Time to get real. My living room does not look like this 80% of the time. Since our house is smaller we actually LIVE in our living room. Like most of the rooms our house, it is a multipurpose room. I cut fabric, lay out quilt blocks, prep our backpacking gear, sort laundry, pack orders, eat the occasional meal and lounge on that sofa. But we live near the middle of our small town, so when people are in town I often get the dreaded “Hey! We will be passing by in 30 minutes. Mind if we pop in? I’d love to see you!” text in the afternoon.
So today’s post is my 30 minute routine to get that room looking, smelling and feeling fresh, welcoming and ready to entertain. It’s all about priorities. You need to do the things that make the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time.
ONE / Open the blinds
Letting some natural light in if you are expecting daytime guests is HUGE. It instantly makes the room feel more welcoming and open. I usually don’t pull the blinds up, but I do rotate them to flood the room with soft natural light.
TWO / Refresh your wood surfaces
Running a quick cloth (or a clean sock) with some Pledge Lemon Clean over all of your wood furniture to refresh those surfaces. It not only makes the wood look clean and radiant, it also makes the room smell fresh and clean. I usually grab a sock out of Jared’s drawer (shhh….) and slip it on my hand. Dump any clutter in a box to get it out of the room and give your coffee table, entertainment center, side tables or piano a good wipe.
THREE / Run the vacuum or broom over the floor
This should go without saying. You don’t have to be totally thorough. But a quick run around the room with a vacuum goes a long way. Pay attention to chair rails and molding as well. I use the hose attachment to do a quick sweep of the top of the molding where it’s visible to pick up any dust.
FOUR / Put something fresh in the room
Run out to the yard and cut some flowers or even some greens and throw them in a vase or drinking glass. Grab some apples out of your fridge and put them in a bowl on the coffee table. Grab a potted herb from your patio. Something fresh makes a room feel alive and inviting.
FIVE / Think about the details
Are they staying awhile? Or are they just popping in? My aunt used to keep a basket of fluffy clean socks by the door for guests to get comfy. Re-stock your bar cart. Get a pot of coffee going or have a kettle of water boiling for tea. Put out a light snack on the coffee table (even if it’s just some fresh fruit or nuts) if it’s between meals. Pillows on couches or chairs are great, but if you have too many, get rid of a few so they can actually sit down. If it’s nice out (not too humid) open a window. Make sure it’s a comfortable temperature in the room. Little details make a big difference.
So that’s my routine in a nutshell. Please share your priorities when preparing for unexpected guests in the comments! I’d love to hear your tips and tricks.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.