You already know how to straighten up your house before guests arrive, but are you forgetting these three overlooked places? Updated July 2022
Remember those Febreze commercials from years ago about being “noseblind”? If you missed them, the whole premise was that you live with certain smells and eventually don’t notice them, but guests do. It wasn’t a marketing gimmick though, because that’s totally a real thing. There are certain things in our houses that we get used to seeing every day and we kind of overlook the fact that they haven’t been cleaned in a while.
But here’s the truth…your guests notice every single time. Sometimes almost instantly. So before your next holiday get-together or Saturday Night Dinner Party, take a quick breeze around the house and give these three areas some much-needed attention.
1. Look Up
No really, look up. Look at your light fixtures, ceiling fans, corners of ceilings, curtain rods, and ceiling beams. Unless you have the world’s best housekeeper that works seven days a week to keep your house spotless, you’re going to find a cobweb or dust clump somewhere. You’ll wonder how long that cobweb has been on your dining room light. Oops!
I don’t know how cobwebs even appear out of nowhere, but sometimes I look up and see a long one going from my living room window all the way to the chandelier. Ew. To make cleaning tall ceilings and fixtures a breeze, run a Swiffer Duster with an arm extension all around. It only takes a minute or two per room.
2. Check Bathroom Baseboards
Bathroom baseboards are like magnets for dust and hair. Between the humidity, hair spray, air freshener sprays, and perfumes, baseboards get a sticky film over them that makes them collect dirty stuff like black pants collect pet hair.
You may never notice the icky baseboards, but guests like to look around while they’re, you know, doing their biz, and they’ll notice details you don’t. To clean baseboards in the bathroom, just dampen a microfiber cloth and swipe across, then swipe again with a dry cloth. These are my favorites.
3. Prep Your Entryway
Whether you have a full-on foyer or just a door that opens right up into your living room, make sure your entryway is ready to work overtime. Sweep, vacuum, or replace your door mat. Add a place for guests to put their shoes, hats, coats, and bags. Put a bowl on a table so they can drop their keys inside. Remove any clutter like backpacks, sticky notes, and mail.
No storage space at all in your entryway? Set up a small area in the corner of the main room you’ll be hanging out in with a modern coat tree (similar to ours) or pop-up garment rack. This keeps guests from awkwardly wearing their coat all evening, or having to lay them on the floor.
One Final Last Minute Guest Prep Tip
While you’re running around cleaning and cooking and decorating and making drinks an hour before your guests arrive, I want to remind you of just one thing. The people you invited over are your friends and/or family. They are there because you like them, and they like you.
If you missed a cobweb or forgot to get your teenage daughter’s long hair off the bathroom baseboard, or even if there’s a fur tumbleweed rolling across the floor during dessert, they are humans just like you are. And the same thing is probably happening at their house. Brush it off with grace, don’t get embarrassed, and move on with the evening. Remember, being organized-ish (and clean-ish) is always good enough.