Does this sound at all familiar?
You invite people over.
Then, you panic—and go into super productive mode. There’s nothing quite like impending shame to kick up your house cleaning motivation—and speed. Clutter gets put out of sight. Surfaces get cleared off and wiped down. Pillows get fluffed. Candles get lit. All in record time.
If you’re like me, then you look around at your tidy welcoming space and think, “Hey, why can’t I have nice things too?”
So why do we save the luxury of cleanliness for guests? In this make-chores-more-fun game, you give yourself the royal treatment—by using the company’s coming mindset to your advantage.
Then, you get to enjoy your castle … without even putting on pants if you want.
How it works
In four quick rounds, you’ll make your home worthy of the best of company. (That's you!) Remember, you deserve this.
One thing before we get started: Do you have rooms you would put off limits to guests? That’s what doors are for. Closure is a good thing. On another day, there are plenty of other chore games for those hidden messy spots.
Today, let’s play “Company’s Coming!”
Round 1: The front door dash. If that’s where your peeps arrive, that’s your starting gate. You might even ring the doorbell to kick off the cleaner-spaces races.
Ding! As quickly as possible, move through your main living areas clearing all the most obvious clutter away. Hang up coats. Put shoes away. Clear off tables and counter tops. Recycle newspapers and magazines. Make beds. Get dishes in the dishwasher. Fill the sink with hot soapy water and let pots and pans soak. Empty garbage cans.
RYC tip: Use the highly acclaimed Rock Your Chores playlist for added energy and inspiration.
Round 2: Wipe and swipe. Grab your tools of choice for dusting. Return to the front door. Move quickly, people. Company is coooommmminnng! This round, dust surfaces as you move through your spaces.
In the kitchen, wipe down counters. If you left dishes soaking, now is the time to wash them. In the bathroom, wipe and swipe surfaces and give your throne a quick brush and flush.
Extra credit: Do another mini-round with glass cleaner to get glass tabletops and mirrors. Royalty needs clean mirrors to gaze into and maybe say a spell or two. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the awesomest of them all?
Round 3: Hit the ground running. This round calls for a broom, dust mop and/or vacuum, depending on your flooring situation. Again, starting at the front door and moving quickly, give your floors a once over.
For this need-for-speed game, it doesn’t necessarily have to be your most perfect work. Do the job you would do if you just got a text that said, “Hey, we’re headed your way!” See how that gets your adrenaline pumping?
Round 4: Special touches. The best hosts know that it’s the little things that often delight guests. So arrange your throw pillows. Light a few candles. Turn on some twinkle lights and a favorite album. Make some delicious coffee or tea. Or pour yourself a cold beer or glass of wine.
Awwww … isn’t this nice? Put your feet up. Savor your space. Breathe in your success.
Funny thing … doesn’t your mind feel clearer too? Gretchen Rubin calls this “Outer order, inner calm.” She even has a new book coming out with that title next month. I just preordered it, Gretchen! So remember this little game when life feels a bit out of control. There’s something you can control.
What I like about this game:
Maybe you’re someone who doesn’t like to play pretend. So like, you’re no fun.
Well, you have another option—you could actually invite people over.
Things just got real.
Is that called a broom, Mommy?
There was a time that I was a single mother of three and a full-time college student. Those days are a bit of a sleep-deprived, Kraft-mac-and-cheese blur. But I remember one moment distinctly.
I was sweeping the kitchen floor. My 4-year-old son came into the room and said, “Who’s coming over?” Apparently, in his short life, he’d learned that I only swept for special occasions.
Sometimes your bigger life means that smaller things don’t get done. That’s OK. Live large. The broom will still be there. Even better, make friends who don’t care if they go home with a door prize of dog hair if it means time together.
I am Margie Reece. I am here to help you rock your chores and have some fun doing it.