Not everyone loves “drop-in” guests – especially when kids, pets, and life in general keep the home front in a less-than-spotless daily state! But as summer approaches, drop-ins are inevitable. So what home tips do you follow in those frantic 5, 10 or 30 minutes before unplanned company arrives?
Keeping a checklist handy can help you spruce up the casa in a hurry, even after that first knock-knock has sounded. Here are five quick home tips you'll find helpful to perk up your house before company arrives.
1. Spritz On That “Clean Home” Scent
Here, nose trumps eyes every time. If your home smells great (think warm cookies, blooming roses, citrusy lemonade), then a bit of clutter is easily forgiven.
Home Tips: Be sure to keep a can of air freshener and a few scented candles on “standby” for drop in summer visitors! In between visitors, take a few minutes to clean the air vents and replace the filters for even fresher-smelling air.
2. Whip Out The Power Trio: Broom, Mop & Vacuum
By sweeping floors, mopping where needed, and running a vacuum over the carpets, you can clear pathways and make the dust disappear. You'll feel better with those “freshly vacuumed” streaks that scream clean, and you'll enjoy your visitors more.
Home Tips: Designate one “emergency closet” to stash toys, shoes, clothes and other random items laying around that the trio uncovers. Make sure to clean this space out once visitors leave, and if you're stashing things in the garage, keep a few shelves empty for “temporary storage”.
It also helps to keep all your cleaning supplies nearby – the kitchen pantry or coat closet, so you don't have to run around the house to find what you need. And once you've picked up all the clutter, consider renting a steam cleaner and giving the carpets a thorough, deep cleaning before your next guests arrive.
3. Wipe Down Counters, Mirrors, Bathtubs, and Sinks
Designate one family member to be responsible for each room, and equip each with two essentials – a roll of super-absorbent paper towels and some lovely scented cleaning spray. When the “knock-knock” comes, send each of the troops to their designated room to quickly wipe down the counters, mirrors, bathtubs, and sinks. Oh, and don't forget the toilets – a sparkling clean toilet covers a multitude of other minor ills!
Home Tip: Between visitors is the perfect time to touch up tub and shower grout, replace cracked floor tiles, and repair or replace rusted or tarnished fixtures. Collect suggestions from each family member and keep a running checklist of minor repairs you can do as time permits.
4. Add a Few Extras
Whether it is two or three colorful coffee table books spread out invitingly, a vase of freshly cut flowers with green vines trailing across the countertop, or a plate of warm cookies and a steaming teapot with teacups and saucers. By adding a few extra touches, you'll draw your guests' attention away from any untended areas and towards the obvious warm welcome being extended. Call it “misdirection” or simply good hospitality – it works every time!
Home Tips: In between guests, add a welcoming porch light or two for evening arrivals, spruce up the front flower beds, trim the hedges, and make sure the front walkway is spic and span, neatly edged and swept, to welcome future guests.
5. Home Tips on Where to Fluff and Fold
This goes for couch cushions, pillows and shams, sheets and comforters, towels and washcloths, and any other items that help visitors feel welcome and at home. Fold back the sheets, arrange the pillows and shams artfully, be sure all couch cushions display their “best side.”
Home Tips: Between visitors, remove couch cushions and move beds and couches, vacuuming and dusting all the tiny cracks and crevices – and if needed, consider repainting ceilings and walls that could use a fresh look. The whole house really will feel cleaner!
By following these five quick home tips, you'll be able to make unplanned and invited guests feel at ease and welcome during their stay.