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Being part of a military family means moving…a lot. And with moving comes making new friends. The husband and I have never been big on throwing wild, extravagant get-togethers; but seeing as how we find a new circle of friends every so many years, we’ve pretty well mastered the “casual dinners” and “get to know you” meals.
I don’t hesitate to say that I’m borderline obsessive compulsive when it comes to cleaning and organizing. I can’t help myself. I don’t know where I get it from, I don’t know why I am the way that I am. It’s just something that I have come to terms with. Everything in my house has a place, everything has somewhere it belongs and I’m particular about how I clean. [If you don’t believe me ask the hubs….it drives him nuts when I go behind him and redo something because “it just isn’t right.]
When we get ready for guests, the OCD gets worse.
The couch gets vacuumed inside and out because the air is so dry that dust accumulates on any still standing surface. I dust every piece of furniture in sight. My grandmother and my mom both taught me that dusting with one of those feather duster things and those things that claim to “attract” dust…doesn’t do any good. All it does is spread it from one surface to another. So I use warm water mixed with a light, smell good all purpose cleaner works best. The water traps the dust, gives your furniture a little shine, doesn’t leave a greasy residue AND leaves your house smelling fabulous.
Fortunately, we moved into a house here in Alaska with a pretty spacious under the stair closet that gives us a place to store Little Man’s toys in neatly organized bins and old unused laundry baskets. Most of our guests have small children and this room is big enough for them to play in and leaves the toys in a functional area. This room doesn’t really get “cleaned” so much as it just receives a general sprucing and an organizational run through.
The kitchen is by far the area I’m most particular about. I like CLEAN and uncluttered surfaces and bright, shiny floors. Dirt, crumbs, and sticky goo left on the kitchen counter or on the floor make an entire house seem filthy. My grandmother and my mom always said that you could tell if a house was clean by how the kitchen looks. And our kitchen is the first room anyone sees when they walk in, so I want that impression to stick. The floors get swept, mopped and vacuumed. I always leave candles and incense burning to give the house a warm and fresh smell; especially in the bathroom.
I also always double check that there is a clean garbage bag in all of the trashcans [especially the bathrooms], plenty of toilet paper in stock, air freshener tucked away in case someone needs it [ahem], soap and clean hand towels ready and waiting. Your guests are most definitely going to have to use the bathroom while they are at your home, so I tend to make sure the bathroom looks immaculate.
I don’t worry too much with our master bedroom or with Little Man’s room upstairs. The kids [when we have them over] are allowed to play upstairs in the little guy’s room only, so I make sure all other doors are closed.
In my opinion, as long as the house is smelling good and fresh and the clutter is clear, you can’t lose. A home that smells welcoming and inviting, will make your guests feel comfortable and at home in no time!
What do you do to prepare for house guests and company? Are you obsessive compulsive about your first impressions or kind of a “what you see it what you get” person? Would love to hear!
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