Once you’ve lived in your home for a while, you start to not really see it anymore. The art on your walls, the pillows on your couch, and the clutter on your countertop become such fixtures in your space that you simply stop noticing them. But when guests come over, they’re sure to see it all.
Before you entertain even a small group, getting your home party-ready can be as easy as getting rid of the eyesores in each room that you simply no longer see. We’re looking at you, litter box in the living room. And you, paper pile up in the kitchen. You don’t necessarily need to get rid of these items altogether, but relocating them during the party is the quickest, easiest way to make your space look put together. And you didn’t even need to buy anything new.
Below, we’ll walk you through each room, gently pointing out items you may want to hide out of sight. Where should you put them? A private bedroom, spare closet, or under the bed all work well as temporary storage spots.
The paper pile: First of all, check out your countertops. If there are piles of collected mail, catalogs, and bills, it’s time to move them. If you have time, sort through it all now, but if not, simply relocating it all to a storage box or home office during the party will work. Just remember to go back to the papers once the party’s over.
Small appliances: Next, look at the small appliances on your counter. You may be used to having that blender out, but do you really need it during the party? If not, relocate it to a cabinet or the pantry. You’ll appreciate all of the extra counter space you’ve now freed up for meal prep or drink mixing.
Kids’ toys: Has your living room turned into a playroom for your kids? Grab a storage bin and collect all of the Legos, dolls, and toy trucks strewn about the room. Stash the bin under the bed or in a closet.
Visible wires: Between your TV, speakers, game system, and phone chargers, it’s easy for all of the wires and cords to turn into a tangled mess. Before your party, sort through the cords and consider investing in a cable box. To make cords that wrap around the room look neater, order some wire clips that will guide them discreetly along the molding.
Litter box: Do you keep your cat’s litter box in the living room (or any room where guests will be)? Now’s the time to move it to the bedroom or another out-of-the-way spot. Even if you’re diligent about litter box maintenance, guests will likely be more sensitive to the sights and smells you’ve grown accustomed to.
Tons of products: It may be convenient to keep a huge collection of products out on your bathroom counter or open shelving (especially if your skin-care routine is a 16-step process), but to your guests, it will look cluttered. For the party, stash all of the products out of sight in a bin or basket. After the party, it will be easy to place them back on your counter.
Dingy shower curtain: If you have a shower curtain, it’s likely one of the biggest things in the room and, therefore, one of the most noticeable. So, if your shower curtain is mildew-covered, guests are sure to see it. Now’s the time to invest in a new curtain, or grab a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser—it’s the secret to quickly cleaning a soap-scum-covered shower curtain.
That old toothbrush for cleaning: Many of us keep an old toothbrush on hand for scrubbing grout lines, but your guests likely don’t want to see it. Stash this gross (but necessary) cleaning tool in a drawer.
Cleaning products: Similarly, toilet bowl cleaner and brushes may be essential, but you don’t need to leave them on display. Once you’ve cleaned your bathroom, stash these supplies out of sight before guests arrive.
Real Simple magazine provides smart, realistic solutions to everyday challenges. Online at RealSimple.com. Copyright 2021 Meredith Corporation. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.