1. Clear the clutter
Before you start cleaning, go room to room and pick up the clutter. As you pick up each item – books, toys, mail, sports equipment, shoes,... – consider whether you should put it away, toss it, or donate it. It's not only satisfying when you finally clear the spot in your home you've "been meaning to get to" for a while, but it will also make for a much quicker home cleaning with clutter out of the way. If you're in a REAL hurry, do what you have to do, but try your best to avoid moving a pile of clutter from one spot to another, only to leave it sitting there for the next event when you need to "clear the clutter."
2. Pick the space you have time to clean, and pick a job.
A. Often the kitchen is a main gathering place when company is coming. It can also take the longest, if it's gotten out of hand. Gather your tools for your quick use. Get your surfaces clean. If you've got a stove top with a glued on mess, be sure to spray those areas first to allow the cleaner to do some of the work for you before you get to the actual task. The floor should be last. If you've got wood/laminate/vinyl/tile flooring through more of your intended space to clean than just the kitchen, wait until you're ready to do the entire floor at once. Make it one job --don't waste time with in-between tasks.
B. Bathrooms. Again, get your tools. Caddies are helpful for carrying tools/products for bath room cleaning. Clean from the top of the bathroom, down, but remember to spray those areas that need extra help with the cleaning products first! Get that process underway while you start elsewhere. Mirrors, surfaces, sinks, showers, tubs, toilet, garbage, floors.
C. Other Rooms. Got your tools? Good. Top to bottom cleaning, get the dusting taken care of, and move to the vacuuming (or full flooring, like mentioned above.) This is when you'll be extra glad you cleared that clutter --it makes a big difference on your house cleaning speed. Extra tip: When you are cleaning a bedroom in a hurry, the two things that will immediately make it look much cleaner is cleared clutter and a made bed.
3. Time to relax, entertain, or both
Make sure all your tools get put away. Light a candle, set out some flowers, fluff your sofa pillows --whatever makes you feel like you've just "Better Homes and Garden"ed your space in a record amount of time!
4. Be realistic about your time frame, and don't be too hard on yourself.
If you've only got 20 minutes, pick up some clutter, clean a surface or two, and pat yourself on the back. Hey, it's better than it was before!
Bright at Home Cleaning is cheering you on!