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5 Quick Things You Should Do Before Company Arrives

Tidy Up Before Guests Arrive

Certain members of my family (I won’t name names, but they know who they are!) have a tendency to let me know they’ll be dropping by my house about 15 minutes in advance of them arriving. Does everyone’s family do this, or is it just mine? Either way, it used to drive me crazy! I used to be the kind of person who had to scrub down the whole house before having company over, so a 15-minute “heads up” call did little more than fill me with anxiety over the state of my house.

I was certain that my family members (or whoever happened to be stopping by) were bound to notice every square inch of my home that wasn’t perfectly clean. But over time, I started to realize that most of my visitors were too preoccupied to notice the little bits of dirt and grime that I was so self-conscious about. That realization got me thinking about the sorts of things I personally noticed about other people’s homes as a visitor, and I realized that that list was actually pretty short!

Fast forward to today, and I’ve managed to pare my “preparing for company” cleaning routine down to just a handful of tasks. And I have no qualms about admitting that my routine is less about cleaning things, and more about creating the illusion of cleanliness. Because if things look clean, your drop-by visitors have every reason to believe they really are clean! And that’s good enough for me. ;-) So today I wanted to share my list of things I like to tidy up before my unexpected guests arrive. My hope is that you’ll find this list useful, and that it might help ease any anxiety you may have about having visitors drop by!

The 5 Quick Things You Should Tidy Up Before Guests Arrive

Tidy Up Before Guests Arrive

1. The Entryway

This is the part of your home that your guests will see, and they’ll likely have a look around while they remove their jackets. So make sure to tidy the area up, and put away any shoes or jackets that may be cluttering up your entryway. It also doesn’t hurt to sweep the entryway floor quickly (especially if you can just sweep the dirt right out your front door.) If your entryway doesn’t give off a particularly cosy vibe, try adding a family photo or some kind of wall decor—anything that makes your entryway feel warm and welcoming!

Tidy Up Before Guests Arrive

2. The Smell

We all experience “nose blindness” when it comes to the smell of our own homes. But your guests aren’t used to the smell of your house, so if something smells musty or not-quite-fresh, they’ll be the first to notice. But the good news is that there are plenty of ways to make your home smell great in a hurry! I like to start up my diffuser when I know visitors are on their way, using a clean-smelling essential oil like the Simple Clean Blend from my shop. Read about even more ways to make your home smell nice at the link below!

Related: 10 Natural Ways To Make Your Home Smell Good

Tidy Up Before Guests Arrive

3. Clutter

If there’s one thing that your guests can’t help but notice, it’s clutter. But it’s not because they’re looking for things to criticize! Our brains are programmed to notice when things look out of place, so our eyes are naturally drawn to piles of clutter. The easiest way to clear away clutter before your guests arrive is to simply hide it out of sight. (Just don’t make a habit out of stashing your clutter! That’s how you end up with an out-of-control junk drawer.) ;-)

Tidy Up Before Guests Arrive

4. Dirty Bathroom

I always make it a point to quickly clean up our hallway bathroom before visitors arrive, because it’s the one that gets used most frequently by guests. Your guests are sure to notice if the bathroom is a mess, but it doesn’t take long to get it looking clean again. Use a couple of cleaning wipes to wipe the countertops clean, as well as the sink if it needs it. Pick up any clothes or towels that may be on the floor and put them in your hamper. And as for the toilet, you can quickly freshen it up by keeping a stash of homemade toilet freshening fizzy “bombs!” Just drop one into the toilet, let it fizz, then flush for instant freshness. Learn how to make them at the link below!

Related: This Is The Lazy Way To Keep Your Toilet Fresh Between Cleanings

Tidy Up Before Guests Arrive

5. Pet Hair

You might not even notice your pet’s hair anymore, but your guests probably will! Especially if they are wearing dark clothes, or are sensitive to pet hair or dander. When guests are coming over, take a minute to evaluate the space where you and your guests will be hanging out (like the living room couch, for instance.) If it is covered in hair, use a lint roller to clear away as much of the hair as you can. You can also put on a rubber glove and wipe the hair away! Your guests and their clothes will thank you!

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Homekeeping Tips

  • Jillee, I have been following you for a while now and absolutely love everything you do. You have “down to earth” ideas and suggestions that everyone and anyone can use. I have tried lots of your ideas and love them…they work! This one about company coming over is great! Some things I already do, but some I had not thought of. Keep up the good work in keeping us informed. Much love!

  • In my family we just go to each other’s houses whenever – without notice. We’re perfectly fine with it and I don’t mind. If the house isn’t perfect, so what? Neither are theirs! Even close friends don’t have to call if they’re in the neighborhood. My husband and I try to keep the house fairly neat and no dishes on the counter. Guest bath is given a weekly wipe down anyway. So come on over – anytime!

  • I use a laundry basket to quickly pick up any paper clutter, strewn dog / kid toys, or items that look out of place and put them into my laundry room. I used to do this when we were selling our home as well and the realtor called to say they had a someone that wanted to see the house “now.” I would put a couple of folded up sheets on top so no one noticed all of the junk I had stashed.

  • We usually don’t worry much if it’s last minute folks like my Sister droppinn by. If we have company coming that we planned for we do more of the straightening and cleaning the house.

  • I plump up the cushions and straighten the throws on the sofa/chairs where I don’t sit, this subconsciously encourages visitors to sit where you want them to sit, rather than where I normally sit

    I always fill the kettle when I know someone is due and switch it on just before greeting them at the door as it saves time and you are not away from your visitors too long having to wait for the kettle to boil.

    If I have biscuit dough or baked cakes/treats in the freezer (I always like to make something and freeze for such visits) I will defrost/bake them because the aroma of freshly baked goodies is welcoming, homely and irrisistable.

    Hope these are of use xx

  • You think of everything Jillie ! I know this anxiety well ! Lol. My first thing is to gather up letters and other papers on my dining room table into a pile and hide them on my bookshelf. I invariably forget about them after that lol.

  • Haha, before “Company” arrives… Vincent Company is a well known and handsome Red Devil (the Belgian soccer/football team). Definitely worth a quick clean up haha.

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