Let’s face it; the in-laws are notorious for showing up on your doorstep uninvited. Thinking that it was a lovely idea to surprise you—giving you absolutely no time to prepare for the next coming week, (as well as mentally!) But if you’re lucky enough to have a warning in advance, you will have the time to sort your things out, clean the house, get your fridge stocked up and have the behavior talk with your kids—offering them candy if they keep the deal.
You will want to make sure you have a presentable home ready for their arrival. They say that your home reflects on you, so what will the in-laws think if your house is an unorganized mess? You shouldn’t be judged, but you may fear it. Don’t give your spouse’s mother the satisfaction of collecting dust on her finger and showing it to you. Beat her to it.
Whatever date and time you’re given—it would be wise to get the house sorted a couple of days before that if you can, just on the off chance they plan on surprising you with their presence a day earlier.
Dust + polish. No one likes the look of dust, but no matter how nice your house may look, dust will gather over time—it’s inevitable. That’s why it’s important to take time out once in awhile and have a little wipe down. Focus on all surfaces like shelves and table tops, as well as TVs, computer screens, photo frames and even the tops of your doors. You may think no one can see them so what’s the point, but you never know how picky someone is feeling.
It’s best to use a microfiber cloth as everything sticks to it with ease, and be sure to use a deliciously smelling cleaner to give it that extra freshness.
Clean the floors. Crumbs, fluff, and stains need to go! If you have carpet in your home, then you need to give it a deep clean. Shop around for the top vacuum cleaners on the market. You will need something with good enough suction to get every last bit up.
If you have wooden floor, laminate or tiles, then you should sweep up and then give it a good mop. If you do have wood, then you can go the extra mile and wax it too. This will make it look like brand new, plus it’ll smell nice too.
Dishes. It’s a little thing, but it’ll make such a big difference. It’s no good giving your home a clean and leaving out dirty dishes to see. Whether you wash them by hand or you have a dishwasher, get them done and out of the way. Don’t leave them out to dry; it’ll just look like clutter- so dry them and put them back where they belong.
Beds. It’s to bring out the fancy matching bed set. Before making the bed though, it’s wise to clean all the bed sheets—even if they are brand new—putting them through the wash will just make them smell fresh, as well as making them feel a lot softer on the skin. If you want to go even further, then fold some towels neatly and put them on the end of their bed, just like how it would be in a top hotel. (You could even put a little chocolate on their pillow…)
Candles. Candles are so nice to set the atmosphere in your home, they not only look lovely, but they are very calming. You can get scented candles too if you prefer to give even more for the senses to admire. You can choose whatever smell you like as there are so many options out there, you will be spoiled for choice.
If you know the in-laws have a favorite scent—then go with that one!
Declutter. Who wants to see clutter anyway? It just adds to the messy look, and it can be avoided so easily. If you have things that you know need throwing out, then walk through your house with a trash bag and anything you know you don’t need—throw it out. Anything you want to keep, put it where it should be.
If you know that you have no more use for something but don’t want to get rid of it because it holds value—sell it. Sure this may take a little time, so store it out of the way in the meantime until you have an interest.
Mail. Don’t let any junk mail gather up by your door or all over the table. It may seem like a hassle, especially if you have a lot—but try and sort through them and keep them out of the way. No one should see your mail piling up.
Music. This doesn’t mean blasting your favorite tunes out, but playing a little background music can give a wonderful feel to a house, even if it’s so quiet you can’t make out what it is, subconsciously your brain will pick up on it and it will work wonders. Everyone knows how powerful music is, so don’t waste it.
Cover up. If you have any stains or holes that you need to cover up quickly, then there are plenty of tricks that you can do. If you have a stubborn carpet stain or a large scratch on your wooden floor, get a rug and lay it down. It will look like a cool accessory, and only you will know it’s true purpose. The same goes for if you have a hole in the wall—hang a painting or photo up to hide whatever needs to be hidden.
Last second. If you don’t have any time to clean your house properly, then you can just grab a bag or a large basket and gather up anything that is out of place and hide the evidence in your closet or wardrobe. The in-laws will be none the wiser.
Empty the trash. Don’t be leaving the trash full when they are due to arrive. Not only does it look untidy, but it may keep unwanted smells lingering around. So don’t just empty them—clean them out too. You can do this with a sponge and some all purpose cleaner, or even just some warm, soapy water.
Refreshments. When you know the in-laws are almost here, whip up some yummy refreshments. This will be appreciated, especially if it’s been a long journey. Have a look online at some nice recipes that include their favorite ingredients and then keep them in the fridge so they stay fresh.
No fur. If you have pets, then you will want to get rid of any fur that’s stuck all over the sofas or tabletops. Especially if they are allowed in the kitchen—nobody wants to find a cat hair in their glass!
If this all sounds far too much effort for you, then don’t bother. Seriously. If you are happy with how your home looks, and don’t feel there is any need to put yourself through all of that stress just to try and please your partner’s parents—then don’t do it. Embrace your home and be proud of it. If they look down on it – then that’s their issue, not yours.
As long as your house doesn’t smell appalling, and you are able to walk through the living room with ease, then don’t worry about a thing. Your in-laws are coming round to see their family—not inspecting where you live.
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