Clutter 101: The Last Minute De-Clutter
Welcome to the tenth part of my Clutter 101 series! Imagine that you have friends or family who have unexpectedly decided to visit you (as they always seem to do…), yet you have piles of paper on the table, laundry waiting to be washed in baskets and, and overflowing kitchen drawers. How do you go about tidying up and de-cluttering in a such a short space of time? The trap a lot of people fall into is to rush around to try and clean the entire home, dumping everything into the first drawer they find. Out of sight, out of mind right?
Firstly concentrate on the main rooms your visitors will go to, typically the living room, kitchen, hallway and bathroom (though if you have a special friend coming over you may need to concentrate on the bedroom too ;) ). Keep the doors closed on all the other rooms, you don’t have to give people the grand tour.
The hallway gives the first and last impressions of your home so put away the shopping bags, hang up your coats and manage your landing strip. If the hallway is not tidy then it doesn’t matter about the rest of your home, the impression has been made on your visitors.
Clutter is less of a concern in the kitchen and bathroom so focus on cleaning them first. Unless you will be eating with your visitors you don’t have to let them see too much of your kitchen, it is one of the busiest rooms in an home, so people expect it to be “lived in.” The most time consuming task to do in a kitchen will likely be dirty dishes if you have lots of them. You don’t want to rush and not clean them properly so leave them in sink full of suds for later.
Don’t dump clutter in drawers, in cupboards or in typical cartoon style, under carpets. For all your good intentions, you most likely will not go pull it out again later to de-clutter it. Group the clutter together and place it neatly in one of those rooms you closed the doors on. That way it’s out of the way of your visitors but not stuffed away and off your radar.
Finally, it also helps to spray some fragrance or furniture polish before they arrive too. Nice smells are associated with clean, fresh homes, and like with a tidy hallway, leave a good initial impression. The same can be said for bright rooms, so open the curtains in daytime and turn the lights on when it’s dark. Don’t draw attention to, or feel the need to apologize for any clutter you may leave lying around.