Part of being a great hostess is providing a clean and comfortable home for your guests. I like to have my entire home carefully scrubbed before I invite someone into it, but having a baby or a busy schedule makes taking the time for 1 big clean difficult. I’ve learned that a messy home doesn’t mean you need to spend hours cleaning to invite friends over for tea or for a casual dinner. In just 15 minutes, you can whip your home into presentable shape so a little mess doesn’t stand in the way of your desire to be hospitable.
- Triage the mess! Decide which rooms your guests will need to see. Close all the other doors and don’t think about them. Be sure you designate at least 1 bathroom. Total time: 1 minute.
- Do a man clean on every room your guests will see. In the kitchen, pile dishes into neat stacks. In the living room, move toys into a basket and put books back on the shelf. Try to avoid shifting clutter into rooms where it doesn’t belong so other rooms won’t look more intimidating later. Total time: 5 minutes.
- Clean the bathroom. Guests are more likely to notice and mind grime in the bathroom than in any other room. If you don’t have time to clean everything, at least clean the toilet bowl and seat as well as the sink. (Be sure you have some of Experimental Wifery’s homemade bathroom cleaners on hand.) Total time: 5 minutes.
- Make the room smell nice. You don’t have to use a store-bought spray full of nasty chemicals to make a room smell warm and inviting. Open the windows on a breezy day. Start a pot of cider in the winter. Or keep a homemade room spritzer on hand: combine 1 cup of water, 15 drops of thyme oil, and 10 drops of sage oil in a spray bottle. Total time: 2 minutes.
- Relax. No one likes to come into the home of a frazzled host. (As someone who has been a frazzled host many times herself, I should know.) Drink a glass of water or sip on a glass of wine, sit in a comfy chair, and take a couple of minutes to breathe. Total time: 2 minutes.
What messes in other people’s homes bother you the most? What parts of your home have to be clean for you to feel comfortable as a hostess? Let us know in the comments.