Picture this, you have just finished work, another late night. You throw in a microwave dinner, and throw off your shoes and socks, put on the TV, figure you will clean up later, then the phone rings, and it is the real estate agent, she has someone who really wants to see your house tonight! So you look around and wonder just how to declutter and clean up in 30 minutes. You say "sure" and then the adrenalin kicks in.

She told you, they are leaving now, and will be there in 30 minutes, and these prospective buyers are serious! You don't want to lose a possible sale, but you now have to jump into high gear, and you just don't know where to start right? You had kept the house somewhat clean during other showings, but you thought you were done until the open house this weekend.

You won't be able to get to everything (depending on how big your house is) but you can certainly make the main parts of the house look clean with these emergency measures!

How to Declutter - So, this is what you do. This is emergency decluttering, and works well. Grab laundry baskets, (hopefully you have a few empty ones around) or a box, or even a garbage bag if need be. Go around each room and grab anything that does not belong, and would be a pain to put away, throw them in this basket. If you have a mountain of laundry building up on the bedroom floor, take it too!

Once you have the basket or bags filled, (hopefully not too many of them) put them in your car for now (trunk is the best place). Just get them out of the house, so they don't see them. That takes care of larger items. Now if you have smaller items that are cluttering up the place, then find some drawers to put them in, but NOT the kitchen drawers. (Try to remember where you put everything, so you are not searching high and low for it tomorrow!).

How to Declutter - Where to Put Your Stuff - A Real Estate friend of mine, told me that prospective buyers, will look in closets first, then kitchen cabinets and kitchen drawers, as they need to see how you use them and the storage potential, and they come with the house, but they don't go into dresser drawers, as this is personal furniture that will not be staying. So, a dresser drawer makes a good place to stuff little things.

How to Declutter in the Bathroom - Grab a little basket (dollar store) and put all loose cosmetics etc, in this basket to clean up the surfaces. You can then put this basket under the sink or in the vanity cabinet. Give the bathroom a quick wipe down, and put out clean towels.

How to Declutter in the Kitchen - If the dishwasher is still full of clean dishes, and you don't have time to empty it, then just gather all the dirty dishes and place them neatly in the sink and rinse them the best you can, so they don't look gross. Otherwise, throw them in the dishwasher and hide them in there. If you have mail and bills laying around, gather them up and put them in your dresser drawers or your purse. Then wipe the counters down. When you get the vacuum out for the other rooms, quickly run it over the kitchen floor, it will get most of the crumbs.

How To Declutter - Best Order - Start in the bedrooms and quickly clean up using the baskets if there is clutter to remove, and hide in car, then come back in and make sure the beds are made.

Throw toys in their toy box.

Put smaller items in dresser drawers.

Next the Bathroom, pick up all small cosmetic items and put in a small basket, and quickly wipe down tub, sink and toilet. Put out fresh matching towels.

Next is the kitchen. Put dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Or if it is still full of clean ones, then at least stack the dirty dishes neatly in the sink, and clean the counters.

Next the living room, put throw pillows where they belong, get rid of dishes, and then get out the vacuum.

How to Declutter - Make the House Smell Nice. Now you can quickly go over any empty surfaces with a duster cloth and vacuum, and then plug in a candle freshener near the door, or put on a pot of coffee. This gives the house a great aroma, and you will have a clean and ready home in 30 minutes. Try to fix yourself up enough to not look like you have raced around the house for the last 1/2 hour!

How to Declutter - If you are trying to sell your house, and still trying to live in it, then you should keep empty baskets, such as laundry baskets in your car, and then you can be ready for any of those last minute showings, or maybe your in-laws are showing up or unexpected visitors give you a call. When trying to sell your house, it can be hard to keep it clean and clutter free, especially if you have kids and pets. But these emergency measures will at least make it look nice quick. In the perfect world, you would get a days notice for a showing, but sometimes the buyer you are looking for, just happens to be in the area and drove by your house, and now only has tonight to see it. So, knowing how to declutter quickly can work for these particular times.

But the car makes a great place to throw items, that can't be put away and are causing clutter, such as a basket of dirty laundry or all the smelly hockey gear your kids just dropped in their rooms. You can't just throw them in the closets or the garage, as they will see the mess. So, your car makes a great place. Just don't forget it is there!

You don't want to be heading to work the next day with smelly hockey equipment in the car or the dirty laundry! But hopefully you sold the house and then you can just pack these items, and do some serious decluttering! Also see: How to Declutter a Basement and Organizing Clutter for Moving Day and Organizing Clutter at the Door and Organizing Clutter - How to Declutter in 10 Minutes and Organizing Closets - Avoid the Avalanche for more tips and ideas.