6 Areas to Clean Before Guests Arrive (For the Impression of a Spotless Home)
Your guests called—they’re on the way. You’re thinking, ‘Please let them hit traffic’ because your place still needs some major straightening up. Not to worry: These six cleaning tips from Donna Smallin Kuper, author of Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness, are the keys to a speedy cleanup.
1. Sweep outside.
Your porch, steps, windows, and banisters are the first things guests will see, so make sure they’re free of debris and cobwebs. Use an angled broom with a head that swivels to get in hard-to-reach corners.
2. Straighten up the entryway.
It’s where you welcome guests—and a pile of shoes is not welcoming. To keep that space clear, try a storage bench with a shoe rack underneath; stash sports gear and other odds and ends in clear storage bins in the garage.
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3. Declutter the coat closet.
A closet with plenty of space to hang coats gives the impression that the whole house is neat and orderly. Add non-slip hangers, so items don’t end up on the floor. You might need to move a few of your own coats into a bedroom closet to make room (it’s worth it).
4. Quick-clean the guest bathroom.
It’s the spot visitors will notice the most. Follow Smallin Kuper’s 15-minute routine for speed cleaning: Spray the shower (if there is one) with a cleaning solution like basil-scented Mrs. Meyers, and let it sit 5 to 10 minutes. During that time, scrub the toilet, wipe down the sink and mirrors, and empty the bathroom wastebasket. Then go back to the shower, and clean it with a motorized scrub brush that works much faster than your hands. Last, mop the floor with disposable, single-use cloths, replenish the hand soap, and hang a fresh set of hand towels. Got an extra minute? Light a scented candle or set out an essential oil diffuser.
5. Empty the garbage can.
It signals the room is clean. Better yet? Invest in a sleek trash can in rose gold or dark bronze, so your trash looks (almost) like treasure.
6. Minimize counter clutter.
If you have an open-concept kitchen you use for entertaining, be sure to wipe down the countertops and put dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Don’t stop at cleaning—clutter control matters, too. Stash mail and papers in an organizer that’s pretty enough to leave out. Arrange everyday items, like cooking oils and spices, on a turntable in the pantry, so they’re tucked away but still in easy reach.
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