Tips on Cleaning Before House Guests

Tips on Cleaning Before House Guests

No matter the time of year, any day is a good day to have guests…except maybe when your house isn’t as clean as it could be.

When you get the last minute call, “Oh! We’re coming to stay next week, didn’t you know?” or “Hey you know that party we’ve been talking about for months, let’s have it at your house three days from now,” it’s a normal reaction to look around your house and freak out:

There’s too much to do.

This house is a wreck.

What is that on the floor?

There’s no time. 

What am I going to do?

While routine house cleaning can be a task in and of itself, impromptu family visits and parties never fail to bring cleaning stress to a new level. There’s immediately extra pressure on your daily routine. Almost simultaneously, you are met with an overflowing to-do list with items ranging from ordering food, planning menus, coordinating schedules, creating activities, washing sheets, vacuuming, scrubbing, dusting, and decorating your home to portray absolute perfection—and that’s not including your regularly scheduled programs like chores and work and extracurricular activities.

Don’t worry. Below we go through the best ways you can tackle house cleaning without stressing out at the last minute.

Create Your Cleaning Game Plan

Take a walk in your guests’ shoes to see what their experience would be if they were to show up to your house today. Ask yourself the following questions:

What does my front yard look like?

  • Are there shrubs that need trimming?
  • Does my grass need to be cut?
  • How many weeds need to be treated?
  • Are there way too many leaves on the yard?
  • Is there a lot of fallen branches that need to be picked up?

What does my front porch look like?

  • Are the chairs in need of a good wipe down?
  • Do I need to sweep?
  • Are there cobwebs greeting you around the front windows?
  • Are there items on the porch that need to be put away?

What does my entryway and living room look like?

  • Are there things that need to be put away?
  • Does furniture need to be moved around?
  • Is there enough seating?
  • Are there places for your guests to put their belongings?
  • Do the floors need to be swept and mopped?
  • How dusty are my lamps and ceiling fans?
  • When was the last time I vacuumed?
  • Do items need to be spot-cleaned?
  • How many pillows are too many pillows?
  • Are there blankets just in case someone needs one?

What needs to be done in the bathroom?

  • Are the surfaces clean?
  • Does my mirror look spotless?
  • How many towels do I have out?
  • Do I need to wash bathmats and towels?
  • Do I need more guest towels?
  • Does my medicine cabinet need to be organized?
  • Does my tub need a scrub down?
  • Does the toilet need cleaning?
  • Are there enough toiletries for my guests?

What is the status of my kitchen?

  • Are all of the dishes clean and organized?
  • Does the stove need a deep clean?
  • What are all the counters looking like?
  • Is there enough seating for your guests to hangout in the kitchen?
  • Did you need to reorganize the fridge?
  • Are all of the guest friendly gadgets available?
    • Coffee maker with essentials?
    • Teapot for non-coffee drinkers?
  • Is your microwave clean?

What do my common areas look like?

  • Are there items that need to be reorganized?
  • Are there personal belongings that need to be moved?
  • What needs to be dusted, vacuumed, polished, and scrubbed?

What is the status of my guest room(s)?

  • Did you wash the guest bed sheets, conforter and pillowcases?
  • Did you clear out the guest bedroom laundry hamper?
  • Are the windows cleaned and dusted?
  • Is the fan dusted?
  • Are the floors vacuumed or swept and mopped?
  • Do you have a clock in there for their use?
  • Are there extra reading materials in case they need some?
  • Did you organize the closet to ensure there is space for their hanging items?

Depending on the kind of guests you’re expecting, you may have more questions that need to be considered in order to get the best idea of what needs to be done. But as you answer each of the above questions, take note of the to-do areas and make a list of tasks for each area (in order of priority).

We’ll show you an example below:

My Short-Notice Cleaning Checklist

Things to Clean Before Company Arrives


  • Deep Clean Tub/Shower
  • Scrub Tiles and Grout
  • Scrub Sink/Faucet
  • Clean Toilet
  • Scrub Floors
  • Wipe Down Mirror and Windows
  • Wash Towels/Washcloths
  • Wash Bathmat


  • Clear Out Dirty Dishes
  • Wash Dishes
  • Deep Clean Stovetop/Oven
  • Clear Off Counters
  • Deep Clean Counters
  • Deep Clean Sink
  • Sweep/Scrub Floors
  • Take Out Trash
  • Wash Table Cloth

Living Room

  • Wash Throw Blankets
  • Remove Items from Floor
  • Rearrange Furniture
  • Clear Off Coffee Table/Side Tables
  • Wipe Down/Dust Every Surface
  • Dust TV/Entertainment System
  • Dust Art and Wall Hangings
  • Dust Ceiling Fans
  • Dust and Wipe Down Windows and Baseboards
  • Sweep/Mop/Vacuum Entire Floor Area

Guest Bedroom

  • Dust Ceiling Fans
  • Remove and Wash Sheets/Comforters/Pillowcases
  • Dust and Wipe Down Windows and Baseboards
  • Sweep/Mop/Vacuum Entire Floor Area
  • Clear Out Space in the Guest Room Closet
  • Make Bed

Entry Way

  • Clear Out Unwanted Items
  • Sweep/Mop/Vacuum Entire Floor Area

Front Yard

  • Clear Out/Rake Fallen Branches and Leaves
  • Cut and Trim Grass
  • Weed Garden
  • Sweep Walkway

When to Call in the Cleaning Specialists

Getting your chores organized is the first step to cleaning efficiently and quickly. Just like we’ve shown you in the cleaning checklist above, the professional maids of Scruples create a running list of all of our highest priority items no matter the size of the job. We stay organized because it’s the attention to detail that makes your house feel refreshed and ready for any party or guest.

At Scruples Maid Service, we understand the stress that cleaning adds to your already busy, daily routine, so we make ourselves available on short notice. We’ll handle the last minute cleaning so you can focus on the bigger things: your family, your friends, and your unexpected guests.

Get a quote today to see how Scruples can redefine what clean means to your home.