Unless you’re living in a frat house, no one wants others the leave their home thinking that it’s gnarly. If you’re like me, your living space is your happy haven. It’s where you surround yourself with the people and things that you love, spend the most time, and enjoy a little relaxation. All this is why it’s important to have others walk away from a visit thinking pleasant thoughts about the environment you’ve built.
With a baby due any day now, I’m looking forward to many visitors in the coming months. To help prepare, I’ve been trying to keep our home in tip-top shape, knowing that at any moment a flurry of activity could happen and visitors will be popping in and out. To help our home be in a constant state of “Guest ready”, I’ve picked up a few key tricks.
I’m excited to share them with you today, not just because they’ve helped me to de-stress when others come over, but also because I realized while creating this post that I’ve yet to show you peeks inside our new apartment! Ready for a little preview?
1. Make A Statement
There’s a reason why first impressions are lasting ones. When someone first walks into your home, they form an opinion almost immediately. Is it organized? It is pleasant and welcoming? Do you look like you expected, and want, company? Don’t mistake this all for “perfect” — it in fact shouldn’t be. Your home in general, and specifically your entrance, should showcase your personality, but in an inviting way.
Pictured below are photos from our dining room, which is the first thing you see when entering our apartment. We try to keep this as presentable (without being stiff) as possible so that when people arrive, it’s nice and welcoming. The other great part about this area is that it’s filled with conversation pieces, such as our handmade dining room table. These types of pieces immediately kick off any visit with one great discussion topic or another.
2. Keep It Tidy
For me, honestly, this is the hardest part of keeping our home guest ready. I tend to dump things in piles as soon as I get home, whereas Doug is actually much cleaner than I, leading to his new nickname for me: “Curious George”. He claims I’m always swapping my attention from one thing to another, leaving a trail of things in my path. (I deny it! Not true! …Okay, it’s kind of true.)
To make sure that our home is tidy, I’ve had to really make a conscious effort to pick up the little things more. This includes everything from not keeping dishes piled in the sink to putting my clothes away in my closet. (I feel the need to say that, as I typed this, I literally took a quick break to put my shoes away. It’s a work in progress, folks.)
3. Good Scents = Good Vibes
They say our senses are connected and I’m a firm believer this is so true! A home can be gorgeous and tidy, but if it smells or has an odd musk, it’s an impression ruiner.
Candles always come to the rescue here, whether or not your home has a mysterious musk. (Let’s be honest, because you’re so used to how your home smells, you may not even notice if the smell is a bit off.) I always have a few candles burning while at home, even if I’m not expecting visitors. They just help to set a pleasant mood and keep things fresh!
4. Keep Surfaces Refreshed
Speaking of keeping things fresh, there’s nothing more important than clean surfaces. Have you ever been to someone’s house and noticed that, while things are generally picked up, the surfaces are dusty and unkept? I have, and it automatically makes me assume that the entire place is dirty. I may be a “Curious George” that leaves piles occasionally, but the one thing I can’t stand is an unclean surface, particularly if it’s used a lot.
One product I love is Pledge Multi Surface, particularly because it can be used on so many different surfaces, including our laminate counters, which I never know what to clean them with. With it, I can literally go around the house and spray almost every surface imaginable to help maintain a fresh look. It’s pH balanced, which means it cleans without stripping away the surface, and I also love that it leaves a revived shine behind. Remember how I mentioned those good smells and good vibes? This totally has both.
5. Always Have Fresh Flowers
I probably spend way too much money on fresh flowers, but to me it’s worth it. I love how they liven up a room and bring an “alive” element to the space. I love greenery & color for decoration focal points, and there’s truly no better way to implement both into a room than with flowers.
6. Treats And Drinks For The Win
Growing up, my mom kept our fridge stocked with cheese. She was always prepared if someone came over, bringing out a slew of delicious options for munching on while we chatted with our guests. (I blame my cheese addiction on her.) People always went away happy and wanting more (I’ve literally had friends ask where she gets her famous cheeses from. The answer: Detroit’s Eastern Market!) It’s so funny what people remember from a visit, and food/drinks is typically one of those lasting impressions that really make a difference.
From her, I learned to always have something available for guests when they arrive. This could be as simple as a cold glass of lemon water, or in my case lately (#PregnancyBelly), treats or a big slice of delicious cake. It really doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you’re offering something to make your guests feel at ease. I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls and the content and opinions are my own.