A clean house might not always be in our reach, but with About.com's tips, you can fake one in just a few minutes. Say a friend calls and says they're going to stop by in a few minutes. Rather than panic or meet her on the front porch, you can take 10 minutes and get your house presentable for company!
First, focus on odor control. Spray an air freshner, especially around the trash areas (for that matter, take out the trash if it stinks!). Turn on a fan or a/c, or open the windows to get the air moving. Another great idea is to put something to bake into the oven. Not only will it make your house smell great, you'll have something to serve your guests!
Clutter is the number one thing that makes a house look messy. So get a receptacle like a laundry basket or grocery bag and start throwing misplaced stuff into it. Don't worry about where the things belong right now. Just keep the basket or bag in a room or closet until your guests go home.
While you're at it, straighten yourself up. A change of clothes, hair brushing and addition of perfume will make you even fresher than your house. Next, focus on the living room, since that's where you'll be receiving your guest most likely. Quickly go across the room from left to right straightening up each surface and getting rid of any missed clutter. Run the vacuum over the main walkway of the floor as well.
In the bathroom, quickly wipe down the surfaces and mirror, remove any misplaced items, change the trash and check for hand soap, a clean hand towel and toilet paper. In the entryway, your guest's "first impression" of your house, remove the clutter, and use a broom or dust buster to clean up.
In the kitchen, put dirty dishes into the dishwasher or at least stack them neatly in the sink. Then wipe down the counters. If you have any time left over, keep doing small things until they arrive, only in the rooms they'll see. You could vacuum floors, dust the ceiling fan, or straighten books and magazines.