The 15-Minute Lazy Cleaning Hack That's Perfect For Surprise Guests

Unless you're a Monica Geller-level neat freak whose home always looks spotless without a single thing out of place, you have probably been in a situation where surprise guests came over when your space was somewhat of a disaster. Perhaps it's been a busy week at work, or you've just prioritized spending time with your friends and family over clearing up all the clutter that accumulated over the week. It's an alarming surprise when someone unexpectedly announces they will be over in 15 minutes, leaving you to desperately survey your surroundings and try to figure out where to start to make things look presentable.

Well, don't worry. While you can't do much about those panic cleaning sessions of the past, there's a 15-minute lazy cleaning hack that will be indispensable to have in your back pocket, should any impromptu guests ask to stop by in the future.

When cleaning your home quickly, don't bother focusing your energy on the floor, author Emily Hoffman told NBC News. Guests likely won't notice a few stray crumbs nestled near the baseboards. Instead, examine your area, shut doors to eliminate the need to clean multiple spaces, and then assess which rooms need your undivided attention. For most social visits, you'll likely be focusing on your kitchen and living room areas, so put your full 15 minutes to work in those spaces.

Focus on lazy clearing your surfaces

The single best hack for making your space seem presentable in a short amount of time is to focus on clearing certain surfaces, Hoffman shared with NBC News. In the kitchen, this could mean simply putting all of your dirty dishes and glasses into the dishwasher, or if you don't have one, hiding them in a relatively empty cabinet or under the sink. Tuck away anything that's sitting out on the countertops that shouldn't be, which means tidying up those random pieces of mail or the leftover food from when you made your last meal. Then, give the surface a quick wipe down, and the space will likely look much cleaner.

Apply the same principle to your living room, which is where many visits end up. Tidy up all the random items that have gathered on your coffee table, hiding them into a closet or cupboard if you need to, and give those freshly cleared surfaces a quick wipe down. Then, with any time you may have left, focus on the last crucial space that a guest might potentially see when visiting — your bathroom. It's not the time to deep clean your grout, but clear away your toiletries and give the toilet, sink, mirror, and countertops a quick scrub. Once you have finished cleaning, Hoffman recommends spraying a little something in the air to give everything a clean and fresh scent. Follow this 15-minute lazy cleaning hack, and your next impromptu guest will never guess your house was in a state of untidiness.