Do This Before You Host Your Next Summer Barbecue

published Jul 16, 2022
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Group of people toasting over a cheese and meat spread
Credit: Trinette Reed/Stocksy

Summertime entertaining is simply the best. It’s that vacation-mode feeling where gatherings are light-hearted and informal and, depending upon where you live, hosted almost exclusively outdoors. Think: a pool party with juicy watermelon and grilled hotdogs, or a dinner barbecue with guests lingering until fireflies begin to twinkle.

Best of all, summer soirées involve far less pre-festivity cleaning than any other seasons’ indoor gathering. That means the host (hey, that’s you!) gets to enjoy more of the fun. Fewer chores mean more time spent with guests. 

Still, there are a few things you’ll want to clean before your event begins. Here’s how to keep your cleaning tasks to a minimum, but still honor your family and friends with a well-kept house

Credit: Danielle Centoni

1. Clean your grill.

You might be operating under the concept that grill grates are just, well, really dirty, and you can cook on them anyway and it’s fine. Not so. It’s actually super important to keep your grill grates clean — for a number of reasons (avoiding pests is one of them). Spend time sprucing up your grates before cooking for your guests. They’ll see and taste the difference!

Credit: Natali Sam/Shutterstock

2. Sweep your outdoor space.

It’s easy to overlook things you live with all of the time — such as the pile of leaves, pine needles, and patches of dirt that accumulate on your deck or patio. Make your outdoor space as inviting as possible by sweeping and paying attention to corners where messes tend to collect. A handy leaf blower makes super-quick work of the task. And if you really want to go the extra mile, take a few minutes to spiff up your patio pavers, too. (There’s a super-simple trick to get those clean!)

3. Clean one bathroom.

Cleaning the bathroom is the number-one task for getting ready for guests. Rather than clean every bathroom in the house, stick to one bathroom that you’ll point all of your guests toward if they need it. Choose the one closest to your outdoor space and close the doors to all of the other rooms and bathrooms. Leave a couple of lights on to lead the way.

4. Spot-clean outdoor furniture.

Cleaning your outdoor furniture will take different forms depending on what you have. Your furniture may need to be wiped down with a wet rag, and cushions may need spot cleaning. Fluff cushions (or flip them over), and arrange pillows neatly. Your space will perk up instantly!

Credit: Getty Images/Ryhor Bruyeu

5. Spruce up your entrance or back gate area.

Whether you’re using the front door or a back gate, the entrance your guests will use is their first welcome to your home and your party. Make sure it’s clean and inviting. You might even consider adding fresh flowers in a planter. If your entrance involves a walkway, trim any straggling shrubs and replace lighting that is in need of repair.

Did we miss anything? Tell us how you get ready for a night of hosting summer fun in the comments below.