It's about identifying those areas that are instantly visible to someone entering your home or a particular room. They don't look in every corner but there are certain parts of the room that are in their line of vision or to which their eyes are drawn. If you focus on those and ensure they are clean, the rest doesn't matter so much.
Here are my suggestions for 5 small cleaning jobs that make a big difference:
- Clean your mirrors: a simple water and vinegar solution will do the job, banishing smears and spots and leaving clear shining glass. You either use a mirror to look at yourself in, in a bathroom usually or sometimes they are used as a feature in a living room or hall so either way they generally get noticed.
- Clear cluttered surfaces: this might be tabletops, work surfaces, mantlepieces, wherever you tend to dump papers, post and miscellaneous items. It doesn't take long to gather everything up, file away or discard. If you don't have time, you can simply contain everything into a box or tray to address later after your visitor has left.
- Scrub taps: I use a gentle limescale remover to rid my bathroom and kitchen taps of the water stains and dullness. It's fast work to get them sparkling clean and they detract from the sink itself.
- Clean floors: we have hardwood floors and it doesn't seem to matter how often I sweep or mop them, bits of dust, fluff or whatever gather quickly. If your floors are already pretty clean, you can just do a bit of spot sweeping or mopping. If you have carpets, you can whizz the hoover over them to get them looking good (again, this can just be in certain areas if you are too rushed to hoover multiple carpets).
- Clean your kitchen hob/stove: maybe it's just me but I always feel like a dirty hob really stands out. The kitchen can be a place where you stand and chat while making a drink or snack for your visitors so the hob/stove has a high chance of being looked at. Splashes and spillages are fairly frequent in our home but it doesn't take long at all to remove those.
What would you add to this list? Are there some must-clean areas for you when you have someone coming over at short notice - jobs that are quick to execute but make a significant difference to the look of your home?