Get this party started!

‘Tis the season to be merry! Here is your checklist for a party-ready house!

  1. Brighten the windows and entry.
  2. Wash the windows and get them to sparkle! It’s amazing how much prettier clean glass is. Even if your party is at night, the glass will glow and shimmer in candlelight or party lighting. Vacuum the window screens.
  3. Sweep your front porch, steps, and walkway. Brush away cobwebs, and clear away any obstacles. Give your entry a fresh, welcoming appearance.
  4. Scrub the toilets.
  5. Clear the counters of clutter. If you don’t have enough storage space to put everything away, tuck the toiletries into a small basket. Leave the basket on the counter for everyday use until party day. On the day of the party, hide the basket in a closet, under a bed, or in some other discreet spot.
  6. Clear the tub or shower, and scrub it until it shines. Organize the contents and clean the surfaces of your medicine cabinets. People are nosy by nature. They will peek. Tuck away anything you want to keep private.
  7. Straighten the bedrooms. Store any clutter out of sight.
  8. Review your list of fragile or irreplaceable items. Put them in safe places on high shelves or tuck them away from errant elbows and messy spills.
  9. Clear the clutter from your living areas. Use an empty laundry basket to gather odds and ends, stray clothing or shoes, papers, books, magazines, toys, and other items that have been left on tables or the floor. If you have time, put everything in its proper place now.
  10. Straighten the entryway and coat closet. Make room for guests’ outerwear. Consider moving your family’s outerwear to another closet or other temporary storage until after the party. Add extra hangers for guests, if necessary. Clear away backpacks, briefcases, shoes, scarves, gloves, sports equipment, and other items that are typically left in the entryway (a laundry basket makes a convenient temporary container).
  11. Scan your living spaces for unnecessary everyday items. Even things you use regularly might be in the way during a party. Clear your walkways and tabletops to make plenty of room for guests to rest plates or glasses.
  12. Clean out the refrigerator. Discard any expired food and leftovers so you can make room in the refrigerator for party food. Move large containers and infrequently used items to the back. Make room in the freezer for ice for the party.
  13. Wipe down the refrigerator, including the top, and all large and small appliances.
  14. Clean the range or cooktop, including all the surfaces and grates.
  15. Clean the floor.
  16. Empty recycling containers into outdoor bins or take material to be recycled.
  17. Dust all surfaces, including bookshelves, framed photos and art, knickknacks, displayed china, and other decorative pieces.
  18. Dust the ceiling fans. Guests will notice the brighter look, and it might even make the air seem a bit fresher.
  19. Sweep the entryway. Add decorative touches to your front door as desired.
  20. Clean the kitchen sinks. Giving them a good scrub now will make quick work of refreshing them just before the party.
  21. Use household cleaner and paper towels to give bathroom surfaces a quick shine.
  22. Pay attention to water spots and residue on the faucet and liquid soap dispenser.
  23. Hide toiletries and countertop clutter in an out-of-the-way spot.
  24. Clean bathroom mirrors. A sparkling mirror reflects the light and makes everything brighter.
  25. Use a damp towel to clean the bathroom floor.
  26. Apply toilet bowl cleaner, and give the toilets a quick brushing.
  27. Hang fresh hand towels in the bathrooms. Put out fresh hand soap or fill the liquid soap dispensers.
  28. Vacuum the carpets and use a dust mop on hard-surface floors in your living spaces.
  29. Fluff sofa cushions and pillows. Straighten stacks of magazines or books. Fold or arrange throws. Make sure tabletops are clear of clutter and dust-free.
  30. Empty the trash from the containers throughout the house. Wipe off the outsides of your trash receptacles. Insert clean liners. This simple detail makes the kitchen and all your guest spaces feel fresher.
  31. Set up your party area. Arrange fresh flowers. Light candles. Turn on music. Set up your food and beverage stations. Finish food preparation.
  32. There you have it! Now you can entertain and enjoy the festivities!

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