How to Clean the Kitchen Quickly For Unexpected Guests

Your house is a complete disaster, and the phone rings. You answer it, only to find that your neighbor will be stopping by in 30 minutes. Don’t you just love these heart-drops-to-the-pit-of-your-stomach moments? While you may not have had this exact moment, I’m sure most of us have had those moments where we need to clean up our house quickly. So where do we start?

Luckily, you don’t have to worry about getting all the deep cleaning done for your kitchen to look presentable. Just focusing on a couple key points can really make your kitchen appear clean and well-kept when that may not necessarily be the case ;)

Do the dishes. Definitely start here. Your kitchen can look spotless, but if there is a sink of dirty dishes it won’t matter how clean everything else is. Hopefully you can quickly rinse them and stick them in the dishwasher, but if you’re really in a pinch and need your home to look clean in just a few minutes, than just stick those dirty dishes in the oven (just don’t forget they are there before turning on the oven!).

Clear the clutter. Once those dishes are done, go through and clear off all the clutter on the counters. If you have time to put everything in its proper place that’s definitely preferable, but if you only have a couple minutes just grab a laundry basket or whatever other big container you have and throw all the papers/clutter in the basket to be sorted after your company leaves.

Don’t neglect you floor space. Once those counters are cleared, do a quick sweep over the floor. Pick up any random toys and throw them in the clutter basket and grab a broom to quickly sweep up any big crumbs and major walkways- you don’t want your guest walking all over a floor full of crumbs!

Clear some seating space. Seems small, but make sure you have a place to sit! Clear off your chairs and bar stools to ensure that your guest can sit and chat in comfort.

Wipe away those fingerprints. If you still have a few minutes, quickly go through and wipe off any random fingerprints on your stainless steel surfaces, your cupboards, etc. I have 4 kids aged 6 and under- so I always have fingerprints on stuff! Grubby little fingerprints may be cute sometimes, but it certainly doesn’t make a kitchen feel very clean ;).

Wipe other surfaces. Once you’ve removed all those grimy fingerprints, wipe off anything else that looks grubby- the wall behind the kitchen sink, the fixtures, the countertops if they have food on them, etc.

Vacuum and dust if you have time leftover. If you’re a superhero and still have some time, do a little dusting and vacuum the areas your guest might see on the way to the kitchen. Nothing screams clean like some freshly vacuumed floors!

Make sure your house smells good! Your house can look clean, but if it smells musty, no one’s going to buy into the “clean house” ;). Light a candle, open some windows, throw some refrigerated cookie dough in the oven (as long as there’s no dishes waiting there ;) )- do whatever you can to make your house smell pleasant!

Don’t forget the extras. If you can do anything else to add a pleasant ambiance- fresh flowers, a platter of goodies, fresh hand towels, etc- that will go a long way as well! When it comes to lighting- if it’s during the day, open the windows, turn on lights and get it as bright as you can to give it a light, clean, happy feeling. If your guest is coming when it’s dark outside, dim the lights and use a few candles and lamps instead to give a cozy ambiance (and to hide any missed fingerprints;) ).

Don’t sweat it! If worst comes to worst and your guest sees your house as a pigsty- don’t stress. Most people don’t live in spotless homes all the time, and if your guest is someone that is going to judge you for having a messy kitchen, your probably don’t want them around all the time anyway! And chances are, most people won’t notice- or won’t care ;).


    Camille Hoffmann
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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