It’s always nice to have people come to visit, but being a host typically involves a little tidying up. But getting your home ready for guests might involve a little more than just clearing the shoes out of the front entrance or getting that pile of dishes done. Your guests will notice a lot more than what you may think.
You may have gone “nose blind” to the scent in your home because you’ve become accustomed to it, but that smell will be noticeable to your guests once they walk through the front door – whether it’s pleasant or not. Regardless of whether the scent is coming from burning incense all day or last night’s fried fish dinner, you can bet that anyone who comes over will notice it right away.
To make sure you don’t turn anyone off, try to neutralize the odor in your home. Even smells that you might enjoy could be off-putting to others. Eliminate the source of the odors, then take some steps to improve the smell of your home. Open the windows to let some fresh air in, light a candle, or lay out a few vases of freshly-cut flowers to infuse the interior air with a waft of pleasant smells.
Your front entrance and floors may be tidy and clean, but what about other areas of your home? Table and counter surfaces are notorious for accumulating clutter which doesn’t exactly do much for the look and feel of your home. All those small appliances, cell phone chargers, or piled-up mail can create unsightly clutter that guests won’t be too impressed with.
In order to keep clutter at bay, make it a point of staying on top of the tidying. Toss out items you don’t need, and put things away in their proper places. Keep a few decorative boxes or baskets handy to store little knick-knacks that tend to linger on surfaces for longer than they really should.
One of the most underestimated and neglected components of home decor is lighting. Homeowners often pay plenty of attention to color schemes, furniture, finishes, hardware, and artwork, but it’s not uncommon for them to forget about the lighting that is needed to illuminate such components. Inadequate lighting can make a room feel dull, dingy, or even off-balance.
Every room in the house requires its own particular type of lighting. For instance, the kitchen does well with pot lights, pendant lamps, and under-cabinet lighting, while the living room should ideally have recessed lights on dimmer switches, table lamps, and floor lamps. Proper lighting can make a huge difference in your home’s atmosphere, which your guests will certainly notice.
Anyone who uses your bathroom will definitely notice if you’re missing any necessities. Toilet paper, tissues, and clean towels, for instance, should always be well-stocked in any bathroom that is used on a regular basis. And if you’re hosting any overnighters, the list of amenities will grow to include things such as bath towels, shampoo and conditioner, bath soap, and maybe even a robe or hair dryer.
Before you have guests over, make sure your bathroom is equipped with everything they’ll need to enjoy a comfortable stay.
While we’re on the subject of bathrooms, the level of cleanliness should be mentioned. There’s nothing more disgusting than a filthy bathroom. All surfaces – including the sink, toilet, bathtub, and floors – should be wiped down before your first guest arrives.
It goes without saying that your bathroom should be kept clean at all times, whether or not you’ve got visitors. But if not for yourself, clean for your guests, because they will likely form an opinion about your level of sanitation if you don’t.
Whatever is hanging on your walls will grab your guests’ attention. You might not necessarily care too much about what people think about your taste in wall art, but you should know that people will definitely notice it and develop an opinion of it. It’s common for people to judge homeowners based on their choice in artwork, so if you want to make a good impression, then you may want to take a closer look at what’s hanging on your walls.
Plants and Fresh Flowers
Speaking of greenery, people have a tendency of noticing the presence – or lack thereof – of plants and flowers in a home. Generally speaking, fresh greenery evokes a positive vibe thanks to the colors and scents that it gives off. Plants and flowers have a knack for livening up indoor spaces, especially those that are lacking in decor. Just be sure to keep your greens well-watered so they’re not wilted.
If you’ve got good friends coming over who are accustomed to fetching their own drinks or snacks, then you’ll want to make sure your fridge is clean. Any caked-on spills on the shelves or rotting food products that are giving off a nasty odor should be eliminated right away. All it takes is a few minutes to go through the items in the fridge, remove whatever has stayed past its shelf life, and give the shelves a good wipe.
While you’re at it, make sure your fridge – as well as your pantry and/or bar – is stocked with everything you think your guests will need to fill their bellies and quench their thirst. One of the first things hosts usually do is offer a drink or refreshment, so be sure to have what you need to please your guests.
The Bottom Line
If making a good impression on your guests matters to you, then perhaps you might want to take a closer look at what they really notice and make any necessary changes. Don’t bother with time-consuming tasks that guests likely won’t even notice, like vacuuming under the sofa or reorganizing your linen closet. Instead, knowing what visitors are really paying attention to can help you focus on elements of your home that really matter when it comes to impressing your guests.