6 Must-Clean Spots When Having Company
A whole-house deep cleaning isn’t always in order when having guests. However, here are a few areas you should never miss.
It can be stressful preparing your house for entertaining guests, whether it’s just for a holiday gathering or an overnight stay. After all, your home is an extension of you, so it’s only natural that you want it to be at its best. That being said, don’t go overboard. An easy starting point is to clean the most important guest-facing areas of your home. For example, begin with the front entryway and then head into other shared living spaces like the living room, dining room and kitchen. After that, move onto the more personal areas — the guest rooms and bathroom.
To make the process easier, a checklist of the most urgent places to clean can be helpful. Consider adding high-traffic areas, high-touch surfaces, and freshening up any mothballed serving pieces and dishware to the list.
1. Clean the Entryway
The entryway, despite being easy to overlook when it comes to cleaning, is the very first impression guests have when they arrive at your home. In a way, it sets the tone for the rest of the house.
Declutter: Fortunately, straightening up this area of the home is a pretty simple task. Begin by putting away all of the things you typically leave out in the open. For example, if you use a shoe or coat rack, take the shoes and jackets off and stash them in a closet or spare room so that there is plenty of space for your guests to put their belongings. Also, be sure you have an entry rug so visitors are able to wipe off their shoes upon entry. Be sure the rug is vacuumed and clean.
Set a Tone: Consider creating some ambiance in your entryway by adjusting the lighting and burning a scented candle or two. If there is a light fixture in your entrance, clean it and choose a warm dimmer setting. The goal is to create a welcoming environment for your guests to be received. If candles aren’t an option, consider a seasonal potpourri or diffusing essential oils.
2. Get the Bathroom Ready
Moving onto the bathroom, a common area frequented by overnight guests and partygoers, it’s time to make sure everything is in order. Is there enough toilet paper? Is the shower clean and stocked with necessities? These are the details that matter when prepping for an event or visit.
Deep Clean Fixtures: If your sink, toilet, tub and shower haven’t had a recent deep cleaning, do so before your visitors arrive. An effective process is to use a solution made from equal parts water and vinegar. Spray it on the surfaces and allow it to sit. Then take a stiff-bristle brush to scrub the surfaces and rinse with clean water.
Wash Towels & Mats: Drying hands on dirty towels is never a good thing. Make certain you wash all bathroom items that are machine-safe before your company arrives, including towels and bath mats.
Restock: Of all things, don’t let your bathrooms run out of toilet paper. This can easily be avoided by stocking the cupboards or shelves with extra rolls before your guests arrive. Ample soap is another thing to check, as well as extra hand towels.
3. Kitchen Cleanup
As the hub of your home, where guests often gather to refresh their drinks or drop off dishes and trash, it makes sense to prepare for an elevated amount of foot traffic.
Wash Surfaces: When doing a normal cleaning, corners and hard-to-reach spots are often overlooked. When cleaning for guests, a simple rule to follow is if an area will be in plain sight or in use during a party, it should be made presentable. In addition, make certain to meticulously wipe down countertops and any high-touch spots, like the faucet, light switches, and refrigerator door handles. Remember, having a clean kitchen supports sanitary delivery of the food and refreshments to your partygoers or overnighters.
Freshen Servingware: If your serving pieces haven’t been used in awhile, they’re probably going to need a refresh before you start filling them with food. Take care of this task before the event so you can focus on other things the day of the event. Once you’ve chosen what pieces will be used — glassware, platters, servingware, serving utensils — it should all be given a rinse or quick run through the dishwasher to remove any dust or spots.
Deodorize: Even if you aren’t able to detect the lingering smell of last night’s dinner, your guests might be able to pick up on it. That’s why it’s important to remove any undesirable odors before your company arrives. Clean and deodorize the inside of your garbage can and refrigerator, if necessary, and consider leaving out a container filled with baking soda or white vinegar overnight to absorb any other remaining smells.
4. Disinfect Commonly Used Areas
Your guests are going to touch certain places in your home a lot more than others. Be sure to disinfect common surfaces like light switches, door handles, stair railings, remote controls, and faucet handles to help minimize germ spread.
5. Clean Floors
Your floors are the receptacle of all the dirt that gets dragged into the home, so it’s absolutely a must to vacuum and mop before welcoming guests. Then do a spot clean right before the event to pick up any last minute spills or dirt tracked in by kids and pets.
6. Refresh Guest Rooms
Spare rooms should be kept clean even if your visitors are not staying the night, especially the ones located near your main entertaining area. Use a guest room for coats and handbags when holding larger gatherings, or as a place where a small group of people can sneak off to for a more shielded conversation.
Wash Bedding: If entertaining overnight guests, make their stay is comfortable by freshening the linens on the bed. Wash the sheets, blankets and pillowcases and keep extras handy for cold nights.
Make Room for Guest Belongings: Stow away any of your own personal items cluttering up guest rooms to make more space for guest belongings. Clear out room for their travel bags and luggage, and open up closet space so they can hang clothes and jackets. Minimize clutter wherever possible so that your visitors can truly make it feel like their own space.