When company is coming, you may find yourself wondering what to clean for guests. Sure, you want to create a clean, comfortable environment that also showcases your home’s beauty, but you don’t want to wear yourself out preparing for guests this holiday season.
If you’re fortunate enough to have plenty of warning, cleaning for houseguests can be spread out over several days. For those who don’t provide much notice, well, there’s always crisis cleaning.
Read on to find out:
- What you need to clean — and what you can skip.
- How to clean thoroughly to impress house guests.
- Nice touches to make your home more welcoming for visitors.
Clean Based on How Long They’ll Visit
With holiday activities and meals, it’s unlikely your houseguests will have a reason to inspect your bedroom closet or check if the lightbulbs are dusty, so don’t waste time on such things. For the most part, the shorter the stay the less you need to clean.
Cleaning for guests just staying one night is a breeze. Provide clean bed linens and fresh towels, plus a sparkling clean bathroom. If they’re staying for breakfast, you’ll want to clear the kitchen table and maybe tidy the kitchen a bit, too.
When guests are spending the weekend, you’ll want to do a bit more to spiff up the guest room and kitchen. Provide fresh sheets and towels, of course, and somewhere in the closet for them to hang up a few clothes. Be sure your fridge isn’t embarrassing, too.
If your guests are staying for several days, they’ll see more of your home. Read on for the things you’ll want to deep clean when a guest plans an extended stay.
What to Clean for Guests Visiting For the Holidays
1. Deep Clean the Bathrooms.
Having a house full of people means visitors may end up using every bathroom in your home. So, even if you have a lovely guest bathroom, plan to deep clean all of the facilities. That means you need to:
- Clean the toilet, including both sides of the seat and lid. Scour the bowl to remove odors and tackle stains if needed.
- Clean the shower and tub well, and be sure to get rid of any bathroom mildew on the grout, shower curtain, or shower door tracks.
- Don’t forget to check the tub or shower drain for hair and eliminate any odors coming from it.
- Clean sinks and faucets then declutter and clean the bathroom counters, too.
- Polish the mirror, so it’s not covered in toothpaste splatters or dust.
- Empty the trash can. Wash it if it’s stained.
- Sweep and mop the floor, paying extra attention to the area around the toilet where odors accumulate.
- Make sure there are ample supplies of toilet paper, hand soap, and spare hand towels.
- You might want to make sure there’s a toilet brush in each bathroom, discretely tucked in a holder near the tank. Everybody poops, and some guests feel awkward leaving evidence of that behind.
- If you use them, be sure bathroom rugs and bath mats are clean and fresh, too.
2. Clean the Kitchen Thoroughly.
Even if you plan on dining out, thoroughly clean your kitchen. It’s not only that people seem to congregate there—a messy kitchen can make your entire home look bad.
- Create as much countertop space as possible by putting away food items and seldom-used small appliances.
- Clean the countertops and backsplash, then the cupboard and drawer fronts and handles.
- Spray and wipe all appliance fronts. Clean the inside of the microwave, your cooktop, and any spills on the oven floor.
- Purge expired foods from the refrigerator and clean the shelves and drawers.
- Scour the sink and clean the garbage disposal, if you have one, to prevent odors.
- Empty the trash and wash the trashcan if needed.
- Sweep and mop the floor.
3. Clean the Guest Room Top-to-Bottom.
You don’t need to rush out and buy fancy new bedding, though if the budget permits that can be fun. You do, however, need to ensure that your guests can get a good night’s sleep.
- Dust the ceiling, ceiling fan, walls, windowsills, and baseboards.
- Clean grime and spots off the walls, doors, and light switches.
- Strip the bed completely and launder everything.
- While the bed is bare, vacuum the mattress then move the bed and vacuum beneath it.
- Clean the window treatments: dust the blinds or wash the curtains.
- Dust and polish the furniture.
- Once the bed linens are clean, remake the bed.
- Empty the trash can.
- Vacuum the floor as well as any upholstered furniture or throw pillows.
4. Create Space for Their Clothes.
You don’t have to completely clean out the guest bedroom closet if you use it for storage, but guests do need a place to put their clothes. Give them some space in the closet, and maybe a drawer or two if there’s a dresser in the guest room. Otherwise, make sure there’s a table or stand for their suitcase.
5. Create a Clean, Uncluttered Space to Sit.
No matter how many activities you have planned for your guests, they’ll still need a place to sit while eating and maybe a spot to relax and unwind, too. So, make sure the living room or family room are tidy, that the sofa is stain-free, and provide a throw blanket or two for their use.
6. Gussy Up the Entryway.
Shortly before your guests are due, give your home’s entrance and entryway a good once-over. Get rid of any cobwebs, shake out or vacuum the entry mats, and wipe the front door inside and out to get rid of smudges and grime.
Nice Touches When Company’s Coming
Your home is not a luxury hotel, and your guests aren’t expecting that kind of treatment. They’re there to enjoy your company. But, if you do want to add some extra touches to make your home even more inviting, here are a few to consider.
A “Welcome Basket” in the Guest Room
Fill it with an assortment of spare toiletries, tissues, a magazine or crossword puzzle book (and pen), perhaps even a few packaged snacks and bottles of water. Include a card with your home wifi password on it, and maybe brochures to nearby attractions they might like to visit.
Provide a Few Home Comforts
A spare bathrobe and pair of washable slippers in the guest room is nice since many people skip packing their own due to luggage fees. Keep a supply of spare towels, blankets, and pillows in the guest room. Or let visitors know where the linen closet is, so they can find them if needed.
Remember, despite all of the effort involved in cleaning before guests arrive, you really will enjoy all of your visitors—some you’ll simply enjoy more as they leave.