How to Clean the House in an Hour

You'll become a pro at quick house cleaning in no time with this 60-minute to-do list.

Cleaning Supplies

There's a lot you can do in one hour: Drift off for a nap. Watch an episode of your favorite show. Take a yoga class. But clean your house? No way—not if guests are coming! Right?

If you only have an hour to prep for guests, the secret is prioritizing the most visible areas in your home. We challenge you to rethink your perspective, because it's totally possible to make your home dinner-party ready in only an hour. This quick clean-up plan targets high-visibility areas, as well as places that attract the most mess, so you only focus on tidying truly critical spots. (We give you permission to save the rest for another day!) So grab your broom, and start at the top.

  • Sweep front steps and clean front-door glass.
  • Carry a laundry basket throughout the house, picking up clutter. Stash out of sight.
  • Clean up trash, throw it out, and line trash receptacles with clean liners.
  • Wipe down any dirty areas in the bathrooms using household cleaner and paper towels.
  • Apply toilet bowl cleaner in the toilets and give them a quick brushing.
  • Wipe down bathroom floors with a damp towel.
  • Hang fresh hand towels and put out fresh hand soap.
  • Close the doors to rooms (e.g. bedrooms) your guests don't need to use.
  • Vacuum high-traffic areas guests will see.
  • Dust wood floors quickly using a dust mop.
  • Wipe down kitchen counters with household cleaner.
  • Clean out the refrigerator, discarding leftovers and expired food. Move large containers to the back of the fridge to make room for food and beverages guests bring.
  • Straighten stacks of magazines and books.
  • Straighten sofa pillows.
  • Straighten coat closet, making room to hang guests' outerwear.
  • Light scented candles to give your home a fresh, clean aroma.

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