I still haven’t made up the guest rooms from Thanksgiving. I’ve been walking around ringing my hands, trying to figure out where to start first. Enter Better Homes and Garden who sent me a 7-day plan designed to make me “company ready” by the 23rd, when my peeps begin to arrive.
Cleaning Plan: Day 1
1. Walk through your home with a visitor’s eye, making notes of any imperfections you may be used to but guests may notice, such as houseplants with dead leaves.
2. Turn do-it-yourself tasks into a do-it-ourselves effort — gather family members, go over the plan, and assign chores. Remember: many hands make light work. “Luckydawg, Rebel! Report to the kitchen, I need help.”
Cleaning Plan: Day 2
1. Wash windows and vacuum window screens. (I may skip this step and just home it’s an overcast day.)
2. Damp-mop baseboards. (Please, someone tell me how to damp-mop baseboards. Is there a little baseboard mop?
3. Launder and press window and shower curtains. (My curtains were installed by a professional and I wouldn’t dare take them down.)
4. Launder bedspreads if needed.
Cleaning Plan: Day 3
1. Deep-clean bathrooms and medicine cabinets. (Yes, people will look).
2. Straighten bedrooms; remove clutter and donate or store out of sight.
Cleaning Plan: Day 4
1. Straighten coat closet, making room for guests’ coats. Add extra hangers if needed.
2. Wash throw rugs; set aside so they are nice and fluffy for party day.
Cleaning Plan: Day 5
1. Clean range or stove-top, stove surfaces, and grates. (But wait, I haven’t even begun cooking yet, Mr. Better Homes. When do I do that?)
2. Clean out the refrigerator, making room for party foods; dust top of refrigerator.
3. Wipe down all large and small appliances.
4. Wipe down kitchen cabinets.
Cleaning Plan: Day 6
1. Sweep entryway, polish the doorknob, and decorate the entry with seasonal touches.
2. Dust all surfaces, including bookshelves, photo frames, and art. Don’t forget the ceiling fans.
3. Clean kitchen sink.
Cleaning Plan: Day 7 – or day your folks arrive
1. Clean trash receptacles and add fresh liners.
2. Wipe down any dirty areas in the bathroom using household cleaner and paper towels.
3. Wipe down bathroom mirrors and counters. Wipe down floors with a damp towel.
4. Apply toilet bowl cleaner in the toilets; brush.
5. Hang fresh towels and put out fresh hand soap.
6. Damp-mop the kitchen floor.
7. Vacuum carpets and dry-mop wood floors.
8. Fluff sofa cushions and pillows.
9. You’re ready. But wait, what about the food. When do I do that? I’d better give Mr. Homes a call.