Oh no! It’s noon and you just found out your guests will be arriving early. With no time to spare, you must get to cleaning! So what do you do when you are strapped for time and want to make a good impression? Focus on these 5 areas and your guests will never know about the sock under the bed or the dust bunny behind the night stand.
Sure to be used at least once by each guest, the bathroom is likely going to be a high traffic area. You can determine which bathrooms you want to keep open for guests and which are for private use only. First, make sure everything has a place. Messy counters and disorganized cabinets will leave a sour taste in your guest’s mouth. Snooping is inevitable and you don’t want someone to feel the wrath of an avalanche when opening your cupboards.
Second, make sure all surfaces (counters, light switches, mirrors) are all wiped clean. Fingerprints and streaks are a sign of an area that hasn’t been cleaned. Do you really want your mother-in-law thinking you didn’t clean up before she arrived? Once you’re done, make sure anything being left out is organized either parallel or perpendicular.
Third, clean your toilet. This means wiping it from top to bottom outside, and taking the good ol’ toilet brush to clean and disinfect the bowl. Since you’re having guests over, it would be wise to deodorize your toilet so its left smelling fresh and clean.
Lastly, target those floors. Floors should be vacuumed to remove any debris then mopped to make it sparkle. Doing half the job just won’t cut it this time around. If you have decorative carpets, you can vacuum them as well or take a lint roller to them for a quick and easy clean-up.
Since you’re having guests over, it’s also a good idea to ensure hand towels and spare toilet paper rolls are readily available.
Bonus: Even more tidying tips for other rooms!
Being the hub of your holiday festivities, your kitchen will get messy. So how do you manage to keep it clean in the middle of chaos? Clean as you go. Leaving a pile of dishes in the sink and spills on the counter will only make it harder to clean later on. Make sure spills are cleaned up right away, dishes are cleaned as you go, and anything used for cooking or baking purposes is put in it’s place once you’re done using it. This will save you from a huge clean up later.
Once you’ve done a bulk of your cooking or baking, take some time to vacuum up those floors. This will give you an opportunity to mop up and keep the kitchen clean from top to bottom. Should anything fall afterwards, it will be a quick clean up. Cleaning the floors too early can cause more work- the last thing you want is to be mixing cookies and end up with flour on your freshly cleaned floors. Be mindful of what you have to do and when to do it.
This is where the bulk of your socializing after dinner will happen. You might have kids crawling on the carpet, friends drinking wine on the couch, and delectable desserts on your coffee table. And we’re sure you don’t want anyone mentioning the stack of messy papers under the table or the stains on your carpet. The first step is to declutter. Make sure everything has a place and if it doesn’t, find one. You don’t want anything to be left in plain view that you don’t want someone else to see (and judge you for!).
Next, dust all surfaces using a microfiber cloth. You always want to work top down so you don’t dirty an area you’ve already cleaned. Don’t forget key areas that attract dust- coffee tables, lamp shades, your tv and the tops of those books you read once upon a time ago. You don’t want someone opening a book to a cloud of dust. You can also give your couch and any other furniture in the room a quick wipe with a dry cloth as horizontal surfaces attract crazy amounts of dust.
You’ll want to tackle those floors next. If you have a carpet, it would be worthwhile to pretreat any stains and come back to that area later on. Regardless if it’s hardwood, laminate, carpet or something else, you should always vacuum, especially with holiday decorations that tend to make their presence known. Be sure to move any furniture or obstacles in your way to maximize the space cleaned. Depending on the floor, it may be worthwhile to damp mop them if there are visible footprints or stains. But be sure to check the proper ways to clean a floor before using any liquid or cleaning products on them.
Finish up by ensuring all pillows are nicely placed, throws are folded neatly, and anything left on a table or shelf is placed parallel or perpendicular to make it visually appealing and appear less cluttered to your guests.
You never know what type of company you’ll be having or who may need to spend the night. If you have a guest bedroom, ensure that it is tidy and ready for whoever may (or may not) be staying over. The bed should be made, furniture should be dusted, and floors vacuumed. Anything on counters should be lined up parallel or perpendicular, pillows should be fluffed and placed neatly, and all blankets should be folded on a chair or at the bottom of the bed. For a bathroom that is linked to a guest bedroom, give it a quick once over and target the key areas for a bathroom we mentioned earlier. It would also be polite to leave out basic amenities for your guest- toothbrush and toothpaste, an extra blanket, a few extra pillows, or whatever else can make them feel at home. But not so at home that they don’t want to leave!
This is your chance to make a great first impression on your guests. So how do you do that? The first step will be to make sure all shoes, jackets, keys and so forth are all put away and accounted for. In the process, it would be a good idea to make sure you have enough hangers and shoe space available for your guests to put their belongings once they arrive. Next, make sure any mirrors or glass surfaces are wiped clear of any fingerprints or smudges. Any horizontal surfaces should be dusted and walls spot cleaned of any scuffs or marks. Given that this is the season of colds and flus, wipe any surfaces where bacteria will linger- door knobs, light switches, drawer handles. Finish by vacuuming and mopping the floors (depending on the flooring) so your guests don’t have to see or step into salt or other debris that will end up on your floors at this time.