Tips for Keeping Your Home Guest-Ready All the Time

Because you never know when Aunt Jan will be popping by.

With Thanksgiving only a few weeks away and the holiday season quickly approaching, staying on top of your cleaning game is an absolute essential. A gnarly abode is totally out of the question when guests come around. And while planned visits give you plenty of time to prep, it's all those spur of the moment get-togethers that can send you into a state of panic if your place isn't at its best. It might seem like a weekly deep clean is the only way to keep your place guest-ready at all times, but that's totally not the case. Doing a little bit everyday will help keep the workload a lot more manageable (no more monstrous tasks to tackle), meaning a clean home with almost no effort. Sounds good right? Here's how to start right now:

1. Keep clutter on lock. At the end of a long day even the most mundane tasks, like hanging up your coat, can seem like an ordeal. But instead of tossing clothes in a pile and calling it a day, take the extra few minutes to put everything in its proper place; it'll save you a lot of time later on when you're left dealing with a massive pile. This applies for just about everything in the house — clothes, gadgets, craft supplies, etc.

2. Wash dishes immediately. Dirty dishes aren't just unsightly, they can cause bad smells and even bugs — both of which you can definitely do without. Do your best to wash dishes or load the dishwasher right after cooking and eating to keep the mess in check. This is especially a good idea in the morning after breakfast. Allot yourself an extra five minutes in the morning to tackle any dishes, so that if you decide to have someone over at the last-minute dirty dishes won't be the first thing they see when they walk through the door.

3. Clean up messes as they happen. Whether it be a trail of crumbs on the kitchen floor or toothpaste in the bathroom sink, take care of messes as they come to not only make clean up easier, but ensures that your place is always neat.

4. Wipe and dust surfaces. Dust and dirt might be minuscule, but it's definitely noticeable. Giving surfaces a quick dusting once or twice a week (you can alternate between rooms to cut down on time or tackle it all at once) will not only help you keep up with appearances, it'll help improve the air quality in your home too. Another thing to keep on top of are your countertops. There's nothing nastier than countertops caked in food and grime, so get into the habit of wiping them down after use. The same goes for bathroom mirrors and sinks. Hair and stray toothpaste are anything but attractive.

5. Make your bed. Besides the fact that crawling into a freshly made bed just straight up feels fabulous, making your bed every morning means that on the off-chance that your guests finds their way into your room (which happens more often than you might think) what they'll find is just another example of your impeccable tidiness.

6. Invest in chic storage. Store items that would normally create clutter (think magazines, toiletries, etc) in stylish boxes or baskets to free up space and create a clean aesthetic. Keep an extra basket or bag on hand to quickly stash anything that you might have left out if you only have a few minutes before company arrives.

7. Keep your place smelling fresh. Smell is one of the first things guests experience when they enter your home, so make sure it's a good one. Crack a window for a few minutes a day to change up the air in your space and take out the trash before it begins to smell. Cleaning out your refrigerator each time you head to the store and making sure food doesn't go down the drain (unless you have a garbage disposal) will help minimize kitchen odors as well. And as a last resort, there's always candles, air fresheners and scented oils.

8. Freshen up with flowers. Flowers have a way of instantly brightening up a room and adding hint of freshness to any space. Strategically place bundles of bright blooms in spaces that need a little perking up, like the entryway or your kitchen table.

What are your favorite strategies for keeping your home in tip-top shape?

Feature image via My Scandinavian Home

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