You are hosting Thanksgiving and you have been preparing for the meal for weeks. You have everything ready and our prepared to greet your guests, when you realize the house is a mess! You have become so busy planning, inviting, and getting everything ready that house cleaning slid a little. And now you’re getting ready to welcome the guests and in need of serious speed cleaning plan. Too Much to Do, Too Little Time! If the clock and calendar are not your friend then you need to set priorities for your house cleaning. You won’t have time to clean every corner, closet, and bedroom. You need to use your time wisely, cleaning the spaces that your guests are going to see and spend time in. Pay attention the next time you visit a friend’s home. Are you inspecting their floors and ceilings? Probably not. Most of your guests will be looking at what is at eye level. You’ll want to focus your cleaning efforts from waist to head level. Keep moving! Make a plan and stay on task. You are hosting Thanksgiving, your guests will be spending most of their time in your foyer, living room, dining room, kitchen, and bathroom. These are the areas that will need your attention. Before guests arrive pull closed doors on closets, bedrooms, and other areas you don’t want your guests. Don’t allow yourself to be derailed by a cleaning or organizing task that can wait until after company, remember the clock is ticking! Where Do I start? Try following the path in your guests will. In your foyer and living room the most important thing is clearing the clutter. You don’t have time for organizing paperwork, but you do have time to put loose mail into a basket with a cover or a small drawer. Same with your old magazines, if you have stacks of them either recycle them or tuck them away. Extra coats, shoes, and outerwear that build up in your foyer can be tucked back into a closet, or a bedroom you won’t be showing your guests. Run a dust cloth over your coffee tables, tv stand, and other surfaces that your guests will be setting drinks on or congregating around. A quick fluff of pillows and refolding of blankets and these areas should make the grade for your guests. If you have pets you may have to spend a little extra time de-furring the furniture. The Center of the Home If you’ve hosted a party before you know people congregate in the kitchen. It could be the smallest room in the house, but we are still all drawn to it! It may seem this room is difficult to clean since you will be in the middle of Thanksgiving preparation, however there are a couple things you can do to make it sparkle too. Since you are bound to have a lot of people in your kitchen get rid of all the rest of the extra “stuff”. Again clutter is the enemy. Clear off as much as you can from your counter and table tops. Appliances that will go unused are a great place to start. Don’t get lost in organizing paperwork, just tuck your loose recipes and papers into a less frequented cabinet or drawer. Just don’t forget where you put them! A wipe down of your faucet, sink, front of the fridge and counter tops to eliminate water spots and sticky areas. Guests won’t fault you if stuffing spills during Thanksgiving preparation, but they might judge if they put their hand in lunch from yesterday. Finishing Tips Vacuum selectively. Run through high traffic areas with your vacuum. Make sure you catch any loose fur from the family pet. Want to save time on vacuuming? Vacuum the bottom portion of the staircase, don’t drag your vacuum all the way up. The lower few stairs will get the most traffic and be most visible to your company. Go through and collect garbage out of all of your cans and replace them with fresh can liners. Finish freshening up your space by lighting some seasonal candles. Enjoy your friends and family over Thanksgiving. That is the most important thing. You may not get to the projects involving organizing paperwork, and other detail work, but you will finish the large projects.