Quick Checklist: 5 Things to Do Before Overnight Guests Arrive

published Jul 6, 2015
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

Do you have plans for guests to be trickling in this summer? In between your own travel plans and busy life in general, you might find yourself pressed for time before receiving visitors. Check off the items on this list for a quick way to make sure you’ve got it all together before houseguests arrive, this season and beyond.

1. Do a thorough cleaning of where they’ll sleep

Ideally, we want to have time to do a really good clean up of the whole house before guests come over. But you might not always have the time for that. So focus instead on those areas that might be most noticeable to overnight guests in the area they’ll be sleeping. (Especially if they’re going to be sleeping in a guest room or corner you don’t hang out in often). Clean the actual sleep spot, of course, but dust the baseboards, under the bed, the window next to their sleeping head and bedside table. Because you’ll be cleaning a smaller area you should be able to find time to clean a little deeper.

2. Make stuff accessible

Where you place your towels, soap and more might be pretty obvious to you, but could be plain invisible to guests staying in your space. Consider laying out bath towels, washcloths and extra blankets (if your house stays cool) and perhaps even a fan (if your house stays hot) on or near their bed. And don’t forget about providing the basics covered in your bathroom (make sure there’s hand soap, a clean hand towel, a trash can and more). How Not To Embarrass People Who Use Your Bathroom.

(Image credit: Brittany Purlee)

3. Make the place smell nice

Walk outside of your home, pause for a few minutes, and walk back in. Take a deep, long breath. What do you smell? Last night’s dinner? Some weird, musty smell? Consider making your home smell a little fresher if it’s smelling a little funky. → How To Get Rid of Funky Smells: Products, Remedies & Scents to Stop the Stink.

4. Do a quick tidying up of the rest of your home

Hey, if you’ve got time to deep clean your whole house, go for it! If not, do a quick cleaning up around the hot spots in a home that grab someone’s attention first: the sofa, the coffee table, the dining room table, the kitchen sink, etc.

The Last-Minute Party Cleaning Plan: How To Clean Up for Guests in 20 Minutes


5. Look at your place with a fresh perspective and add a finishing touch

Is there something you could add to give your home a quick little punch of personality and joy? The answer is yes, and it’s probably a fresh bouquet of flowers or something else natural. It might even just be opening up your curtains and letting light in. Pro Florist Tips for Making Your Own Beautiful DIY Flower Arrangements.