When it comes to planning ahead for overnight guests, a party, friends coming over for dinner, it’s helpful to think ahead a bit and get ready for the event. Just a little pre-planning eliminates the overwhelm, the rushing around, and all the things we hate about the rush, rush, rush of the holidays. I have a simple system for how I plan ahead and clean for guests that works – this is the perfect time to try it.

Planning ahead for guests

Block out the week before company is coming – do the normal Daily Cleaning Tasks and Weekly Cleaning Tasks. On each of those days, think ahead to something you could do to make preparing for company a little easier.

Let’s say company is coming on Friday – this is how I plan ahead for guests. This is an example giving you a full week to get ready. Generally speaking, I find that the Monday before  is when I start to get ready for guests.

The perfect companion for your planning is the Homekeeping Planner – it’s ideal for keeping all of your to-dos straight in the simplest way possible. Bonus:  it’s undated so you can start using it the day it arrives, not after the New Year. Watch for it to be on sale for the Black Friday Sale (it starts on Wednesday).

These are the Weekly Tasks in the Clean Mama Routine – find the full Routine here.

Friday before: Catch-All Day Plan the menu out for the week ahead and the weekend that company will be in town. This is a great day to clean out the fridge too.

Saturday before: Wash sheets and towels – if you have a guest room, guest bedding and towels takes priority. Make sure bedding is clean and clean towels are ready. If your guests are staying in a child’s room(s), save the bedding until the day they arrive.

Sunday before: Prep ahead any food that can be made ahead and frozen. Want to have muffins on hand for an easy breakfast? Make a batch and freeze them.  Revisit your menu plan for the week ahead and make any tweaks before doing your grocery shopping.

Legal Pads / Homekeeping Planner / favorite pens

Monday before: Clean all the bathrooms, concentrating on the bathrooms that guests will be using. Make sure that you are stocked up on paper products – tissues, toilet paper, etc.

Tuesday before: Quickly dust the entire house making sure to dust where guests will be staying thoroughly.

microfiber duster

Wednesday before: Vacuum the entire house thoroughly – if you have extra time, run your attachments over corners, vents, and baseboards if needed. If it works better for you and your schedule you can also split this up with floor washing over two days. For instance, vacuum and wash the floors on one level on Wednesday and the other level on Thursday.

Thursday before: Wash floors thoroughly – if you have extra time, wash baseboards. Depending on the state of our floors, I will often leave them to wash after we have a party or guests. Just doing a little spot-cleaning will do the trick!

Friday – or whatever day guests arrive: Use the 30 Minute Quick Clean Checklist below to do a quick clean through the house if needed. Do any last minute grocery shopping and food prep. Relax and enjoy your guests!  You can also find this as a free printable checklist on the free printables page here.

What if my house is a disaster? What should I do?

If you are reading this and thinking, this list would work for someone that has a clean house already but mine is a MESS, here’s my recommendation. Start now and spend 15-30 minutes a day on the daily tasks – concentrate half of that time on the ‘clutter’ task. Clutter is what holds us back from a clean home most of the time. Need more explanation? Head to the Start Here page.

Keep doing this week after week – once you feel like you have a handle on them and like you’ve cleared some clutter, do a whole house clean.

How we clean while we have guests:

While we have guests staying at our house I never want them to feel like they need to clean so I keep the cleaning minimal. I make sure we clean up the kitchen after meals – everyone typically helps, I toss a small load of laundry in when I can so I don’t get behind, and wipe bathroom and kitchen counters daily (not the bathroom guests use), change out kitchen and bathroom hand towels, and we pick up little messes as we go. So basically, we keep up with the 5 Daily Tasks.