Hosting 101: 9 Quick Pre-Party Clean-Up Tips

How to make your house look presentable in less than 15 minutes.

Related To:

You prepped and cleaned days in advance, but clutter and crumbs keep appearing. It's OK — life happens. We understand the struggle, so we came up with nine quick tips for tidying up before guests arrive.

13 Ways to Create a Modern Holiday Look

13 Ways to Create a Modern Holiday Look

So your everyday style is distinctly modern, but you love lots of holiday decorations. What to do? Keep these design tips in mind to create a holiday look that's simple and clean, yet warm and inviting.

Photo by: Brian Patrick Flynn, FlynnsideOut

Brian Patrick Flynn, FlynnsideOut

Focus on High-Traffic Areas

Don't get caught up on rooms guests won't even see. Now is not the time to clear out the closet.

Remove Clutter

Mail, bags, old magazines, empty cups — anything that doesn't have an immediate purpose should be put away (even if it needs to be stuffed in the junk drawer, temporarily).

Make Space for Guests

Clear an area for guests to lay their bags and hang coats. If you have overnight guests, make sure they have a spot to hang wet towels and keep their toiletries.

Light Candles

If guests are expected any minute and you don't even have time to clear clutter, just light some candles and pour yourself a glass of wine. Candles instantly make your home feel put-together and mask any unpleasant odors.

Even if you only have a short window of time to straighten up, these actions will make a noticeable difference. Watch the video below for five more tips on cleaning up in a pinch.

9 Pre-Party Clean-Up Tips 01:00

Get your home party-ready in a snap with these tips for straightening up.

Now you're ready! Go forth, and host like the pro, last-minute entertainer you are.

Keep Reading

Next Up

3 Easy + Practical Uses for Essential Oils

Freshen up your home in a snap.

What Type of Holiday Party Should You Host?

Can't decide what kind of shindig you should throw this holiday season? Let us help. Take our quiz to find out what type of party will make you the hostess with the mostess.

How to Host a Stellar Solar Eclipse Sip-n-See

Gather the gang for a once-in-a-lifetime "solar-bration."

Hosting Guests for the Holidays? Here Are Our Top Party Do's + Don'ts

Impress guests with multiple forks at the dinner table. Fancy!

6 Low-Key Ideas for Your Awards Night Watch Party

No need to break out the formalwear.

All the Essentials for a Southern-Style Seafood Boil

Who doesn't love a party that revolves around melted butter?

11 Curious (+ Curiouser) Ways to Celebrate Mad Hatter Day

Don't be late for this very important date!

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts