***This post was made possible by Vacuumjudge.com. I was compensated for my time.***
It’s game night. And you are hosting. Wait, what???
You just got back from violin lessons and football practice. How could it be game night already?
Look…we all go through it, especially if we’re parents, let alone working parents.
There’s so much to do all week long that you really just want – and need – to relax after dinner, watch some TV or read a book.
Cleaning up the house to prepare for guests is the last thing you want to do.
As I wrote before, there is no normal when it comes to housekeeping. You are certainly not the only person who waits until company is coming to start tidying up.
People are more forgiving about our homes than we are to ourselves.
Still, you can’t help it and it has to be done … now!
Here are some simple, low-effort ideas for you to prepare for guests in a flash.
how to prepare for guests in a flash
Hide the clutter
You make decisions all the time. You can handle this one too.
Take a super quick survey and assess the damage. Chances are it’s not as bad as you think.
Grab the most noticeable pieces of clutter and temporarily toss them into an unneeded closet, or a laundry basket. I often throw things in the office and shut the door. (no shame!)
If time permits, grab an all-purpose cleaner, spritz it on a rag and go after the most obvious places.
Focus on the living room and kitchen first because that is where your guests most likely will be. Check out my list of quick and dirty cleaning products here.
Run to the guest bathroom and do a quick wipe-down of the mirror, sink counter and faucets. Replace your hand towel with a fresh one and move on.
Clean Only What You Need To
Some rooms just are not a priority. Unless you’re having an overnighter or your guests are long-time old friends or family members, they will most likely stick to a few rooms.
Leave your bedroom and private bath alone. Ignore the laundry room and office as well.
In the event that your home has a lot of open spaced rooms that are connected, prioritize what is needed first for whatever event you’re hosting.
Coffee tables, kitchen counters and islands, and seating are all going to take precedence over everything else so you might want to vacuum these areas.
The Nose Knows
It takes no time at all to light a candle, and a gently scented one is always an effective welcoming agent for your guests. Just don’t turn your home into a catacomb or go overboard with scented sprays.
Taking out the trash is a priority. Just humor me and do that.
Try spritzing lemon juice, or lemon essential oil on your paper towel when wiping down your kitchen counters. It’s the most effective, natural scent there is for taking down household odors.
Would You Like A Drink?
Get out any drinks and snacks you plan to serve ahead of time.
I don’t know a single guest that doesn’t enjoy a beer or glass of wine while nibbling on some crackers or fresh veggies. Plus, it distracts from looking around the rest of your home.
You’ll look like a star hostess and your guests will instantly relax.
And while they’re nibbling and drinking, you can sneak away to…
Take A Moment
Ah! They’re in and talking amongst themselves.
Duck into the guest bathroom and clean up anything you didn’t have a chance to get to prior to your guest’s arrival.
It really is a good idea to keep an emergency “I forgot it was game night” kit around that includes disinfecting wipes, Febreze, clean rags and anything else you might need for a last-minute cleaning frenzy.
When you have ADHD it is important to keep cleaning supplies in each bathroom anyway. Lets face it -If it’s not convenient and easy, it is not going to get done.
Share The Load… But Subtly
Be prepared for your friends and guests to ask how they can help.
This is a blessing if you know how to answer and a curse if you don’t, so while you’re running around doing your pre-arrival rat race, think about things they can do to take a load off of you.
Make the tasks simple such as setting food on the table or pouring more drinks for other arriving guests while you have a moment to think.
Don’t overtax them but don’t refuse their offers, either. When a guest asks to help, they really mean it and it makes them feel good to be of service.
Honor that – even if in secret!
Take care of you
Don’t overlook yourself in this madness.
If your house is spotless but you’re a mess, it will be noticeable. You will feel uneasy and your guests will too.
Dress in a way that makes you feel confident and comfortable. Nothing too overdone.
If you wear makeup take a few moments to touch up. Brushing your teeth is a nice way to freshen up as well.
If time really permits, take a moment to sit down and admire your lightning fast cleaning skills.
Less stress = more fun for you and your guests!