Cleaning Your House For Guests

Dated: 11/06/2018

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Cleaning Your House for Guests: A Checklist

Countdown to a perfectly clean guest-ready home no matter how much — or little — time you have.

Here’s how to get that satisfying feeling — no matter how much time you have. Just choose your starting point on this checklist:

Three (or More) Weeks to Go

Think big picture. Get anything that requires a pro or installation out of the way now. No one wants calamity to strike when guests are pulling into the driveway.

  • Get your HVAC maintained if it’s overdue.

  • If you have a self-cleaning oven, clean it now. An oven is most likely to break down during the cleaning cycle, so don’t save this task for last.

  • Replace any appliance on its last legs. You don’t want your hot water to go out or fridge on the fritz with a houseful of guests.

  • Steam-clean upholstery. (Or hire a pro. It’s a big job)

  • Hire a handyman for those repairs you’ve been putting off.

  • Check outdoor lighting. Replace old bulbs and call an electrician to address any bigger issues.

Two Weeks to Go

It’s not panic time yet. Focus on decluttering and a few deep-cleaning tasks now, and you’ll have a more manageable to-do list when the clock really starts ticking down.

  • Do a deep declutter. It’ll make things easier to keep clean.

  • Dust ceiling fans, light fixtures, and high-up shelves.

  • Wipe down baseboards.

  • Clean out and organize the fridge.

  • Wash windows to make the entire house feel brighter and cleaner.

  • Toss washable shower curtains and drapes in the washing machine and re-hang. Easy.

One Week to Go

It’s strategic cleaning time. Here’s what to tackle now — things your family won’t easily undo before your guests arrive.

  • Declutter again.

  • Vacuum and dust guest rooms. If they’re low-traffic, the cleanliness should hold with just a quick wipe-down right before they arrive.

  • Wipe down walls.

  • Wipe down kitchen and dining room chairs and tables, including the legs. You’d be surprised how grimy they get.

  • Deep clean the entryway — and make room for your guests’ stuff.

72 Hours to Go

The final cleaning stretch is on the horizon.

  • Do another declutter.

  • In the kitchen, toss stove burners, drip pans, and knobs into the dishwasher for an easy deep clean.

  • Wash kitchen cabinet fronts.

  • Scrub the kitchen floor.

  • Clean and shine appliances.

48 Hours to Go

Now it’s time to get serious.

  • Clean and sanitize garbage cans to banish mystery smells.

  • Wipe down doorknobs, faceplates, and light switches. They’re germ magnets.

  • Clean the front door.

  • Deep clean the bathroom your guests will use, and close it off if possible.

  • Wash guest towels and linens.

24 Hours to Go

Your guests’ bags are packed. Time for final touches.

  • Do a final declutter - by now it shouldn’t take more than five minutes.

  • Give one final wipe-down to toilets, tubs, and bathroom sinks.

  • And another final wipe-down in the kitchen.

  • Do all the floors: mop, vacuum, sweep, etc.

  • Make guest beds and set out clean towels.

  • Plug in nightlights in guest baths.

  • Put out guest toiletries so they’re easy to find.

  • Add a coffee or tea station in the guest room or kitchen.

  • Get your favorite smell going, whether it’s a scented candle, spices in water on the stove, or essential oils.

  • Use rubber gloves to wipe off pet hair and dust from furniture. It works.

  • Do the full red carpet: Sweep or shovel porch, steps, and outdoor walkways.


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Peter McNaughton - DRE 01892160

I found my soulmate Victoria shortly after moving to California in 1990. We settled down in Corona to raise a family. I am a father of three boys Brandon, Pierce, and Evan. In my career I have worked ....

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