Fast Clean-Up Tips for Last-Minute Home Showings

Your real estate agent just called and there’s a prospective buyer interested in coming to view your home… in one hour. How do you get ready, and fast? Check off these quick to-dos that clean up the most highly visible areas in your home—showcasing its best qualities for a better chance at landing that sale. Don’t Panic!

Think you can’t clean your home in an hour and be ready for that unexpected showing? Think again. These quick-fix chores target highly visible areas in your home and places that attract the most mess, so you can tidy the spots your prospective buyers will most likely see and save the rest for another day.


  •  Sweep front steps and clean front-door glass.
  • Carry a laundry basket throughout the house, picking up clutter. Stash out of sight.
  • Clean up trash, throw it out and line trash receptacles with clean liners.
  • Wipe down any dirty areas in the bathrooms using household cleaner and paper towels.
  • Apply toilet-bowl cleaner in the toilets and give them a quick brushing.
  • Wipe down bathroom floors with a damp towel.
  • Hang fresh hand towels and put out fresh hand soap.
  • Vacuum high-traffic areas guests will see.
  • Dust wood floors quickly using a dust mop.
  • Wipe down kitchen counters, cupboards and appliances with household cleaner.
  • Make beds.
  • Straighten stacks of magazines and books.
  • Straighten sofa pillows.
  • Straighten coat closets and close all closet doors.
  • Pull back drapes and let natural light in.
  • Turn on the lights in every room.
  •  Be sure your pets are secured. (If you can, run them over to a neighbor’s or friend’s home.)
  • Light mild-scented candles to give your home a fresh, clean aroma.


Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens. Used with permission. © Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.