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Mastering the 5-Minute House Clean

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We do our best house cleaning in the ten minutes before guests arrive and don’t you deny it. Between the chores, the errands, the kids and all their thousands of needs, cleaning the house sometimes feels like you’re climbing a mountain of toddler boogers. You make progress two steps, and then slide back to the bottom.

You pick up and organize the living room, and then the kids wake up and destroy it all over again. You clean and sanitize the bathroom, then your son uses it and there’s pee everywhere again. You dust all the furniture but then your dog shakes his dry coat, releasing fur and dust particles all over your world again. To a varying degree, we all wonder, “What’s the *bleeping* point!?”

But someone just called to say they’re coming over in five minutes and you don’t know them well enough to subject them to your degree of chaos yet. Or your husband texted saying he was on his way home and had a rough day; he just wants to relax when he gets home. Or your mother-in-law is stopping by soon (enough said).

So being the multi-talented mother and woman that you are, you utilize the 5-minute mom clean you’ve mastered. It usually looks something like this:

Minute 1: Using a laundry basket (that might still have some clean, unfolded clothes in it), you run frantically around each room your guest might go in, throwing in anything that doesn’t belong.

Minute 2: Shoving that heaping pile of random crap into a closet, you yell to your kids to get the Febreeze and start spraying everything. You grab the Lysol wipes and run for the bathroom your guest *might* (but hopefully won’t) ask to use.

Minute 3: Basics. Throw any wet towels crumpled on the floor back onto the rod; wipe the toilet seat and anything that looks yellow that shouldn’t. Shove everything from the counter into the drawers, and if there’s a shower, rip the curtain closed to hide the tub.

Minute 4: To the kitchen! Close the cabinets, toss the half eaten crackers and pop tarts into the pantry, sweep the dishes into the sink and cover with a large towel. That’s not too obvious, right?

Minute 5: The crumbs. You won’t be able to get them all in one minute (because let’s face it, they’re everywhere) so brush off the big stuff from the counter and use your socks to slide anything that’s on the floor under the fridge and/or table. Good enough!

Guests might still walk in and think to themselves, “Holy crap what happened here?” But you’ll be able to see the difference you just made, so you wont care, knowing how they could’ve seen it 5 minutes ago. And if any guest dares to comment on the cleanliness of your house, here’s a great response:

“I had no idea you were so invested in my home! Please, show me what it’d look like if you cleaned it!”

Then sit back and watch them clean your house for free.


If you wants some tips on mastering other 5-minute mom things, check out:
Mastering the 5-Minute Quickie, and
Mastering the 5-Minute Shower

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