It’s the phone call everyone dreads: Company's coming, and they'll be there in half an hour.

Can you get your house cleaned up and presentable in that short amount of time? It's not only possible, but you can do it and make it look like you've cleaned all day!

Run and hide

The run and hide method is simply running through the house and finding places to hide things. That's because there’s no time to put it all away. This is about giving your home the appearance of neatness. With a laundry basket, go through the house and pick up all the random and stray items. This includes coats, shoes, today's paper and stray toys. Focus on the areas where your guests will most likely be venturing into, such as the foyer, living room, guest bathroom, dining room and kitchen.

After you've picked up any stray items from your living areas, place the basket in the laundry room or your bedroom closet and close the door. Grab a tray or large cookie sheet from the kitchen and pick up any stray coffee cups, plates or bowls. If the dish washer is full, empty out just the bottom rack. Then pick up any stray items in the kitchen sink or counters and load them into the bottom rack of the dishwasher. Head to the guest bathroom and clear off the bathroom counters. Store items under the sink or place out of sight such as the bedroom closet.

Once all the stray items have been picked up and adequately hidden, it’s time to straighten up. Start with the foyer and then head to the living room. Neatly fold the throw on the sofa and drape it over the arm of a chair or sofa. Organize the coffee table and straighten the magazines and any other items on here. Dust the coffee table and side tables quickly. Look around the room for dust balls, such as on the floor and grab those with your duster.

Quick clean

Grab some paper towels and spray cleaner and quickly wipe off the guest bathroom counters and wipe out the bathroom sink. Straighten towels and put out a fresh guest towel. Next, give the toilet a quick run with a toilet brush to neaten it up. Wipe down the seat and rim quickly with some spray cleaner. In the kitchen, wipe down the sink and quickly wipe off counters. If you have smudge marks on the fridge, microwave or stove, use a microfiber cloth to wipe these off quickly.

Just before company arrives, spritz a little fabric freshener on carpets or your upholstered furniture in the living room. In the kitchen, light a scented candle, put on a pot of coffee and place some cookies or other snacks on a plate. Once your company arrives, the fresh smell of the house will greet them along with a freshly brewed pot of coffee.

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