Entertaining is moving indoors with the season change, folks. And now that I'm out of the parents' house and on my own, I know that the way my home looks is a reflection of me. So, when guests are coming over &mdash even if only for a low-key get-together, I like to spruce it up in a few quick steps...
• 1 Turn on some low-key background music.
• 2 Vacuum &mdash one of the best ways to get that clean feeling without a full-on cleaning.
• 3 Do a quick swipe of the kitchen and bathroom counters with disinfecting wipes or spritz with a clean-smelling spray, such as one of Mrs. Meyers' concoctions.
• 4 Replace bath towels and kitchen towels (and hide the dirty ones in the washing machine).
• 5 Turn on some low-key background music.
• 6 Put out a bowl of nuts or fruit on the coffee table.
• 7 Light candles in the bathroom, kitchen and living room.
• 8 Open a window for fresh air (only for 15 min. or so if it's chilly!)
• 9 Evaluate trash and take out emergencies.
• 10 Do a once-through house pickup, straightening and retrieving items that need to be put away.
I prioritize which of these are most important, depending how much time I have and who is coming over. What do you do before guests arrive?
(Image: givepeasachance licensed for use under Creative Commons)