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!
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The 5 Quick Things You Should 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!
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!
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.) ;-)
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!
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!