15 minutes to Company Ready

When you have 9 people in your home, and many of them are there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week PLUS you homeschool, this can mean constant mess. And that is pretty much what we have in our house. For years this drove me crazy, but we have come up with a system that mostly works and keeps me functional. Once a month we do deep cleaning in a different room, so the entire house gets spring and fall cleaning done — just not all at once.

15 minutes to being Company Ready

Daily Chores

With as many children as we have, we have chore responsibilities that get done every day. I started training the children in doing chores from the time they were 2 years old. Now, most of the daily upkeep gets placed within the daily chores. These include:

  • tidying living room, den, front hall/stairs, laundry room and kitchen
  • vacuuming/sweeping in every room
  • dishes
  • bathroom cleaning

At various times in our lives we’ve done better or worse jobs at keeping the home Company Ready. But it has always been in the back of my mind as a goal for our family. I have a friend who has just listed her home for sale and another friend shared some ideas on how to get the home ready for showing with a 10 minute or 1 hour notice. It got me thinking about the things we’ve done to get Company Ready in 15 minutes.

The speed clean

The reality is, if you actually DO clean daily, then you basically just have the tidying to do. Granted, with this many people, even tidying can become a huge chore. We sometimes do what we call White Tornado Cleaning – everyone working as hard and fast as they can to get everything put away in record time. Generally, with White Tornado Cleaning we can get everything tidied and put away, swept/vacuumed and wiped down in 30 minutes. Sometimes, you just don’t even have time for that, so here is a list of what we do if we only have 15 minutes to being Company Ready. We divide and conquer, everyone takes a section and gets busy!

  • Grab a laundry basket and pick up all extraneous items on furniture and floors and take it up stairs to Mom’s room (we’ll sort it out after the company leaves).
    • this actually takes care of a great deal of the mess
  • One person vacuums while another sweeps.
  • Put all dishes in the dishwasher (or stack them neatly in a sink with soapy water) and wipe down counters.
    • pans can actually get put inside the oven, so long as you are not making a meal – don’t forget them, though!
  • If there is unfolded laundry around, take the laundry baskets upstairs to Mom’s room (to get folded after they leave).
  • Do a quick wipe down of bathroom counters and toilets and pull the shower curtain closed.

I know much of sounds like cheating, but this is a speedy Making Things Presentable time. This is not how we clean. This year, however, is a time for us when we are actually Simplifying Life – decluttering and getting rid of our extra stuff that just makes more mess. Hopefully, it will mean that our White Tornado Cleaning can actually get done in 15 minutes without any cheating. In the meantime, while we still have this many people at home much of the time, we’ll do what we have to without driving each other crazy.

All Scripture quotations are taken from the NASB.
Unless otherwise indicated, photos from pixaby.com
(image courtesy of /freedigitalphotos.net)

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  1. I am so thankful for you, the weekly link-up, and the wonderful encouragement I always find here. Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you! Thank you for the wonderful advice today. Love and peace to you, Cheryl

    • Cheryl, thanks so much, sweetie! I appreciate your sweet encouragement. Blessings to you, dear!

  2. We do something similar, but I’ve never called it anything nearly as cool as White Tornado. I think I’m going to have to brainstorm. We just call it “quick! Clean up as fast as you can!” 🙂

    Thank you so much for hosting and for the encouragement found here 🙂

    • HAHAHA!!! We also did this thing (only a couple of times) called, Mr. Jones Is Coming To Visit! We had 1 hour to get the house spotlessly cleaned because “Mr. Jones” (my husband disguised in a trench coat, hat, glasses) was coming and would inspect every room. Some of the children never realized it was Kevin until we told them years later. It was lots of fun (and borrowed from a friend)!

      I’m always delighted to see you stopping by!

  3. Very practical tips! I do many of the same things in my home. Thank you for hosting the link up!

    • Thanks for coming by, Jenni!

  4. Thanks for hosting!

    • Thanks for coming by, Kyle!

  5. The key there is IF you keep up on the daily chores. 😉 For some reason, unexpected company inevitably arrives on the one week the routine is out of whack (at least at our house). LOL.
    Good tips! Thank you for your consistently helpful advice and encouragement, and for hosting the link-up!

    • Oh, Jenni, I hear ya on this one! But the consistency of daily chores helps even during those random weeks of being out of whack, at least they do at our house.

      Blessings to you!

  6. Thanks Kate for hosting and such a wonderful post. Count your blessings. Now I have to keep the house clean by myself. It takes a lot longer than 15 minutes though it doesn’t get quite so messy.

    • Judith, I often wonder what it will be like when they are all gone and I’m doing all the cleaning alone. Or what it will be like to have way less mess to clean up! 😉

      Thanks for coming by, girl friend!

  7. I’m probably too stuck where I am to change much. I clean something every day and vac once a day b/c I have a central vac and it is easy, but the children are much less messy now and do the whole upstairs. It is also good exercise when I get down on the floor and hand wipe the tile with Dawn! I’d be afraid to think where I’d be if I wasn’t active in that way 🙂
    Grace and peace, dear friend!

    • Jacqueline, those times when life stops the daily upkeep, we are totally lost for awhile, that’s for sure! And I just don’t function well when my house is out of control! Always a joy to see you, sweetie!

  8. I remember when the kids were little, I taught them how to straighten and clean up a room. But I also taught them how to do it FAST and it involved the same put all the clutter in a laundry basket method that you mentioned! I had them straighten the pillows, pick up the clutter, etc.

    I remember once they wanted to go to McDonalds (and so did I, lol!). So I said that I would take them but they had to help me straighten the house first. Extra hands always help!


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