people over, and magically, your house will be clean for them.



Actually, my magic wand never arrived, so I have to do it the old fashioned way.

How to Get Your House Clean enough

That’s not to say there aren’t tricks to getting a house (with five kids in it, no less) tidy enough for company quickly.

Trick #1 Enlist Help

Your kids certainly helped to make the mess, they can help clean it up. Make strips of paper, each with a job that your kids can do written on it. If you have a wide range in abilities (like I do) make two jars (or more), one with easy tasks, one with harder for the older kids. Your kids can probably do a lot more than you think they can. Some examples of items to include:

Pick up 10 (or 25 or 100) things and put away.

Sweep (area)

Clean toilet

Clean sink

Wipe counters (tables, chairs)

Save the tricky, too high, or too hard tasks for yourself, though, again, your kids can do more than you think! Also, if there is something that you are particular about, you can do that yourself. I or my husband vacuum, not because my kids are incapable, but because they broke our last vacuum. True story: they sucked up too big of things, like popsicle sticks and pencils, and burned out the motor on our vacuum.

Trick #2 Hide Judiciously

If you are down to the wire and have only hours (or minutes) to clean, pick your battles wisely. While counters still have to be wiped and toilets cleaned, more cluttery stuff can be hidden to take care of after company has left. The laundry baskets can be stowed in the laundry room or a bedroom, dirty dishes in the dishwasher, excess clutter can be tossed in a basket and put in a bedroom to be dealt with later. Shut doors of rooms that people won’t go into, and lock them if you have curious kids (or relatives) coming over.

Trick #3 Keep up your foundation

The real trick to a good ‘company tidy’ is to have a foundation of cleanliness. So every day have tasks that you do (making beds, sweeping, dishes, wiping counters) and every week also (clean bathrooms, mop floors, vacuum). If you have a good foundation, it is easier to clean in the moment.

Trick #4 Use all the senses

Use nice scented cleaners, essential oils, or scented candles to keep things smelling ‘clean’. People’s sense of smell is very powerful. If the first impression they get with their nose musty, burned food, or other unpleasant scents, it’s hard for them (or you) to think the house is clean. Take out the trash for the same reason.

Turn on some quiet music as well. Make sure your home is a comfortable temperature. And while I am very fond of daylight bulbs, it must be admitted that soft light bulbs do a better job of hiding dust.

That’s it for the ‘tricks’.  Next week I’ll cover how to get your bathroom clean (enough).

All Posts in this series:

Tips and Tricks


Family Room

Kitchen and Dining


Play Room

Guest Bedroom