Certain areas in your home will see more traffic than others during the holidays. Here’s how to prepare these areas, and yourself, for the influx of guests you’ll be entertaining this year.

Guest Bedroom: Even if you’re not expecting guests to stay over, expect the unexpected at Christmas. Whether it’s surprise out of town guests, or a friend who had just a bit too much eggnog, you may end up hosting more guests than you were planning for. Get the spare room ready, just in case, by doing the following:

  • Dust the furniture, then vacuum the floor in the guest room to freshen it up. Rooms that are left unoccupied for long periods can gather dust, making them smell musty.
  • Change the sheets on the bed, so that they’re clean and fresh.
  • Fluff up pillows and leave an extra throw blanket on the bed, just in case it’s chilly at night.
  • Make space in the closet or dresser, so if your guests stay for a few days, they won’t be living out of a suitcase.
  • Add a house plant, a holiday poinsettia or Christmas cactus, to make the room feel more welcoming.

Kitchen: If you’re hosting a big family Christmas dinner this year, the kitchen will be the heart of your home and should be in tip-top shape.

  • Clean the oven so it’s ready to cook your turkey to perfection, and your Christmas Day cooking goes off without a hitch. An important tip is to always make sure that the oven is completely cooled down before you start cleaning. Remove the grates and use the self-cleaning cycle for an easy fix.
  • Once your oven is clean, its time to move onto the fridge. Start by removing any expired food, placing the food and its recyclable containers into the appropriate waste, recycle or compost bins. Freeing up some space in the fridge will help you organize and store all the necessary ingredients for your holiday dinner – and the delicious leftovers too.
  • Clean and buff your glassware, as you’ll likely be offering wine, cider, eggnog and all the holiday classics to your guests. Hand wash wine glasses carefully and buff dry with a microfibre cloth to avoid streaking.

Bathroom: One of the most important things you can do during the pre-Christmas clean up is to get your bathroom as clean as possible.

  • Remove spots and streaks from your mirrors using a microfibre cloth.
  • Clean the sink and shine the taps. For extra shine, use a few drops of baby oil and a microfibre cloth to clean your chrome faucets and fixtures.
  • If there is a tub or shower in the washroom, give it a good clean as well. If you have a shower curtain, simply keep it closed.
  • Shake out the bath mat and give the floor a good vacuum and wash.
  • Put out guest towels and put some extra toilet paper on the back of the toilet so everyone knows where it is, when the roll needs to be changed. You can place these items in a small basket to give it a more festive look.

Living Room: At some point during the night, your guests will end up in your living room, especially since it’s likely the place where your tree is situated and the gift exchanging will occur.

  • Dust all surfaces.
  • Make sure coasters are available. Coasters will help protect your table when guests set their drinks down.
  • Kids often enjoy sitting on the floor while opening presents, so make sure you vacuum the floor and/or carpets. Give your floor a quick wash too, if necessary.
  • Put out additional throws and pillows to add extra seating and to keep everyone cozy.