6 Things to Always Clean Before Guests Come Over

You don't have to give your house a top-to-bottom scrub before guests arrive, but there are a few areas you should pay attention to.

Whether you're gearing up for a holiday or hosting loved ones from out of town, getting your house ready for entertaining friends and family can be stressful. "Your home is a reflection of you, so you want it to be clean and lovely to greet guests upon arrival and to set the tone for their stay," says Jove Meyer, the owner and creative director of Jove Meyer Events.

But there's no need to get overwhelmed when it comes to preparing your space for guests. Kristine Cooke, event planner and owner of Simply Charming Socials, says one easy way to get started is to clean the main guest-facing areas of your home first. "Start at your front door and the entryway, the go into the main living area, dining room, and/or kitchen," she says. This will give you a good idea of the spaces to prioritize; but don't overlook more intimate areas, like the bathroom and guest rooms.

To streamline the process, it helps to have a check-list of the most important things to clean before guests arrive—from high-traffic areas of the home, such as the entryway, to the items in your entertaining arsenal, like servingware and glassware.

vintage rug modern farmhouse entryway hall
Joe Schmelzer

The Entryway

Although it's an often overlooked area of the home when it comes to cleaning, your entryway is the first thing guests see when they arrive for the evening. "A clean entryway presents the rest of the house well—it's all about the first impression" says Vera Peterson, the President of Molly Maid, a Neighborly company.

Remove Clutter

Luckily, tidying up this space is easy. Anthony Navarro, creative director of Liven It Up Events, says to start by putting everything you normally leave out, away. If you have a shoe or coat rack, remove your items and store them in a spare room to make more space for guests to leave their things. "Make sure you have an entry rug that your guests can wipe their shoes on when they come and make sure the rug is clean," he says.

Provide Ambience

If you have a light fixture in your entryway, Navarro says to clean it and place it on a dimmer setting, if possible. "I love setting the tone as soon as the guests walk into the space," he says. Navarro also likes to burn a scented candle close to the door so that visitors are greeted with a nice smell as they enter the gathering area.

photo of a sink on a cupbaord in a bathroom interior with tiles, mirror and plants


As a commonly used area of the home, it's important to ensure your bathroom is ready for partygoers. Do you have enough toilet paper stocked? Is the shower clean for overnight guests? Don't overlook these details when preparing your space for your event.

Clean Fixtures

If you haven't given your plumbing fixtures, like the shower, bathtub, toilet, or sink, a deep clean recently, Peterson says to do so before guests arrive. Spray the surfaces with an equal parts water and vinegar solution and let it sit. Next, Peterson says to scrub the surfaces with a hard-bristle product and rinse with water.

Wash Mats and Towels

You don't want house guests drying their hands on dirty towels. For this reason, Peterson says to wash all machine-safe items kept in your bathroom, like bath and hand towels. While you're at it, she also recommends washing your bathmats.

Re-Stock Necessities

The last thing you want while hosting it is to be interrupted because the bathroom is out of toilet paper. Avoid this by amply stocking the space prior to welcoming guests into your home. In addition to paper products, make sure your bathroom has extra soap and hand towels stowed away when you run low.

Bedroom interior with wooden furniture
CreativaStudio / GETTY IMAGES

Guest Rooms

Whether or not partygoers are staying the night, Navarro says it's important to keep spare rooms clean. "A spare bedroom that is in close proximity to your main entertaining space, or used for coats or personal effects, tends to be a place at a party where two or three people may escape to for a side conversation," he says.

Clean Bedding

Make people staying the night comfortable by ensuring the bed is ready for them to sleep in. Peterson says to wash any linens on the bed, like sheets, pillowcases, and blankets and she says to keep extra blankets and pillows easily available.

Provide Space for Personal Items

Put excess personal items away and make more rooms for guests to stowaway their things in your spare room. Peterson says to clear out a spot for their luggage and other traveling bags, and to provide an area to hang any clothing items. "Reduce clutter where you can, anything the guest wouldn't normally need should be relocated so they feel like it is their space," she says.

Clean glassware neatly arranged on open white wooden shelves


The kitchen is the heart of your home—and where guests will congregate to see if they can lend a helping hand, fill up on beverages, or throw away trash, so you'll want to prepare it for lots of foot traffic.

Clean Surfaces

Cooke says corners and nooks-and-crannies of the home, like the pantry, tend to be neglected during cleaning. "If they're in plain sight or being accessed throughout the party, keep them tidy enough to be presentable," she says. Also, be sure to thoroughly wipe down your kitchen countertops, and high touch surfaces like the refrigerator door handle and faucet. "A clean kitchen keeps your food and beverage service sanitary for your guests," Navarro says.


If it's been a while since you've had guests over, your serving pieces are likely in need of a once over before you fill them with food. Save time on the day of your event by cleaning these necessities beforehand. "Always have servingware, platters, glassware, and serving utensils clean and ready for hosting, which gives you extra time to spend with guests and cuts down on clean-up during the actual event," Cooke says. Once you have selected your pieces, Meyer recommends giving them a fresh rinse or run them in the dishwasher to ensure there is no dust or stained spots.

Remove Odors

The aroma of last night's dinner may not be obvious to you, but according to Peterson, it can be identifiable to your guests. She says to make your kitchen feel inviting by eliminating unwanted odors. "Clean out the inside of your kitchen garbage can as one step," she says. "You can also leave a bowl of either white vinegar or baking soda on the counter overnight to absorb any bad smells."

White door with black round door handle opening into a bathroom
Robert Reader / GETTY IMAGES

High-Touch Surfaces

There are a handful of things in your home that visitors will touch more than others. Peterson says to wipe down commonly touched surfaces like doorknobs and door handles, light switches, remotes, and faucets to reduce the spread of germs.

Getty Images


According to Meyer, floors carry all of the dirt that comes into the home, so vacuuming and or mopping is essential before welcoming visitors. Right before the party, Cooke says to do a spot clean of your floors and wipe up any last minute dirt that may have been tracked in by pets or kids.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles