Prepare your home for guests in 30 minutes or less

Prep without the stress.

While many of us enjoy entertaining at home, no one enjoys the hours of preparation and cleaning it can take to get your home into a condition that you feel is appropriately presentable. An even worse prospect for the houseproud among us is when family and friends drop by unexpectedly or at short notice to catch up. 

It isn’t that we don’t want the company, in fact there’s nothing that uplifts the spirits more than a surprise visit from a loved one! But for those of us who thoroughly enjoy welcoming guests into a beautifully styled home, being faced with a half-hour prep time to wrangle a hectic family household into control can be stressful.

If you happen to be caught unawares by an unexpected visitor, here are some handy tips that will have your home ready for guests in 30 minutes or less.

mudroom with white cabinetry and navy feature wall
(Credit: Photography: Louise Roche / Stylist: Kylie Jackes)

Do the rounds

A place for everything and everything in its place is all well and good when you have the time for it, but when your racing against the clock the best thing you can do is grab a basket and do a sweep of the house. Load the basket up with everything that needs to be put away or organised later, and stash it in the laundry or somewhere inconspicuous until a more convenient time.

Vacuum and disguise the floor

The first thing your guests will step onto is the floor, and unfortunately crumbs, dirt and other floor debris will stick to toes like no tomorrow, making dirt very noticeable. Run the vacuum over the floor, and if there’s any remaining marks or stains, rearrange the furniture or rug to cover them up for now.

(Photography: Shania Shegedyn | Styling: Alana Langan)

Make the house feel fresh and styled

Divert your guests’ attention away from your speed-cleaning by picking some beautiful blooms from your garden and popping them in a vase on a table, mantelpiece or credenza. Brightly coloured fruits in a bowl will do in a pickle. Take a turn around the house and open curtains and windows to let in natural light and fresh air, then light a fresh-scented candle.

Blitz the bathroom

Often used by guests, the bathroom is one room that is hard to keep clean in a family home. Make it appear clean by giving the mirror and vanity a quick wipe over, removing used towels and lighting a candle to obscure any lingering smells. Do give the toilet a thorough clean though, as this is one area that cannot be fake cleaned.

Modern bathroom with white floating vanity
(Credit: Photo: Armelle Habib | Styling: Julia Green)

Add finishing touches

Make their sleeping area look swish by fluffing up the pillows, throwing a throw over the foot of the bed and adding a small vase with flowers to the bedside table for a ‘thoughtful’ touch.

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