Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, December 7, 2018

Checklist for getting your house guest-ready

It feels great to have a clean, organized, well-functioning home when guests are coming – especially around the holidays. It’s like your gift to you. Use this checklist from the National Association of Realtors to get that satisfying feeling, no matter how much time you have.

Three (or more) weeks to go

Think big picture. Get anything that requires a pro or installation out of the way. No one wants calamity to strike when guests are pulling into the driveway.

n Get your HVAC maintained if it’s overdue.

-- If you have a self-cleaning oven, clean it. An oven is most likely to break down during the cleaning cycle, so don’t save this task for last.

-- Replace any appliance that’s on its last legs. You don’t want your hot water to go out or fridge on the fritz with a houseful of guests.

-- Steam-clean your upholstery. Or hire a pro. It’s a big job.

-- Hire a handyman for those repairs you’ve been putting off.

-- Check your outdoor lighting. Replace old bulbs and call an electrician to address any bigger issues.

Two weeks to go

It’s not panic time yet. Focus on decluttering and a few deep-cleaning tasks, and you’ll have a more manageable to-do list when the clock really starts ticking down.

-- Do a deep declutter. It’ll make things easier to keep clean.

-- Dust your ceiling fans, light fixtures, and high-up shelves.

-- Wipe down your baseboards.

-- Clean and organize your fridge.

-- Wash your windows to make the entire house feel brighter and cleaner.

-- Toss your washable shower curtains and drapes in the washing machine and re-hang. Easy peasy!

One week to go

It’s strategic cleaning time. Here’s what to tackle now:

-- Declutter again.

-- Vacuum and dust your guest rooms. If they’re low-traffic, the cleanliness should hold with just a quick wipe-down right before your visitors arrive.

-- Wipe down your walls.

-- Wipe down your kitchen and dining room chairs and tables, including the legs. You’d be surprised how grimy they get.

-- Deep clean the entryway – and make room for your guests’ stuff.

Your family won’t be able to easily undo these things before your guests arrive.

72 hours to go

The final cleaning stretch is on the horizon.

-- Do another declutter.

-- In the kitchen, toss your stove burners, drip pans, and knobs into the dishwasher for an easy deep clean.

-- Wash your kitchen cabinet fronts.

-- Scrub your kitchen floor.

-- Clean and shine your appliances.

48 hours to go

It’s time to get serious.

-- Clean and sanitize your garbage cans to banish mystery smells.

-- Wipe down your doorknobs, faceplates and light switches. They’re germ magnets.

-- Clean your front door.

-- Deep clean the bathroom your guests will use and close it off (if possible).

Wash the guest towels and linens.

24 hours to go

Your guests’ bags are packed. It’s time for the final touches.

-- Do a final declutter. By now, it shouldn’t take more than five minutes.

-- Give one final wipe-down to the toilets, tubs and bathroom sinks, and another final wipe-down in the kitchen.

-- Do all the floors: mop, vacuum, sweep, etc.

-- Make guest beds and set out clean towels.

-- Plug in nightlights in the guest baths.

-- Put out guest toiletries so they’re easy to find.

-- Add a coffee or tea station in the guest room or kitchen.

-- Get your favorite smell going, whether it’s a scented candle, spices in water on the stove, or essential oils.

-- Use rubber gloves to wipe off pet hair and dust from furniture. It works.

-- Do the full red carpet: Sweep or shovel your porch, steps, and outdoor walkways.

You’re done!

With this countdown roadmap, you’ll have a perfectly clean guest-ready home, no matter how much (or little) time you have!

Greater Chattanooga Realtors is “The Voice for Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga.” A regional organization with more than 2,000 members, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is one of some 1,300 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. Greater Chattanooga Realtors services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. Information: www.gcar.net; 423 698-8001.