Whether you’re having a dinner party, a backyard bbq or just having a few friends over for drinks, you want to make sure you prepare your house for your guests. Here are seven quick ways you can prepare your home and get it ready to host any type of gathering!
Your first area to prime is your front entryway because that’s the first thing people are going to see. You want to make sure that your front entryway looks clean and welcoming. Clean windows in your door if you have them, and make sure that there is no grime or dirt on the floor. Make sure there’s enough room for shoes, and appropriate hanging space for coats, whether it’s in the closet or out in the hallway. One thing I love to do is have a DPA or a Designated Purse Area, that way anyone bringing a purse with them knows exactly where they can put it, it’s safe and they’ll know where to find at the end of the night.
I’m not saying you have to do this in every room but look at the space that your party is going to be in and clean the windows in those rooms – on the inside and the outside. We don’t often think about windows, but when they’re covered in dirt or have a bunch of fingerprints it affects how clean and beautiful your space looks. This is really easy to remedy, and it’s a very high impact job.
There’s no doubt that your guests are going to use your bathroom. First up, check your medicine cabinet, because your guests might peek in and you’ll feel better if you know there isn’t anything personal for them to find.
Next up, make sure you have clean hand towels and plenty of hand soap on hand. if you live in a smaller space with only one bathroom, remove your bath towel, you don’t want people drying their hands on the same towel you’re drying your body with.
You also want to make sure that you’ve got toilet paper readily available – you don’t want anyone to have to search for it. Ensure that you have a plunger, in case there are any slow toilet moments.
Cut the Clutter
Even if your house is in pretty good shape, it’s still a good idea to go through and remove any excess clutter. This is something that Chad and I do before we have guests over. Less is more when you have a room full of people, so we’ll put things in a temporary holding spot and then once the party’s over we’ll replace everything.
You also want to remember to get rid of anything that you might not want to be broken because at parties, people tend to get a little clumsy (or tipsy?) and the last thing you would want is something nice to be broken or stained.
There are two kinds of parties; There are the fancy formal parties where you break out the china, and there are informal parties where you eat on disposable dishware. Both have pros and cons, but tor me, I always like to look for more environmentally responsible options. If you’re going for disposable dishware lay out your garbage, your recycling, and your compost bin – guests will be much more likely to put the food and garbage where it belongs.
If you’re using formal dishware spend a couple of extra minutes making sure that it looks nice. Dip it in some hot water and vinegar and give it a good cleaning with a flat weave microfiber cloth. That will really polish it up and get rid of anything that shouldn’t be there.
Make it Smell Great
The way your house smells definitely affects people as soon as they walk in the door, and you want to be the guy that has the house that makes people smile when they walk in, not the one that makes them do a little *sniff sniff*. So, what can you do? Have some fresh flowers, light a candle, defuse some essential oils – all the clean my space favorites.
If you have cats like I do, we make sure that our litter box is empty and we also spray a fabric refresher on any upholstery. Finally, we like to do a little vacuuming to get rid of any dander to be respectful of people who have pet allergies.
Prepare for Disaster
While you don’t want to expect the worst, you certainly have to be prepared for it. Spills happen. When you’re having guests over make sure that you have a “cleaning emergency preparedness kit” somewhere easily accessible. Stain removers, cleaning cloths and a bucket is more than enough to deal with any unexpected shenanigans.
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I’m planning to hold a formal dinner party for my mom’s 50th birthday; therefore, I’ve been thinking of hiring a personal chef for this event. Of course, I’d keep in mind to have a room, where the guests could leave their shoes and coats. You’re also right that the fragile items must be kept because people tend to be clumsy in parties.
I was recently at a microfiber cleaning cloth “home party.” The demonstrator used a damp microfiber dust mitt. She rubbed the screen from top down on both sides. It was quick and easy, and did an amazing job! I clean my screens much more often now.
Melissa , I love you tips for cleaning windows. Do you have any advice for those nasty window or door screen? I’m not sure if you use these where you live as I haven’t seen you talk about them.
Thanks , Nancy – US
Nancy, to clean my screen, I will either give it a good once over with a soft bristle brush then vacuum it if it is just a little dusty, or I’ll take it out of the window sill and soak it in warm soapy water then use a soft bristle brush to get out the gunk. If you can’t take out your screens, you can use your hose. I recommend getting an attachment to add soap to the water while it’s spraying. Just brush the dirt and dust off your screens then spray them down really well, brush again to get the gunk then rinse. I know I’m not a guru like Melissa ;), but I hope this helps you. 🙂