An Airwick survey of 2,000 Brits found that it takes less than 30 seconds for houseguests to formulate their first impression of your home after entering it.
During the holiday season, everyone wants visitors to their home to feel like they’ve entered a space that’s warm and welcoming.
Ensuring you have a well-presented home for a holiday season gathering often adds to the hectic and stressful nature of this time of year.
Is our worrying about how others see our living space excessive? Perhaps, but it’s better to care about how guests view our homes than to not care, right?
Holiday home cleaning and organization tips
You have your own set of standards for how you clean and organize your home. It never hurts, however, to get a different perspective on what guests notice most when they visit your home.
Perhaps it will make you more aware of certain areas of your home that should be getting a little more cleaning attention.
Keep reading to pick up a few holiday home cleaning and organization tips that will serve you well when hosting your gathering of friends and family.
What guests notice most about your home
In that Airwick survey, the most popular answer given about the thing people noticed first when visiting a house or condo was the scent of the home.
That makes perfect sense (pun intended), given that smell is the strongest of our five senses.
How cluttered a home is ranked second. This might surprise some of you (it surprised me), who would have expected it to take the top spot.
Here are a few more of the most commonly judged things in homes by guests:
- the temperature
- how clean and dust-free the home is
- the tastefulness and modernness of the home décor
- the quality of hand towels and how comfortable they are to use
Throw off a great scent
With scent being such a big part of a visitor’s experience to your living space, what can you do to create a more pleasing aroma in the home?
It’s less practical to open windows during the cold holiday season. If temperatures are unseasonably warm, however, take advantage of it to let some fresh air inside.
Pleasant, natural scents that aren’t too strong will create a positive first impression for anyone entering your home. We recommend any of these:
- fresh flowers
- potpourri in decorative bowls
- scented candles
- fresh-baked cookies or pastries
- boil or bake select spices for about 30 minutes to scent your entire home
And now for a couple of scent don’ts for your home. First, avoid using spray or plug-in commercial air fresheners. They can be overpowering and off-putting to guests with very sensitive noses.
Try to avoid vacuuming minutes before guests arrive at your home. Some vacuum canisters that haven’t been emptied in awhile can leave a distinct odour that people might notice.
Some people regularly vacuum using baking soda that’s sprinkled on carpets and rugs. Despite baking soda being an effective deodorizer, many cleaning experts advise against using it this way since it can potentially cause problems with your vacuum cleaner.
Holiday home cleaning the areas your guests will see
A home that’s clean and organized from top-to-bottom is preferable, but not always achievable when you’re scrambling to take care of everything that goes into hosting a get-together.
Luckily, your guests won’t see every room in your home so just focus on getting the areas they will spend time in looking pristine.
Your entryway is obviously a top priority, as it creates the first impression of your interior living space. Is there room for shoes and boots? When the front hallway closet is opened, is it tidy and providing enough space for your guest’s coats?
Some guests will assuredly be spending time in the kitchen. You’ve taken care of the clutter cleanup in the room, but how does the fridge look? Has the inside of the fridge also been decluttered and scrubbed so anyone grabbing a cold beverage out of it won’t even think twice about how clean it is?
It goes without saying that your guest bathroom has to be spic and span with enough hand towels, soap, hand sanitizer, and extra toilet paper to serve your guest’s needs.
Clear all the clutter from any flat surfaces in the dining room, living room, and basement (if necessary) and give them a good wipedown.
Even one of your bedrooms should be presentable if you’re using a bed as an overflow coat storage space. You or someone from your family that’s on coat duty might get tied up with one of a multitude of hosting tasks. Allow guests who are ready to go home to get their coats from the room if they need to without having to worry about its appearance.
5 areas you shouldn’t forget to clean
There are many parts of the home that are easy to miss when you’re rushing to get your cleaning done. Don’t forget to give these areas a quick vacuum, dusting, or wipe down with a damp towel:
- drapes, curtains, and blinds
- light fixtures and ceiling fans
- baseboards and crown moulding
- electrical outlets and light switches
A few things to remember about clutter
Clutter doesn’t just mean what we typically think of when we hear the word, like toys or junk left on the floor or a messy countertop.
It also includes visual clutter, which means having too many things occupying a space, even if they’re kept tidy. A shelf that’s overloaded with knick-knacks and mementoes is one example.
Be mindful of not using too many pieces of furniture in a room. This can make the space feel more cramped.
Spending time in any environment that has too much clutter makes us feel unsettled. For example, it’s been well-established that excessively cluttered homes contribute to poor sleep quality and higher stress levels in occupants of those living spaces.
Controlling your traditional clutter and visual clutter will help to make your guests feel more relaxed and comfortable.
The ideal solution for hosting overnight guests
When guests from out of town are staying overnight, are you able to put them up in a guest room?
Whether it’s during the holiday season or any other time of year, having a guest room that’s always at-the-ready is a wonderful thing in any home.
Putting your visitors up in a guest room is a more thoughtful gesture than having them stay in a hotel room that feels sterile and inhospitable.
A spare room can easily be converted into a useful guest room with a space-saving Murphy wall bed and beautiful custom cabinetry where guest linens and pillows can be stored.
Here are some more nice things you can do to make your overnight guests feel even more comfortable in your home:
- provide a TV or smart speaker for their room
- leave out some cozy bathrobes for them to use
- provide a basket with toiletries in case they forgot to pack some of their own
- write down your home’s WiFi password for them
These thoughtful gestures will be greatly appreciated and leave your guests thinking, “Who needs a 5-star hotel?”
Make your home easier to keep organized
We hope these holiday home cleaning and organization tips are useful to you when you’re preparing to entertain guests.
Organized Interiors can help take the worry out of having guests over. Our wide variety of storage and organization solutions make it easier to maintain a tidy home all year-round.
We can also custom-design any of the following things to enhance your home’s entertaining capabilities:
- a stunning feature wall with an electric fireplace
- entertainment centres
- wet bars
- wine rooms
To learn more about how we can help improve how your house or condo looks and functions, schedule a free in-home design consultation with us.
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