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Cleaning up for guests

How to make your home presentable enough for company.
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It's common, accepted advice: Clean as you go. Put away mail as you open it, wipe down counters as you get them dirty, and wash dishes as you use them. But realistically, that's not always feasible. On occasion, you have friends coming over, and you have exactly five minutes to undo two weeks of damage. Don't worry, all is not lost! Remember, it's okay if your house still looks lived in when you're done with these tips.

Hit the bathroom

People can forgive piles of dishes or dusty baseboards, but chances are, they'll have to use the bathroom. Even when it's unintentional, guests always notice a dirty bathroom. Do you really want them making snap judgments about your cleanliness level (or lack thereof)?

For this reason, one of your top priorities should be removing those scummy lines around the tub and in the toilet. You don't have to deep clean — just tackle the dirt with a blast of cleaning solution. And if all else fails, shut your shower curtain. Also, wiping down the fixtures and counter in your bathroom can make a visible change in the bathroom's appearance.

Clear the sink

If you don't have time to run the dishwasher or wash all your dirty dishes by hand, at least make the pile look presentable. Place them all in the sink and consolidate the mess to lessen the overall untidy and cluttered look of the kitchen. On the other hand, if you have a dishwasher, don't be ashamed to jam-pack all your dishes inside, which is akin to sweeping the mess under your bed.

Sweep or vacuum

A pass over the carpet with a vacuum cleaner will pick up dirt you didn't even know was there. This instantly freshens up the room and is especially crucial if people are going to be sitting on the floor. It's unflattering for your guests to notice a clump of hair or a ball of pet fur on the carpet. If all else fails: Go outside.

Host your bash outside, if possible. Avoid the house altogether! An outdoor barbecue party is always fun (weather permitting). Use paper plates and plastic utensils to create the least amount of work when the party is over. Guests will clean up after themselves if it's easy to find a trash can, so place several trash cans and recycling bins where everyone can find them.

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  • Rated 0 out of 5 by 4reviewers.
    Rated 0 out of 5 by This is a great article for the busy mom. Take the stress out of having a perfect house and just clean what is important. April 11, 2015
    Rated 0 out of 5 by LOVE LOVE LOVE this article I have twins and a very active social life. With 4 kids, husband, and children sportting events. The impromtu dinner guest and sleep overs cleaning is very hard to keep up with. The only other thing I would say is you would be amazed at what a little air freshner and picking toys can do to make your home feel and look better. June 9, 2014
    Rated 0 out of 5 by love this article. I'm always one that has to have a totally clean house if anyone is coming over. i like how this shows me key point of the house to clean and its ok to have a lived in house while company is over. January 17, 2013
    Rated 0 out of 5 by clean the essentials bathroom,kitchen and liv rm, I have toys and baby gear galore all around the house(not alot of storage space) so I gather everything large and throw in my bedroom and LOCK the door no one has to know what is lurking behind that door. I Just hope no one wants to see the bedroom YIKES!! September 16, 2011
    • 2015-04-26T09:50:05.274-05:00
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