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Clean the bathroom. If you only have time to clean one room in your house other than the kitchen, make it the bathroom. Most guests can handle a little dust on the coffee table or lint on the carpet, but a dirty bathroom is most unpleasant. Scrub and and wipe down the toilet and sink, wipe the mirror, re-stock the toilet paper, empty the trash can, put out a fresh hand towel, and then light a candle right before everyone arrives.
Vacuum. Quickly run the vacuum in the rooms where your guests will be: entryway, bathroom, dining room, living room, maybe a guest room.
Wipe the kitchen countertops. You've worked hard over the last few hours, and your kitchen shows it — but it'll show it less if you wipe off your counters!
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.
Empty the kitchen sink; load and start the dishwasher. Let the first of (likely) many dishwasher cycles run while your guests are arriving. If you have time, unload it before everyone sits down to dinner. If you don't have time, no worries. At least you'll have a clean sink and no dishes stacked on the counter.
(Image credit: Kristin Teig)
Straighten and dust. Again, focus on where your guests will be. Remove clutter and then dust the major surfaces. I usually focus on my coffee and side tables, electronics, and low shelves.
Fluff the living room pillows. So you took a power nap while the pies were in the oven? Yay, you! Fluff and floof those pillows, my friend, and your guests will never know.
Adjust the lighting. Turn off overhead lights and turn on lamps. Light some candles. This draws the eye away from any areas that weren't deep-cleaned, and just makes everyone feel cozy.
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.
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.
What easy steps do you take to get your house ready for Thanksgiving?
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