What to do before the dinner guests arrive

You’ve put off cleaning, and the dinner guests will be here in less than an hour! Don’t panic. Here’s what to do to give your house an instant face lift:

  1. Clear the clutter (10 minutes). Grab hold of a laundry basket and “swoop” energetically around the house for 5 minutes, picking up everything that doesn’t belong. Now recirculate around the house one more time (5 additional minutes), delivering all the items in the hamper where they’re supposed to go. The key is not to stop to ponder things and/or get sidetracked!
  2. Wipe down all surfaces (10 minutes). With a soft damp rag, quickly wipe down any non-wood surfaces like counters and tables. Got grime? Use a spray bottle filled with 1/2 water, 1/2 distilled white vinegar. For wood surfaces, use a feather duster or a soft rag and a wood-friendly cleaner such as Pledge.
  3. Make the bathroom mirrors and toilets sparkle (10 minutes). A spray bottle filled with 1/2 water, 1/2 vinegar and some paper towels will work wonders on the mirrors. Use full strength vinegar and a toilet brush to make your bowls shine. Lastly, wipe down the lid and rims with paper towels and half vinegar solution. Don’t worry – once the surfaces are dry, the vinegar smell will disappear and be replaced with a fresh, clean scent!
  4. Give the floors a quick sweep and/or run the vacuum (5-7 minutes). Pay attention only to the dirtiest areas! Don’t bother with the rooms they’re not likely to see. Dimming the lights is going to help hide the dirt anyway.
  5. Use flowers to your advantage! (5-7 minutes). Guests are less likely to notice clutter if you’ve got flowers to distract them. One bouquet of flowers goes a long way to make the place feel fresh and classy. Place one or two stems in each bud vase (or whatever you’ve got) in bathrooms, dining room, living room and kitchen. Tip: A single type of flower makes the biggest impact.
  6. Finally, dim the lights, light the candles, and flip on the music (2 minutes). Scented candles are fine for the bathroom and living room, but keep them out of the kitchen and dining room. The perfume-y aroma can ruin your guests’ appetites.

Now don’t worry too much. If your friends really love you, they won’t care about mess or dust anyway. Good luck, and happy holidays!

Have more ideas to share? Post a comment or write to Crystal and let her know!