It’s not uncommon to find yourself in a situation where guests are arriving soon, and you still need to clean your home. Everyone wants to impress guests and make them feel at home. So, how do you go about it?
Thankfully, nowadays it’s more and more frequent to invite guests or have them over unexpectedly.
If you are running your household without the help of a professional cleaning service, it’s completely normal to have a relatively untidy home sometimes. Between work, family, and leisure time sometimes take over our lives and the last thing we want to do is mop our floors or clean our bathroom.
We usually have very little time to tidy before our guests arrive. Sometimes less than an hour!
Cleaning schedules are very popular for taking care of your home regularly. If you don’t know how to create one, you can follow many different ones on the internet. For example, you have this one from Dallas Maids to know what to clean during the week.
But if we are talking about guests coming over, the situation is different. You have a very little time schedule, and different priorities for the areas that you will need to clean. Guests might probably hang out in your living area, and they might stay or not in the guest room, depending on the nature of the visit.
Here’s a little guide to keep track of your priorities in each room to clean before your guests arrive!
First Things First: Plan Things Out
Even if you have 30 seconds to plan your cleaning, it will be worth it. By jumping straight to cleaning, you will create the opposite effect, because you won’t have a clear plan of where to start, and you might waste time jumping here and there instead of taking a methodic approach.
Depending on the time you have left, you will act accordingly. It can be overwhelming to decide what or where are you going to clean.
Instead, it might help you to think: what are my guests going to do when they visit? Are we going to hang out in the kitchen? Are they just going to sit in my living area? Or are they staying overnight in your guest bedroom? (and if you don’t have one, they will probably stay in the living area). They will most likely use your guest bathroom as well. Based on that, you will have a quicker way of deciding where you will focus.
Besides the areas, you also have to think about the tasks you will achieve in this short time. Some tasks will need extra time, even if it’s just to let them “act” on their own while you do something else. For example, cleaning dishes by hand or disinfecting your toilet or your shower.
Some cleaning tasks will have a more significant effect than others, and make you take the biggest leap from “messy” to decently tidy.
Don’t worry, your list won’t have to be too detailed, but it will give you a clear understanding of where to start. If you’re in a hurry, you can use keywords such as “vacuum” and “dishes”.
Now, let’s go through each room and find the best tasks.
Time to Begin Cleaning: Start with Your Entryway
The entryway, no matter how big or small, is the first impression your guests will have as soon as they walk home. If you have little time and your guests are coming in less than 10 minutes, don’t think twice! If possible, take your time to quickly sweep your floor, and wipe any surfaces you have such as a console table, a coat rack and/or a mirror.
Talking about coat racks, don’t forget to leave some empty space for your guests to hang their coats and scarves.
Here’s a pro tip: Don’t forget to add something that smells nice. Let’s say you will mop quickly: add a few drops of deodorizer or essential oil. Your guests will immediately associate the nice fragrance with your home being clean.
If you have a welcome rug, make sure you use your vacuum cleaner or just even a cleaning brush.
Second: Your Living Area
Your living area is probably the next immediate area your guests will be hanging out. This is important because if other areas are still messy you can just ask them to wait for a few minutes while you finish tidying the rest of your home.
Make sure your throw pillows and blankets look nice and balanced among the sofa and seats. Strike the top of your cushions hard and fast to make the middle section look plump and full. Place your throw blankets so they fall nicely on a side of your couch or just fold them.
If you have a handheld vacuum or an upholstery cleaner or even a lint roller, quickly run that through your sofa. If you have an end table or coffee table, make sure it looks uncluttered and with free space.
Next: Clean Your Guest Bathroom
Now we have your guest bathroom. At this point, you might be thinking about your guest bedroom as well (if they are staying overnight), but we will leave that for the fourth step, in a way.
If they are staying overnight and you haven’t prepared your guest bedroom, the most effective use of time is to take care of the bathroom for a second, let your cleaning agents act and, in the meantime, quickly freshen up your guest bedroom and then go back to your bathroom.
This is because bathroom cleaning products will pretty much do the job for you while you are busy doing another cleaning task. The order will end up being: bathroom (only to let products act), then bedroom, then back to the bathroom to finish scrubbing and wiping.
