Get Your House Company-Ready in Under 2 Hours with Guest Crystal Paine

Imagine you get a call from old friends. They are on a trip and will be driving past your town in 2 hours. “Can we swing by?” they want to know.

Come on….be honest…what is more likely to be your response? “Yeah!” or “YIKES!!!”

Fear not! Today’s guest, my new cyber friend Crystal Paine, to the rescue!

Crystal Paine is a wife, homeschool mom to three, self-proclaimed minimalist, lover of dark chocolate and good coffee, and a wannabe runner.

For practical help and inspiration to get your life and finances in order, check out her blog, MoneySavingMom.com, or purchase a copy of her book, The Money Saving Mom®‘s Budget 

Get Your Home Ready for Guests in Two Hours or Less

Get Your House Company-Ready in Under 2 Hours with Crystal Paine at KarenEhman.com

Does the thought opening your home to guest scare you because your home is messy?

Never fear! I have a simple, step-by-step plan to help you whip your house into shape — in two hours or less.

Now, mind you, this two-hour plan won’t have you dusting baseboards or scrubbing behind your toilets with a toothbrush, but it will get your home presentable enough to make it a welcoming haven for your guests.

Ready to get started? Here’s your plan of action:

Two-Hour House-Cleaning Plan

1. Start a load of laundry (3 minutes).

2. Set the timer for 15 minutes and take a laundry basket and a trash bag and go through each room in your home. Quickly straighten, pick up, and put away everything that’s out of place. Put all trash in the trash bag and put everything that doesn’t go in that room in the laundry basket (15 minutes).

3. Put away all contents in the laundry basket and throw out the trash (5 minutes).

4. Head to the kitchen and load the dishwasher or hand wash the dishes (15 minutes).

5. Switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer and start another load in the washer (2 minutes).

6. Sweep or vacuum your kitchen floor and wipe down your countertops (10 minutes).

7. Take some toilet cleaner and go squirt it in all your toilets (2 minutes).

8. Take some window cleaner and spot clean the main glass windows/doors/mirrors (3 minutes).

9. Take a dust rag and quickly dust in the main rooms of your home (10 minutes).

10. Vacuum all the major traffic areas in your home (20 minutes).

11. Head back to the bathrooms wipe down the toilet, sinks, floor, and bathtub/shower. Change the towels (20 minutes).

12. Switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer and fold the clean laundry (15 minutes).

13. Light a candle or simmer some potpourri on the stove and enjoy your freshly-cleaned home!

Free Downloadable Checklist

Like to cross off lists? Download the free 2-Hour House-Cleaning Checklist to keep you on track and remind you of what you’re supposed to be doing next. Now you have no excuse for getting distracted.





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  3. I would clean off my dining room/kitchen table. My kitchen and dining room are one room and everyone gravitates to the table, so I would need to have it cleaned and wiped off.

  4. I’m always putting things till tomorrow. It’s always the same for house chores. Any help would be recommended actually LOL. Thanks for sharing though, might just give me an inspiration to start something.

  5. First thing I hope I would do is take time to pray, pray for their travels, pray for a joyful heart for myself and family as we begin to pick up the clutter, giving thanks for the pending fellowship. Definitely pray.

  6. I would clean up all the paper on the counter. I would clean my dishes and put a load of laundry in the washer. Throw the toys in a laundry basket and bring to boys rooms. It would be really hard but I still would try to enjoy my company.

  7. The first thing I would do is walk around doing just a general pick-up of anything that is out of place. After that, I’d clean up my kitchen, then bake a batch of cookies. I find dust is easily ignored when people can smell fresh-baked cookies! :)

  8. I would turn on my scentsy, then get to work. Pick up in livingroom and kitchen, wipe off counters, put dishes away and clean guest bathroom. I’d close the rest of the doors :)

  9. In the current state of my home (we have been away for 6 days and then Easter) I would start by taking suitcases and clothes baskets upstairs and out of the way. I would put clean clothes away and then run the vacuum through out the downstairs and quickly clean the bathrooms. I would be tempted to offer to take them out to eat as I haven’t re-stocked my home with the basics this week because we weren’t home.

  10. The first thing I do is light a candle in my living room and clean the living room. That is the first room they enter when stepping into my house and I want it to look organized and welcoming. I have two dogs so a candle is a necessity for me. I always have candles lit. Not too much longer and I am going to have to drive back to Bath and Body Works for another. I have never tried a Mrs. Meyers candle so I would definitely love to! :)

  11. I just mopped the kitchen and dining rooms and changed sheets in my two kids’ room, so I’m well on my way. I’d dust and straighten and would probably be. Pretty good. That dusting though–or maybe I’d mop the living room or do a better job in the bath room…too many choices!

  12. I would pick up the living room and then run the vacuum. Quickly hit the bathrooms, tidy the kitchen and light a candle!

  13. List are what I use to do everything to get it done!…Thanks for this information…It will be added to my list to go to for sure!!

  14. I’ve had guests that would be stopping by and had expected guests that life was just too busy to get ready for their arrival. I have tile floor so no matter how clean my house is, the floor always needs a fresh wipe down especially since my husband, dog , and bird are always leaving a “trail” :)

  15. I start at the entry and do a “2-minute room rescue” in each area along the path my guests will take. That way, as they enter they are greeted with a fresh space, and if we aren’t quite finished, a well-trained older child can slip away after greetings and finish in the areas we’ve not reached. My kids are 12, 10, 9, 7, 5, 3, & 2 months. They love helping “rescue” the rooms, and trying to beat the 2-minute timer!

  16. Wow, some great ideas. I think too many of us are picking up after our children from the sound so f it…lol. I loved the one about dog nose prints on the glass. My woof likes to be one of the official greeters at the door too. I do a quick once over of the main living areas if they are just visiting they most likely aren’t over night so I’ll just clean up the kitchen, living room, and bathroom. My kitchen counter is the clutter area aka one of the most lived in areas. At the moment it has Easter eggs for the hunt and baskets. Thanks to all of our hostesses for the great gifts they are giving away. A pot of boiling water with ground cinnamon smells good too. Just don’t let the water boil so the pot is empty.

  17. Straighten pillows on the couch — wipe kitchen counters — swish/swipe the toilet and sink in guest bath — finally turn on my Scentsy warmers and/or candles.

  18. There is nothing better than a clean kitchen, (which is where I begin hosting with a meal.) Stack all the chairs or anything else on the floor, and sweep it clean. (Put the chairs back, of course!) :) Then take a wet rag, spray all the counters with bleach, and scrub the counters down. A spotless floor and spotless counters are the best. Then open some windows and let the sunshine in!! :)

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