The family is coming over – you’re stressed, you’ve been busy cooking lunch and taking care of the kids, and you only have a moment to tidy up. Where do you start?

A lot of folks fear entertaining because it can snowball into quite the responsibility. Cleaning the house, feeding everyone, making sure the dogs are washed – it can be a daunting task. The key is prioritising, which can all but halve your to-do list.

We spoke to cleaning and organising expert Chelsea Smith to find out how to spend the least amount of effort cleaning your home, and still get those sparkly results you need.

1. Clear the entrance

Whether you have a patio, porch, yard or simply a doorway into your home, make sure your entryway is tidy and clear of any debris.

“Essentially this is the first point of contact, so it’s nice when it looks inviting and is aesthetically pleasing,” Chelsea says. “It just leaves a good impression when there aren’t leaves or dirt on the front porch.”

Often a simple sweep of the entryway is all it takes, but a spray with the hose can also clear away extra dirt and grime.

2. Clean your windows and benches

Smudge-free windows help open-up your space and add an extra level of shine for minimum effort. Try Chelsea’s DIY solution of 50/50 vinegar and warm water and wipe down with a micro-fibre cloth for a streak-free finish.

For kitchen and bathroom benches as well as your appliances, use ecostore’s naturally-derived multi-purpose cleaner. Not only is it made with naturally derived ingredients that are tough on grime but it also has a fresh citrus scent.

Please note: Always check the surface you are applying the product on is suitable by conducting a ‘sample test’. Simply apply the product to a small area of the surface before applying to the entire area.

3. Declutter your living spaces

“Remove excess clutter that accumulates from day-to-day living, particularly if you have children because there will most likely be toys and other things laying around,” Chelsea says.

Take it one step further by putting away anything that doesn’t need to be on display. This might mean putting away your TV remote controls or hiding your toaster in the pantry.

“It instantly makes the space feel a lot fresher and lighter and more relaxing,” Chelsea adds.

4. Freshen up the bathroom

Hopefully we don’t need to tell you but, please, clean your toilet! It’s the right thing to do.

Then wipe-down your bench tops, replace your towels and add a few finer touches if you have time.

“Clean all the surfaces, re-fill the hand soap, make sure there’s fresh toilet paper, pop a nice scent diffuser out and have a clean hand towel,” Chelsea advises.

“Things like this often feel a lot nicer for guests and are always used when entertaining but are often overlooked.”

5. Clean out the fridge

If you’re entertaining with a big meal, chances are you’ve already done this step because you need the fridge space before you begin. But the worst thing you can do is forget to leave room for Aunt Cheryl’s pavlova and have to spend ages rearranging the fridge when guests arrive.

“Make way for things like a cake or those oversized platters we tend to use when entertaining,” Chelsea advises.

A clear fridge means food items won’t get left on the counter before or after the guests have come and gone. Even if you’ve opted for catering, there’s a good chance you’ll be dealing with leftovers – and you don’t want those going to waste in the open air!


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