It happens all the time to me. The phone rings, someone asks if you're home then tell you they're swinging by in about 30 minutes. No big deal, right? Right! Except the fact that your house looks like a mini disaster (thanks, kids!). But that's OK since you try to keep your house at least halfway clean, you can have it all looking pristine (or close to it) in just about 30 minutes.
Pick everything up that's not in it's place & out in the open and put it...somewhere. Grab an empty laundry basket to collect everything as you go & place the basket in your closet if need be. Is this actually cleaning? No. But it will look like it & that's all that matters right now.
Tidy Focal Areas
What exactly does this mean? Figure out what rooms your guests are most likely to be in & give them a quick tidying up. For me, it's the kitchen (counters, stove-top & dishes), living room (dust & wipe the sticky fingerprints off the TV) & the bathroom (wipe down the sink & the toilet). There's no need to clean more than they'll see, unless they've never seen your house & will want the grand tour. If that's the case, grab some of those boxes from the basement & use the "we're still unpacking" excuse (this excuse is only good for 2 years after you move though).
Make It Smell Clean
Clean homes always smell good, did you ever notice that? And not necessarily like a bunch of cleaners. I always light candles after I clean to give it that finishing touch. But with company coming, it's more like the beginning touch.
Sweep & Mop Until You Drop
OK, not really, but a quick touch up on your floors can make a world of difference! Even if everything else looks a bit unkempt, clean floors will actually make it seem twice as clean as it really is. Just like everything being clean except the floors, will still leave your house looking like a mess. So take 1-15 minutes to do what you can, but be sure you put it all away as soon as your company arrives.