You just remembered that you're hosting a potluck baby shower. Your high school crush, all your new co-workers, the perfect-mom down the street, and your mother-in-law will all be in attendance. Your house is a wreck. You have five minutes. Don't panic.
Before you start Googling to discover if Merry Maids has an emergency number, repeat after me: "I've got this." Take some deep breaths, put on Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, and psyche yourself up for a master class in faking it:
- Grab a laundry basket.
- Clear all surfaces of clutter in your living areas, i.e., toss everything that's not where it belongs in the laundry basket.
- Toss the full laundry basket (or three) in your bedroom.
- Close all the bedroom doors.
- Grab a rag sprayed with all purpose cleaner.
- Go into the one bathroom the guests will use and wipe down all the surfaces with a cleaning or disinfecting wipe, toilet last.
- Squeeze some hand soap into the toilet bowl and give it a swish with the toilet brush.
- Stick any dirty dishes in the oven. (Please don't forget they're in there.)
- Grab some car air vent fresheners and stick them on your HVAC vent and run your unit. (Or light a couple candles or diffuse some essential oils, if you're fancy.)
- Straighten couch and chair pillows and the hand towels in the guest bathroom.
- Straighten up any books or magazines in the living room.
- Straighten up any shoes or coats in the entryway.
- Exchange your lounge clothes for something more presentable.
- Take a look at yourself in the mirror, take a deep breath, and smile.
The bell rings! Open the door warmly. Do not apologize for the state of your home when guests arrive. A pleasant face and a happy attitude will make everyone feel at home — and that's what's most important. You've got this. (And don't forget to take those dishes out of the oven later.)