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Tips for Cleaning Your House for Guests After It’s Been a While

Tips for Cleaning Your House for Guests After It’s Been a While

Words Lisa Milbrand

Make sure your home is guest friendly with these smart cleaning tips.

If you’ve slacked on doing deep cleans—that’s okay!—it’s time to dive back in and get your home ready for guests. Need a quick refresher on how to spruce things up? You’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you’ll need to do to make sure your home is ready. Add these tips to your pre-hosting checklist and you’ll feel confident and excited to welcome guests back into your home.

squeege style cleaning device

Take a tour of your home—with fresh eyes. Walk in and take in the surroundings as if you were a guest. Do you see… piles of clutter? Dust bunnies under the pull-out couch? Splatters on the walls from pandemic cooking experiments gone wrong? Document the spots you see by taking notes or snapping a quick pic of each location, so you won’t miss a thing when you start cleaning.

cleaning faucets

Deep clean what they’ll see. This isn’t the time to purge all your old work clothes or finally declutter the junk drawer. Focus on the places your guests are likely to see, like the kitchen and bathroom. Grab a scrub brush and go over the backsplash tile in the kitchen, and make sure the mirror on your medicine cabinet gleams (along with everything else in there).

dust pan and broom

Clear clutter. Since working from home has shifted how we use our space, it’s inevitable that things might have gotten a little messy. Look for ways to contain the clutter, like repurposing bins for papers or POP containers to corral craft supplies. Now may be the time to temporarily dismantle the makeshift office on the dining room table, and bring the room back to its original purpose.

bathroom cleaning brush

Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize. Help your guests feel at ease in your home by minimizing the spread of germs. Give high-touch areas like your doorknobs, bathroom sink faucets, and toilet handles a good clean with a disinfecting spray. (Don’t forget to go back around and hit the same places after your guests have left and maybe even a few times while they’re there, depending on how long they stay.)

cleaning around flowers

Refresh soft surfaces. You’ve probably been keeping your countertops and tabletops clean, but your sofa, curtains, and other soft items may need a little TLC. If you have a pet, start by removing pet hair and other debris with a furniture brush. Sprinkle the couch with baking soda, and let it sit for 15 minutes to help eliminate odors. Give cushions (and the crevices around them) a thorough once-over with the vacuum cleaner. If the weather’s nice, try putting the cushions out for a little sunbathing—the heat from the sun can help revive saggy seats.

cleaning under the washing machine

Search high and low. Dust and dirt tend to accumulate in the harder-to-reach areas—and you might have missed or put off those nooks when you were cleaning your house during the pandemic. Take time to dust off ceiling fan blades, the tops of pictures or mirrors, and along door, window, and baseboard moldings. A long reach dusting system can help you make quick work of tough-to-reach spots.

Amp up the vibe. It’s exciting to have guests again, so look for ways to make your home even more welcoming. Put extra hangers back in your coat closet, or clear space on a coat rack for guests’ jackets. Pull your best towels out of the linen closet. Give your home a freshly cleaned fragrance by simmering a pot with water and fragrant items like orange peels, vanilla, cinnamon sticks, or other yummy scents.

All cleaned up and want to tackle some organization projects? Check out our expert tips on organizing every space in your kitchen, getting your drawers under control, and more cleaning and organizing advice.

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