The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

Ask ACI: Guest Prep


Q: This holiday season, I’ll be hosting several overnight guests from out of town. Do you have any tips for getting my home and guest room ready?

Having guests for the holidays is a great excuse to spruce up your home. Focus first on the bedrooms, bathrooms, and other shared spaces. Here are my top ten tips for preparing your home for guests.

  1. Put mats and throw rugs in all entryways. This will help prevent dirt from being tracked into your home.
  2. Keep a boot tray near the door for rain or snow soaked footwear.
  3. Vacuum carpets, floors and baseboards so you won’t have to count dust bunnies among your holiday guests!
  4. Before the holiday rush takes over, give all the bed linens a thorough cleaning. Make sure you have extra clean linens on hand!
  5. If you plan on doing a lot of holiday cooking and entertaining, check your stockpile of aprons, potholders, dishcloths, and dish towels. Make sure they’re clean and in usable condition.
  6. Put a container of pop-up disposable wipes next to every bathroom and powder room sink. Encourage family members to use them every time they turn the tap water off.
  7. Make room for guest’s gear by purging the coat closet of out-of-season items and stocking it with hangers sturdy enough for winter coats.
  8. Stock up on disposable hand towels for the powder room and guest bath.
  9. Inventory your laundry supplies so you don’t run out of anything at this busy time of the year.
  10. Clean out the refrigerator to make room for holiday goodies. Remove the contents, checking expiration dates, and discarding anything whose time is up. Clean the shelves and wipe down bottles and jars before returning items to the refrigerator.

And consider giving yourself a holiday present: a professional cleaning service pre- or post-holiday is just what Santa ordered. Good luck, and happy holidays!

Be sure to check out my full "Countdown to the Holidays" checklist.