It feels great to have a clean, organized, well-functioning home when you’ve got guests coming, especially around the holidays. It’s like your gift to you. Use this checklist from the National Association of REALTORS® to get that satisfying feeling, no matter how much time you have.
Three (or More) Weeks to Go. Think big picture. Get anything that requires a pro or installation out of the way now. No one wants calamity to strike when guests are pulling into the driveway.
• Get your HVAC maintained if it’s overdue.
• If you have a self-cleaning oven, clean it now. An oven is most likely to break down during the cleaning cycle, so don’t save this task for last.
• Replace any appliance on its last legs. You don’t want your hot water to go out or fridge on the fritz with a houseful of guests.
• Steam-clean upholstery. (Or hire a pro. It’s a big job)
• Hire a handyman for those repairs you’ve been putting off.
• Check outdoor lighting. Replace old bulbs and call an electrician to address any bigger issues.
Two Weeks to Go. It’s not panic time yet. Focus on decluttering and a few deep-cleaning tasks now, and you’ll have a more manageable to-do list when the clock really starts ticking down.
• Do a deep declutter. It’ll make things easier to keep clean.
• Dust ceiling fans, light fixtures, and high-up shelves.
• Wipe down baseboards.
• Clean out and organize the fridge.
• Wash windows to make the entire house feel brighter and cleaner.
• Toss washable shower curtains and drapes in the washing machine and re-hang. Easy.
One Week to Go. It’s strategic cleaning time. Here’s what to tackle now — things your family won’t easily undo before your guests arrive.
• Declutter again.
• Vacuum and dust guest rooms. If they’re low-traffic, the cleanliness should hold with just a quick wipe-down right before they arrive.
• Wipe down walls.
• Wipe down kitchen and dining room chairs and tables, including the legs. You’d be surprised how grimy they get.
• Deep clean the entryway — and make room for your guests’ stuff.
72 Hours to Go. The final cleaning stretch is on the horizon.
• Do another declutter.
• In the kitchen, toss stove burners, drip pans, and knobs into the dishwasher for an easy deep clean.
• Wash kitchen cabinet fronts.
• Scrub the kitchen floor.
• Clean and shine appliances.
48 Hours to Go. Now it’s time to get serious.
• Clean and sanitize garbage cans to banish mystery smells.
• Wipe down doorknobs, faceplates, and light switches. They’re germ magnets.
• Clean the front door.
• Deep clean the bathroom your guests will use, and close it off if possible.
• Wash guest towels and linens.
24 Hours to Go. Your guests’ bags are packed. Time for final touches.
• Do a final declutter - by now it shouldn’t take more than five minutes.
• Give one final wipe-down to toilets, tubs, and bathroom sinks.
• And another final wipe-down in the kitchen.
• Do all the floors: mop, vacuum, sweep, etc.
• Make guest beds and set out clean towels.
• Plug in nightlights in guest baths.
• Put out guest toiletries so they’re easy to find.
• Add a coffee or tea station in the guest room or kitchen.
• Get your favorite smell going, whether it’s a scented candle, spices in water on the stove, or essential oils.
• Use rubber gloves to wipe off pet hair and dust from furniture. It works.
• Do the full red carpet: Sweep or shovel porch, steps, and outdoor walkways.
With this countdown roadmap, you’ll have a perfectly clean guest-ready home, no matter how much (or little) time you have. We work with our clients and communities all throughout the year. That’s Who We R®.