Before guests arrive, you need to clean your home to get it company-ready. Although you don't have to deep-clean your home from top to bottom, you should tidy up the spaces you know guests will frequent. That includes the entryway, main living areas, kitchen, and any bathroom visitors will use.
The most important thing is to make sure these areas appear clean and clutter-free; you don't need to go overboard scrubbing and organizing every inch of space. A little strategic holiday cleaning and decluttering will go a long way. You can spend less time with a vacuum and scrub brush and more time enjoying the company of those you love.
To help you sort through which tasks are worth your limited time and attention during this busy season, we have a holiday cleaning checklist that guides you through each room of your home. Refer to this list to prioritize cleaning duties and finish the job as quickly as possible. Although it's particularly helpful around the holidays, this house cleaning checklist can also come in handy anytime you're hosting guests.
Holiday Cleaning Checklist for Your Entryway
An entryway offers the first impression of your home as guests arrive. So, in addition to decking the space with holiday decor, take the time to clean and organize your entryway before gatherings. Follow this holiday cleaning checklist and give visitors a warm (and tidy) welcome.
- Pick up clutter near the door
- Designate a spot for guests' coats, boots, and shoes
- Wipe down walls to remove scuffs and marks
- Use glass cleaner to remove fingerprints from windows and doors
- Shovel the front walk, if necessary
Holiday Cleaning Checklist for Living Areas
Holiday gatherings typically center around main living areas, such as dining and living rooms. Determine which rooms guests are likely to congregate in and focus your holiday cleaning efforts there. Then, ensure these spaces look their best with a quick once-over before the doorbell rings.
- Vacuum or sweep and mop floors
- Spot-clean any stains on carpet or furniture
- Wipe down surfaces with a microfiber duster or damp cloth
- Put away any items that don't belong in the room
If you're short on time, load the items into a basket and stash it somewhere until you have time to put them away.
- Fluff pillows and sofa cushions and neatly fold throw blankets
Kitchen Holiday Cleaning Tasks
If your holiday festivities include food, there's a good chance your kitchen will be on display for guests to see. To quickly clean your kitchen, focus on the problem areas that are most visibly messy. This kitchen cleaning checklist will prep your space for holiday hosting.
- Declutter and wipe down countertops
- Vacuum or sweep floors
- Clear any dirty dishes from the sink and clean the basin
- Wipe down kitchen appliances
- Replace kitchen hand towels
- Make room in the refrigerator for leftovers
Holiday Cleaning Checklist for the Bathroom
Freshen up the bathroom guests are most likely to use, which might be a first-floor powder room or a guest bathroom. If your visitors are spending the night, make sure the bathroom is also stocked with plenty of supplies, including extra towels and toiletries. Follow this checklist to prep your bathroom for the holidays.
- Clean mirrors to remove streaks and water spots
- Clear clutter and personal products from the vanity
- Wipe down the sink and countertops
- Put out fresh hand towels
- Sweep or mop the floor
- Give the toilet a quick scrub with a toilet brush
- Refill the soap dispenser and set out extra toiletries
If you've finished these holiday cleaning tasks and still have some time, set the mood by lighting a candle, putting on some music, and programming the thermostat to a comfortable temperature. These extra touches will help set a festive tone and make you feel more comfortable knowing your home is clean and ready for the event.