Truth be told, I'm a bit of a neat freak. It wasn't always this way. In fact, if you would've told my parents that I'd be a lover of all things tidy and clean when I was a kid, they would've laughed in your face. Since then, things have changed. I've started to appreciate the gift of a clean home. As the years passed, I started having more friends over, and hosting playdates at my house for my kids. So I learned how to keep your house company ready all the time, because when you have kids, you never know who's going to show up or when they'll arrive.
Being prepared all the time isn't actually has hard as you think. First, you're going to have to find a place to stash your partner and kids. I know, it sounds harsh, but really they make the biggest mess. The dogs and cats have to go too. And throw out all your stuff. Okay, okay, I'm kidding. But we all know that the hardest part of keeping a clean house is figuring out how to manage everyone in it, and admittedly, I don't always succeed. More often than I care to admit, I'll find myself re-doing one of my kid's chores, or picking up my husband's socks off the floor, but the effort is there. You need to start by setting expectations for everyone in your house. Everyone has a job — and they do it.
For instance, in our house, my husband takes care of the dishes, the trash, and the bathrooms — as well as the litter box. I love my cats to death but I am not messing with their crap. I just don't have it in me. Plus, it was his idea to adopt them, so, he gets to scoop the poop. I do the kitchen, living room/dining room combo, the vacuuming, and our room. Our kids? Well, we close their door a lot, and pretend it doesn't exist, although they have a chore chart.
And the chore chart extends to the adults as well. Because, as The Spruce explained, the best way to keep your house company ready all the time is to break down the major tasks throughout the week, designating specific days to specific tasks and making sure they get completed. Big tasks are done once a week, smaller tasks are done every day, and some tasks are performed multiple times per day. And again, everyone pitches in. Big tasks are things like wiping down walls, mopping the floors, and dusting the bookshelves. You might need to dust more than once per week if you have pets, though. Their hair and dander tends to collect. Daily tasks are things like wiping down the stove, cleaning the litter box, doing the dishes, and picking up toys and whatnot. Small tasks like wiping down the counters and cleaning up after meals are completed on an ongoing basis. Make these chores easier on yourself with multi-tasking tools like the Click n Clean Multi Surface Spray Mop System, which comes with a spray mop, washable microfiber mop cleaning pad, soft scrub pad and microfiber dust mop pad for use on a variety of surfaces ($46, Amazon).
This next tip is going to sound weird, and a bit grandmotherly, but if you have kids or pets — or both — consider getting a few big throw blankets for the sofa and chairs, as Apartment Therapy recommended. They're not the most aesthetically pleasing things on the planet, although, there are some really cute ones out there. They serve a purpose. In the event someone is coming over or shows up unannounced? You can pull them off, et voila! You reveal a pet hair and kid droppings free seating area. It's like magic, only machine washable.
Another weird tip is to buy plants, and lots of them. Easy to care for plants like spider plants clean the air of your home, according to NBC News, and unlike fresh flowers, they don't die every few days. They bring life into your space and make it more welcoming.
The last piece of advice is to not stress about it. If your company is overly worried about a few dust bunnies or whether or not you have the perfect scented candle, that's on them, not you. They can stay home next time.
Season 2 of Doula Diaries shares the stories of fearless doulas helping their clients take control of their births and make tough choices that feel right to them. Watch the first episode of the new season Monday, November 26th.