The infographic above lays out the timeline.
Day 1 - focus on your entry. You want to make a nice first impression, so sweep away cobwebs, throw a festive wreath on the door, move the recycling bin off the porch, etc. (To be honest, my entry is one of the most neglected areas of my home. But I'm working on it, truly I am. )
Day 2 - move on to the bathrooms. If you have more than one bathroom in your home, congratulations. That means you probably only have to really focus on one of them, and it's probably not the one bursting at the seams with your beauty products. Remember, we don't want to be jerks here, so avoid the temptation of filling your medicine cabinet with marbles to get back at the people who poke their nose in your bizness. That said, those kinds of people do exist, so if you're mortified to have friends and acquaintances see your Preparation H (I know, I know... you use it to minimize under eye circles), then clear that stuff out.
Day 4 - make the kitchen sparkle. It's easier to keep your kitchen clean in the midst of party prep if you start with a clean slate. Don't think you can wait until the day of the party to attack the kitchen. It's always a bigger endeavor than you expect it to be, and someone is guaranteed to be standing in your way all day. Do it in advance, and relax.
Day 5 - spit and polish, metaphorically speaking, of course. Go back through the guest areas and see what you can do to make things look really clean. Sweep up cobwebs, clean mirrors and glass panes, dust from the top to the bottom, and then give everything a good once over with the ol' Hoover or, if you're lucky, Dyson. If you have one of those newfangled robot vacuums, charge it up and set it to work. You're now officially in maintenance mode.
Day 6 - Time for finishing touches and flair. Go ahead and decorate. I'm a big fan of even putting out platters where the food will be to make sure there's enough space and that everything looks nice together. The more you're ready now, the less stress you'll feel at party time.
Last step - sit down and relax. Let your hair down. Kick off your shoes. Soak in the festive ambiance, and let the party mood sink in.