As the holidays approach, I’d like to focus on an often-overlooked category of organization: hosting holiday guests, including overnight guests. November and December are when we gather more frequently indoors and for longer periods of time.
If you have guests coming over and haven’t done a whole-house tidying, there are ways to quickly declutter your home to spruce up your surroundings and make guests most comfortable. Marie Kondo has four quick tips that will put you and your guests at ease.
1. Do a “Joy Check.” In her tidying tips, Kondo puts joy at the center of everything – it’s a guiding principle that will serve you well in so many situations. Stand at your door and observe the shared spaces with the fresh eyes of a newcomer, going room by room to objectively evaluate whether the things you’ve piled up or thrown in a basket really do bring you joy. If you’re unsure, take time to reflect on whether these items pass the “Joy Check.” If they don’t, thank them and let them go.
2. Decide Where Things Belong. On your journey through your spaces, you likely found some things around the house that didn’t have a home. Seize this opportunity to decide where each item belongs, and make sure your other family members know so they can find things and put them away after use. TV remotes can go in a tray on the coffee table, mail goes in your “pending” box on your desk, coats go in the closet. To maintain all the tidying you do, everyone must know exactly where everything belongs.
3. Keep a Neat Kitchen. The kitchen is the hub of the home and a natural gathering space for guests. Before they arrive, declutter your counters of all the relatively small things that distract from your kitchen and its counterspace. Find a new home for your toaster, your dish soap, and your teapot. Once you’ve done that, wipe down the counters (and spot check the backsplash and cabinets). Then, keep the area around the sink clean – it’s the focus of the room and you’ll have a tidy kitchen that you and your guests can enjoy.
4. Tidy the Guest Bedroom. The holidays can be unpredictable and even if you don’t think you’ll be needing your guest room, it should be ready for guests at a moment’s notice. Do a serious “joy check” around the room and closet. Rather than using it as a room to store seasonal items, creating a welcoming, tranquil, and private space for them will make them feel right at home. Recall your best relaxing hotel or spa experience and try to recreate the feel, the scent, the appearance, and the function of the room. Consider having an arrival basket with tea, snacks, phone charger, and wifi password. Provide crisp sheets and an extra comforter, and stock items for them that they may have forgotten such as toothpaste, cotton swabs or a hair dryer. Collect travel size items and put them in a basket in the bathroom that they can easily find.
These four tips can be easily done in just an hour or two. Once you’ve crossed these off your to-do list, you’ll have a tidy home that both you and your guests can enjoy throughout the season.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
This article is based on blog posts by KonMari Media Inc. entitled “How to Tidy Before Hosting Guests” and “Fall Tidying Challenge: The Guest Room,” available at konmari.com.
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