Imagine you’re sitting around your home, enjoying the afternoon flipping through the latest magazines when all of a sudden…the doorbell rings. Ding, dong! Do you find yourself in a panic, briskly picking up toys from the floor and scrambling to throw trash away on your way to answer the door? You welcome your unexpected guest into your home, smiling to disguise your regret about leaving the dirty dishes in the sink that morning. As much as you try to enjoy the conversation with your friend, the whole time she’s talking you’re intently studying her face for clues to determine whether she plans to gossip about your untidy home. Does this sound familiar to you? If so, this post is for you. I’ve got 5 tips to help you keep your home visitor ready, and I’m sharing them with you!
Yes, we’ve all been in this situation before, haven’t we? No matter how perfect a housekeeper you may be, there are times when a surprise visitor catches you off guard and you wish you hadn’t put off that To-Do list. Well, today I have some words of comfort for you. It’s not the end of the world. We are often more critical of ourselves than others. In fact, one question I often receive from my family and friends is, “How do you keep your home so neat and clean?” I’m often amazed at this question, because I know the truth. I know there is dust collecting on my baseboards, and my slipcovers should have been washed last week. You see, other people don’t notice the imperfections that we do, so we really are wasting our time if we worry about them.
There are lots of articles out there with tips on how to make your home appear clean to unexpected guests, so that’s not what I’m going to do. Instead, today I’m going to share with you my 5 Tips to Keep Your Home Visitor Ready. That means if you follow my tips you don’t have to worry about a frantic cleaning when Aunt Bess calls to say she’s stopping by in 5 minutes. No, because these 5 tips will keep your house clean and organized and ready for guests.
Tip #1: Create a designated place for household items, and keep them there.
It’s so much easier to get rid of the clutter around your house when you know where it should go. Resist the temptation to throw everything in one basket or drawer or leave them sitting out. Instead, clearly label storage areas and always put items where they belong. Not only will your home appear more organized, but you’ll be able to find items them later when you need them!
Tip #2: Purge your home of items you do not need.
Everyone has items they don’t use. Why not donate those items to charity and let someone else benefit from their use? If you’re a family of 2, do you really need 18 plates in your cupboard? Do you really wear all 15 sweaters in your closet? Seriously, are you really going to read those books on your bookshelf again? Even though I’m personally guilty of holding onto books, I’ve become more of a minimalist the past year. And I have to tell you…if feels good. Your home will look less cluttered without the extra items, and that means less dusting and cleaning for you!
Tip #3: Keep the surfaces in your home clear.
OK, this one is the hard one. I know the neatly stacked books and various knick-knacks may look chic on your coffee table, but it’s time to let them go. Trust me, your home will look so much cleaner and decluttered without them. I took someone’s advice a year ago and decided to give this a try for a month, and I loved it so much I never looked back! My living room looks so much more open without items stacked on every table in sight. You don’t have to keep your tables completely clear if you don’t want to. Just one basket or tray to hold necessary items will get you on your way to a clearer space.
This doesn’t stop in the living room, though. Do you have kitchen appliances sitting on your counter that you use once every blue moon? Find a convenient place to store them until you need to use them again. 20 bottles of hair products on your bathroom counter? Use baskets to organize them in the cabinets under your sink. Maybe you should go back to Tip #2 and get rid of the stuff you don’t use? Any time you can remove clutter from open surfaces in your home gets you one step closer to an organized home.
Tip #4: Lighten up your home.
It’s amazing how much different a room can look when you open the windows and let the light in! Consider trading dark drapery for simple, sheer fabric curtains that let light filter into the room. Dark, wooden blinds? Maybe it’s time to switch to white? Or maybe it’s time to give your walls a fresh coat of paint to brighten the room? Choose a color scheme of light hues to make the room appear not only lighter, but larger, too. Use mirrors to reflect the light around the room and give the appearance of a larger space. These tips will make your home look more spacious and inviting instead of dark and cluttered.
Tip #5: Do not fall behind on household cleaning tasks.
It’s easy to fall behind on your household cleaning tasks when life gets in the way. Letting things go makes it that much harder to catch up later. Why not use a weekly cleaning schedule to keep you on task? You can use my weekly cleaning schedule, or learn how to create your own here. Also, commit to cleaning during your most productive time of day. You’ll get more work done in less time, freeing your time up for the important things, like enjoying your home with family.
I can’t help but give you a bonus- the biggest tip I’ve learned about keeping my home clean. I used to be more fanatic about keeping it clean, but I’ve almost given up on picking up dog toys from my living room floor. Why? Because a home is meant to be lived in. What good is a picture perfect home if you can’t enjoy it with the ones you love? It is more important to create a loving home where you can live comfortably. I don’t know about you, but I choose to enjoy my time at home and not worry about all the imperfections surrounding me. It will never be perfect, and I’ve learned to be OK with that.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these 5 Tips to Keep Your Home Visitor Ready. Do you have some household organizing/cleaning tips you’d like to share with me? If so, I’d love to hear them!
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