If you're hosting guests this year, you may have a dilemma on your hands. No matter how much you clean before they arrive, there will be more cleaning to do while your guests are in your home. How do you clean around your guests without making them feel uncomfortable? How can you clean with guests and still be a hostess and not only a housekeeper? These 9 tips will help.
If your annual Christmas party finds you slaving in the kitchen as your guests enjoy themselves in your living room, you may need to hire some help. Hiring an extra pair of hands to serve food or just wash dishes will take a lot of pressure off of you. For small tasks, consider hiring a teenage friend of the family. They'll appreciate the extra money. And washing dishes or cleaning up after the party will be simple enough for them to do. For more involved tasks or more formal affairs, consider hiring professional help.
Although it won't save you completely from small cleaning tasks after your guests have arrived, pre-cleaning will make a huge difference in how much time you are forced to spend cleaning while you are supposed to be playing host/hostess. Take the time to make sure your home is ready for guests. Pay special attention to the bathrooms, entryways, and any other areas of your home where guests will be.
3. Plan for emergency messes.
A sudden stain on the carpet, a toilet that overflows, a young guest that decides to decorate your walls with crayons
...what kind of emergency messes are likely to happen while you are hosting guests? Take a few minutes and plan for them. Make sure you have staples like cleaning wipes
, carpet stain remover, wall erasers, and drain
cleaner on hand. Create a cleaning caddy filled with items you might need and keep it tucked away but easily accessible...just in case.
One of the best ways to clean when you have guests is to do it in 15 minute bursts of activity. You may not be able to schedule a regular cleaning time, especially if you're guests are overnight or out-of-town guests. Plans will be up in the air, and you will need to be flexible. When there is a little downtime, take just a small portion of it to quickly clean whatever needs to be tended to. Your guests won't begrudge you 15 minutes of maintenance. And in that short amount of time, you won't miss much, anyway. 15 minutes of cleaning is enough to keep any room in tidy shape.
5. Use convenient cleaning products.
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If there was ever a time to splurge on some convenient cleaning tools, it's now. Hosting guests eats up quite a bit of time. Cleaning wipes
, hand vacuums, air freshener, disposable toilet cleaners, and flat mops with disposable pads are lifesavers when you need to keep the house clean and entertain guests all at the same time.
before your guests arrive is necessary to keep your home inviting and welcoming. If your guests will be staying for awhile, remember that clutter seems to breed with time. Take a few moments each day to remove or put away clutter, and your home will stay cleaner...longer.
7. Wait until guests are gone.
If you can't find a way to balance cleaning and entertaining
, just wait until your guests are gone. It's okay. Guests understand that messes happen while you are entertaining. They will be comfortable with a little guest-created mess if you are too. And if you're not...pretend you are. It is annoying as a guest to feel like every crumb you drop on the floor needs to be vacuumed right away. As a host, just relax. There will be time to clean when your guests aren't around.
If your guests are with you for an extended stay, try to clean when they aren't around. When they go sightseeing on their own, hang behind and tidy up. It won't take much to keep your home ready and inviting.
8. Eat out.
When you have overnight guests, save yourself hours in the kitchen and just eat out. Take out-of-town guests to eat at your favorite local places. Or, if eating out isn't part of the budget, consider one dish meals and disposable dishes. Your guests want to see you, and time spent in the kitchen isn't the ideal way to catch up with guests.
If all else fails, let them help. When a guest sincerely offers to do that load of dishes while you wipe down the table...let them. Trying to maintain the illusion that you are a one-man-band host isn't worth the effort when you have willing help. Besides, washing dishes is a great time to talk. And the sooner the tidying up is done...the sooner everyone can enjoy their time together.