Most of us also remember as kids how we used to laugh and roll our eyes at our mom when she suddenly became a hurricane flurry of sweeping and mopping because “We have COMPANY COMING!” as if the Queen herself was about to show up at our door or our guests would really notice the last time the ceiling fan was dusted.
While we’ve definitely gotten more relaxed as a culture (when was the last time you wore pearls and heels to have dinner at a friend’s house?), there are definitely a few standards that should be upheld. Sometimes kids, pets, or Netflix win and your home looks a little more like a Frat house than an adult home, and somehow this ALWAYS happens right before you find out guests are on their way.
Thankfully, you don’t need to dust the valances or sweep behind the refrigerator (looking at you, Mom!) to make your house presentable for these drop-in guests. Here’s the # adulting way to get your house in order before the doorbell rings!
Focus on the Important Rooms
People gather in the kitchen, sometimes hang out in the living room, and will often use the bathroom. Whether your home is 600 square feet or 6,000 this holds true. If you’re expecting to have guests over, you’ll have to plan to prepare more of your home, but if they’re just dropping by tackle these rooms and don’t worry about dealing with the rest. If your kitchen is part of your main problem, pull out some refreshments so you can be prepared to meet your guests in whichever room you feel is best.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
The easiest way to clean up is to pull a page from the teenager’s playbook and not actually put your stuff away, but rather just stash it. If you live in a Studio apartment, you might be limited on how much of your stuff you can put out of sight, but if you have a bedroom or another room you know your guests won’t go in, just put everything in a laundry basket or box and deal with it later. Is this the most mature and responsible way to deal with housekeeping? Absolutely not. Will it do the trick for the time being? Definitely.
Smells Like Teen Spirit
Our senses shape our perceptions so if your house smells clean, guests will automatically think it is cleaner than it is. Lighting some candles or using an aromatherapy diffuser is a great way to trick the mind into believing a home is clean and welcoming. Citrus smells work the best for this (hello, lemony-fresh!), but this will work whether you’re into expensive boutique candles or some good ol’ Nag Champa.
Use Mood Lighting
If you were going to be showing your house to a potential buyer, you’d want to turn all the lights on (and actually clean the place!), but since you’re just trying to pull your house together to look like an adult turn it down low. Using lamps instead of overhead lighting or natural light instead of artificial will help to cut the chance that anyone will even see the dust bunny colonies you’ve got started.
When All Else Fails
Outdoor entertaining spaces were made for entertaining pop-in guests. Whether it’s a deck, patio, porch, or something else these outdoor spaces tend to not acquire the amount of clutter as in other areas. The best part? No one will judge you for having sun-faded lawn chairs or a water spotted patio table because that’s what’s expected. Of course you can’t use outdoor spaces in every day in every climate, but if you’ve got the option, this can be your perfect solution.
Now sit back, relax, and enjoy spending time with your guests in your well-kept, #adult home!