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How to Prepare for Your Next Guest Check In

30 Minute Cleaning Challenge

Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning may not be your favorite thing to do, especially if you’re a person that is always busy or with a tight schedule. But, as you grow up, you realize that duties do come in life, whether you like that or not, and a grumpy face and some Mr. Bean-styled murmuring won’t shoo them away.

Instead of postponing the home chore you hate the most, it’s better to eat the frog and do that in the morning. You probably will croak during the process of cleaning, but once it’s done, you’ll be proud of yourself and you will finally breathe in some fresh air, both metaphorically and literally.

A tidy home does not just give you the feeling of coziness and relaxation, but also creates a healthier and safer place to live in. Getting rid of all the unnecessary stuff and cleaning every surface in your apartment or room means getting rid of any bacteria that could possibly affect your health in a bad way.

A clean home is also a wealthy home, especially when you’re renting your place. The trend of hosting strangers and travellers is still rolling high, and if you’ve been both the guest and the host, you’re probably aware of the importance of a clean home. No one wants to sleep in a mess, or to step on a floor covered in crumbs. If you’ve already hosted guests from around the world, you’ve probably cleaned your home many times. Now, did you get a new message from someone who’s interested in staying over at your place? Did that person catch you off guard?

If the person you’re hosting is about to arrive at any moment and you couldn’t find time to clean your home until now, here are few tips and tricks that you can use even in a last minute situation.

OH, WAIT! HOW TO HANDLE THE PANIC?!

Before I start with the 30 minutes cleaning challenge details, let me say a word or two about the panic that seizes you the moment you realize that you don’t have a lot of time to make your home look decent. It’s just like with any other type of deadline: all of a sudden, you realize that you’ve waited too long and now you’re in panic thinking you won’t make it. Before you drown in worry, block your negative thoughts and stop thinning your nerves because the only thing you’ll “get” is lost time. Stop panicking and start organizing yourself for the cleaning process.

THE GUEST CHECK-IN GENERAL PLAN

Finally, let’s begin with ideas on the cleaning schedule. This is how you can clean your home thoroughly in half an hour without making a bigger mess during the cleaning process.

First things first, take all the cleaning supplies, detergents and towels to one place, so you can have them near you and avoid losing time on picking through them until you find the supply you need.

Don’t focus on the unimportant – have your goal on your mind all the time, so you don’t get distracted. Make a priority list of the rooms that you will clean. Once you have your general plan ready and set, you can start cleaning.

Cleaning Plan

Dust where you must!

A clean surface on your rooms’ drawers and shelves will increase the effect of a neat space, so make sure you free these surfaces of all particles that burden its cleanness. Before dusting, remove all papers, garbage and unnecessary things that would steal your time. This will enable you to clean the dust faster. Don’t lose time on cleaning each figurine or souvenir on the shelves. Instead, dust only the wide surface and use the vacuum cleaner for the crowded parts. Make sure you don’t vacuum any of the little decorations!

Dust from the top towards the bottom, so you don’t bring any dust back.

It’s time to multi-task

Cleaning is probably one of the few situations in which multi-tasking is welcomed with pleasure. This way, you’ll save on time and you’ll organize the whole process with more focus. The multi-tasking cleaning chore should include the kitchen and the bathroom. First, apply a stove cleaning detergent on the whole surface and coat the burners. Let sit for a few minutes and in the meantime, start cleaning the bathroom. Spray the cleaning detergent on the toilet seat, the shower cabin or bathtub, the sink and the rest of the surfaces that should be cleaned.

Use a sponge to remove any stains from the different surfaces and wash off the detergent with a gush of warm water. Leave the door of the bathroom opened to avoid mould creation and bad smell.

Go back to the kitchen and start with the stove. Use the coarse side of the sponge or a scrub brush and remove food residue and stains from the burners and the whole surface. Wash off with warm water and then dry it with a clean towel. If there are any dirty dishes, put them in the dishwasher before starting with the stove. If you are looking for a good sponge, check Kitchenistic for their guide for best sponges for dishes.

It’s very important to have clean and stain-free drinking glasses, plates and cutlery. That, and a clean eating table should be your priority in the kitchen.

It’s time to break free!

Remember the scene where Freddy Mercury is vacuuming the house with ease? If a King can do it, you can do it too! Vacuuming can be tiring, but when there’s music that alleviates the feeling of boredom, this home chore transforms into a liberating fitness activity. Turn up the volume, play your favorite songs and motivate yourself, because this is the last large cleaning chore from the 30-minute cleaning challenge. Start from the corridor of your home and vacuum clean the whole place, focusing on the dormitory and the rooms where your guests will spend most of their time.

When you finish with the bedroom, change bed sheets, pillowcases, and blankets or duvet covers.

The beauty of the details

In order to complete the challenge successfully, pay attention to the details that make the home feel cozy, neat and welcoming. Open the windows and let some fresh air come in. You can use an air freshener with a pleasant aroma (nothing strong-smelling). Lavender, lime or some herb-based aroma would do just fine.

You can place a vase with flowers from the local flower market or shop to create a welcoming atmosphere.

How to split the 30 minutes for each cleaning chore?

Time is precious, I know!  Believe it or not, half an hour is enough to do all these activities and I’ll prove that with the following time management plan. It’s all about focusing on priorities and being practical.

As you can see in the previous paragraphs, the challenge counts three large tasks. Don’t split the time into equal segments, because some of the tasks are more complex. You’ll surely need more time to clean the bathroom and the kitchen than you’ll need for dusting or setting the bed.

