I think never have I mentioned about my mother-in-law to you. Well! Here I introduce her to you in one-word: Neat Freak. Clean floors and sparkling kitchen slab does not impress her. That’s basic and is not the evaluation criteria at all. She does this sneaky dust-test in her trademark artful way and there are either two things that may follow – a one-minute advice or an hour-long session. If it’s a one-minute advice, that means she is happy and satisfied with the home-maker in me. I’ll save you the pain of the hour long session, would be too much for a single blogpost to handle. Mother-in-law jokes are as stereotyped as wife jokes, despite the massive evolution that both these roles have seen over last few decades. Jokes apart, my mother-in-law is a very loving and warm woman, and quite a feminist of her time. Nevertheless, the thing I said about Neat Freak and that sneaky dust test – yes, it’s for real!
However, this is true for my own mother as well. May be not the dust test but she too has a thing for clean bed sheets and fresh smelling curtains. For I have a very strong childhood memory of my mother glued to her favorite section in the Good Housekeeping Magazine – ‘Ask Mrs. Singh’, a column written by then executive housekeeper at Oberoi Hotels – Mrs. Darshan Singh. It’s wise to say that even I picked up the interest and often helped my mom execute ideas inspired from Mrs. Singh’s column to our mediocre rented house. Our house wasn’t very poshly decorated, but it was clean and fresh at all times. Well! Our mothers were indeed very invested in all these things. Nevertheless, over the years I have created my own checklist to get mom-like-cleaning done with comparatively less work.
A 6-Step Speed cleaning checklist to make your home Guest Ready
1- Begin with kitchen – Dust clean all cabinets and arrange the containers in proper order. Clean all kitchen appliances. Clean fridge and discard items that haven’t been used for a long time. A well-kept fridge is very impressive and says a lot about your home. Get rid of those ketchups and freebie sachets you get along with food delivery. Keep it neat and tidy. So, three things in kitchen – cabinets, appliances and fridge – clean it up!
2- Dusting – Get your helper to dust clean the entire house. Doors, windows, fans and other electrical items, furniture, decorative figurines, wi-fi box, tv setup box… dust everything. Move heavy furniture and clean the floor behind. Brush upholstery and rugs. Shake doormats and remove the dust. Fluff up cushions and pillows, dust and shake curtains. After the entire house dusting is done, change bedsheets (or freshen up) of all rooms.
3- Guest Room – Arrange all cupboards and almirahs in proper order. Make space for guests to keep their luggage and utility items. Dust clean the cupboards from inside, hangers; throw in naphthalene balls or cupboard fresheners. Place a bedside rug and may be an indoor plant to lively up the room.
4- Other Rooms – It’s a great habit to clean and arrange your cupboard once a month. With only limited time at hand, take out 5 minutes to arrange your cupboard to make it look neat. Shake up bed linen, arrange other things and keep everything where it belongs. If you have limited guests coming over who might not access rooms – you can avoid these steps and focus on the most important area below.
5- Bathrooms – No matter who is coming over and for how long, I never not double-check my bathrooms for cleanliness. Clear counters, toilet seats, arrange toiletries (esp. that hand wash dispenser); remove hanging clothes and dirty towels. Wipe clean the mirrors and bathroom fittings. Place a bathroom rug and an essential oil diffuser if you please.
6- Make it smell good and bright – Open all windows and let the natural light in. If natural light is scanty, turn on the lights. Optionally bring in fresh flowers or indoor plant. You will be amazed how natural light and fresh smelling flowers change the entire atmosphere from ordinary to exquisite.
Quick Checklist – Less than 24 hrs for Guests to Arrive
- Dust and mop entire house.
- Arrange everything in order.
- Fluff up all upholstery – including cushions, pillows and curtains and tidy the bed-sheets.
- Wipe clean kitchen platform and make it less chaotic by arranging things in order.
- Do step 5 and step 6 given in the main checklist above.
For weekend guests, it’s likely that they spend most time in living area, kitchen and use bathroom. The ‘Quick Checklist’ takes only about an hour or so and it will surely win you some appreciation. As far as mother-in-law is concerned, take your girl’s advice and stick to the main checklist. See you in the comments section , eagerly waiting to read your thoughts on this article ! Xo!