1 hour to go: Prepare
Arm yourself with the essential items you’ll need to make things spick and span; microfiber cloths, multi-purpose antibacterial spray, window cleaning fluid and a vacuum cleaner.
Prep the fridge and the oven first and come back to them later:
1. Turn the fridge off, remove all of the food and transfer it to a cool box.
2. Pull out the shelves and spray the inside with antibacterial spray. Leave the fridge shelves to soak in a sink filled with warm soapy water.
3. Spray the oven with oven cleaner and leave to loosen the grime. If you don’t have an oven cleaning spray, mix ½ cup washing up liquid, 1 ½ cups bicarbonate of soda, ¼ cup white vinegar and a little water to form a paste. Use to cover the inside of the oven with a small brush and leave to sit.
Remove the sheets and refresh your mattress by mixing 5 tablespoons of baking powder with 5 drops of lavender oil and sifting the mixture over the mattress. Leave for an hour then vacuum up once you've done everything else.
Give the windows a wipe down with the window-cleaning fluid and a microfibre cloth. No window cleaner? Find out how to clean your windows with vinegar.
30 minutes to go: Sofas and carpets
Use the vacuum to pick up all the dust and dirt buried in the sofa's crevices. Scratches on your leather sofa? Dab a cloth in some petroleum jelly and gently rub the scratch out. For a fabric settee, sprinkle a generous dusting of bicarbonate of soda and then vacuum it up after 15 minutes. You can also sprinkle bicarbonate of soda on the carpet to refresh the fabric and help remove stains; just leave to sit and vacuum up before your guests arrive.
Go back into the kitchen to wipe away the antibacterial spray in the fridge and rinse the fridge shelves that have been soaking. Return all the shelves and food to the fridge and switch the fridge back on. Wipe the oven clean with a fresh sponge. Kitchen cupboard staples like tin foil are great for removing stubborn grit on the oven shelves - simply scrunch it up into a ball and scrub away the dirt.
You’re nearly done! Go back through the rooms and vacuum up the scattered baking soda from the carpets, vacuum then make the bed with fresh linen, rehang the nets and curtains and close the windows. Now sit down and enjoy a well-earned cuppa before your visitors arrive!
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