Between holidays, parties and day-to-day life, your home sees a lot of traffic in the busy winter months. Stress about preparing for overnight or long-term visitors can take some of the joy out of the season if you wait until the last minute. Rather than compounding your stress with procrastination, consider mapping out a simple plan. Avoid the last-minute clean-a-thon this year by preparing for your guests in stages.
In the weeks leading up to hosting guests:
Make sure your appliance maintenance is up to date and schedule necessary repairs or installations.
Confirm your outdoor lights are working.
Hire a professional to give your HVAC system a thorough inspection.
Declutter high-traffic areas like the kitchen, living room and bathrooms. Wipe down all baseboards.
Dust ceiling fans and light fixtures inside and outside.
Clean out and reorganize your fridge.
If you have washable shower curtains or drapes, wash and rehang.
As the weeks turn to days before your guests arrive:
Vacuum and dust the rooms where guests will be sleeping.
Wipe down chairs and tables.
Scrub floors, clean trash cans, and sanitize door knobs and light switches.
Wash and fluff guest towels, and put out fresh toiletries.
Deep clean the bathroom your guests will be using and, if possible, close it off until their arrival.
Launder bedding and make the beds.
Right before your guests arrive:
Wipe away pet hair, dust furniture and vacuum carpets.
Spruce up your entryway by sweeping the front porch, steps and walkways.
Plug in nightlights for the guest areas and add a welcoming aroma with a scented candle or essential oil diffuser.