clean house for a company

How to Quickly Clean House for Company

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You just got off the phone and learned that company is heading your way: maybe right now, maybe in a few days after a sudden change in holiday plans. Either way, you suddenly realize your home looks like a bomb went off, and you need to get your house cleaned fast!

Cleaning house for company

Never fear! The pros at Upstairs Downstairs are here to help you manage this crisis and impress guests with a clean house and minimal stress!

A Step-By-Step Cleaning Guide Before Having Company Over

Having company over for the holidays or an evening always sounds like a great idea until you look around your house or apartment. Don’t be overwhelmed by cleaning the house for company. Just follow this list and you’ll have an enviably clean home in no time. 

Take a Deep Breath and Get Organized

Few things are more anxiety-inducing than learning guests are on their way when your house is currently the backdrop of a project or bout of laziness. Don’t panic. Prioritize what is most important and start tackling those tasks until you hear a knock on the door. Your guests will be fine without a freshly vacuumed floor or a lit candle, but make sure you put away any obstacles and give a quick pass in the bathroom before they arrive. 

Gather Your Cleaning Supplies

cleaning supplies

While the main tidying priorities can be done with little in the way of tools and supplies, there are a few things you will need to do a thorough job—particularly eco-friendly cleaning products for the bathroom and kitchen, and at least a vacuum for the floors. You may need a few other items for particular tasks, so make sure you have them before getting started on your cleaning tasks!

Tackle Daily Chores Like Dishes

An easy place to get started when cleaning your house for company is the routine tasks that are part of your daily cleaning cycle. Grab dirty dishes lying around and scoop up any clothes on the floor. Getting the dishwasher and laundry running is a great way to start your cleaning gears spinning before diving into bigger projects. Let these appliances work while moving on to other areas of your home.

Sweep and Clean the Entrance

To make a good impression, start by tidying up your entryway. Line up shoes, sort through the piles of mail and Amazon boxes, and move keys, wallets, or purses you might not be comfortable having next to your front door while people come and go. Once the area is straightened up, give it a sweep and/or vacuum so it looks fresh and clean. You might even walk outside and then enter your home as if you were a guest, keeping an eye out for areas in need of sprucing up.

Related: Speed Cleaning Guide to Keep Your House Neat

Declutter and Pick Up Living Areas

cleaning house clutter

Quick decluttering is one of the most efficient ways to make your home look better. Even if you only have a few minutes before unexpected guests arrive, grabbing any out-of-place items and putting them where they belong has a significant effect on making the space look ready for company. Make certain seating areas and coffee tables aren’t being used for storage!

Clean and Tidy Up the Guest Bathroom

guest bathroom cleaning

The guest bathroom is the first room to address outside the entryway and main living space. Even if someone is only stopping by for a minute, you never know if they will ask to use the amenities. The last thing you want is for them to walk into a dirty bathroom with wet towels on the floor, a splattered mirror, an empty toilet paper roll, or worse. 

Declutter, Mop, and Wipe Down the Kitchen

cleaning house kitchen

The next room you should attend to is the kitchen. Even if you don’t plan on serving food, guests may at least want to grab a drink or wash their hands. Somehow, even without food or drink involved, the company has a way of congregating in the kitchen! Start by clearing off the kitchen table and countertops, then clean the fridge. If you don’t have time to wash all the dirty dishes, at least consolidate them in the sink or hide them away in the dishwasher (or even the oven!). Don’t forget to wipe down the microwave if you expect it to be used. 

Overnight Guests?

If your company might need a room overnight, you’ll definitely want to address the guestroom before they arrive. Give the room a once over to remove anything that doesn’t belong. Depending on how often the space is used, you may also need to:

Tidy Up the Bedrooms

Guestrooms, especially those not often used, tend to become a loading zone for laundry, Amazon packages, and other random stuff that you’ll “get to when you can.” It is vital to remove this clutter from the room and leave the essentials, so guests feel they are in a comfortable hotel room. Make sure there is space in the dressers and closets for their things.

Wash the Linens

cleaning house linens

The most important step for a guestroom is preparing fresh bedding. If you didn’t wash or replace the sheets, blankets, and pillowcases after the last time the bed was used, be sure to reset it before your guests arrive.

Vacuum or Mop the Floors

A fresh, clean floor can make a big difference in the first impression of your home. It is usually a good idea to save it for one of the final tasks, or else you might knock dust or other messes onto your newly cleaned floor. Depending on the type of floors in your home, you’ll want to sweep, vacuum, and mop in that order. 

Empty Trash Cans

Full trashcans can be inconvenient and smelly. You don’t want guests to feel awkward about throwing something away into an overflowing garbage can. An empty trashcan with a few tissues or small items shows that you maintain your home regularly. 

Freshen the Air With Scented Oils or Candles 

cleaning house candles

Especially after vacuuming and taking out the trash, lighting a scented candle, or using scented oils will give your home a pleasant and welcoming aroma. This is a nice touch for any room, but especially important for bathrooms and the primary living area. 

Add Some Final Touches for Pizazz 

If you have extra time after everything else is finished, give your personal finishing touches to really wow guests in your space. Arrange your decorative pillows, put on some music, make some hors d’oeuvre, and place a mint on the bedroom pillows to nail the resort vibe!

Want to Really Impress Your Guests? Hire a Deep Cleaning Service!

If you’re hosting for the holidays or have a big event coming up, consider hiring a deep cleaning service to get your home in perfect order. Let us handle cleaning the house for your company so you can focus on planning, cooking, and spending time with friends and family!


What comes first cleaning or organizing?

It is usually a good idea to organize before you clean. You might kick up dust or create new areas to clean when moving things around, so organizing before cleaning can save you from cleaning, organizing, then cleaning again. 

How do I prepare my home for long-term guests?

Long-term guests present their own challenges when cleaning and preparing your home for company. You want your houseguests to feel at home with convenient access to all of the amenities. Make sure toiletries are well stocked, let your guests know where to find clean towels and refreshments, and make sure there is a dresser and closet for guests to organize their things. You want them to feel at home or like they are staying in a hotel.

What is proper house cleaner etiquette?

A few necessary boxes to check when preparing your home for guests include having a comfortable place to sit and clean amenities. Guests won’t feel welcome if you have laundry and discarded jackets covering the chairs or couches, forcing them to stand awkwardly in your living space. And even for short visits or guests just stopping by, it is vital to have a clean bathroom. You don’t want to be embarrassed about your bathroom or hesitate if they ask to use it! 

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