Just once, wouldn’t it be wonderful to enjoy entertaining your friends and family rather than focusing on the clean up and preparation?
You can! All you have to do is adopt a foolproof pre-entertaining organization method: the “GO” approach.
Often, we prepare for events focusing on details that our guests will never really notice. The truth is, you can do far less preparing than you think.
The “GO” approach is all about “guest observation.” In other words, to get your house pre-organized for a party or the holidays, think about what your guests will observe, rather than all the things you think you ought to do.
Guests adhere to a particular pattern when they enter your home. Usually they stop in four locations, and in a specific order: the front door, the kitchen, the bedroom, and the bathroom.
Focus your efforts on these four locations using the GO approach so you can lighten your workload and increase your time spent enjoying the holidays.
Start at the front door
The front door is where you can set the first impression for how you manage the “look and feel” of your organized home.
Just tackle a few key tasks:
- Shake out the outdoor mat and sweep.
- Place a flowering plant outside on a table at the front door (even if you have a small apartment or bungalow).
- Write a little note saying, “I’m/We’re seriously thankful you’re here. Welcome!” The note transforms your guests’ frustration from traffic or family upsets while in the car to feeling appreciated. It also sets the tone of care and kindness before they even enter your home.
Typically, guests come to the kitchen first to drop off a pie, salad, or bottle of wine. Now, the turkey in the oven usually provides the yummy aroma, but how do you handle those first visual impressions, including having the proper tools and space for cleaning up after the meal?
These high-impact tasks will help:
- Clear the clutter from the counters. Remove small appliances, bottles of vitamins, piles of paper, phone chargers, and put it all in a box labeled “stuff from kitchen counter.” Place it in the garage or even the trunk of your car, if you’re short on storage space.
- No time to clean the oven? Line it with tin foil to give it a clean and shiny look inside.
- Break out a fresh sponge for doing dishes. Place a notecard above the sink that says “I’m thankful for your help with my dishes. I appreciate you.” Guaranteed your guests will smile and pitch in. If you wind up stuck doing the dishes on your own, that little note you wrote will surely remind you of your self-worth, and those dishes won’t seem like such a chore.
Next, your guests will need to put their coats and bags somewhere; the usual spot is in a bedroom.
How do you hide the mess and clutter? Try my “dim some” lighting method. That means dim most of the lighting in the room with some lighting on an accent piece. If you don’t have a dimmer switch, change out your light bulb to a lower wattage, or change the bulb to a colored bulb of your choice.
You can also change the lamp shade to one that is orange or yellow to give the room a warmer hue. If you have a pretty picture or photo, put an accent light on that piece to divert attention away from messy areas.
The key here is to keep your guests’ embarrassment level to a minimum and their impression of you at a high. An overflowing toilet is something guests will remember (especially if it happens to them). If you minimize the possibility of mayhem before it starts, you’re golden.
- If the toilet is a little wonky, help out your guests with a cute sign that says “Hold handle down for 10 seconds” or “Jiggle handle to flush.”
- Have a plunger nearby.
- Put a spray deodorizer on top of the tank.
- Keep lots of extra toilet paper stored in an obvious location.
- Embroidered or white guest towels can be intimidating for folks to use for fear of ruining them. Use paper towels with a holiday design and place the trash can in a visible spot.
- Finally, a small bunch of beautiful flowers (such as an orchid or sweet-smelling roses) will serve you more here than a centerpiece on the table.
Eliminate obvious stains and odors
While making beds and putting away laundry are definite pre-hosting, don’t forget to focus on the obvious — stains and odors — before your guests do!
Here are a few last-minute tips that will leave you proud and your guests impressed:
- Hang scented pine cones near key hooks and plants, inside closets, at the front door, above litter boxes, or on door handles in the bathroom.
- Rustle up some vanilla extract from your spice rack and dab it on light bulbs around the house. As the bulb heats, the pleasant vanilla scent lingers.
- Most of us have little stains in our carpet. If you do, too, spray shaving cream on the stain to bring the dirt to the surface. Pat with a paper towel and vacuum. (Note: Always test new stain treatments in a remote area of the carpet or rug first.)
- If you have a scratch or nick in your wood table or other wood furniture, try rubbing a walnut on it to make it less noticeable.
And remember, whatever you do, don’t sweat the small stuff. Your guests will remember the tone your attitude sets more than anything else.
Please note that this Scottsdale Real Estate Blog is for informational purposes and not intended to take the place of a licensed Scottsdale Real Estate Agent. The Szabo Group offers first class real estate services to clients in the Scottsdale Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area in the buying and selling of Luxury homes in Arizona. Award winning Realtors and Re/MAX top producers and best real estate agent for Luxury Homes in Scottsdale, The Szabo group delivers experience, knowledge, dedication and proven results. Contact Joe Szabo at 480.688.2020, [email protected] or visit www.scottsdalerealestateteam.com to find out more about Scottsdale Homes for Sale and Estates for Sale in Scottsdale and to search the Scottsdale MLS for Scottsdale Home Listings.