Winter Cleaning: Prepare Your Home For Holiday Visitors

Who Needs a Guard Dog? by OakleyOriginals (CC BY 2.0)

Forget Santa, your family is coming to town and that means you want to get your home ready for some holiday entertaining. Although we would rather be snuggled up in our pj’s hibernating and binge watching on Netflix, holiday gatherings oblige us to tackle winter cleaning. Between cooking and holiday shopping, you probably don’t have time to do a complete winter cleaning on your entire house. Prioritize the key areas that visitors will be experiencing and focus your winter cleaning there. Make a checklist like the one below for your needs and get an early start on your winter cleaning!

House front porch decorated for Christmas with pine garlands wreath red ribbon bows and decorative reindeer by (CC BY 2.0)
House front porch decorated for Christmas by (CC BY 2.0)


Make a good first impression. Outdoor winter cleaning really depends on the weather in your area. A good host will clear pathways of snow or leaves for easy access. Add your holiday decor and make space in your closets for guests’ coats.

  • Sweep porch
  • Prepare front door decor
  • Clean rain gutters
  • Organize the coat closet
  • Store summer gear out of sight

Living & dining areas:

a fireplace mantel decorated with personalized stockings and three glass vases of flowers in front of a mirror hanging on the wall by (CC BY 2.0)
a fireplace mantel by (CC BY 2.0)

Don’t let a pet hair on your sofa take away from your beautiful decor. Make sure to clean between cushions and under sofas. Guests will automatically be attracted to photo frames or mantels, so make sure to dust your bookshelves and make your Mother proud. Since some guests tend to gravitate around the television, your winter cleaning should include dusting your TV and other visible electronics.

  • Vacuum sofas and carpets
  • Dust TV, shelves and mantels
  • Sweep the chimney and prepare piles of wood


1-5-front-kitchen by NPJINC (CC BY 2.0)
1-5-front-kitchen by NPJINC (CC BY 2.0)

Although you might be doing all the cooking, families love to gather in the kitchen. Kitchen winter cleaning includes making space in your pantry for holiday foods, cleaning your fridge, making sure you have enough plates, glasses and silverware for all of your guests. Bring out any gifts that you have in storage. Boil some cinnamon sticks for a great wintery smell.

  • Clean and organize your refrigerator
  • Shine your appliances
  • Polish silverware
  • Clean your microwave
  • Clean trash cans and eliminate bad odors


Medicine Cabinet. by Jamiesrabbits (CC BY 2.0)
Medicine Cabinet. by Jamiesrabbits (CC BY 2.0)

Winter cleaning your bathroom means preparing it for guests. Whether you share your bathroom or have a guest bathroom, organize your drawers and cabinets just in case any curious guest opens them. Display extra toilet paper somewhere easy to reach by guests themselves so they aren’t caught in a tricky situation.

  • Declutter your medicine cabinet
  • Add extra guest towels
  • Add some scented candles
  • Disinfect door knobs and light switches.

Guest bedrooms:

Guest Bedroom by angi231700 (CC BY 2.0)
Guest Bedroom by angi231700 (CC BY 2.0)

Guests will appreciate a clean comfortable space during a holiday visit. Besides dusting and vacuuming, prepare your guest rooms with anything guests might need.

  • Change bed linens
  • Add extra blankets and throws
  • Add scented candles
  • Provide small welcome baskets
  • Clear closets

After you’ve done your winter cleaning, you can sit back and enjoy some time with your guests knowing your home is shining brighter than your Christmas lights. Use natural cleaning products for an extra green winter cleaning. If you are out of time and need an extra hand there’s always an army of friendly green elves at Harmony Maids that can do all the cleaning for you! What are your favorite winter cleaning traditions? Share your thoughts in the comments below.