Speed Cleaning: Look Tidy in 20 Minutes or Less

Queen of Clean Linda Cobb offers ideas to straighten your house in a jiffy before guests arrive.
By: Emily Lapkin

"If it's not dirty, don't clean it," says Queen of Clean Linda Cobb. That's the most important thing to keep in mind when it's time to spruce up before someone stops by. Here is Linda's ultimate guide to a quick cleanup.

1. Take a laundry basket and go from room to room picking up things that don't belong. Stash the basket in a closet or somewhere guests won't look.

2. Next, tidy up the bathroom that guests will use. Wipe it up quickly, light a candle and make it look nice. Remember: That's a room where guests will have a good amount of time to sit privately, unobserved and look around.

3. Next, run the vacuum through the main rooms company will be in and fluff the pillows.

4. Shut the door on other rooms that will not be seen or needed if they're messy.

5. If it's nighttime, turn on some lights. If it's daytime, open up the shutters or the curtains or the blinds. A well-lit room looks cleaner.

6. Finally, simmer a pot of water filled with cinnamon and cloves to give your house a nice, fresh scent.

Next Up

High-Speed Cleaning

Got a life? Then you probably don't want to spend any more time on housework than you have to. Here's how to clean your house better and faster.

5 Dryer Sheet Hacks That Actually Work

Take the sheet beyond the laundry room.

10-Minute House Cleaning

Follow these tips for getting chores done quickly.

Back-to-School Stain Removal Tips: How to Get Out Glue, Glitter + More

That custom crayon artwork in the hallway doesn't have to be on permanent display.

Follow HGTV's Clean Freak Week + Take Our Clean House Quiz

Could your home pass the white glove test?

14 Cleaning Confessions That Prove We All Take the Easy Way Out Sometimes

We're all just human. Dirty, messy, kind-of-gross humans. 

How to Clean Your Cellphone

Remove bacteria from your phone with these simple steps.

Mighty Vinegar: 8 Tricks You've Never Tried

It cleans, it tenderizes, it fights odor — what can't it do?

What You Should Know About Bleach

HGTV Magazine asked, if your bleach could talk what would it say? Well, it would spill these secrets for successful whitening, brightening, and sanitizing.

Creative Tips and Uses for WD-40

HGTV Magazine asks, "What if your WD-40 could talk?" Well, it would slip you these helpful tips and tidbits.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.