THE GUESTS ARE ARRIVING: How To Have A Sparkling Home

Every hostess wants their home to glitter for the holidays. Families arrive from out-of-town and stay over as guests, women want to impress their mothers and mother-in-laws – siblings, grandparents, nieces, nephews and friends are invited for parties and celebration dinners.

Yet, there’s never any time. NEVER. Guests are arriving in an hour and a half. The turkey is in the oven, the fire alarm is going off, hair curlers are in, and you’re in a bathrobe. AND your house is an absolute mess. It’s crunch time. Where and how do you clean to make your house sparkle?

Remember: perception is everything. It only counts if it looks nice for your guests. What they don’t know won’t hurt them. They don’t need to know the dirty little secrets of how messy and dirty your place is!

It really boils down to three crucial places in your home – the bathroom, the kitchen and the living room. Why these places? This is where the majority of the action takes place. Just shut the bedroom doors! Make them off limits! Throw all the dirty laundry in there!


The place where your guests go after they’ve devoured your delicious meal. There’s simply nothing worse than paying a visit to a filthy bathroom. Your guests will probably want to leave the party before dessert is even served. Ensure that your bathroom smells pleasant and shines like Martha Stewart’s smile. This means glossy faucets and sparkling ceramic. It means mirrors without any streaks. It means a shower without mildew or soap scum. But most importantly, pay attention to the toilet – it should look, smell and feel like it came straight from the manufacturer. Make sure all of these areas are sterilized and disinfected from germs.


This is a tough one. It’s hard to clean a kitchen shortly before or shortly after a meal. There’s too many things in the way. Moreover, traditional household cleaners contain dangerous chemicals that can enter the food during cooking. Salad dressing should consist of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, not ammonia, chlorine or glycol ethers…this is probably why you should own a no-chemical steam cleaner, but that’s another story.

You can and should clean your kitchen sink. A quick pass around the table and immediate eating area would be great. Just clean the area enough so that your guests BELIEVE it to be clean. That’s all that matters. Oh, and the countertops! Can’t forget those.


Dinner is done! Now your guests will likely want to take a seat in your living room. We hope they aren’t allergic to dust. If you don’t freshen up your fabrics, you’re bound to hear a load of coughing and sneezing, especially in homes with household pets. It is necessary to disinfect, dust and clean away all irritants. Also, try to cover up, remove (or even hide!) spots and stains that can really draw your guests’ focus away from the charming little conversation your having about your daughter’s terrible Spanish teacher.


  • Clean the front door and welcome mat. It’s the first things they’ll see!
  • Make sure to have an empty laundry basket – it makes you look like you’re on top of things (we know you’re not though).
  • Dusting away drapes and curtains goes a long way.
  • Forcing your immediate family to do some of these tasks is a great way to save time. We highly recommend it.

We think if you follow this emergency cleaning guide, you’ll be able to pull your meal/party off. Congratulations, you’re going to win the Hostess of the Year award.

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