How To Clean For Houseguests

When you invite guests into your home you’re immediately ready to greet them with a smile and warm welcome, because you have the house clean and ready for them! Right? Well, we all know that our homes are not always visitor ready, especially if you’re a busy family with messy kids. And this is OK! We are human after all. But here at @ House Work, we have methods to help you prepare for your guests without exhausting yourself in the process. 

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Whether it’s short notice or a planned visit, be kind to yourself – you don’t need to do a full house clean. Focus on the areas and rooms that matter most! Other rooms can be cleaned after they leave.

Most rooms can be tackled with these 4 things so have them ready and let’s get to work:

  • Water, Bleach and Tide® recipe (1 gallon of HOT water, 1 tsp of powdered Tide®, and ¼ cup of bleach)
  • Microfiber or polish cloths
  • Swiffer duster (Canada) (USA)
  • Vacuum (Canada) (USA)

General Best Practices for Quick Cleans

When you have a guest coming over on short notice (or when you’ve neglected to prepare for an expected guest), you’ll be working on a limited time frame and with potentially limited resources. To make the most of your time, and make the best impression possible, there are a few best practices you’ll want to follow.

For starters, if you’re overwhelmed by the idea of cleaning your house to perfection, take a step back and realize that any amount of cleaning you do is going to be beneficial. Even if you can only clean one room or tidy up slightly, your house will end up in better condition than it was when you started. You don’t have to be perfect to make a good impression.

Next, understand how to prioritize. Different areas of your house have different levels of impact and different levels of dirtiness, so it’s important to focus on the dirtiest and most impactful rooms first. Everything else can wait.

Also, try to see your house through the eyes of a guest. This can be difficult, especially if you’re used to your house the way it is, but it’s important if you want to optimize for the guest experience. What would you think about this environment if you saw it in someone else’s house when you were visiting?

Finally, consider recruiting other people to help the cause. If you live with family members, divvy up responsibilities so everyone participates in the house cleaning event. 

The First Impression

The front entry and hallways should be some of the first places you clean. Not only is it the first impression of your home to your guests, but it is also high traffic and gets dirty and messy quickly. Vacuum and mop the floors, wipe baseboards, walls, and doors, and make sure there’s room for your guests’ coats and shoes. Don’t forget to clean underneath your entry rug and wash it as well. A great way to make a first impression is to have a candle burning so your home smells warm and inviting right when your guests walk in.

Kitchen Party!

The party often ends up in the kitchen, right? It’s where everyone gravitates for food and drinks. So make sure there is room in your fridge(s) for the extra food you will have prepared and for dishes guests will bring. Give it a quick purge and wipedown. Limp carrots and slimy produce aren’t appetizing to anyone. Have tableware easily accessible for people to grab when needed. Empty and clean all garbage bins. Have corkscrews/bottle openers and a cooler ready with ice for beverages. A stocked coffee station goes a long way for early risers if they’re staying the night. And finally, check out our Kitchen Deep Clean article if you have time to do a deep cleaning.

That Hotel Feel for your Bathrooms and Bedrooms

OK, you may not want your guests to stay forever, but you can at least make their stay comfortable and free from messes! Aim for that hotel feel and not a room with your crap lying around.

Bathroom checklist:

  • Full bathroom clean so it’s ready for your guests to use
  • Freshly washed towels hanging neatly and extras rolled (for that spa feel) on a shelf or in a cupboard
  • Full toilet paper roll + extras under the sink. (Add a fancy point to the end so they really think you have your shit together)
  • Full soap dispenser
  • Declutter/organize your shower products
  • Put away any personal hygiene products
  • Freshly-washed bath mat

Bedroom checklist:

  • Dust and vacuum the whole room
  • Freshly-cleaned sheets
  • Make the bed like a fancy hotel would for ultimate comfort
  • Leave wrapped chocolates on the pillow if you really want to impress
  • Empty out the closet and dresser so there’s room for your guests’ belongings (leave some empty hangers for them too)

And if your guests plan to stay a while and need to do laundry, have your detergents handy if your guests would like to do a load or two. If you have time, check out this article. If not, that’s ok! Just have a quick look to make sure your machines are empty and no intimates are hanging around. 

Chill out and play areas

As for the rest of the house, such as the living room or playrooms, tidy them up. Give the rooms a good once over with a Swiffer® duster, wipe off tables using a cloth and the water, bleach and Tide® recipe, and then vacuum. Organize any toys or set up gaming devices if kids are on the guest list. See if TV screens or devices need cleaning.

Should you have an outdoor party, have the space ready by cleaning off any tables and chairs – again with the water, bleach and Tide® recipe. Clean and organize around your BBQ. Use a shop vac (Canada) (USA) or leaf blower to remove unwanted dirt and leaves. Consider outdoor tableware and decor (Canada) (USA) to dress up the area. Have a hot tub? Check the water and add chemicals if needed. Have towels ready if your guests will be jumpin’ in. And have a cooler ready with ice for beverages and garbage bins accessible.

The Finishing Touches

If you want to make an even better impression with your guests, focus on the following finishing touches to improve the environment:

  • Music. Choose the right music for the environment you want to establish. 
  • Lighting. Consider adjusting your lighting as well. Dim lights feel comfy and cozy, while bright lights feel upbeat and liven up the room.
  • Snacks and beverages. If you have plenty of delicious food and drinks in reach of your guests, they probably aren’t going to care about any messes they happen to see.

Other Considerations

If you can, enlist your family members to help! Divide and conquer. Stock your Cleaning Caddy and have it at the ready. You never know what will happen while your visitors are staying with you and you have an accidental mess to clean up. Be sure to have our House Work Cleaning Guide handy as a quick reference.

For more cleaning recipes check out this article.

Here are some other blogs if you need some extra help along the way:

How To Organize Under Your Sink

9 Steps to a Sparkling Bathroom

Bedroom Deep Clean

How to Clean and Organize Your Closet in 4 Easy Steps

How To Clean TVs, Computers and Phones

For a list of our favorite products, click here.

– Denise @ GoCleanCo

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