Cleaning Tips for a Party-Ready House: Easy 7-Day Plan

Make a Cleaning Plan Day 1: Strategize

On the first day of party cleaning, the task is evaluation: See what needs to be done, and devise a strategy to accomplish the chores in an efficient way.

Check out these three easy tricks for recognizing important cleaning tasks and developing an achievable strategy for accomplishing them. By planning first, you'll save time cleaning and be able to see your progress throughout the week.

Pretend you're a guest. Amid the routine of daily life we often overlook clutter and dusty corners. Walk through your home with a visitor's eye, and use these tricks to get a new perspective on your home. First, identify imperfections.

  • Stand at the curb and look to your front door. Make a note of debris on the sidewalk, dust on the steps, bushes intruding onto the walkway, and anything else that impedes a guest's entry.
  • Stand at the front door. Jot down anything that needs to be cleaned up: cobwebs in the corners, smudged glass in the door, dirt on the floor, or other clutter.
  • Move to the foyer or entryway. List anything that guests might notice as an inconvenience, such as obstacles in the walkway or an overstuffed coat closet.
  • Continue to the living area. Write down anything that distracts: Fingerprints on glass, dead plant leaves, dust on bookshelves, clutter on tables, and mussed furniture. While you're in the main party spaces, list anything you'd like to put away for safekeeping, such as fragile glassware.
  • Eye the kitchen. Make a list of areas that need special attention, such as the top of the refrigerator and the pantry floor. Because you're making a list of all the tasks you want to complete before the party, go ahead and add cleaning out the refrigerator and clearing countertops.
  • Check out the bathrooms. Note any countertop, bathtub, or shower clutter. Give your medicine cabinets and linen closets a critical review.
  • Scan the bedrooms and other private spaces. You might not intend for guests to wander into your bedroom or office, but sometimes they will. Record any elements you want to straighten, refresh, or put away.

Consolidate your list. After you've finished your walk-through, it's time to organize the list into achievable tasks.

  • Combine like tasks so you only have to pull out equipment, such as the vacuum cleaner, once or twice during your cleanup effort.
  • Organize some chores by room so you can complete a space, see your progress, and move on to the next item on your list.
  • Consider ways to maximize your efficiency. For example, plan to wash throw rugs early in the cleaning process. By the time you're done with your floors, the clean rugs will be ready, too.

Assign tasks. Gather family members to help clean for the party. When you split the task list among the family and by day, the chores will be finished more quickly than you expect.

Editor's Tip: Make cleaning for the party into a game so kids will be more willing to participate. Have a dance contest while you dust. Race to put away toys, clutter, or laundry.

Continued on page 3:  Start Cleaning


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