Household Cleaning Tips: How To Clean For Holiday Guests

Simple instructions to break down the chores making house cleaning easier for holiday or overnight guests.

When you have out of town guests for the holidays, the friendly clutter you live with may not be that inviting to your house guests. Here are some simple suggestions to help you break down the chores you are facing without having such a monstrous job.

One week ahead of guest arrival:

- Clean out the refrigerator. Throw out any leftovers and clean the condiment containers free of any gunk that tends to form around the lids. Wipe out the refrigerator both on the inside and outside and clean off the top. Add a new box of baking soda.

- Clean the oven. You may find it easier to spray it down with an oven cleaner when you start the kitchen and then leave it until last to give the cleaner time to do the bulk of the work for you.

- Clean the windows. Clean both the inside and outside if you have time; otherwise, make sure the inside of the windows are clean.

- Clean and polish the silver. Pull out the guest china and give it a good wash and rinse. Launder and press the table linens.

- Clean and dust all the light fixtures. Remove the glass fixtures to make cleaning easier. Wash with mild detergent and rinse clean before replacing.

- Clean and dust the ceiling fans. You may find it easier to lay down a drop cloth if the fans have been neglected to keep the dust from flying all over the room and increasing your work load.

- Dust the baseboards and windowsills. Wash down the windowsills with detergent and water if a simple dusting will not clean them sufficiently.

- Clean and dust all knick-knacks, books, vases, picture frames, etc.

- Remove any stains from the upholstery and carpet.

- Clean the corners of the room free of any cobwebs.

- Vacuum the rugs and furniture. Move the furniture around and clean and vacuum underneath it.

- Launder bed linens and put clean, fresh linens on the guest bed. Make sure you have an extra set or two for unexpected last minute guest arrivals.

Two Days before Guest Arrival:

- Clean the microwave oven. In a glass bowl, add a tablespoon of baking soda to a cup of water. Microwave on high for five minutes and wipe clean with a paper towel.

- Scrub the top of the stove. Check and see if the interior needs to be wiped down again with a clean sponge.

- Clean bathrooms including sinks, toilets, tubs and showers. Sweep and mop the bathroom floor. Give extra attention to the corners and around the edge of the toilet and tub.

- Walk through the house and remove all clutter. Put away toys, shoes and any excess newspapers or magazines.

- Re-dust the entire house including the TV and computer screen. A dryer sheet will help clean the TV and computer screen free of dust and will help keep them dust free.

Day before arrival of guests:

- Clean the bathroom floors and mirrors. Make sure you have sufficient towels and soap. Replace air fresher or add a bowl of fresh potpourri.

- Wipe down all the chrome in the house to be free of fingerprints. Don't forget the front of the appliances in the kitchen.

- Scrub out the kitchen sink. Pay special attention to the garbage disposal and clean the rubber ring around the top of the sink. Make sure you clean the gunk that tends to form along the edge of the sink.

- Sweep the front porch and walkway.

- Double check the guest bedroom. Make sure you have extra blankets and linens, a reading lamp, nightlight and clock available for your guest use.

- Empty all trash cans.

On the day your guests arrive:

- Simmer a small pot on the stove with a cinnamon stick and a few cloves to give your house the added fragrance of home cooking.

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