Day 10 :: Quick and Easy Cleaning for Company


or me, half the fun of hospitality is anticipating the event and imagining how I can craft a cozy space and warm welcome.

That being said, one of the biggest stresses can be the preparations–especially the cleaning.  It’s not that cleaning in itself is stressful; it’s that I tend to leave too much to be done the day of/night before the event.

Probably the best thing I ever did to relieve this stress was decide that clean enough is good enough.

Here’s what “clean enough” looks like for me, in order of importance.

Quick and Easy Cleaning for Company

1.) Target only the areas where people will be hanging out.

Maybe this is a no-brainer, but sometimes when I get going, I start a cleaning frenzy where I’m tidying bedrooms and scrubbing toilets that no one will see.

Which is great if there’s time for that. Hubs would be ecstatic if our bathroom counters weren’t almost permanently covered in gunk.

But if peeps are coming over in a couple hours, it’s probably better for me to reign it in and focus my energies on only what’s going to be visible.

2.) Focus on the Floors

I’ve always felt that if my floors are clean, the rest of the house looks cleaner.

Even if it’s not. Anyone else?

3.) General Tidying Up

My mom always said “a neat mess is a good mess.”  Oxymoron aside, the of restraining the mess in containers/baskets/cabinets/closets is a practice I regularly adopt.

Stuff doesn’t have to be perfectly organized or even all put away, just contained enough that it doesn’t impede walking, sitting, or eating.

4.) De-clutter Counters

Basically, find a home for the homeless stuff covering the counters.


5.) Clean the Glass & Mirrors

Cleaning glass has become almost enjoyable since I started cleaning with Norwex cloths.

Beyond a fun time, though, clean glass just makes a room look more sparkly.  And you can’t go wrong with sparkly.

6.) Candles Cover a Multitude of Sins

Don’t they? They’re basically magical.

7.) Don’t Stress Over Getting it Perfect

Pre-kids, my house was consistently in pretty great shape.  My current season of life is a bit different.

Now, I have two little ones, two volatile cats, a husband doing grad school after work, meals to prepare, and a household to keep functioning.

Call me grungy, but I often don’t get to #5.  And I haven’t heard anyone complaining about my less-than-sparkly glass. Yet.

If I waited for my house to be in perfect shape to host anything, I’d be waiting a good while.  Better to invite people into the imperfection and have a good time doing it.

How much cleaning do you do in preparation for guests?

This is a post from a 31 day series on Real, Simple Hospitality.  Read all other posts in the series here.  Check out all the other 31 Day-ers here.

Photo by: Jesse Gardner

About Jenn

Jenn is a mommy of three and wife to her best friend. She enjoys good books, dinner guests, elevenses, and proper apostrophe use.

  • Christy

    Declutter for sure is #1. Candles lit is magical. I agree. I’d add: fluff pillows on the couches. Clean the kitchen counters and floors (much of our socializing happens in our ginormous kitchen). Those are the must have’s. Everything else is optional. Grabbing all the clean laundry that has sat out drying in the dining room (oh yes.. English houses very rarely have a dryer!) and hiding it in the wardrobe – just chucking the whole pile in there and happily closing the door is a great quick tidy technique. I’ll be met with an avalanche once the guests leave.. but at least my house looked clean! 😛

    • I was just reading a book about a girl in Paris having a dinner party while her underwear was hanging to dry across the ceiling of the hallway (She’d forgotten about her laundry).

      What y’all across the pond lack in dyers you sure make up for in accents and beautiful scenery, though 🙂

      • I read that book too!! Lessons Learned from Madame Chic?
        And yes, candles. Candles and lamplight cover a multitude of sin and dust. 😉

      • Christy

        Oh yes… regularly run into the house and do a SWEEP for underwear in public places hanging up to dry!

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