I was going to post this before Thanksgiving actually arrived but maybe is useful too for this pre-Christmas season.
Emergency To Do List for when guests are arriving unexpectedly.
In my case, I wasn't THAT short of time; my guests weren't literally on their way there. I had Monday and Tuesday.. But I was still tired from being sick so long and we had other things going on, so I wanted to have enough margin to make sure I got to all the basics.
It was the first time I'd actually really cleaned the house in about a month! Yikes! But it is reasonably clean now. It helped that I did keep up with laundry and kitchen clean-up during that month. A little maintenance goes a long way.
Also I've found that minimizing clutter helps immensely with clean-up. A simplicity blog I read (wish I could remember which one) said that if you are facing disorder, think in terms of discarding something. That has been really helpful to me. If I face my disordered house I find that what is troubling to me in it is that there is something superfluous sitting there. When I find out what it is and take care of it, the whole outlook is way better. I really don't mind restoring order; the depressing part is feeling like there is junk there.. stuff that's not really necessary to have around. So going straight to the heart of that takes care of a great burden. What remains becomes more precious and more worthy to be treated carefully.
Here are some more Quick Clean links:
What To Do When Your Mother in Law is Coming Over
Clean a House Quickly
Clean Your House in Under 20 Minutes
Another advantage to a quick clean is that it makes you feel more motivated to maintain the momentum and make some real progress on your home when your guests have gone home. I intend to do some deeper cleaning during Advent since it seems like an appropriate time to do that "nesting" thing in preparation for the birth of Our Lord. I suppose it would be better to start with that in October but I usually end up doing some or most of it in December since that is when I am digging into storage, decorating and so on anyway.
Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!