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Pre-Guest Cleaning Checklist: 12 Important Things You MUST Do Before Guests Arrive

Forget about the stress of having people over… Follow this pre-guest cleaning checklist to make everything a breeze!

Preparing your home for guests has never been easier with our comprehensive “Pre-Guest Cleaning Checklist.” Hosting friends or family is always an exciting experience. But a well-prepared space is the secret to a stress-free gathering.

Our pre-guest cleaning checklist ensures that every nook and cranny of your home sparkles and shines, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for when your visitors arrive.

Whether it’s a planned dinner, a weekend get-together, or some kind of special occasion, these 12 simple yet vital steps will make a significant difference. Let’s dive into the pre-guest cleaning checklist and make your hosting experience a breeze!

Pre-Guest Cleaning Checklist
Photo by New Africa at Shutterstock

Freshen up the air a bit

We’re all used to the usual smell in our homes. But other people might not find that smell all too pleasant. But that’s an easy fix! Add freshening up the air that circulates in your home to your pre-guest cleaning checklist.

If you have time, open your windows and turn on the vents to get rid of any odors from cooking and pets. Empty out your trash cans, light a scented candle, use a fabric and air freshener that entraps odors, or you can even turn on an essential oil diffuser.

One simple trick many real estate agents use is to bake some cookies. The air in your space will smell amazing! Keep a roll of cookie dough on hand to instantly give your home a wonderful aroma, and as a bonus, you’ll also have the treat to serve your guests.

Prepare a snack to welcome them

Nothing beats a simple meal after a long drive. Don’t skip this step on your pre-guest cleaning checklist. Even a sandwich paired with a glass of something can help weary travelers shake off the journey and make them feel more welcome and at home.

Make your guest bathroom shine

Nothing says “eww” much more than a grimy bathroom. Having a clean bathroom will help your visitors can forgive a bit of messiness in the rest of your home. Begin your pre-guest cleaning checklist by sweeping any personal items into drawers or a medicine cabinet.

Snatch up some disinfecting wipes and wipe down the sinks and counters. Next, clean the mirrors if you have any, and make sure that the toilet shines.

Lastly, be sure that the toilet paper is fully stocked, put out a new bar of soap and some fresh hand towels, or make sure the soap dispenser is full. And if the time allows it, sweep and mop the bathroom floor.

Clean your fixtures

Since we’re on the topic of your bathroom, if you haven’t given your plumbing fixtures, like the bathtub, shower, toilet, or sink, a deep clean in a while, you should do this before your guests arrive.

Here’s the best pre-guest cleaning checklist tip we can give you: Spray surfaces with an equal parts vinegar and water solution and let it sit for a bit. Next, scrub the surfaces with a hard-bristle brush and rinse them with water. Good as new!

Clean bedding

Make people feel comfortable at night by ensuring the bed is clean and ready to sleep in. Be sure to wash any linens on the bed, such as sheets, pillowcases, and blankets. And don’t forget to keep some extra blankets and pillows readily available.

Set up a self-service coffee station for guests

Some guests wake up really early, and others stay up very late. But trust us…no one wants to knock on your door at the crack of dawn because they can’t find your coffee filters.

It would be a huge help if you add this part to your pre-guest cleaning checklist. It’ll make it easier for them to help themselves.

Pre-Guest Cleaning Checklist
Photo by Roman Samborskyi at Shutterstock

Declutter and straighten up your living areas

You should be concentrating the most on the areas where your friends and family usually gathers.

To be more efficient when planning your pre-guest cleaning checklist, grab a laundry basket or storage box and work around the room clockwise, picking up any items that add clutter to the space.

Don’t forget to straighten and fluff out pillows, and be sure to fold throws as you move around the room. Carry a microfiber cloth in your hand to dust off tables and shelves quickly as you go.

Declutter and clean your kitchen

The reality is that everyone ends up in the kitchen at some point. So be sure you get all of the dirty dishes into the dishwasher. Wash them in the sink if you don’t have one! A sink full of dishes always equals a messy kitchen. The idea is to get rid of as much clutter as possible.

So put away anything that’s on the counters and wipe them down with a disinfecting solution or wipe. Don’t forget to clean your sink and wipe away any fingerprints you might find on appliances.

And if you have the time, add sweeping or vacuuming the floor quickly to your pre-guest cleaning checklist and use a mop to remove any obvious dirt.


If it’s been a while since you’ve had guests in your home, your serving pieces probably need a once-over before you fill them with food. You can save time on the day of your event by cleaning these necessities in advance.

Always have servingware, glassware, platters, and serving utensils clean and ready for when you want to host, which will give you extra time to spend with your visitors and cut down on clean-up time during your actual event.

And once you have selected the pieces you want to use, we recommend adding an extra step to your pre-guest cleaning checklist by running them through the dishwasher to ensure there are no dust or stained spots.

Make sure the entrance is clean

Whether or not your visitors use the front or back door, the entryway is the one that makes the first impression of your residence. All you have to do is take a few minutes to sweep any debris and shake out your welcome mat.

If you have glass doors, quickly wipe away any smudges and fingerprints to set the tone of a clean home. Remember to look around the area just inside the door. Place shoes in a basket, hide the pile of mail in a drawer, and make a bit of space in the coat closet for visitors’ coats.

Vacuum or mop floors

Most individuals tend to capture a general image of a room at eye level. So, if you’ve removed all the clutter and straightened up a room a bit, there’s less focus on the floor. But, if you can spare the time, sweeping, vacuuming, or mopping floors is always a good choice.

And if you have the time, sprinkle your carpets with some baking soda and let them absorb the unwanted odors for about 30 minutes.

As you vacuum it away, your rugs will smell fresher and look more radiant. And don’t forget to always have a duster close by to tackle any spiderwebs and noticeable dust as you vacuum.

Leave some space for personal items

Hide any excess personal items and make a bit more room for guests to stow away their things in your spare room. Clear out and designate a spot for their luggage or any other traveling bags and supply an area to hang their clothing items.

The main idea is, of course, to reduce clutter where you can. Anything the guest wouldn’t usually need should be relocated so that they feel like it’s their space.

Pre-Guest Cleaning Checklist
Photo by Drazen Zigic at Shutterstock

One last thing: Keep an open mind!

As the host, it’s essential to know how everything will unfold. For instance, which meals are you making, and what time will dinner be served? You might want to involve your guests in outings and activities and show them around town if they’re not familiar with the area.

Or you might even want to give them some space to read, nap, or explore on their own. And you can meet up for dinner later. Either way, having a plan and actually communicating it to your guests enables everyone to relax and look forward to things.

We hope you found this pre-guest cleaning checklist useful. Be sure to let us know if you have any smart tips of your own. Meanwhile, Wipe And Organize has much more to offer. Check out: 11 Minimalist Home Organization Tips for Easier Living

8 Responses

  1. I truly appreciate using a spare bedroom as a relaxation point for guests. Might suddenly find need to lay down and relax. Create beautiful havens for them, maybe a small icemaker and mini juices to enjoy and give a merry feeling of ‘WELCOME’.

  2. Of course you want your guest to feel welcome. If your guest are going to inspect your home that closing maybe they should stay home.

  3. Thanks so much for this very helpful
    Article. I’m expecting visitors in a couple of weeks and can really use this information. Thanks

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