What Will a Guest Actually Notice? Tips for a Holiday-Ready Home

Holiday-ready home.

The last six weeks of the year are fun and full of family time, but leading up to the festivities you are stuck trying to clean your house and make it guest ready. Sometimes, the little things seem pointless and time-consuming, so you might be wondering what will the house guest actually notice?

Before you start dusting the baseboards, organizing the filing cabinets and cleaning the attic, let’s find out what matters the most. If you don’t have time to run around tackling extra chores, then you need to nail down the priorities.


1.  Make Your Home Smell Fresh (and preferably delicious)

The first thing a guest will notice when they walk through your front door is how your home smells. Your house is where they will spend most of their time during their stay, and a fresh smelling home is always better than having to smell pet odors or anything foul.

One strategy to make your home smell amazing is simmering herbs like mint and lavender with citrus slices in a small pot of water on the stove.

You can attach deodorizers to your air vents to circulate smells. You could also throw a touch of colorful fresh cut flowers to bring in clean aromas.

If you live somewhere with clean outdoor air, then open the windows and let the fresh air permeate the space (as long as it isn’t too cold outside). Otherwise, light a few candles, put freshener in the bathroom and consider baking some cookies or bread before they arrive.

It also helps to take out the trash, wash the dishes and make sure nothing is sitting in the garbage disposal.


2.  Clean Up the Clutter.

When you need to remove clutter from your home, don’t start in the closets or under the bed. Instead, begin in the simple areas like clearing off flat surfaces, putting away laundry, washing the dishes and storing all those toys.

There is a time and a place to organize and purge your house of unnecessary items, and the weeks and days leading up to the holidays isn’t it. Instead, this is the time you just pick up the items, remove unnecessary stuff floating out in the open and hide things in the back of a closet in a room without guests.


3.  Stock Your Bathroom and Make It Spotless

Your overnight guests will spend a lot of time in the bathroom taking showers and getting ready for the day, which means this is the room they will notice any dirt or grime.

So instead of dusting underneath your television, opt to give your bathroom a detailed clean. Fill your tub with one to two inches of hot water. Add a cleaning solution and wash the walls of the shower. Let the soapy water sit in the tub for 20 minutes to help you scrub up any stains

Clean the toilet and ensure there are not any foul odors near it. Wash off the sink and use glass cleaner on the mirror.

Most importantly, make sure the bathroom is stocked with toilet paper, shampoo (and conditioner), body wash, hand soap and plenty of fresh showers.


4.  Clean Out the Refrigerator

The second area your guests will spend a lot of time is browsing the refrigerator. Every now and then we all succumb to a late night snack, but you don’t want your guests rummaging through a dirty refrigerator. You also don’t want expired food items. Just because you know the salad dressing is 3-years-old doesn’t mean your guests will recognize its age until after they consume it.

Pull everything out of the refrigerator before anyone arrives. Check the dates and quality of each item and throw out anything questionable. Be sure to wipe down the sides and clean out those vegetable bins.


5.  Go The Extra Mile

It is natural to want a clean house for your guests. Sometimes what they actually notice isn’t whether or not you’ve dusted your furniture, but they remember how you treated them. Hospitality means giving them a place to call home for just a few short days or weeks.

They might remember how you provided them with tiny toiletries just like a hotel, or they might appreciate how you always kept a stocked fruit bowl sitting on the counter for easy-access snacks.

A clean house will make for a better stay, but you shouldn’t forget your guests are there to visit you too. So, at some point, you have to set aside your to-do list and give your guest time and attention. In the future, they won’t remember the basket of unfolded clothes in the corner of the room, but they will remember laughter, conversations, delicious food and good company. So take a deep breath, accomplish what you can and spend the rest of your time focused on family.

If you truly don’t have time to tackle your cleaning to-do list, then it might be time to consider hiring a cleaning service. At Custom Maid our services will fit your needs, even if you just require extra help to prepare for the holidays. Let’s start a conversation on how we can help you. Give us a call at 918.376.4114.



Tresha McCarty