A good strategy is to pour white vinegar into a spray bottle and apply that to the sink. Add some toilet cleaner to your toilet as well.
If you have time to clean your shower as well, sprinkle some baking soda and then spray hot soapy water on your shower floor. Let it all sit for 15 minutes and then scrub quickly with a clean broom. Then, let water run for around 2 minutes until it’s nice and clean. Keep in mind you might not have time to clean your shower so it’s best to skip this step unless it is absolutely necessary.
Get back to your sink and toilet and scrub your surfaces using a cleaning brush and toilet brush. You might also need a small old toothbrush for your sink faucet.
Because you want your guests to feel at home, it’s best to replace toilet paper and other toiletries, a toothbrush, and even maybe a small candle or décor piece. Replace your towels as well.
If you have very frequent guests, you might want to find a 50-pack of hotel-sized soap bars. They are very affordable and such a nice detail.
Your Guest Bedroom Is Next
Of course, in the bedroom, the priority is to have clean bedding. Make sure you check our Wash Bedding Guide to count clean sheets all the time.
The reason why your guest bath and bedroom are not the first priority is that, unlike your entryway, you can ask them to give you 5 minutes to freshen up the guest bedroom and bathroom before they come in.
Just like you did with your living area, make sure your pillows look nice and fluffy, lay a throw blanket and, if you have time, prepare quickly a breakfast table or a small tray with some flowers in a small vase, perhaps some sweets, souvenirs, and/or a candle.
Don’t worry, this won’t take you more than 2 minutes! Just keep all items nearby (perhaps on a nightstand) and lay them on the breakfast table right before they come.
This will impress your guests. Talk about hospitality!
Next Step: Cleaning Your Floors
Choosing the priority of this cleaning task is not easy. On one hand, your floors will create a big impact once they are clean, but they might take significant time.
Think carefully about the areas and the cleaning tasks that you will carry on regarding your floors.
A cleaning device such as a vacuum cleaner or an electric mop will make a huge difference. If you don’t have the device or the time, just sweeping you will have a positive impact, especially if you have pets.
As for the areas, follow the same train of thought as you did for cleaning. Floors in your entryway and your living area are the top priority, and if you have time, you can clean the floors in your bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen.
Just like you did with your entryway, if you have time to mop quickly, add a few drops of essential oil or apply a deodorizer with a spray bottle to give it that extra fresh fragrance to your areas.
If you have carpet floors, you can check our Carpet Stains Removal Guide to get rid of them fast and easily.
Kitchen and Dining Area
This is the last step because, unless you have a specific cooking plan with your guests, they may not even enter or see the kitchen (unless your house has an open concept). It’s just easier to avoid our guests from entering our kitchen.
In your kitchen and dining area your biggest priority will be flat surfaces: countertops, your dining table, and kitchen islands. Start by organizing and “clearing out” surfaces. If you have any small appliances or ingredients that are out of place, get them back where they belong or at least place them back in a corner.
If you have wooden, laminate, or aluminum countertops, you can use a 1:1 white vinegar and water mix and a microfiber cloth to wipe all surfaces. This will quickly remove any stains and small food crumbs.
For natural stone surfaces such as granite and marble, you need to use a specialized cleaner or just warm, soapy water. However, you might need to wipe 2 or 3 times with a clean cloth to remove any soap residues.
Last But Not Least: Let Some Fresh Air
Unless it’s a really cold winter, it’s really important to let some air flow into every room.
Our nose gets used to the air we breathe in our homes, so it can be difficult to detect if the air is not nice and fresh. Some areas such as Memphis have really high humidity during certain times of the year, and this can give your home the typical “moisture” smell in the air.
Make sure you open up a window, preferably two windows on opposite sides to let new air come in.
On a similar note, if possible, add a nice fragrance. Perhaps a nice, soft incense stick or an essential oil diffuser. Even an air purifier will improve your air quality, reduce allergies and neutralize any unpleasant smells, especially those related to moisture.
Now that your home looks tidy and clean, don’t forget to hide your cleaning tools! The last thing you want is to have your broom, your cleaning brushes, and your vacuum scattered around your home.
We hope these tips improve your home quickly! We know that having unexpected guests will have you running around and trying to fix your home.