The Ultimate Pre-party Cleaning Checklist for Stress-free Hosting

It’s always party season on the Eastern Shore, and we hope your home is a place where people come and go without much notice, preparation, or stress involved. We all need a reminder sometimes that family, friends, and neighborhood kids truly do not care that the house is messy. That’s not what this article is about. Today, we’re talking about the annual celebrations and shindigs- the plan-ahead, get-the-seasonal-decorations-out-of-the-attic, Grandma-Judy-is-coming-to-town-and-running-her-fingers-across-your-blinds kind of party. Today, we’re serving up the ultimate pre-party cleaning checklist that’ll leave your home sparkling, your guests impressed, and your sanity intact.

It went viral because it’s real, folks.

Plan Ahead 

We’ve all been there- frantically fluffing a pillow in one hand while pushing a vacuum with the other as guests arrive. Not a good look. Instead, create a cleaning schedule that breaks down tasks leading up to the event. Having a plan in place will help you stay organized and reduce stress.

Declutter and Organize

It’s crucial to declutter your space. Remove any unnecessary items that can make your home feel crowded and untidy. Or at least consolidate them in an area of the home away from the action.

Deep Clean in Advance (2-4 weeks before party)

Between your regular workload and everything else that goes into hosting, you do not have time for any ‘extras’ the week of the party. Approximately 2-4 weeks in advance (depending on the number of non-humans and little people in your home), do a DEEP CLEAN. This is your high/low dusting (molding, fans, blinds, baseboards), washing of cabinets, doors and trim, cleaning interior windows, vacuuming upholstered furniture, cleaning the interior of the oven so it doesn’t distract from the turkey, etc. You can totally do this yourself over the course of a couple of days, or you can call in the professionals.

Sanitize your Space (1 week before party)

Approximately 1 week before the party, do a good basic clean of the whole home. Clean the bathrooms (toilets, tubs/showers, sinks and vanities), dust the furniture, vacuum and wash all of the floors, and do your linens and laundry. Sometimes I’ll even clean and set the dining room table and make the kids eat at the barstools for the last days (that actually might be taking it a little too far, but you get the idea). Some things don’t need to be done the day of the party- like mopping floors.

day of Room-by-room cleaning checklist

Pre-party cleans are going to focus on the area(s) of the home that guests will see- don’t get distracted cleaning out your master bathroom drawers or even getting the mold out of the shower. This is not a deep, or even essential, clean checklist but a list of highly-visible, high-impact areas to freshen up before guests arrive.

Foyer, Living Room and Hallways

  • Clean high traffic glass like the inside and outside of your entry/exit doors and the mirror that the baby likes to ‘kiss’
  • Vacuum high traffic areas
  • Fluff pillows, fold blankets, and place any miscellaneous items neatly


  • Clean and sanitize countertops
  • Wipe down appliances to remove fingerprints or crumbs
  • Vacuum, neatly placing chairs and barstools
  • Rinse sink- people will want to help, and sinks are gross


  • Thoroughly clean guest bath(s) ONLY- don’t worry with the others
  • Replace used towels with clean, neatly folded ones
  • Ensure ample toiletries like toilet paper and hand soap are available
  • Close the shower curtain, and put out something scented

 Guest Bedrooms

  • Change bed linens and make the beds neatly
  • Vacuum the floor(s)
  • Lay out extra towels, blankets or pillows if needed
  • Open the curtains and/or turn on a lamp

Other Considerations

  1. If you have pets, address pet hair and odors. If small children will be present, childproof the space to ensure safety.
  2. Efficiency is key to pre-party cleaning. Use time-saving hacks like cleaning supplies caddies and enlisting help from family members or friends.
  3. Prepare for post-party cleanup by having trash bags and recycling bins readily available. Assign specific tasks to helpers, if possible, to make the process smoother.


With this ultimate pre-party cleaning checklist, you’re well-equipped to host memorable gatherings stress-free. By decluttering and deep cleaning in advance, sanitizing your space the week before the party, and following our day of room-by-room checklist, you’ll invite your guests into a clean and comfortable atmosphere- which is the perfect backdrop for unforgettable memories! Happy hosting! 

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