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20 Spots You Absolutely Have to Clean Before Guests Arrive

Company is coming in an hour, and your house is a mess. Don’t panic! You can get ready for guests, fast, even when you don’t have a ton of time. The trick is to clean only the most visible areas. Here’s how.

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Photo: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Sweep Outside

The front porch and steps are the first things guests will see, so grab a broom and clear them of debris and cobwebs. Knock cobwebs off the door jamb and the light fixtures. If you have a doormat, shake it out and use the garden hose to rinse it off.

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Photo: Shutterstock/pegaziu

Wipe Down the Front Door

Mix a solution of hot water and a few drops of dish soap, dampen a washcloth, and wipe the back and front of the door. Give extra scrubs to the area around the handles where it’s extra dirty from hands touching it all the time. If there’s glass in the door, use a mixture of vinegar and water to get off the smudges from dog noses and kids’ hands.

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Photo: Marisa Vitale. From: Natalie Myers.

Clean and De-Clutter the Entryway

Pick up the backpacks and put away the shoes that get pulled off and dropped just inside the door when your family comes home. If you’re in a red-hot hurry, throw that stuff in your bedroom and close the door. You can put it where it belongs later when company is gone. Damp mop or vacuum the floor, and clean and dust any mirrors or foyer tables.

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Photo: Giana Shorthouse. From: Terracotta Design Build.

Clear Clutter in Common Areas

Grab a laundry basket and gather up all the shoes, toys, and stacks of junk mail from rooms where your guests will be. You don’t have to put them where they belong, just stash the basketful of stuff in the laundry room or closet. Marie Kondo would not approve, but with just an hour to clean, tidy can stand in for organized.

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