So, here’s how to split your precious thirty minutes:

  • 7 minutes for dusting
  • 12 minutes for the multi-task part – bathroom and kitchen cleaning
  • 8 minutes for vacuuming the home and changing bed sheets
  • 3 minutes for the details

Cleaning Plan for a 30-minute clean

Looking at these numbers, you probably think that I’ve gone cuckoo, but believe me, it’s possible. It’s like a good and well-planned workout in the gym: you have a goal, you know how to focus and you know that time is precious.

Let me remind you that most important of all is to forget about panicking. There won’t be any kind of inspection; you just want to be a nice and polite host who cares about the guests and you want to leave a good impression.

When already talking about the importance of using time wisely, here are some extra tips on how to spare yourself the trouble next time an unexpected guest makes a last minute reservation.  

Try to keep your home as neat as possible. Build a daily routine of washing the dishes and throwing out the garbage regularly. Don’t leave your clothes on the sofa or the chair. Dust once a week. It’s much easier to clean one layer of dust than something that has already begun to make history on the shelves!

Using the vacuum cleaner once a week will also make your home look well ordered.

You know that the guest bedroom should always be a priority, so always have clean and ironed bedding. Never use this room as a place where you store unnecessary things! Once a day, open the windows to let some fresh air come in.

Take this challenge as an opportunity to prove yourself that you can do things the good way even when you’re short on time.

I hope that these tips will be of help and that you will enjoy the process. In the end, the satisfied look and the positive feedback from your guests is what will make this sacrifice worth your time and efforts.

Written by guest blogger Anita Edwards

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Furnishing 101 Office Furnishing

7 Tips to Refresh for Less with a Quick Room Makeover

By Alexa Caruso 

Trends come and go but your space is yours forever. It can be costly and unreasonable to be constantly purchasing new decor or furniture. However, your room seemingly becomes dull over time. After all, you are staring at the same white walls and ceilings from when you wake up to when you go to sleep. So how do you switch-up your home style without breaking the bank? Here are some quick and easy tips on how to refresh your room with a new look for less.

Room Makeover Ideas

1. Get Crafty

how to refresh your room - get crafty

Who said decorating your room had to be tedious? This is your opportunity to showcase your unique style while incorporating your favorite trends. And if you’re willing to put in some elbow grease you can change your space for pretty much next to nothing and don’t forget you’ve got the whole online world willing to help (hi, Youtube tutorials).

Suggestions run the gamut, but this option tends to suit those looking for a more rustic or industrial style since you’ll be repurposing items. For example, discarded crates + fresh coat of paint = super cute and stylish stackable storage containers. You can even use discarded wood to create rustic new shelving or a whole new backboard for your bed! The point is, you’re only limited by the depths of your imagination, so think outside the box.

2. Grab a Paint Brush

how to refresh your room - grab a paint brush

While it might sound intimidating at first, painting a whole room, just a wall or a piece of furniture can work wonders to refresh a space. Your local paint store might even be able to help you out with trendy (and inexpensive) wall treatments. Just make sure you select the right color to accent your style and don’t be afraid to be bold!

3. Get Moving

how to refresh your room - get moving

Get moving. Well, your furniture that is. Revamp a space by moving things around. Perhaps your chair used to be sitting beside your bed facing the door, and now you’ve shifted it by the window. Through playing with the furniture layout, it creates movement in your eyes throughout the room.

Not only that, but it allows you to utilize the space in new ways. For example, perhaps the window wasn’t very utilized before but now that the chair is by the window, you are able to enjoy the natural light and look out at the view. You’d be surprised how different your space will look and feel just by changing the layout. And of course, it won’t cost you a single dollar.

Section 4. Declutter, Glow-Up and Go Green

how to refresh your room - go green

Organizing a cluttered space can work wonders. That’s why minimalism has become such a huge trend over the past year. You can declutter the room by throwing away or donating items that you haven’t used or worn in the last year.

It can also make a significant difference when you tuck away all your electronic cords. Suddenly this can make the room feel and look brighter and airier when there’s less stuff in the room distracting your eye.

Once you’ve tackled that, make your space feel even bigger by adding a few mirrors. Mirrors can make the room feel bigger and brighter as it creates more depth and reflects light within the room. You can do this by clustering some smaller mirrors in a space for an interesting focal point, or put in one big one to make an impact. Also, add a plant or two to make space feel even fresher. Just remember to water it!

5. Thrift, Thrift, Thrift!

how to refresh your room - thrift

Everyone looks a good steal! If you’re interested in purchasing some “new” pieces for your space, consider hitting up online classifieds, antique or thrift shops, and garage sales. You’ll find some unique pieces for prices that won’t hurt your wallet. Just remember to be patient! The best items might be tucked away and scattered around the shelves!

6. Accessorize

how to refresh your room - accessorize

Pillows, throws, a stack of books, a new table arrangement – all make for an excellent way to give an old piece of furniture a fresh new look.

Arrange your favorite souvenirs or trinkets from your travels. This can be a fun talking point when your guests come and visit — oh this? I got it as a keepsake when I was scuba diving in the Bahamas.

7. Shop Smart

If you’re going to splurge and spend a bit of your hard-earned dollars, then try to invest in pieces that give you maximum impact.

how to refresh your room - shop smartA full-length mirror might cost a pretty penny, but it will definitely make a statement in your space. If you’re going to buy a new future, look into items that can do double-duty – essentially anything that can be used as a decorative piece but can be used for storage too. It will help keep clutter to a minimum (see no. 4!).

>> Hopefully, you find all of these tips helpful, and for those of you moving into your first 1-bedroom space, check out our article THE COST OF FURNISHING YOUR 1-BEDROOM APARTMENT next week. Comment down below what tip completely transformed your space, and how your bedroom or living room makeover went!