Tips and tricks to tidy your house quickly (+ a question)

I like my house to be clean and tidy. Before I had children even if I worked a lot of hours I always found time to clean my house very often. Since I became a mum, the house is more difficult to stay in a good condition, but I never skip the weekly cleaning because I know if I delay it once, then it will be impossible to keep our home the way I want it.

I usually clean the house on Thursdays or Fridays in case our friends visit us at the weekend. Sometimes I start on Thursday so that I have finished by Saturday!

In the past it took me two hours to clean the whole house including the bathrooms and balconies. Now it depends on my kids’ schedule. I have to stop all the time to do something else, like feed a kid or collect food from the floor.
Nevertheless, I manage to keep the place neat all the time as I tidy the kitchen after each meal, I pick toys from the floor all day long and every evening I put everything back to its shelf and box.

But I have noticed that unexpected visits will occur when the house is at its worst. For example, if I intend to clean the house on Friday morning, someone will come over on Thursday evening. It isn’t really that bad, but I don’t feel nice to see dust on the furniture or the floor dirty.
In this case I need to make the house presentable in a short time.

If my time is very limited I need to focus on certain rooms of the house. For me the most important places to take care of are the living room and the bathroom. Although my kitchen is visible from the living room, I prefer to dedicate my time to clean the bathroom as it is unacceptable to let your guests use a dirty bathroom.

The living room is where we are going to sit with our friends or relatives and it is also the first place they will see.
First of all, I empty the floor from the things that the kids have thrown there and I put their toys in their bedrooms or leave some in a corner in the living room where they can play.

The first thing that you can see when you enter the house is the dining table and the piano, so I will definitely dust them and then I will continue with the bookcase and some shelves.
The floor isn’t so messy that I have to worry, but if you need to sweep the floor very fast maybe you should try a swiffer. Together with their dusters they are life savers.

As we don’t have visitors every day, the guests’ bathroom is used only from my 3-year-old son on a daily basis and when we expect somebody I remove his seat and prepare it for our guests. It takes only a few minutes to wear a pair of disposable gloves and spray some chlorine in the sink and toilet and put some clean towels. Sometimes I even leave disposable toilet seats, especially if we are waiting children.
If your time is more limited, instead of a detergent you can use wet wipes which contain chlorine or  antiseptic.

If I still have time I’ll wash the dishes or put them in the dishwasher. Many times the house has a smell from our lunch, so I’ll leave the window open until the visitors arrive.
A good trick to flavour your house is to blend some liquid laundry detergent and some water in a vapouriser and spray on your curtains.

Outside our front door there are usually shoes, so we have put a shoe case, but to be honest with you there are always things outside our door.

The bedrooms are the least probable to be seen by your visitors. To get rid of random clothes from chairs, beds or anywhere else, you can collect all of them and throw them in the laundry or if you can’t fit all of them there (yes, this happens!), put them in the basket that you use to take your washing out if you have one.

For the end I have left a question I would like to ask you. Maybe you have faced the same dilemma too if you have little kids. 
Little kids tend to sit on the floor a lot and when their toys or even food falls there, they don’t hesitate to put them in their mouth afterwards, so the floor must be as clean as possible.
Would you ask your visitors to take off their shoes before they enter?
Personally, I would feel bad to ask somebody to do that. And don’t tell me to give them wear slippers because you can’t have a pair for every guest. 
So what would you do and how would you react if you were asked to remove your shoes?

You can find the photos here and here.

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