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  • Writer's pictureAndy Hoffman

The Art of Hosting: Decluttering and Cleaning are Always the First Steps

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

Ever thought about throwing a party and then looked around your house, choked on your coffee, and thought, "Nah, maybe next year"? Let's talk about the mess in the room if that's the case. A clean and decluttered house is not just the backdrop of your party; it sets the stage for the entire event. Pre-party cleaning, decluttering, and, in more dire situations, transforming your home from an episode of 'Hoarders' to a 'House Beautiful' centerfold happens weeks before the party. It's not something you can or should even try to do the night before your guests arrive. Hosting a party should never come at the expense of your sanity.


No One Wants An Evening In A Garbage Dump

There are always a few who cry bollocks on the whole cleaning thing while clinging to their delusion that their "friends won't mind the mess." Sorry, no one wants an evening in a garbage dump. Friends may choke down the uncomfortable experience with wide-eyed cringes and a flurry of flabergasted texts in a separate group chat the following day. But, a cluttered, messy home is distracting, embarrassing, and kills the vibe. Not to mention, it can physically obstruct guests' movements, turning what should have been a fabulous get-together into a clutter navigating obstacle course. First impressions matter, and a tidy, welcoming space is a non-verbal invitation to kick back, relax, and enjoy the party.

The Countdown to Cleanliness

Now that we've discussed how important it is to have a clean and organized party area let's look at how to make it happen. It might seem like a lot to do, but if you have a plan and put in some work, you can transform your home from chaos to chic in no time. It is essential to give yourself enough time and clean in stages rather than trying to do it all at once, heaven forbid, the night before the party. I promise you, the night before is a recipe for party disaster.


Two to Three Weeks Before the Party: The Declutter Dance

The piles and piles of random stuff staring at you and making you feel bad for months, maybe years, need to go. It's time to clean out your home, especially the shared areas like the living room, dining room, kitchen, and family room, and remove anything that doesn't belong or looks terrible. Be ruthless – if it doesn't serve a purpose or bring you joy, it's time to say goodbye. Consider donating items in good condition to charity or having a garage sale for an added bonus. And remember, less is more when creating a clean and inviting space.


Move the kids' mountain of toys out of the living room and into their rooms or playroom. Liberate your dining room table from the makeshift office it's become. Use boxes and laundry baskets to transport and relocate items to their proper place. Enlist the help of family members or friends and make it a fun group activity – crank up some music, set a timer for each room, and reward yourselves with well-deserved drinks and snacks afterward. The work you put into planning your party will pay off in ways that go far beyond the night of the festivities. Getting rid of clutter in your home has been shown to lower worry and anxiety, make you happier, and improve your health.


4 Days Before the Party: The Big Clean

Why 4 days ahead of time? You need days 2 and 3 to shop and prepare food before the party. So, 4 days before the party is ideal for deep cleaning your home. This means vacuuming, mopping, wiping down surfaces, scrubbing bathrooms, and blasting away any lingering messes. With the decluttering behind you, you'll be amazed at how easy cleaning is. This is also an excellent time to tackle any minor repairs or touch-ups that need to be done before your guests arrive. If you need more time, consider hiring a professional cleaning service to come in and help.


But remember, no one will notice the dust bunnies under the couch or the smudges on the windows – what they will see is your sparkling clean kitchen and bathroom. Particularly the bathroom. Be sure the toilets, mirrors, and floors are spic and span, and make sure there aren't unsightly piles of hair in the corners of the bathroom. Yuck. Replace dirty handtowels with freshly laundered towels, or better yet, disposable paper handtowels are ideal for parties. A scented candle is a must-have finishing touch for the bathroom. Prioritize these areas for an extra polished touch.


Two Days Before the Party: Set Up and Final Touches

Two days before your party, it's time to focus on the decor and setup. Rearrange furniture if needed to create a better flow for guests. Plan out where you will set up food and drink stations. Make sure your outdoor entertaining area is tidy and comfortable for guests to enjoy the outside space as well. Think about lighting, music, and ambiance – create a playlist or two and have it ready to go on the party day.


Set up any extra seating or tables, particularly for your bar area. Arrange your coolers for ice and wine buckets. And remember the little details like fresh flowers, candles, and other decor items to give your space that extra touch of elegance. Remember, it's all in the details!


The Day Before: The Final Countdown

It's almost party time! Today is the day you want to focus on those last-minute tasks and putting the final touches on your party space. Prepare food and drinks beforehand so you're calm in the kitchen during the party. Do one last quick once-over to make sure the floors are clean, surfaces are wiped down, and everything is in its place. And remember to stock up on ice for drinks! It's also a good idea to have a designated area for guests to leave their coats and bags when they arrive.


Party Time: Enjoy, and Don't Worry

Congratulations, you've made it to party day! Take some time to relax, pamper yourself, and enjoy your beautifully clean and decluttered home. Relax, enjoy yourself, and don't worry about keeping things perfectly clean throughout the night. After all, parties are meant to be fun and a little messy. Just ensure you have some garbage bags and cleaning supplies on hand for any unexpected spills or messes.


Follow these tried and true tips and take pride in transforming your home into a party-ready space. Now it's time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Remember, hosting is about enjoying time with friends and loved ones, not stressing over clutter and mess. Let us all toast to your accomplishments - you truly deserve it!

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