Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and I’m going to guess that more than a few of you are hosting this year. I know how it is– you clean, and you clean, and you clean in places you think you’ve never cleaned before. But just when you think you’ve cleaned it all, sure enough, your Great Aunt Martha comes in and peeks in that one place you didn’t clean… yikes. Never fear– I’m listing out ten places you need to clean before guests arrive (but may have forgotten).
It’s November. Unless you live in Florida or Hawaii, you’re probably going to be taking a few coats. Beyond just cleaning it up a bit and making sure you have room for coats, now is a great time to purge any old, ill-fitting coats, make sure you have plenty of hangers for your guests, vacuum the floor inside in case any coats fall on the floor, and consider investing in a floormat for the closet if you live in an area where you may get some mucky, snowy, wintery boots.
Likewise, when you clean before guests arrive, you’ll want to consider cleaning a spare bedroom if you plan on keeping your coats in there instead of a hall closet. Wash the bedding both before and after you place coats on your bed (you never know what someone’s carrying on their clothing!) or consider just hanging the coats in a bedroom closet to keep them off of your bedding altogether.
Why the medicine cabinet, you might be asking? Because think about it… you know there’s going to be that one guest who snoops to see what you’ve got in there out of sheer curiosity. Go ahead and pack away any prescriptions, just for the day, and move anything you don’t want someone seeing out of sight. Better yet, stock your medicine cabinet with some extras just in case, like extra soap, mints, or feminine hygiene products, to help your snooping guests find what they may be looking for. Are you a family that likes having fun with each other? Stick a funny image that says you KNOW they’re snooping– like “Ha! Caught You!”
Before your guests arrive, make sure you clean out your refrigerator. If you’re serving pot-luck style, there’s likely something that needs to be chilled until you sit down to the table, and how often does a guest end up helping themselves to something, even if you’ve set it all out where they need it? At the very minimum, cleaning it out allows you plenty of space for leftovers after the meal, so being proactive and getting it cleaned before guests come is a good way to have it done whether guests see it or not.
This is a MUST if you have pets or kids. For one, allergies are everywhere these days, so the last thing you want is a guest hacking and coughing because you missed some pet dander. You’ll remember to vacuum and sweep, but don’t overlook couch cushions. Further, make sure to check for any stray toys, and if you haven’t done it in awhile, pull the couch all the way out to sweep or vacuum underneath. You might be surprised!
On Thanksgiving, you’re bound to have a lot of trash getting tossed, from turkey carcasses to dinnerware (particularly if you go dish-free and serve on paper, because hey, we aren’t all Martha Stewart). The last thing you need is a smelly trashcan when guests go to toss something (even if it’s gum before the meal). Trust me, if you’re hosting, at least one person will use your trash– and that goes for the main trash and bathroom trash! Give your trash can a good rinse, air dry it, then either place a sachet under the liner, use a scented trashbag, or sprinkle in some baking soda to absorb the odor. Make sure your trash is empty (or close to it) when guests arrive and you shouldn’t have any issues!
It’s fall, and during the fall, you’re going to get some fall leaves. At a minimum, when you clean before guests arrive, you’ll want to sweep the porch free of debris. Not only does it make your house look prettier at a glance (because trust me, we all have that relative who will judge), it cuts down on what guests are tracking into your house, helping you beat some of that post-holiday cleanup before it starts.
Keurig or Coffeemaker
Is anything better than some coffee or cider after dinner? Well, coffee or cider from a clean Keurig, for one. When you use a Keurig, even if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and brew an empty cup after each cup of coffee or cocoa. Check the coffeemaker section for special cleaners for your Keurig or Coffeemaker to keep them nice and cared for, or follow the manufacturer’s instructions (google your machine if you don’t know how to properly clean it) and get it spruced up so every cup on Thanksgiving tastes like the first cup.
This is more for your own sanity and less for your guests seeing anything… but if you’re having leftovers, or think you might have some, check your tupperware cabinet in advance. Try pairing lids with containers and make sure you have matches in a variety of sizes. If yours are worn, broken, or missing, toss the old and get some new ones before the holiday– it’ll be a wise investment through Christmas and beyond. Planning on sending some leftovers home with your guests? Investing in some take-and-toss style tupperware is a nice touch. This way, if you get it back, great, but if you don’t, you didn’t send them home with your good stuff.
This is particularly important if you happen to host a pot-luck style dinner, but even if you’re hosting a dinner where you plan to cook it all, something is bound to need reheating. Even if you keep a clean microwave, it never hurts to give it a good wipe down before your guests arrive.
Master bathroom (or another secondary bathroom)
I know, in a perfect world, you clean one bathroom and everyone uses that one and you can tuck clutter safely away in the other one, but it isn’t a perfect world. Someone is guaranteed to need to use the bathroom while someone else is, and you’re going to end up sending someone to a secondary bathroom. Save the embarrassment and clean up a second bathroom for guests to use. Oh, and don’t forget to clean out that medicine cabinet, too!
Did I miss any places you should definitely clean before you have guests arrive? Let me know in the comments below!