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11 Clever Prep Tricks That Save Your Sanity Before Guests Arrive

11 Clever Prep Tricks That Save Your Sanity Before Guests Arrive

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Because nobody wants to be frazzled when their friends are there!

1. The Power of the Pre-Clean It ain’t deep cleaning, but it’s a lifesaver

Think of this as a cleaning appetizer. Two days before guests arrive, zoom through your house with a basket. Grab random stuff that doesn’t belong in each room—toys, rogue socks, that book you meant to read last summer. Toss it all in the basket and stash it! This quick win gives you a sense of order before the real deal.

2. Scent-sational Ambiance Make your home smell like a fancy hotel lobby

a flickering candle with swirls of warm, inviting fragrance

Don’t underestimate the power of smell! Simmer some citrus peels and spices in a pot for a natural DIY air freshener. Light a subtly-scented candle (nothing too intense). Your guests will instantly feel welcomed, and your home will feel a touch more luxurious.

3. The “Stuff It and Forget It” Drawer Declutter, but panic-mode style

a junk drawer

We all have that one drawer or cabinet. You know, the messy dumping ground for stuff you don’t know where to put. Before guests arrive, do a rapid declutter sweep. If it doesn’t have a designated place, chuck it in that drawer (out of sight, out of mind!). It ain’t pretty, but it’s effective.

4. Playlist Power-Up Set the party vibe in seconds

a vinyl record spinning on a retro turntable

Make a playlist ahead of time! Don’t stress over picking the perfect song, just find a background vibe that enhances the mood. It’ll fill awkward silences and save you from the scramble when folks first arrive. Bonus points if you have a smart speaker for easy voice control!

5. Outsourced Snacks No shame in the store-bought game

a bountiful charcuterie board with fruits, cheeses, and crackers

Don’t go all Martha Stewart on yourself. A gourmet cheese plate, some nice crackers, and a tub of hummus from the store look fancier than you think. A few fresh veggies add a “homemade” touch, even if they aren’t. Your guests will love munching while they mingle.

6. Guest Bathroom Goodies It’s the little things that count

a luxurious bathroom countertop with fluffy towels and scented soaps

Spruce up the guest bathroom with some simple upgrades. Put out a fresh hand towel, make sure the soap dispenser is full, and consider having a small travel-sized lotion or a couple of individually packaged makeup remover wipes. It’s a small gesture that makes a big difference.

7. The “Oh Crap!” Basket For those things you totally forgot about

a woven basket filled with useful toiletries and household essentials

Accidents happen! Keep a basket stocked with essentials—extra toilet paper, a couple of spare toothbrushes, a lint roller, etc. Stash it under the sink and you’ll be the hero when someone inevitably forgets an essential or has a wardrobe mishap.

8. Kid-Zone Containment If you’ve got little ones running around

a designated play area with colorful toys and soft blankets

If kids are part of the equation, make a temporary “kid zone.” It doesn’t have to be fancy. Clear a corner, toss down a blanket, and bring out a bin of age-appropriate toys. They’ll be entertained, and the clutter stays out of the main hangout zones.

9. Pet Prep For your furry friends

a contented pet relaxing in a cozy dog bed

Even the best-behaved pets can get a little amped up with company! Make sure food and water bowls are full, give them a good walk beforehand, and have a designated quiet space for them to retreat to if they get overwhelmed.

10. Batch Your Booze Signature cocktails without the fuss

a pitcher of vibrant cocktails with citrus garnishes

If you’re serving cocktails, make it simple! Prep a big batch of one signature drink. Guests can serve themselves, and you’re not stuck playing bartender all night.

11. The “Help Yourself” Hydro Station Low-maintenance hospitality

a glass dispenser of ice water infused with sliced fruits

Set up a cute water station with a big dispenser of ice water, some sliced citrus or berries, and some cups. Guests can stay hydrated without having to ask, and you can focus on having fun!

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