Five Easy Steps to Perfection!
Getting Your Home Ready for Guests in 30 Minutes
We've all been there. The week was crazy; a meeting at the children's school, a dentist appointment, an unexpected project due at the office. And you are hosting a baby shower (or birthday party, dinner party or an unexpected visit from the in-laws!) and the house isn't exactly guest-ready.
No worries. This plan takes your home from disarray to "do come in" in just 30 minutes!
Plan of action:
Concentrate on the areas in which your guests will spend the most time: Living Room, Kitchen, Bathroom.
Didn't get your bed made this morning? Kids' bathroom looks like a hurricane whirled through it? Solution: Close the doors! Post a "Do not Enter" sign on any room you designate as "Off Limits."
Grab a large basket.
I keep one in the entry closet for just this purpose. If you don't have one, use an empty laundry basket. It works just as well! Make a sweep through the house -- start from the entryway and work your way through all public areas. Do the basket toss on shoes, books, magazines, toys, etc. Place the (filled) basket back in the closet or in a bedroom that's off limits to the guests.
Attack the Living, Dining and Family Rooms.
Run a duster over the visible surfaces. Ignore the nooks and crannies. Sweep any wood or tile floors. Vacuum. Fluff pillows. Open blinds and drapes. Light a candle. Or two. If you're worried about pet odors. spray Febreze on cushions and pillows. Done!
Get into the Kitchen.
Preparing refreshments for your party will make this room a little messy anyway, so the last thing you need to worry about here is...perfection. Load and run the dishwasher. Wipe down counters. Sweep and wipe up any sticky spots. Done!
The last, yet most important thing you can do to make your guests comfortable is to take care of you! A relaxed hostess makes every party fun. Take a minute to put on some mascara. Fluff your hair. Breathe! Remember the reason for the shower is that friends are coming to celebrate your guest of honor. They won't be doing a super sleuth inspection on the house's tidiness.
Parts of this article have been contributed by a professional homecare organizer who wishes to remain anonymous. We are thankful for her contributions to the hostessing community for these tips.