How to prepare your home for a holiday gathering

A setting of white plates is on a table near winter greenery and cranberries.

Eight cleaning tips for the holidays

For some people, this holiday season may be the first time in a while that you’ll be inviting people into your home for a festive gathering.

Feeling out of practice? No need to stress. Below we break down your preparation into some manageable steps so you can feel prepared instead of frazzled leading up to the big day!

1. Make lists

Whether you make them on your phone, computer or on a good old fashioned piece of paper, lists are a lifesaver when it comes to ensuring you don’t forget anything that needs to be done or purchased before your guests ring your doorbell.

Start with a guest list. As you add each person, consider any special needs they may have and how you can accommodate them. Knowing ahead of time that a guest is vegetarian or requires gluten-free, halal or kosher dishes will help you set a table with food everyone can enjoy.

[RELATED: Cooking tips for dietary restrictions]

Breaking everything else down into different categories will help you see the big picture: menu, shopping list, indoor cleaning, outdoor cleaning, minor home repair projects. Keep your lists handy so you can add items and cross out ones you’ve already completed.

A man teaches his daughter how to clean the coffee table using products from Amway Home that have the Safer Choice label.

2. Give your home a deep clean

Enlist the whole family for a deep clean of any area where guests will be spending time – living room, dining room, bathrooms, porches and patios and of course, the kitchen.

How early you do this depends on how much confidence you have it will be maintained until the holiday. Your goal is to limit last minute cleaning to touch ups that can be accomplished in a snap without disruption.

A view of a very full refrigerator with the doors open.

3. Make room in your refrigerator

Plan your regular meals leading up to the gathering in a way that allows you to clean out your refrigerator. You’ve got to make room to store all your food for the feast!

In cooler climates, set up table or shelf in your garage or patio to help store the extra food and drinks.

[RELATED: Tips for cleaning out your refrigerator]

White dishes and bowls stacked on counter

4. Inspect the good china

Table leaves, extra chairs, fine china, crystal, tablecloths, holiday serving dishes – these are the things that only come out a few times a year.

Get them out with plenty of time to dust off the cobwebs and ensure they are sparkling clean for the big day. (Also make sure you have enough of them for your guests and side dishes.)

Designate a space as staging area for these items in the days leading up to your gathering where they can be out of the way until the party.

5. Declutter the day before

Many people become immune to the paper piles on kitchen counters or side tables that are part of their everyday lives. But your guests won’t and it will detract from a relaxing atmosphere.

Besides, you don’t want your nosy aunt shuffling through your bills, do you? Tuck them away the day before your gathering by carefully transferring them to a laundry basket or box and storing it in a bedroom.

They can easily be returned to their spot after the party and your archaeological filing system won’t be disturbed.

A family sits in their bright, airy living room with their dog and an Atmosphere Sky in the background.

6. Be your guest

The night before, play the role of your guests and envision where they will sit, talk or spend time.

As you do, pay attention to what they might see and items that may have been missed in your regular cleaning and decluttering routine.

Did your family photos on that high shelf get dusted in the deep clean? Everyday items to you are new and interesting to the family you only see once or twice a year.

7. Disinfect and deodorize

Everyone wants to have a happy and healthy holiday season. As part of your day-of cleaning before guests arrive, use a disinfectant cleaner on all high-traffic areas.

Pursue™ Disinfectant Cleaner kills 99.9% of common household viruses, bacteria and fungi. Grab a cloth and start wiping down everything your guests might come in contact with, including door handles, faucets, cupboards, chairs and tabletops. You can also leave a fresh scent with Pursue™ Disinfectant Deodorizer Spray, which also is proven to kill the coronavirus that causes COVID-19*.

Woman cleaning a table with a spray cleaner.

8. Last minute touches

Make sure the dishwasher and trash containers are empty and ready. Put fresh soap, holiday towels and candles in the bathroom and make sure there is hand cream for your guests.

Keep your cleaning supplies handy for those last minute messes leading up to arrival time. Wipes and a multipurpose spray cleaner are great for almost anything you discover or the inevitable cooking splatters.

And packages of Amway Home™ L.O.C.™ Multi-Purpose Wipes are easily tucked into places where they might be needed during the party, too, such as near the food and beverage tables or where guests will be eating. The same for bottles of G&H Protect+™ Advanced Hand Sanitizer with Pro-Vitamin B5.

It’s the little touches like these that makes your guests feel both at home and special. Need some products to help with your preparation? Click on the links below. And check out other blogs at Amway Connections for more cleaning tips!

To learn more about Amway, its brands and its products,
click on the website where you live:

United States


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Some products may not be available in Canada or the Dominican Republic or may be sold under a different name.


*Kills SARS-CoV-2 Virus (COVID-19 Virus) (2019 Novel Coronavirus)

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