Holiday Cleaning Checklist: Get Ready for Guests in Less Time

With the busy holiday season upon us, it's helpful to have a plan for a "company quick clean." This quick clean checklist will work for impromptu guests and for planned overnight guests as well. Follow these simple steps and, before you know it, your home will be company ready. You might even find this routine helpful for doing a quick clean any time.

Start with the Basics

Image: Clean Mama
  • Pick up the entryway -- remember to create places to put coats, shoes, and boots.
  • Quickly declutter the main living spaces -- grab a laundry basket to stash any items in until you have a couple minutes to put them away.
  • Vacuum or sweep up any noticeable crumbs in the kitchen area.
  • Wipe down counters and tables -- a damp cloth will work in a pinch.
  • Place any dishes in the sink or dishwasher -- always start a party with an empty dishwasher to keep the dish pile to a minimum.
  • Put out clean kitchen towels -- don't forget to dig out the holiday ones!
  • Wipe down any bathroom sink(s) that guests will use, and put out fresh bathroom towels. If you need to clean your bathrooms, here's how I speed clean my bathrooms in 15 minutes.
  • Vacuum main carpeted areas, and do a quick wash of any floors if necessary.

Once the main areas of your home are tidied up and company ready, you can either relax, start preparing food, or move on to a couple other quick clean tasks.

Tackle Extras

If you have time, these little touches are detail oriented and not necessary, but will give your home that little extra clean look and feel.

  • Wipe mirrors in bathrooms.
  • Fluff pillows and throw blankets -- this will instantly make your home feel warm and inviting.
  • Wipe off kitchen appliances -- get those hand prints and food spills wiped up.
  • Do a quick dust of your home - a microfiber duster works great for this!

Still have time? It's time to set the mood for your gathering. It only takes a couple minutes, and some would argue that this should be at the top of the list. Regardless, remember to think of the little details too.

Set the Mood

If your guests haven't arrived, set the mood in a snap with these ideas:

  • Light a favorite candle or two. This is the perfect time to burn that holiday candle or do a little simmer on the back of your stove or in a small crock.
  • Use your table lamps. Not only will this add to the mood, but table lighting makes you and your rooms look great!
  • Turn on holiday music.
  • Set the thermostat down a bit if you'll have a crowd, or set it to a temperature where your guests will be comfortable.

Just a few minutes and a little attention to detail are all you need to get ready for drop-in guests or a big holiday party. Taking the time to prep for your party will help you feel more comfortable, and you'll be able to enjoy your time knowing that your home is ready for the event.

Must-Know Cleaning Tricks

Cut cleaning time and ensure a sparkling space with these clever cheats that keep dust under control.

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