There are two types of people. Those whose house is always in the kind of condition where visitors could drop by unannounced and they would not be embarrassed, then there are those whose house is just a little less ‘inviting’. Most of the time I have my hair scraped back, no make up on and it is likely you will find me still in my PJs if I haven’t ventured out that day. My house is no better, I am the worlds worst procrastinator and I tend to leave all house stuff until the evening when my daughter is in bed.
I definitely fall into the second category, unfortunately for me my new neighbours who I met today, fall into the first. I was out at the supermarket when my husband called to let me know our neighbour had dropped by to say ‘hello’, apparently our children go to nursery together. This is obviously amazing news, a friend right next door? Brilliant. I popped by when I got home and was promptly invited into their gorgeous house. Considering it is a new build and they have only been in since November, it really was so homely and beautiful. Ours on the other hand, is still so bare. We don’t even have carpets yet.
After having a coffee and letting the children get to know one another, we headed home with promises to get together again. We both said how wonderful it was to have someone of a similar age with children of a similar age right next door. But then it dawned on me, I would really need to pull my socks up. Having someone so close means that I need to be more ‘visitor ready’. I can just imagine the doorbell going and me inviting our neighbours in to see our breakfast pots still on the side, the pile of washing ready to go in the machine, the pile of washing that has just come out of the tumble dryer that is due to go upstairs… etc etc. I need to make my house a general state of ‘visitor ready’ at all times, so of course I turn to my trusty friend google to help me out. Some of the top tips I found are detailed below, let me know your thoughts and if you have any other ideas please share, I need all the help I can get!
1 – MINIMALISM
This one is so obvious, but so difficult to achieve. If you have less stuff, you have less stuff to leave lying around looking untidy. Luckily we have just moved house and so our level of crap is low at the moment. We have hardly any stuff (apart from the boxes in the garage… I don’t even know what is in those). I think our house is a little too empty though, we still lack essential pieces of furniture but I think once we have bought those, I need to try really hard to stick to having less ‘stuff’.
2 – CLEAR YOUR SURFACES
This one kind of leads on from the first one in my opinion. If you keep surfaces and sides clear, you look organised, neat and like you have got your shit together. There is a lot to be said for hiding your crap in a drawer or hastily sweeping it into a cupboard. For me, the most important areas to do this are my desk and in the kitchen. It actually looks like I have managed some housework that day if the kitchen sides are clear, even if everything is shoved into the dishwasher.
3 – LIGHT A CANDLE
Oooh I blooming love a scented candle. Yankee’s (obviously) are the dream and can make your house smell less like you just cooked curry and more like a freshly mown meadow in under ten minutes. They also look all homely and inviting with their flickering golden glow. I have two on the go at the moment, Cherries on Snow to be exact. They fill me with childlike joy.
4 – PRIORITISE
If you have a downstairs bathroom, it is highly likely that your guests will stay downstairs. Therefore, prioritise your ground floor. If you have piles of crap and five minutes till someone is due to pop round grab basket and chuck it upstairs. No one will ever know…
5 – WIPES
Antibacterial wipes, baby wipes, a wet cloth, whatever takes your fancy. For me it is a combination of the humble baby wipe and the occasional antic wipe. Wipe like you have never wiped before. It takes milliseconds to run a wet wipe over a surface and they smell like you have just done a full spring clean.
6 – UTILISE YOUR RADIATORS
This one is a bit of a sneaky trick that my husband taught me. He said that when he was a child and his mum asked him to clean his room, he would sweep everything into a cupboard and spray furniture polish on the radiators. As they got warm that distinctive smell of polish would waft around his room and he would fool his mum into thinking he had actually cleaned.
7 – BASKETS
Pile of crap? Put it in a wicker basket. It immediately looks a little more like it is supposed to be there. Done.
I guess eventually it would be nice to be at a stage with someone where they are happy to take you as they find you, mess and dirt included. I kind of want to start 2017 a bit better than this though, my empty house offers the perfect clean slate for making an effort to be ‘visitor ready’ so I’m really going to give it a go.