I love parties, and I love having guests over. We seem to entertain often...nothing fancy, just dinner or brunch with friends and family on the weekend.It’s a lot more fun to entertain when your house is clean.If you declutter and keep your house clean on a daily basis, your house is already clean and almost ready for a party or just a friend dropping in. There is bound to be incidental clutter here and there, but the house will not be in chaos, and you can feel comfortable having guests in your home.. I’m going to share what you can do right before company arrives, to make your home really ready to receive guests.
I know this sounds like cheating but it isnt...... this is practical, and if you are doing a daily cleaning the less you will have to hide. Grab an empty laundry basket or storage bin, and start at the front door. Toss in random things that have congregated there. Continue putting things into the basket or bin as you walk through the front entry and into the house. Keep the basket/bin out while you quickly tidy up the front room. Fold throw blankets, fluff the couch cushions, clear off the coffee table, and put any scattered toys or strewed items into the basket. Take a walk through your house, putting in items that are out of place. Put this container into the master bedroom closet, or similar hiding spot that is off-limits to guests. Make sure after guest leave you clean out this basket!
This is the only place where your guests will be alone. If you are up to speed on your daily cleaning,you’re pretty much ready but if you haven’t been keeping up with this, it’s okay. Run some hot water in the sink, and use a hand towel to wipe up the sink bowl and surrounding surfaces. Put away bath toys. Use the wet handtowel to wipe out the bathtub and the ledges. Close the shower curtain or sliding doors. Re-wet the towel if need-be, and use it to quickly mop up the floor, taking care to get the dust bunnies out from behind the bathroom door. Remember that your guest is in the bathroom with the door shut, and if he/she is, um, sitting, the floor is on display. If the toilet needs cleaning, do so now. Wipe or Windex off any large and noticeable splotches on the mirror or faucet. Change the towels.
People end up in the kitchen. You can try to keep them out, but they’ll find a way to get in there anyhow. Put away the random stuff on the countertop (hide paperwork, bills, anything personal you don’t want on display) and wipe it down with a disinfectent wipe or spray. If you have dirty dishes in the sink, load up the dishwasher and turn it on. If you don’t have a dishwasher, handwash the dishes if you have enough time, or hide them. Seriously. It’s okay, I won’t tell. Put them in a box in the garage, or in the oven (remember to take them out before preheating!!!!). Wet a dishtowel and quickly mop up any noticeable crumbs from the flooring.
Make the House Smell Good.
This is the last thing to do before company arrives. Light a smelly candle or Windex something. The smell of Windex smells like clean. Windex will create a powerful punch in the air, and your guests will think you’ve spent HOURS cleaning. This is a trick that realtors do right before showing a house that’s not in the best-of-shape. They Windex the front doorknob or the lightswitch right by the front door, so the second people arrive to tour the home they get a whif of “clean”—that smell triggers something psychologically and visitors feel/believe that even if the home is in disrepair, it’s clean.
Save all your primping till the end...all your speed-demon housework is bound to wreck your hair. You want to be polished and ready so better to freshen up after all the cleaning is done. However feel free to move this step up if you are running out of time.
There’s a school of thought that believes that a good friend will not care what condition your home(or you) is in, the friend is there just to enjoy your company. This is true. But you will be more comfortable, and will entertain more often if your home is put-together and ready for guests. You won’t have a sinking feeling in your stomach when your friend calls to say they are dropping in or when your husband calls to say he’s invited his co-workers over for dinner. You will enjoy having company in your house.A good friend will appreciate everything you do to make them feel comfortable, and will offer to help clear dishes at the end of a fun night and will make an effort to get the kids to help clean up. And then she’ll invite you to her house.