Quick House Cleaning – Emergency Quick-Clean Checklist

A friend calls. They are on their way over in 30 minutes, but your house is a mess. What do you do?

First, you take a deep breath. Then, you refer to your emergency quick-clean checklist! What is a quick-clean checklist, you ask? It's a lifesaver, that's what it is.

What is an Emergency Quick-Clean Checklist?

I first came across the quick-clean checklist when I was a young housewife. My first son was about 7 months or so and quite the handful. He was the kind of kid who could not be left in a room by himself lest he destroy it. I could not keep up with him and keep up with my typical housework.

As the years have gone by and we've added 3 more children to the mix, the quick-clean list has become even more important in my life.

What it is:

  • A step-by-step plan for cleaning the most important parts of your home – FAST.
  • A go-to for last minute cleaning
  • A life-saver

The emergency quick-clean checklist is not just for the frazzled mother of little children (though I find that's often who benefits from it the most). It's for anyone who wants an emergency plan for cleaning, whether it be that unexpected company will be at the door in 15 minutes, or you house is on the market and you need an emergency plan for last-minute showings, or you are stuck in a cleaning rut and need something simple to make your house a little less chaotic.

The emergency quick-clean checklist has taken up permanent residence on my fridge door, and I have no doubt it will take up residence on many more.

The Emergency Quick-Clean Checklist

1. Put on your favorite music. Being in a good mood makes cleaning up a lot more enjoyable.

2. Get your machines working for you. Gather up any laundry lying round the house and toss it into the washing machine and start it. Gather any dirty dishes around the house, load the dishwasher (if you have one) and start it.

3. Go to all of the toilets in your house and sprinkle in a bit of baking soda and then add about 1/4 cup white vinegar to the bowl. Let it sit for awhile (we'll get back to the toilets later).

4. Go back to the kitchen and wash the rest of the dishes that would not fit in the dishwasher. When you're done, scrub the sink.

5. Grab an empty laundry basket and go around to the major rooms in your house. Pick up any items that are out of place and put them in the basket. Then put the items away where they belong.

6. Do a quick vacuum of any major carpeted areas in your home. Don't worry about vacuuming under furniture or anything. Remember, this is a QUICK clean.

7. Do a quick sweep of the kitchen and dining room, empty the dustpan and take the trash out.

8. Wet your mop with hot water in the sink and do a spot mop of the kitchen and dining room.

9. Grab a clean, damp cloth and a bottle of vinegar spray. Go around your house spraying and wiping off any surfaces that are visibly dirty. Start with the kitchen counters, then work your way to the bathroom counters and sinks, and any major surfaces in the living room and dining room.

10. You're almost done. Grab your toilet brush and go back and scrub the toilet bowls clean.

You're done!

Now marvel at what you're hard work has done and enjoy.

Vanessa Pruitt, PLMHP, MS