How to Prepare for Unexpected Guests

February 1, 2013 | By | Comments (9)


Unexpected guests are always a pleasant surprise, but it seems like everyone, inevitably, decides to stop by when the house (or, in my case, apartment) is at its worst. Don’t panic! Before shooing them out the door and off to a restaurant down the street, here are a few tips for quickly whipping your house into shape.

Focus your energy on the kitchen, since guests tend to congregate there (that’s where the food and the drinks are, after all!). Start by giving the sink a quick scrub, wiping sticky spills off the stovetop, and cleaning the counters. If you still have a few minutes to spare, sweep up any major dust bunnies and wipe down appliances like the refrigerator and the microwave.

If impromptu company arrived, what would you clean first?

More quick cleaning solutions.


  1. MarieRoxanne

    These are all good tips but what if the guests are already at the door, with no warnings? You cannot truly sweep and wash appliances in front of them.

    February 2, 2013 at 1:45 am
  2. Kristen

    good point marieroxanne

    February 2, 2013 at 1:56 pm
  3. Brad E Wakeman

    To answer the question: if impromptu company arrived, I wouldn’t be cleaning . . . I’d be socializing!

    February 2, 2013 at 2:04 pm
  4. Susan

    dim the lights! :)

    February 2, 2013 at 8:50 pm
  5. Sandra

    My in-laws once arrived two days ahead of schedule for their week-long visit from out of town, waiting in my driveway as I pulled in from work straight from daycare pick up. I felt sick to my stomach, knowing the disaster that awaited us on the other side of the door. The house looked like a bomb had exploded (last night’s dishes still on the table, dishwasher open and still dirty, beds unmade, toys everywhere). I was mortified (and furious at them, don’t even get me started). In the past I’d usually do a big clean up ever week or so, or right before company arrived. Their early arrival when we were so very unprepared was a huge turning point in our lives. From that point on I have resolved to never allow our house to get to that out of order again. I make a point each and every night to spend between 10-20 minutes tidying up. We never start our evening without clearing the table, filling the dishwasher, and general tidying up. It has become part of our daily routine and it helps keep everything running smoothly. I much prefer spending 20 min a night over spending a few hours or more on the weekend, all the while stressing about the mess. It is so easy to let things go, but I’ve realized that it’s really not that hard to keep things up. I never, ever want to feel the way I did that day.

    February 6, 2013 at 11:44 am
  6. Katesabooger

    My boyfriend is one of those who does not give a single crap how our house looks so he never does much to help pick up. One day, he told me his mom was coming to visit and instead of frantically power cleaning the whole front of the house, I just said to hell with it and let it be since I was going to be gone most of the day anyway. It was bad, but it wasn’t THAT bad. Of course then she felt the need to clean it for me. I was mortified (and also appreciative) when I got home and found her doing the dishes. I wanted to tell her that if her SON ever picked up after himself that it wouldn’t be in this condition in the first place!

    February 15, 2013 at 2:35 pm
  7. Nancy

    My bathroom and then I’d start closing doors to rooms they do need to enter. I think you can tidy up a kitchen in the mix of preparing a drink and/or food. It just kind of flows.

    February 15, 2013 at 3:10 pm
  8. CD

    My boyfriend is the same way- he doesn’t think that he or anyone else should care about what the house looks like. We have compromised on it over time. I worry less about the house when we don’t have company over, and he helps me clean up when company is coming over. Give-and-take. The first thing I check is the state of the bathroom- that is where cleanliness is going to matter most to guests!

    February 15, 2013 at 3:26 pm
  9. BeReal

    Why do better for others than you do for yourself? If you aren’t ok with your house, clean it. You can also tell your guest that you simply aren’t ready for company yet and to come back in an hour. If they don’t like it once they are in, they can leave. It really is that easy.

    February 15, 2013 at 4:12 pm

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