Clean a House Fast

Hosting a last-minute gathering? Need a spotless house before guests arrive? Learn how to clean a house fast with these quick and easy cleaning tips.

Quick Cleaning Tips

Whether you have one week or one hour before guests arrive, make your space shine instantly with a few easy cleaning tricks. When you're short on time, start by doing a quick sweep of your home to pinpoint trouble spots and high-traffic areas that visitors will see, such as the entryway, kitchen, guest bathroom, and main living areas. Pick up toys, clothing, paper, and anything noticeably cluttering countertops or floors. Remember: It's OK to close doors to rooms that aren't essential to entertaining or hosting your guests—but if that's not an option, here are quick cleaning shortcuts, tips, and a checklist to get your space in tip-top shape.

Cleaning Shortcut: Multitask with Easy Chores

Most household chores take 10 minutes or less, and a large number of household-cleaning tasks can be completed while multitasking. While on a cell or cordless phone, walk through each room in your house and tackle an easy chore. Load the dishwasher, dust table surfaces, water houseplants, empty wastebaskets, pick up toys, or plump pillows and cushions.

Room-by-Room: Quick Cleaning Checklist


  • Organize and straighten up shoes
  • Hang coats in the closet or on hooks
  • Mop hard-surface floors with mild detergent


  • Scour the sink
  • Wipe the exteriors of appliances. Tip: To make stainless-steel appliances sparkle without being sticky, wipe them with club soda.
  • Sweep and mop floor with mild detergent
  • Spray and wipe down surfaces with disinfectant cleaner, especially the stove and countertops


  • Spray the toilet exterior with a general-purpose cleaner; sanitize the bowl with antibacterial toilet bowl cleaner
  • Scrub the sink and wipe faucets
  • Wipe mirrors
  • Mop hard-surface floors with mild detergent
  • Put out clean hand towels

Living/Family Room

  • Vacuum
  • Plump pillows
  • Dust furniture and shelves
  • Shake out or vacuum rugs


  • Make beds; change linens if necessary
  • Plump pillows
  • Vacuum carpet
  • Dust furniture and shelves
  • Fold or hang up clothes and jewelry

Download our free emergency cleaning checklist to have on hand when you are doing a last-minute cleaning session, and watch the video below to see how to stock a cleaning closet so you'll be ready whenever the necessity of cleaning strikes.

More Speedy Cleaning Tips

Spend less time cleaning with these speedy tips from home cleaning expert Donna Smallin Kuper.


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