Hosting Thanksgiving is a big deal! Not only are you focused on what’s going on in the kitchen, you also have to prepare the rest of the house. But who has time to deep-clean?! Instead, focus on a couple key areas to ensure that your guest will feel relaxed and comfortable at your house. 

Here’s a low-pressure checklist to making things comfortable for your guests. If you don’t get to it all, no big deal! But if you have a little time to tidy up (or someone else to do it for you) then these are the spots we’d hit first.

1. Clean the bathroom. If you only have time to clean one room in your house other than the kitchen, make it the bathroom. A little dust and lint can be over looked, but a dirty bathroom is unpleasant. Scrub and wipe down the toilet and sink, wipe the mirror, re-stock the toilet paper, empty the trash can, and put out a fresh hand towel. Lastly, right before everyone arrives, light a candle.

2. Wipe the kitchen countertops. You’ve been working preparing a feast, and your kitchen probably shows it — but it will show a lot less if you wipe off your counters!

3. Sweep the kitchen floor. The same goes for the kitchen floor. Sweep away the crumbs and quickly wipe up any drips or splatters you see.

4. Clear out the kitchen sink and dishwasher. This will make it easy to find a place for dirty dishes after your meal. 

5. Clear a place for coats and bags. If you have a coat rack in your entryway, empty it to make room for your guests’ belongings. Or, make up the bed in your bedroom or a guest bedroom for everyone to drop their coat and bag.

6. Vacuum. Quickly run the vacuum in the rooms where your guests will be: entryway, bathroom, dining room, living room, maybe a guest room.

7. Straighten and dust. Focus on areas where your guests will be. Remove clutter and then dust the major surfaces. 

8. Fluff the living room pillows. It’s a small touch that makes the room look put together. 

9. Adjust the lighting. To create a cozy ambiance, turn off overhead lights, turn on lamps and light some candles. An added bonus is the low light will draw the eye away from any areas that weren’t deep-cleaned.

10. Put on some music. You’ve done the minimum amount required to get your place looking good, and that’s totally fine! Now, put on a little music and you’re done.

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.