Having house guests can be a pleasure, but it can also be a lot of work. Depending on who your guests are – and what your culture is like – you might get a little help, or you could get stuck doing everything on your own. For example, if you’re hosting your kids or grandkids, then it’s possible to assign them chores. But if it’s in-laws and friends, it may seem rude to get them involved in household labour, not unless they volunteer.
If you’re big on cleanliness, then having a house full of people is even more involving, because more people means more mess and more hygiene requirements. It helps to remember that a tidy house looks cleaner than a messy one and vice versa, so if you can get your temporary residents to put things in their places, it’ll help your house look more put together. It could be as simple as walking around with a ‘junk basket’ to put stuff away.
However, this trick will only work so long, because eventually, you’ll have to sort out those baskets full of things, and by the end of three days, you won’t know where anything is. Worse, the ‘basket system’ means stray things like toys ad scarves get dumped in a pile, but so do keys and phones, so once your guests start a lost-and-found quest in your nicely tidied baggage, you’ll end up with a bigger mess than when you started.
Wake up earlier than your guests
A simpler suggestion is to get out of bed before your house guests. It gives you a few moments of solitude, peace, and quiet before you have to attend to the hoards, and it’s a great time to tidy up and ‘sort the baskets’ we keep mentioning. It also makes your guests feel cosy and welcome, because they’ll always wake up to a clean house.
It’s rude to vacuum while the household is asleep, but you can handle some of the quieter house-cleaning tasks. Put away any clutter left over from the night before, wipe down dusty surfaces, place shoes in shoe racks, and fluff the cushions and rugs. A house full of people can get stuffy, so open the windows to allow ventilation, and draw the curtains so that everything is nice and bright when your residents wake up.
Take the first shower of the day
If your guests are using en-suite bathrooms, you’ll have to wait until later before you can clean up, but you can begin by cleaning out the communal ones. Wipe down the walls to get rid of scum, freshen up the toilets and shine the mirrors. Depending on your preferred bathroom system, you can clean then shower, or shower then clean.
The important thing is to have your shower early and leave the bathroom clean so that when guests wake up, they find a nice, spotless room to wash up in. It’s also a good idea to get your shower in early because if you have that many guests to attend to (and a limited number of bathrooms), you might not get another chance.
Use quick tips to clean their rooms
When guests are staying at a hotel, housekeeping usually does their thing while guests are having breakfast, and you could follow the same system. When your guests go down to eat, do a quick run of their rooms – with their permission of course. Make the beds, put away the dirty clothes, replace the towels, and wipe down any surfaces.
Remember, just like the rest of the house, a tidy room looks cleaner, so just by putting in new bed linen, opening the curtains, and arranging any luggage, books, or random items lying around your guests’ rooms it already looks like you’ve done a good cleaning job. On occasions where you’re taking your guests for a day out, you could hire cleaning services to come spruce up the house more thoroughly.
Wash the dishes frequently
Another thing that piles up in a house full of guests is the dishes. If you don’t wash them frequently, you’ll soon run out. Plus, a pile of dirty crockery and cutlery just makes a bad impression on your guests. Get into the habit of washing up after every meal, even if that means drawing up a roster and making it a rotational chore.
Alternatively, you could just serve take-out the whole time your guests are with you, but that could get expensive, so if you’re completely against doing that may dishes that often, then switch to disposable cups, spoons, and plates for the duration of your guest’ stay. However, you plan to handle your chores, once your guests are gone, call in a professional cleaning crew and let them restore your home to sparkling as you put your feet up and recover from being such a good host(ess).